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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.

Funding for the 2019-2020 project period is complete. Pilot Awards will not be offered for the next year.

Learn about other REACT services that can help facilitate your medical rehabilitation research needs:

Application Procedure

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

Phase I (This phase is now complete.)

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 four items:

A. Cover letter

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

  1. Specific aims - Note: Investigators applying for the joint REACT/AR3T opportunity should include aims that address the inclusion of regenerative rehabilitation in their proposal.
  2. Significance and innovation
  3. Approach
  4. Plan for seeking future extramural funding for a future clinical trial

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

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

Phase 2 (This phase is now complete.)

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 (Complete Watch the webinar of this session.)
  • Letter of intent due date - Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CT (Complete)
  • Invitation to submit full application - January 2019 (Complete)
  • Application FAQ session - February 6, 2019, 2:00 p.m. CT (Complete)
  • Full application due date - Friday, March 29, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT (Complete)
  • Review process completed - April 2019 (Complete)
  • Awards announced - May 2019 (Read about our 2019-2020 awardees)
  • Start date of awards - July 2019 (Complete)


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 2019-2020 awardees as well as 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) 996-4086.

The REACT Center is supported by NIH grant P2CHD086851.