Pediatric Research Center Pilot Grants 2017

Application Deadline: April 3, 2017, 6:00 PM EST

The Pediatric Research Alliance is pleased to announce the availability of 2017 pediatric research pilot funding.  We are offering two categories of awards this year:

  1. Pediatric Research Center Pilot Awards

    -- $50,000 for 12 months – offered by HeRO, CF-AIR and JFF
    -- $65,000 per year for 2 years (total $130,000) – offered only by CF-AIR CF@LANTA

  2. Pediatric Research Fusion Pilot Awards - $100,000 for a project period of up to 2 years (total $100,000)

PURPOSE: To stimulate new research projects, build new collaborations, and increase extramural funding for pediatric research.  Proposals should be aimed towards generating preliminary data for subsequent extramural grant applications. 


  • The principal investigator(s) must hold a faculty appointment at their institution(s) which allows them to serve as principal investigator on extramural grant applications.
  • All applications must involve two or more investigators, at least one of whom:
    • Has a primary faculty appointment in the Emory Department of Pediatrics (DOP) OR
    • Is on the professional staff at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). This includes those Emory faculty outside of the Emory Department of Pediatrics who are on CHOA medical staff and all non-faculty clinicians who are on CHOA medical staff.
  • Faculty from GRA-affiliated institutions are encouraged to apply; however, a faculty appointment at a GRA-affiliated institution is not required.
  • See the “Themes & Requirements” table below for additional center- and program-specific requirements. 


  • Funds may not be used for building databases or other infrastructure.
  • Investigators may not receive salary or research support for the same or overlapping research projects from more than one pilot grant awarded by a Pediatric Research Center or the Pediatric Research Alliance.
  • If you received a Pediatric Research Center pilot grant in the past and are not in compliance with the requirements of your previous award, you are not eligible to apply for another pilot grant from the Pediatric Research Alliance.  All center pilots awarded in 2011 or later required the PI to submit a proposal for extramural funding within one year of the end date of the pilot project.  Unless NCEs were granted, pilots awarded between 2011 and 2014 should have concluded by 2015 and led to submission of an extramural research proposal by 2016.  If you received a pilot between 2011 and 2014 and would like to apply for a 2017 pilot but are not sure if you are in compliance, please contact the program coordinator of the center who awarded your earlier pilot(s) to confirm your eligibility.  To request a waiver of this extramural funding application requirement, please click here.

REQUIREMENTS: The principal investigator(s) must:

  • Submit a progress report within one month of the end date of the pilot project in the format specified in the Notice of Award.
  • Submit a related application for extramural funding within one year of the end date of the pilot project.
  • Submit an annual update report in Wizehive in response to requests/prompts from center coordinators for up to six years after the end date of the pilot project.  This report must include publications, extramural grant applications and awards, press releases, conference presentations, invention disclosures, patents (pending and approved), and devices or technology.

CENTER- AND PROGRAM-SPECIFIC THEMES AND REQUIREMENTS: Each center and program has specific themes and requirements for 2017 applications as described in the below tabs.

HOW TO APPLY: All applications must be submitted electronically through the appropriate Wizehive web-based application portal.  Please see each tab below for links to apply for each type of pilot grant.  Applications should include a scientific research plan that is 5 pages, single spaced, in Arial 11 point font, and with a 1” margin.  The plan should include three sections: Specific Aims, Background and Significance to Child Health, and Experimental Design and Methods.  References should be listed but are not included in these page limits. Appendices are not allowed.

Important Documents

Themes & Requirements

Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes Center (HeRO)

Director: Mike Davis, PhD

Coordinator: Kristen Herzegh, MPH

2016 Success Rate: 25% (8 applications received/2 funded)

While all projects will be considered, special emphasis will be placed on projects that address heart transplant rejection (both detection and improving longevity), metabolism and the young heart (mitochondrial function), and cellular/bioengineered approaches to treating pediatric heart failure.

Click here to apply for a HeRO pilot grant.

Children’s Center for Cystic Fibrosis and Airways Disease Research (CF-AIR)

Director: Nael McCarty, PhD

Coordinator: Karen Kennedy, PhD

2015 Success Rate: 50% (6 applications received/3 funded)

All proposals must be for research directly related to cystic fibrosis and may be for basic, translational, or clinical projects. All proposals must make use of at least one of the research cores supported by our center, excluding the Equipment Core. Preference will be given to proposals that represent new collaborations, and to projects of a translational nature.

One additional special pilot project will be supported by the CF@LANTA RDP Center grant from the CF Foundation, for $65,000 per year for two years. This project must be translational in nature and focus directly on cystic fibrosis.

All CF-AIR proposals must include a minimum of 2% of paid effort for the PI. As with all pilots, the maximum amount that can be applied toward PI salary plus fringe is 25% of the total budget.

Click here to apply for a $50,000 CF-AIR pilot grant.

Click here to apply for a $65,000/year CF-AIR CF@LANTA pilot grant.

Junior Faculty Focused Awards (JFF)

Program Officer: Stacy Heilman, PhD

Coordinator: Jennifer Villaseñor

2016 Success Rate: 33% (15 applications received/5 funded)

--Child health focused clinical, translational or basic science projects

--Special eligibility requirements:

  • PI must have a current rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor at Emory and be no more than 7 years into their faculty appointment.
  • PI must have NIH New Investigator status, meaning she/he has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award such as an R01. Click here for a detailed definition and exclusions.
  • Applicant cannot be PI on any grant of more than $200K direct costs/year.
  • If the PI’s primary faculty appointment is not in the Emory DOP, the PI must have medical staff privileges at CHOA.
  • The PI must be on a trajectory to become independently funded; submitting an extramural grant proposal as PI within 1 year of the end date of a funded pilot is a firm requirement.
  • The application must include a mentor and a mentee, similar to an NIH K career development award.  The mentee serves as PI of the application and the mentor must be listed as a co-investigator to fulfill the requirement for a second researcher.  The mentor must include a statement in the application on the applicant’s likelihood of being successful as an independent researcher. 
  • Both the scientific plan and the candidate will be factored into the funding decision.
  • The applicant’s career objectives must be clearly stated on her/his biosketch.
  • Budgets should be for $50,000 for 12 months.

Click here to apply for a JFF pilot grant.

The Pediatric Research Fusion Award

(Sponsored by Children’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR))

Director: Cynthia Wetmore, MD, PhD

Coordinator: Kristen Herzegh, MPH

Since this is a new program, past success rates are not available. We expect to make 1-2 awards total in this category.

In an effort to foster multidisciplinary collaboration, CCTR is accepting applications for clinical or translational projects that address the themes or priorities of at least two of the following pediatric research centers:

  • Aflac
  • CCIV
  • CCNR
  • CCTR
  • CF-AIR
  • CTID
  • HeRO
  • MAC

--Information about each center’s themes and priorities is available at  If you are unsure if the scope of your project meets the dual nature of this criterion, please contact Stacy Heilman, PhD for a consultation.

--The principal investigator and co-investigator(s) do not need to be members of different centers as long as the scope of the project relates to the themes or priorities of at least two different centers; however, collaborations involving official center members from two or more centers are encouraged. 

--Budgets of up to $100,000 total and project periods of up to two years may be proposed.

--Anyone who meets the main eligibility requirements of this RFA is eligible to apply for the Fusion Award, including members of any of the pediatric research centers.

Click here to apply for a Fusion grant.