Request for Applications: Open Call for Pilot Projects

Letter of Intent (LOI):  Due January 22, 2021 

Potential applicants must submit: 

  • a 1-2-page Letter of Intent (LOI) identifying the preferred LHS partner and their identified priority area
    • a concise statement of the applicant’s preparedness to conduct the pilot study
    • a brief description of the proposed pilot idea
    • a statement affirming that the applicant’s home institution is eligible for NIH funding 
  • NIH biosketch. 
  • completed survey identifying the applicant’s priority areas for mentorship

The Pilot Studies leadership and proposed health system will evaluate the LOIs and select those that are feasible and well aligned with the health system’s priorities to submit a full application. 

Applicant Requirements

The LHS Pilot program is open to rehabilitation researchers with doctoral level or equivalent training/research experience who are at any stage of their career. Applicants from diverse backgrounds and/or those interested in health disparities are particularly encouraged to apply. We welcome applicants from academic institutions or health systems eligible for NIH funding.

Health System Partners

This call for applications is limited to projects conducted in partnership with one of our existing health system partners. A brief description of each partner and their priority topics are listed here.

LeaRRn Mentorship

LeaRRn has identified a strong, interdisciplinary group of potential mentors with depth and experience across the LHS research competency areas. To facilitate mentor-applicant matching we ask that each applicant clearly identify priority areas in need of mentorship for the successful planning and completion of the pilot project. We have developed a survey instrument which delineates LHS competency areas. This survey (document will download automatically) should be completed and submitted as part of the LOI, and will be used to help the leadership identify and match applicants with potential mentors.

Invitation to Submit Full Application: Due February 28, 2021

The Pilot Studies leadership will invite the top rated LOIs to submit full applications and recommend one or more potential mentor matches based on the project idea and the mentorship needs identified in the applicant survey. 

Full Pilot Study Applications: Due April 15, 2021

After receiving notification to proceed, applicants must submit a pilot proposal with the following components. For additional guidance, please see detailed application instructions page:

  • Structured cover page 
  • Project Summary
  • Specific Aims (1-page)
  • Research Strategy (6-pages) with the following sections: significance, preliminary work if any, innovation, methods, and timeline)
  • Budget: Use SF424 budget forms
  • Create a corresponding budget justification ($40,000 maximum, inclusive of indirect costs.) 
    • Pilot funds must be spent within 2 years.
    • Please use the following forms 
    • Indirect Cost Rate Agreement
  • NIH Biosketches of key personnel
  • Completed PHS human subjects form, using this guidance (document will download automatically).
  • To facilitate a timely start date, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit IRB protocols at the time of proposal submission
  • Letters of support from the collaborating health system and the LHS mentor
  • LOI signed by institutional official indicating a willingness to consortium agreement between Brown and their institution

Highest priority will be given to pilot studies that address LHS research topics identified by our health system partners and a detailed and clearly identified mentor and health system team. LeaRRn will provide a modest stipend to the Pilot study mentor.  This stipend should not be included in the overall budget.

Notification of award: Due June 1, 2021

Successful applicants will need to secure IRB approvals and negotiate subcontract requirements before funding begins. 

Please submit all inquires and materials to:

Margarite Whitten via email at:


Drs. Theresa Shireman and Linda Resnik direct the Pilot Studies Program.