The Pilot Research Project Program
Since its initiation in 2008, the Pilot Project Research Program within the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) has awarded seed grants through a rigorously peer reviewed competitive process to encourage new directions and innovative research in children’s environmental health across the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The goal is to provide researchers with sufficient funding to generate preliminary results or proof-of-concept data, poising them to apply for major grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government and philanthropic sources.
The Pilot Project Research Program represents a venture capital approach to catalyzing biomedical research. It enables CEHC to move quickly to fill a critical gap in current research funding. Both the NIH and other sources of research funding require that investigators generate preliminary results and present proof-of-concept data before they apply for major research support. The Pilot Project Research Program enables our researchers to move swiftly to develop data that meet this requirement. Thus, they are positioned to develop strong and highly competitive funding proposals.
Over the years, CEHC researchers have been awarded over one million dollars in pilot project grants ranging in size from $25,000 to $70,000 and in 2016 alone totaling $191,229. The studies have explored environmental causes of a number of pediatric diseases including asthma/allergies, neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism and learning disabilities), obesity, diabetes and childhood cancer.
Our department has been able to continue to award pilot projects to faculty and postdocs through grant funding from NIH and NIEHS awards and charitable donations.