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Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders Pilot and Feasibility Grants

March 1, 2011, Volume 57, No. 24

The Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders is once again accepting applications for its Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program. Submissions should be related to musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair, which is the broad focus of the Center. Grants are only eligible for Center members (if you are not a member but would like to become one, visit www.med.upenn.edu/pcmd/memberinfo.shtmlfor instructions on joining.

Pilot grants are due on May 1, 2011 with a planned start date of July 1, 2011 and we are expecting to award three new grants in this round. Potential applicants are encouraged to send a short e-mail, with your name, a rough title of your proposed project, a sentence or two (at most) describing the global hypothesis or objective, and a note as to which of the three Research Cores (Microarrays, Structure-Function Biomechanics, Imaging) you would use (core use is required for pilot funding). I would appreciate receiving this e-mail asap, so I can advise and guide you on the appropriateness of your application idea within the framework of the overall Center. For information on our Cores and Center in general, see www.med.upenn.edu/pcmd


• Only Center members are eligible.  If you are not currently a member, please visit our website at www.med.upenn.edu/pcmd/memberinfo.shtml

• Categories of applicants include: 1) Established investigators with a proposal to test the feasibility of a new or innovative idea in musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair representing a clear and distinct departure from their ongoing research, 2) Established investigators with no previous work in musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair interested in testing the applicability of their expertise on a problem in this area, and 3) New investigators without significant extramural grant support as a Principal Investigator to develop a new project.

• Pilot and Feasibility Grants must use at least one of the Center’s Research Cores. 

• Pilot project awardees are eligible for one year, with a second year to be considered (budgets will be for $20,000-35,000 per year and timelines should be for one or two years). The second year of funding, the dollar amount of which would only be for up to half the year one budget, will be considered based on the progress report submitted after the first year of funding and funding availability in the Center. Please note that second year funding will most often not be awarded, and when awarded, will be done so primarily to new investigators; second year funding to senior investigators will be quite rare.

• It is expected that these Pilot grants will lead to funding through other independent, extramural mechanisms. Therefore, the likelihood of future extramural funding will enter into the evaluation of these proposals explicitly.


• Applications should be formatted loosely in the style of an NIH R03 grant (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-10-064.html).  The main body of the application (Specific Aims through Approach: sections 4-7 below) should be no more than five pages total. The format is:

1) Cover Page (not NIH face page) with grant title, PI name, affiliation, contact information

2) Budget and brief budget justification (note that equipment is not allowed)

3) NIH Biosketch of PI

4) Specific Aims

5) Significance

6) Innovation

7 Approach

8) Brief Statement of Category of Investigator per guidelines above

9) Brief Statement of How this Funding will lead to other Extramural Funding

10) Human Subjects and/or Vertebrate Animals Subjects (if applicable)

11) Consultants (if applicable)

12) Literature Cited

13) Certification of Patient Oriented Research (if applicable)

The completed application should be submitted as a single PDF file to centermd@upenn.edu by May 1, 2011 at 5 p.m. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.

—Dr. Louis Soslowsky, Director of Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders


Almanac - March 1, 2011, Volume 57, No. 24