National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility


Center budgets include funds to support pilot/collaborative projects.  These projects can be used to support:

  • new investigators to generate preliminary data for a R01 application or for a subproject on a renewal P50 application;
  • established investigators who wish to use new technologies to approach a problem or who wish to work in a different field of study;
  • collaborative projects involving investigators from different NCTRI centers.

Funds in the amount of $50,000 direct costs per year, budgeted in the Administrative Core, are restricted for use in supporting pilot projects.  If funds for a given year are not used, a formal request to the NICHD must be submitted by the Principal Investigator to carry-over the funds into another budget period.  A justification for the carry-over request should be provided.

The Principal Investigator of each center can request use of these funds when submitting pilot project proposals.  The amount requested is limited to available funds for this purpose which is generally up to $50,000 direct costs.  However, if funds are not utilized in a previous year(s), and approval to carry-over  these funds has been granted, then the amount available to support pilot projects can be more than $50,000 direct costs.

The duration of pilot projects is limited to two years with an option to extend one additional year, if appropriate and approved.

Requests to use restricted funds for pilot projects should use PHS 398 forms and must include the following information:

  • Face Page (Box #2 should be title of center; Box 7a should reflect budget of pilot project)
  • Project Summary
  • Budget pages for initial budget period and cumulative budget if more than one year is requested
  • Biographical Sketches of all Key Personnel including postdoctoral fellows
  • Resources and Environment
  • Section 1 – Specific Aims (up to one page)
  • Section 2 – Research Strategy (up to six pages; including Significance, Innovation and Approach sections)
  • Section 3 – Human Subjects Section (if applicable to include Protection of Human Subjects,
  • Inclusion of Women and Minorities, Targeted/Planned Enrollment and Inclusion of Children)
  • Section 4 – Other Research Plan Section (if applicable to include Vertebrate Animals, Select Agent Research, Consortium/Contractual Arrangements, Letters of Support, Resource Sharing Plan(s)
  • Section 5 – Bibliography

NCTRI centers will provide the NICHD with a description of the review procedures for all pilot and collaborative projects.  This should include information regarding how a particular projecte was selected and evaluated for funding.  The use of standing advisory committees, both internal and external, is particularly encouraged for this process.  NICHD staff will make the final funding decision.

For collaborative pilot projects involving more than one NCTRI center, each institution must submit a separate formal request including separate budgets.  However, the content of the proposal can be identical (e.g., Sections 1-5).  Please ensure that the proposal for a collaborative research pilot project clearly delineates the scope of work conducted at each site.

A formal request to use restricted funds for pilot/collaborative projects should be sent via email to Mr. Ted Williams with copies to Drs. Stuart B. Moss.