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Pharm & NS



Photo of A7r5 cells grown to confluence on glass coverslips. Cells were immunostained green for alpha-actin and red for MLCK and cell nuclei (blue).  The Center of Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease (COCVD) at the University of Kentucky offers pilot project grants through the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). These pilot grants are intended to assist young investigators to generate sufficient data in the research area of obesity and cardiovascular disease to be competitive for extramural funding. A focus on obesity-induced diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular) is required. Please refer to the description of the overall program on the home page.

Pilot grants will be awarded at $50,000 per year for up to 2 years, contingent upon annual review. Eligible applicants cannot currently be the principal investigator or have been the principal investigator on an RO1 type NIH grant or an equivalent NSF grant in the area of obesity and cardiovascular-related diseases. 

An expectation of support through this program is publication of supported pilot project research in a peer-reviewed journal and submission of a research proposal for consideration of funding.  Supported investigators will also be expected to participate in COCVD meetings and research symposia and will have full access to COCVD-supported research cores.

Funds for the Pilot Project Program are derived in part from the COBRE and from matching funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research. Pilot Projects are solicited once a year.

To submit an application, please provide (1) NIH format biosketch with other support, (2) Abstract (1 page), (3) Research Proposal (6 pages) and (4) Plan for independence (1 page, how will the pilot project support be used to facilitate an independent research program).  The Research Proposal should follow standard NIH format, with specific aims, background/significance, preliminary data, and experimental approach.

Submit all pieces of the application together at one time via email to Mark Schwarcz.

Applicants do not need IRB or IACUC approvals to submit a pilot grant application, but will need approval before funding.

Selection of Pilot /Feasibility Grant recipients is made after proposals are reviewed by the Internal Advisory Committee. Three reviewers from this committee score and rank each proposal on the basis of merit and relevance to the goals of the COCVD.

 If you have questions related to the application process, contact Mark Schwarcz at



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