Pilot and Feasibility Program

Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Pilot and Feasibility Program

Eligibility   |    Budget   |    Process   |    How to Apply    |    P&F FAQ

The mission of the NIDDK-funded Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center (BNORC) is to facilitate and support the conduct of cutting edge basic and translational research in the fields of nutrition and obesity science in the Boston area. BNORC’s Pilot and Feasibility Program provides funding on a competitive basis for new investigators who are transitioning to an independent line of research or established investigators with novel ideas in the area of nutrition and obesity research. Applications that address the themes of the Center will be given higher priority.

These themes are:

P&F awards are made with the expectation that the preliminary research supported by the pilot will lead to successful applications for additional external funding. Applicants are encouraged to consult and use BNORC Cores: BNORC Cores:

Applicants should clearly identify which core(s) their project will utilize. Interaction with Core staff during the application phase is encouraged.


Eligible applicants fall into one of three categories, listed in order of priority for BNORC:
  1. New investigator without current or past independent research support (i.e., NIH R01, P01) or equivalent support. MD fellows and senior postdoctoral fellows are eligible in this category but are required to have a formal mentor or mentoring committee and a letter of support from their mentor(s). Priority is given to applicants with a faculty appointment or equivalent.

  2. Established, funded investigators with no previous work in nutrition or obesity-related areas who wish to apply their expertise to a nutrition or obesity-related problem.

  3. Established investigator in nutrition- or obesity-related areas who wishes to test the feasibility of a new or innovative idea that represents a significant departure from their funded research and which initiates a new collaboration with one or more other investigators active in nutrition- or obesity-related research.
*Note: MD Fellows and senior postdoctoral trainees are eligible for P&F awards if they are in their latter year(s) of training and have documented suitable expertise to design and carry out the proposed experiments as an independent, principal investigator. These applicants are required to have a formal mentor or mentoring committee, as well as a statement from their post-doctoral mentor that the research proposed represents an independent line of investigation that the mentee can build upon, and a defined mentoring plan, including plans for development of the career of the junior person and transition to independence. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents must have active visas permitting them to remain in the U.S. for the full period of the proposed research.


Applicants may request a maximum of $25,000 in direct costs per year for a total of two years ($50,000). Funding in Year 2 is contingent on progress made in Year 1 and will be evaluated by submission of an annual progress report. P&F awards do not include indirect costs and cannot be used to cover shortfalls in other NIH awards or to augment projects that have been previously funded.


P&F awards are made based on scientific review of a Letter of Intent, and full applications are submitted by invitation only. Faculty rank is not required of P&F applicants. Each investigator may receive no more than one P&F award during a five-year cycle.

How to Apply

The first step in the application process is the submission of a Letter of Intent, proposal summary, NIH biosketch and letter from mentor (required for MD Fellows and Senior Postdoctoral Trainees only).

For further information, please check the BNORC P&F FAQ or contact Dr. Andrew Greenberg, Associate Director and Chair of the Pilot and Feasibility Program Committee for scientific matters (andrew.greenberg@tufts.edu) or the BNORC Administrator Donna Gibson (dgibson@bu.edu) for administrative issues.

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