How to Apply

Potential candidates will be drawn from the institutions participating in the Center.  Women and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

New Investigators: Candidates are board certified/eligible Pediatric Nephrologists with an MD or MD/PhD degree who have completed their subspecialty training and other junior physician-scientist or PhD scientists with an interest in kidney development and disease

Established Investigators: Established investigators will be funded scientists who are either proposing to explore a new avenue of their ongoing kidney-related research (not covered by current funding) or are moving into kidney research from another field.

Applicants will submit a one-page preliminary proposal to be reviewed by the P&F director to ensure relevance and responsiveness. Applicants will then be asked to present a formal application in the format of a shortened version (6 page limit) of an RO1 application that has been prepared with assistance from a suitable mentor (for new investigators) from their own institution. Candidates will also submit a one-page essay stating their motivation and goals in choosing to apply for PFP funding. In addition, (for new investigators) a letter from a former mentor and two references evaluating the candidate’s potential to become a successful investigator will be requested.

Selection of candidates will be made by the Center’s Executive Committee with the advice of the External Consultants during the Center’s annual meeting as outlined below.

Applications will be scored using the follow criteria:

  1. Quality of the written research proposal (NIH scoring system) and consideration of the likely potential for a pilot project to evolve into a major research project, fundable at the R01 or K08 level.
  2. Presentation and defense of the research proposal by the applicant will be invited to attend the annual meeting of the Center and present his/her research plan to the External Advisors and Executive Committee. Members of the faculty and fellows of the hosting institution will also participate in this activity. Following the presentation and after a period of questions and answers, the committee will make a final recommendation with regard to admission to the program.
  3. Interview with members of the P&F Program Committee
  4. Record of previous accomplishments as judged from Curriculum Vitae

For new investigators:

  1. Letters of recommendation from previous mentors
  2. Personal essay addressing career goals
  3. Scientific excellence and commitment of advisor to foster the career of the new investigator


The maximum period of support for Pilot Projects is two years. Pilot projects are evaluated on a yearly basis, with continuation for a second year based on the outcome of the evaluation of the written and oral progress report (given by the Pilot project awardee) at the annual meeting of the Center when the whole center is reviewed by external consultants and the Executive Committee.