This Pilot and Feasibility program will encourage young and established investigators to take up research relevant to kidney development and disease and speed the acquisition of knowledge that can be applied to treatment of children with renal and urological diseases. Rapid advances in the field of Pediatric Nephrology research are hampered by the small size of the research workforce. Two major challenges are that there are too few investigators entering pediatric nephrology research and young investigators have inadequate opportunities to move from postdoctoral training to independent investigator. Therefore, it is important for emphasis to be be placed on the enhancement of the research career of new scientists interested in pediatric renal research. The Pilot and Feasibility Projects in this Center can help fill this important gap in the development of new, talented pediatric nephrologists as well as Ph.D. scientists. In addition, these pilot projects make it possible for senior investigators to move in new research directions or enter the field of kidney research from another discipline.
The pilot projects provide seed funding for up to 2 years of support. Junior scientist pilot projects are planned with a senior investigator as mentor and the junior investigator is provided with protected time, resources and the broad intellectual interactions through the Center to maximize their chances for success in academic life.