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New Pilot Awards Program Launches at UTHSC to Aid Researchers with Preliminary Data Analysis for Future Grant Proposals


The Office of the Chancellor in conjunction with the Institute for Research, Innovation, Synergy and Health Equity (iRISE) and the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) announce the launch of the Chancellor’s Pilot Awards. These awards will provide financial assistance in the form of vouchers to support preliminary data analyses for future grant proposal submissions.

“This program was created to help UTHSC investigators develop innovative research in service of our mission to improve the health of all Tennesseans,” said Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD. “The awards provide a significant amount of statistical and biomedical informatics support to assist researchers in generating compelling preliminary studies and competing for larger grants.”

Those who receive the awards will get a $4,800 voucher valid for up to 50 hours of biostatistician time (20 faculty hours and 30 staff hours) from the Division of Biostatistics, and up to 10 hours of support from the Center for Biomedical Informatics to set up or manage data collection. All regular UTHSC faculty members are eligible to apply. The voucher must be used for pilot data analysis to support a future grant application. Proposals will be accepted and evaluated monthly beginning in January 2016.

Faculty from the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Unit, along with subject matter experts, will review and score each proposal. Applicants are encouraged to obtain input from the BERD Clinic before submitting their proposal. Proposals receiving a score above the cutoff (5 on a 9-point scale) will be eligible for resubmission the following month. All investigators will receive constructive feedback from reviewers.

Founded in 2014, the University of Tennessee Institute for Research, Innovation, Synergy and Health Equity (iRISE) focuses on bridging the gap from basic and clinical research to clinical and community practice. The disparities in health and health care in the Mid-South offer a challenge and an opportunity for iRISE researchers to engage in transformative research.

For more information on the Chancellor’s Pilot Awards Program or on the iRISE Clinical Translation Science Institute, click here.