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Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) Pilot/Feasibility Grants

Letter of Intent (LOI) due by noon on Monday, May 1, 2017

The Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), an NIH-funded center, is soliciting Letters of Intent to apply for Pilot and Feasibility grants of up to $50,000 (WITH NO MORE THAN $5,000 GOING TOWARDS SALARY SUPPORT FOR THE PI OR CO-I).

Eligibility for a second year of funding will be considered after submission of a progress report and plans for the second year. (CURRENT P/F AWARDEES WISHING TO APPLY FOR A SECOND YEAR OF FUNDING SHOULD SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT AS WELL.)

For full details and timeline, visit the NORC Pilot & Feasibility Program website.

Eligibility for new applicants:

Applicants for these awards must be faculty at an academic institution affiliated with the Mid-Atlantic NORC and must fulfill one of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. new investigators without current independent research funding
  2. established investigators in the field of nutrition/obesity who are proposing a project that represents a significant departure from their previous/current work
  3. established investigators in other fields who wish to apply their expertise to nutrition and obesity research

New investigator applicants must have a doctoral degree and at least two and preferably three or more years of post-doctoral experience and a faculty appointment by Sept. 1, 2017. New investigators should be embarking on an independent research career. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible, unless they are transitioning to faculty by Sept. 1, 2017. For those in this situation, written documentation of the faculty appointment (including effective date) must be submitted with the full application. 

The aim of a P/F project is to provide convincing data for future proposals to the NIH or other national agencies. Investigators are encouraged to undertake high risk/high gain projects that have the potential to develop but for which no preliminary data of feasibility are currently available. Nevertheless, the capability of the PI (and his/her collaborators) to undertake such a project should be clearly outlined.

It is acceptable to submit a project that is currently under review elsewhere; however, future funding by another agency for the same project will preclude Mid-Atlantic NORC funding. 

All applicants must be willing to actively participate in Mid-Atlantic NORC Center activities, including seminars, workshops and symposia, and to present NORC seminars describing their work. 

P/F projects are strongly encouraged to take advantage of our Core laboratories.

These are:

  • Administrative Core, including Biostatistics and Medical Informatics (BMI) Subcore
  • Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) Core
  • Biological Mechanisms and Functional Genomics (BMFG) Core
  • Molecular Genetics and Nutrigenomics (MGN) Core

Information on these cores can be found here:

Review of application will take place in two stages: 1) Letter of Intent and 2)Full Proposal.

Letters of Intent should be no longer than 2 pages and should:

  1. Address the eligibility of the investigator for the award according to the above stated criteria
  2. Provide a brief description of the project and its relevance to the investigator’s future plans for submission to NIH or other federal funding
  3. Have a complete academic CV attached. An NIH-style biosketch, indicating current and pending grant awards, is optional at the Letter of Intent stage, but is required should the candidate be invited to submit a full application. The CV and NIH Biosketch (if submitted with the LOI) do not count as part of the 2-page limit for the Letter of Intent. 
  4. Each applicant submitting a Letter of Intent must also provide the names, academic institutions and contact information (email and phone) for 2-3 researchers in their field of study, who would be well-equipped to fairly judge the scientific merit of the application. These individuals should be from outside of the applicant’s academic institution and outside of the Mid-Atlantic NORC, if at all possible. Reviewer suggestions will be taken into account when reviewer selections are made; however, suggesting a reviewer will not guarantee that the reviewer will be invited to review the applicant’s proposal. The names and contact information of potential reviewers is requested WITH THE LETTER OF INTENT (due by NOON on Monday, MAY 1, 2017) so that potential reviewers can be contacted early and lined up to review applications in advance. This way, the review process can begin as soon as the full proposals are received.
  5. If the project has been previously submitted to the Mid-Atlantic NORC (or formerly, the CNRU of Maryland), any issues raised in prior critiques of the project should be addressed in the Letter of Intent.

After review by the Mid-Atlantic NORC Executive Committee to determine eligibility, scientific potential and relevance of our center’s mission, a 5 page proposal will be requested of those invited to apply. Notification regarding each candidate’s eligibility to submit a proposal should go out on or around the week of May 22, 2017. 5-page proposals will be due no later than noon on Monday, June 26, 2017.

Letters of Intent (LOI) should be sent by email to: [email protected]

(Note:  FULL Proposals will be submitted via online application ONLY–details of online application process will be sent to all eligible candidates submitting a LOI)



Kelsey Bennett