Pilot Studies

REACT Center is proud to announce the 2017 REACT Center Pilot Award Winners!

Congratulations to our awardees:

  • Amy Amara, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of NeurologyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham—Mechanisms underlying exercise-induced improvement in sleep and cognition in Parkinson’s disease"

  • Alicia Koontz, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh—"Application, feasibility and acceptability of six-weeks of high intensity interval training in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury

  • William Kraus, MD, Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Duke University—Development of a Behavior-Based Circadian Rhythm Index in a PAD Rehabilitation Population Pilot Project

  • Jake Magel, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, The University of Utah—Development of a Cognitive Reassurance Training Program on Physical Therapist and Patient Outcomes

  • Gitendra Uswatte, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham—Priming the Brain for Rehabilitation: Brain Stimulation Followed by Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Adults with Severe Arm Paresis after Stroke

The central goal of the REACT Center Pilot Studies Program is to catalyze the success of medical rehabilitation researchers and interdisciplinary teams by providing consultation, seed funds, key expertise and resources for the conduct of innovative pilot projects, early-stage proof-of-concept studies, and futility studies needed to shape more definitive clinical trials. 

Click for the 2017 Award Description.

Key Dates

 Letter of Intent Due Date

Friday, November 4, 2016, 5 PM CT

 Invitation to Submit Full  Application

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

 Full Application Due Date

Wedneday, December 21, 2016, 5 PM CT

Review Process Completed

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Awards Announced

First week of February, 2017

The 2017 Pilot Award Application Process is now Closed. Sign up as a REACT Center member to learn about future funding opportunities.

This funding mechanism involves a two-phased application process (see Key Dates for details). For the pre-application phase, applicants are requested to submit the following documents as a single PDF file to REACTCenter@uab.edu no later than Friday, November 4, 2016 at 5:00 PM Central Time:

  • Letter of Intent (limited to 2 pages, excluding references), to include: Investigative Team, Specific Aims, Significance & Innovation, Approach, and Plan for seeking future extramural funding for a clinical trial.
  • Description of REACT resources that may be sought to support the pilot study (limited to ½ page). Refer to Tools & Resources section for descriptions of resources available.
  • NIH Biosketches of the PI and co-investigators. 
  • Pre-applications selected for Phase 2 full application will be expected to submit a 6-page proposal, as well as a budget and budget justification.

2016 REACT Center Pilot Studies Program Awardees

Investigator Academic Affiliation Project
Surya P. Bhatt, M.D. Assistant Professor
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

"Smart Telehealth Exercise Intervention to Reduce COPD Readmissions"

Read more about Dr. Bhatt's Pilot Study

Michelle H. Cameron, MD, PT, MCR Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
Oregon Health & Science University

"Evaluation of a Web-Based Fall Prevention Program on People with Multiple Sclerosis"

Read more about Dr. Cameron's Pilot Study

Susan Murphy, ScD OTR/L Associate Professor
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
University of Michigan

"Novel Rehabilitation Strategies to Improve Arm Function in Patients with Scleroderma"

Read more about Dr. Murphy's Pilot Study

Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, PhD, FACSM, FNSCA Assistant Professor
Department of Exercise and Sport Science
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"High Intensity Interval Training for Knee Osteoarthritis"

Read more about Dr. Smith-Ryan's Pilot Study

About REACT Center Pilot Studies

The NIH National Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials (REACT), based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), invites letters of intent for pilot studies that address novel scientific questions related to medical rehabilitation and that will lead to more definitive clinical trials.

The 2017 Pilot Program is closed. Please check back for additional information.




This program supports full-time faculty investigators in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences at academic institutions in the U.S. who are eligible to receive NIH funding. We encourage applications from interdisciplinary research teams, underrepresented minority applicants and faculty at all ranks.

Application Procedure

This funding mechanism involves a two-phased application process. Pre-applications selected for Phase 2 full application are expected to submit a 6-page proposal, as well as a budget and budget justification.

Criteria for Review

Emphasis is placed on scientific merit and likelihood that the work will advance to a more definitive clinical trial. Applications responsive to this RFA should focus on medical rehabilitation of a broad range of chronic diseases and acute conditions, (e.g., muscle, bone, or joint diseases; neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental diseases; traumatic injury [e.g., SCI, TBI]; stroke; cancer; aging/frailty; or post-surgical rehabilitation).


It is anticipated that up to four pilot studies will be awarded. Applicants may request up to $40,000 direct costs. Awards are limited to 12 months in duration. Indirect costs are awarded at the applicant institution's federally negotiated rate.


The REACT Center is supported by NIH grant 1P2CHD086851.