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Colorado Cystic Fibrosis Research & Development Program

Pilot Grants Program

Overview of plans for the Pilot Grants Program

The Pilot Grant Program is an integral program to promote NTM research in the context of CF lung disease. Eligible investigators are encouraged to submit proposals, which utilize a multidisciplinary approach to explore novel aspects of NTM detection or treatment in the context of CF lung disease.


Eligibility for Pilot Grants Program

Investigators eligible for pilot funding are:

  1. New investigators without current or past NIH research support; or

  2. Established investigators with no previous work in CF who wish to apply their expertise to a problem in this area; and/or

  3. Established investigators who propose testing innovative ideas that represent a departure from ongoing research interests. All eligible investigators must have faculty appointments and be independent investigators. Postdoctoral fellows or their equivalent will not be eligible.

Proposed pilot studies must present a testable hypothesis and clearly delineate the question being asked, procedures to be followed, and data analysis. Projects will be focused, and funding for these studies will be limited to one years or less with a recommended budget for the first year of $20,000 to $40,000 (direct costs) depending on the availability of funding. Any individual investigator will be eligible only once for this support. Clinical pilot studies will be encouraged, and will attempt to collaborate with the UCD Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) to avoid duplication of effort and enhance utilization of services and resources. Studies may be terminated by the RDP administration before their approved time limit if:

  1. The investigator receives outside funding for the project;

  2. The project was found not to be feasible; or

  3. The investigator leaves the RDP-affiliated institution.


Solicitation, initial review, and management of the pilot and feasibility program

Proposals are solicited from Investigators within the Colorado CF research community. Annual announcements for proposals will appear on the RDP website, distributed via e-mail to the Colorado CF research base, and be disseminated by the NJH Medicine Office of Research to all affiliated institutions, including the School of Medicine, CHCO, CSU and NJH.

Review of the pilot grant proposals is conducted by the Internal Advisory Committee together with the RDP Executive Committee, as well as ad hoc reviewers. These sessions are chaired by the Pilot Grant Program Director (Dr. Day). Grant proposals are reviewed using current NIH recommended review criteria for scientific merit and eligibility using a 9-point scale priority score. Criteria for review include:

  1. Overall impact of the research on the CF field

  2. Significance of the proposed studies

  3. Investigative team

  4. Innovation of the proposed studies

  5. Approach

  6. Research environment.

All applicants are given a summary statement and score. The top ranked proposals will be funded based on availability of RDP resources.


Pilot Award Funding

All projects are supported by the RDP Cores. Additional funding has been received from the following:

  • National Jewish Department of Medicine

  • Colorado CTSI Pilot Mentored Faculty Award

  • Philanthropic donations

  • CFF Clinical Pilot and Feasibility Award


Pilot grants awarded


"Identification of inducible antibiotic responses in NTM". (PIs: Ken Malcolm, PhD and Rebecca Davidson, PhD). Was 50% supported by the CFF (through the RDP), and 50% supported by the NJH Department of Medicine.



Susceptibility of Mycobacterium abscessus complex clinical isolates to hypothiocyanate-mediated killing(PI: Preston Bratcher).

Beta-lactamase inhibitor and its effect on nontuberculous mycobacteria” (PI: Salfinger)

CFTR modulation restores Mycobacterium abscessus killing by neutrophils in cystic fibrosis” (PI: Kerstin Pohl)