Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program

Overview and Purpose

The Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program is a mandated component of the Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Centers (RCMRCs). The purpose is to promote the use of metabolomics by the broader research community via the use of resources provided by this Center. These grants are specifically designed to support projects that will provide preliminary data (pilot studies) for new extramural grant applications that incorporate metabolomics into new areas of biomedical research. Smaller scale Feasibility studies are aimed at establishing whether such approaches are technically possible. 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 Grant Program is to enhance the metabolomics arm of research crucial to translational research 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 are encouraged.

Eligibility and Criteria

  • Any faculty or equivalent eligible to apply as a Principal Investigator (PI) for NIH funding.
    • Early career investigators who are new to the field of metabolomics are especially 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 for multiple investigators and the submission of multi-PI grants.
    • Includes metabolomics training, especially in experimental design and sample collection.
    • Demonstrated need for metabolomics especially with tracer methodology.
  • Participation in Center events, especially workshops and courses, is required.
  • Applications that seek to complete ongoing studies or bridge funds will not be considered.

Public Deposition Requirement

As mandated by the NIH Common Fund, all metabolomics data and associated metadata will be deposited in the publicly accessible Metabolomics Data Repository managed by the 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.
  • 8-10 awards are anticipated under this mechanism.

Projected Start Date

  • Earliest projected start date is June 1, 2015.

Contact Information

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact us.


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


Application deadline is Monday March 16, 2015.


Applications must be prepared using standard NIH PHS398 forms ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html).
  • 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 and milestones)
      • Future Funding plans using P&F results are mandatory and must be included under separate heading in the 2-page Research Plan
    • Budget and Budget Justification (1 page)
  • Include NIH Biosketches, in the latest format, for all key personnel (not part of the 5-page limit).
  • A Data Sharing Plan is mandatory.
    • As mandated by the NIH Common Fund, all metabolomics data and associated metadata will be deposited in the publicly accessible Metabolomics Data Repository managed by Data Repository and Coordination Center (DRCC), http://www.metabolomicsworkbench.org/data/index.php.
    • Therefore the Data Sharing Plan must include statement(s) of data deposition to DRCC, including format, frequency, and quality assurances.
    • Please contact us for an acceptable example.
  • 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. Line spacing 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.

Please contact us for an appropriate example.

Budget Guidelines

Funding is analogous to a voucher system for services provided by the Center.
  • No support salary for key personnel outside the Center will be provided.
  • Budget justifications must indicate the number of samples, the types of samples, and the types of services required.
  • Registration and accommodation costs for the Workshop must be included in the budget.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact us and consult on your budget formulation and its justification.

Delivery Method

  • Each application should be sent as a single PDF file to rick.higashi@uky.edu.
    • If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, follow up with another email.

Review Process

  • All applications will go through a three-tiered review and decision process.
    • Applications will first be reviewed internally by the Center's P&F Review Panel for technical feasibility and compliance to application requirements, PI eligibility, and other specified criteria.
    • Applicants will then be sent for external review to subject matter experts.
    • Final funding decisions will be made by the Common Fund Metabolomics Program Executive Committee.

Additional P&F Funding Opportunities

Topic revision: r21 - 10 Jul 2015, HunterMoseley

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