Pilot and Feasibility Grants

Overview and Purpose

The Pilot and Feasibility Grants are a mandated component of the Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Centers (RCMRCs). Their purpose is to promote the use of metabolomics in the broader research community via the use of this Center. They are specifically designed to support projects that will provide preliminary data for new extramural grant proposals that incorporates metabolomics into new areas of biomedical research. The expected outcome is to broaden the use of metabolomics in the broader research community and to foster collaborations and partnerships with the Center.


The RCSIRM at University of Kentucky provides extensive services and unique capabilities for metabolomics, with a strong emphasis on stable isotope resolved metabolomics (SIRM). The goal of the Pilot and Feasibility Program is to enhance the metabolomics arm of research crucial to translational projects by providing analytical support for investigators both new to and experienced in the metabolomics field in the area of SIRM studies. SIRM requires experimental design, sample preparation, analyses, data processing, and biochemical interpretation that have unique challenges. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss with the RCSIRM how these aspects can be designed to address questions of pathway, network, flux, C & N resource allocation, and other areas that require SIRM. Matching funds from other mechanisms is encouraged.

Eligibility and Criteria

  • Any faculty or equivalent eligible to apply as a Principal Investigator (PI) for NIH funding.
    • Young investigators and investigators who are new to the field of metabolomics are strongly encouraged to apply.
    • Established metabolomics investigators who are new to SIRM are also strongly encouraged to apply.
  • NIH application guidelines will be followed.
  • Applications with the following emphases are encouraged:
    • Development of collaboration and/or scientific partnership with the Center.
    • Benefits multiple investigators and the submission of multi-PI grants.
    • Includes metabolomics training, especially in experimental design and sample collection.
    • A demonstrated need for metabolomics especially with tracer methodology.
    • Participation in Center events, especially workshops and courses.
  • Proposals that seek to complete ongoing studies or act as bridge funds will not be considered.

Public Deposition Requirement

As mandated by the NIH Common Fund, all metabolomics data and associated metadata will be publicly deposited in the Metabolomics Data Repository managed by Data Repository and Coordination Center (DRCC).

Funding Level and Period

  • Up to $50,000 in metabolomics services provided by the Center
  • Up to a 12-month funding period.

Projected Start Date

  • Earliest projected start date is May 1, 2014.

Contact Information


Application format and budget concerns are below. We strongly urge PIs to contact the Center to discuss specific aims and budgets specifics early in the process to avoid being triaged for non-compliance reasons.


  • The next application deadline is March 15, 2014.


  • 5-page format that includes:
    • Specific Aims with Hypothesis (1 page or less)
    • Background and Significance (1 page or less)
    • Research Plan (2 pages with timeline/milestones)
    • Budget and Budget Justification (1 page)
  • Include NIH Biosketches of key personnel (not part of the 5-page limit).
  • Applications should be prepared using standard NIH PHS398 forms (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html).
  • Use standard NIH font and margin requirements:
    • Use an 11pt Arial font in black.
      • A Symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size and color requirement still applies.
    • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch. Use standard paper size (8 " x 11) .
    • Use at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No information should appear in the margins.

Budget Guidelines

The funding works likes a voucher system for services provided by the Center. No funds come through the applicant's institution. Therefore, no support salary for key personnel outside the Center or supplies will be provided. Budgets must indicate the number of samples, the types of samples, and the types of service required. Please contact us to consult on your budget and its justification.

Delivery Method

  • Applications should be sent in PDF form to rick.higashi@uky.edu.
    • If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt, follow up with another email.

Review Process

  • All submitted applications go through a three-tiered review and decision process.
    • Applications are first internally reviewed by the Center's P&F Review Panel for technical feasibility and compliance to application format, PI eligibility, and other specified criteria.
    • Final funding decisions will be made by the NIH RCMRC Executive Committee in consultation with NIH staff.

Additional P&F Funding Opportunities

Funded Projects


Topic revision: r12 - 26 Jan 2014, HunterMoseley

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