Pilot Program


Child Health Research Center
Call for Applications for Pilot and Feasibility Projects
Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology at the University of Virginia

The Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology (PCEN) at the University of Virginia (UVA) calls for applications for Pilot and Feasibility Projects (PFPs) within the general theme of the Center “Kidney Development: cell fate and precursors of disease in the young and adult”. The overall objective of the center is to improve the management of children with kidney diseases and hypertension. Although the central theme of the center is related to the developmental basis of kidney disease in children, applications proposing fundamental technological advances to solve major mechanisms or develop novel therapeutic strategies will be welcome. The PFPs have been designed for individuals within the early phase of their careers. However, senior investigators planning to change their focus to study kidney development will also be considered.
Applicants should have an MD, MD/PhD or PhD degree and demonstrate an interest in kidney development and disease. Established investigators who propose to explore a new avenue of research in kidney development or disease will be considered, but there can be no overlap in funding, specific aims or topic area with their current funding or research efforts.
Interested applicants should submit a one-page letter of intent (Arial 12) accompanied by a biographical sketch, NIH format. The letters of intent will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of PCEN and external members to ensure relevance and responsiveness. Applicants whose letters of intent are accepted will be invited to submit an expanded 4-page application (including figures and references) which may be prepared with the assistance of a mentor. A budget and justification up to $ 40,000 for one year should be detailed in a separate page. A second year of funding may be possible providing significant progress has been made in fulfilling the goals of the application. The budget may be used for salary or supplies. Applicants should also submit a one-page essay stating their motivations and goals and how the PFP will help advance their research program and research in pediatric kidney disease. A letter from the chosen mentor and a reference letter from a scientist evaluating the candidate’s potential to become a successful independent investigator and/or to advance the field of pediatric nephrology should also be included.
Each application will be reviewed by at least two experts including those from the PCEN/UVA and at least one from outside the Center. Review criteria will follow standard NIH format with specific scoring for: overall impact, significance, innovation, investigator, approach, environment. Formal written reviews will be provided to all applicants.


Documents in PDF format or inquiries should be submitted by email to R. Ariel Gomez, MD, Director PCEN/UVA at the following e-mail address: rg@virginia.edu


  • Letters of intent: June 20, 2019
  • One-page letter
  • Biographical sketch, NIH format
  • Full application: August 1, 2019
  • 4-page application (including figures and references)
  • Budget & Justification
  • 1-page essay
  • 2 Letters of support (1 from mentor)

Number of awards and review timeline: it is expected that up to two meritorious awards will be made. Reviews will be completed by August 20 and awards will be announced September 1, 2019.