Pilot Studies

Funding opportunities for novel scientific questions that will lead to more definitive medical rehabilitation clinical trials.

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.

The NIH-funded 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 that will lead to more definitive clinical trials.

REACT is now requesting letters of intent for pilot studies.

Download the application templates:

Access the application submission portal.

Application Procedure

This funding mechanism involves a two‐phase application process (see Key Dates for details).

Phase I

Applicants are requested to submit the following documents as a single PDF file to the REACT Center website no later than Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

The single PDF file should include the following three items:

A. Letter of intent (limited to 2 pages, excluding references), to include -

  1. Strength of the investigative team
  2. Specific aims
  3. Significance and innovation
  4. Approach
  5. Plan for seeking future extramural funding for a future clinical trial

B. Description of REACT resources—consultation services, REACT cores—that may be sought to support the pilot study (limited to ½ page)

C. NIH biosketches of the PI and any co‐investigators

Phase 2

Letters of intent selected to submit a full application will be expected to submit a 6‐page proposal, budget, and budget justification. We will provide a proposal template that will include a cover page.

Key Dates

  • Letter of intent FAQ session - Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 1:00 p.m. CT
  • Letter of intent due date - Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CT
  • Invitation to submit full application - January 2019
  • Application FAQ session - February 6, 2019, 2:00 p.m. CT
  • Full application due date - Friday, March 29, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT
  • Review process completed - April 2019
  • Awards announced - May 2019
  • Start date of awards - July 2019


This program supports full-time faculty investigators in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences at academic institutions in the United States who are eligible to receive NIH funding. We encourage applications from interdisciplinary research teams, underrepresented minority applicants and faculty at all ranks. Read about our 2018 and prior years awardees.

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; cognitive 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. Indirect costs will be awarded at current federally approved rate. Awards are limited to 12 months in duration.


For additional questions, email us or call (205) 934-9211.

The REACT Center is supported by NIH grant 1P2CHD086851.

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