Call for Pilot Project Applications in Drug Abuse Research

The Central Virginia Center on Drug Abuse Research (P30DA033934) seeks 1 year pilot grant proposals for the following two goals: 1) To provide resources supporting new ideas and initiatives, which have high potential to generate data important for applying for federal funding in the field of drug abuse research; and 2) To supply funds for investigators, who earned a good but not fundable score on a federal research application review, to generate data in support of the resubmission of that project. 

Applications for pilot projects are sought in all areas of scholarship relevant to drug abuse. Faculty receiving salary support from this P30 grant are not eligible to serve as PIs on pilot grants. Faculty funded in the previous round of support are eligible to apply for a new project or a competitive renewal of the previous project.  However, the progress report of the previous project will be an important criterion in the scoring of applications from faculty funded in the previous round. The Central Virginia Center on Drug Abuse Research encourages Pilot Project PIs to make use of the following four cores: 1) Bioanalytical; 2) Mutant mouse/viral vector; 3) Neuropharmacology; and 4) Gastrointestinal. PIs and co-Is of these core may serve as co-Is or collaborators on pilot projects.

Proposal and Format

The awards are to be used as “seed money” with the intention of generating important data useful for competitive federal grants. The Pl must state the future directions of the project and the intentions to apply for extramural funding. The proposed work must increase basic, clinical, population, etc. knowledge related to stimulants, opioids, nicotine, cannabinoids/endocannabinoids, or any other abused substance excluding alcohol (for which pilot projects exist elsewhere), or to elucidate the mechanism of drug tolerance or dependence.

  1. Font size: must be 11 points or larger (smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is generally acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%). Type density must be no more than 15 characters per linear inch (including characters and spaces)
  2. Title page: list Pl’s name, rank, and department; names and affiliations of all collaborators; with telephone numbers and email addresses; Pl signature and that of Pl’s department chair.
  3. Biosketch (PI and other faculty): NIH format
  4. Budget and justification ($50,000 maximum. Travel and faculty salaries are not allowed)
  5. Specific Aims (1 page)
  6. Research Plan (3 pages)
    1. Introduction/Significance
    2. Preliminary Data (if appropriate; NOT REQUIRED) 
    3. Approach
    4. Interpretation of likely results, potential pitfalls, and alternative approaches
    5. Strategies for future federal grant application
  7. References (1 page maximum)
  8. Summary statement from a review of previous federal application, if applicable. 
  9. Proof of current IACUC and/or human subject use protocols will be required before an award is made.
  10. Proposals not meeting the above criteria and outlined format will not be reviewed. 


Applications must be assembled in a single PDF file and emailed to: by April 9, 2021.

Review of Proposals

The applications will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of The Central Virginia Center on Drug Abuse Research as well as by ad hoc reviewers with expertise in the specific area.  Awards will be announced May 1, 2021. The amount of the award and the number of awards will depend upon the scope of work of the most meritorious applications reviewed. The total funding available for this year is $120,000 and the objective is to fund as many excellent proposals as possible. Pilot projects will be funded up to a maximum of $50,000 for a one-year duration.    

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