Front Page Funding Opportunity

DartCF 2023 CFRD Pilot & Feasibility Project RFA

The Dartmouth Cystic Fibrosis Research Center (DartCF) seeks innovative Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) projects that are (1) led by faculty members (as PI or contact PI) affiliated with NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Centers or Centers for Diabetes Translation Research and (2) designed to address important issues in the pathogenesis and/or treatment of Cystic Fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD).

The goal of these awards is to increase the pool of researchers with expertise in diabetes contributing to the field of CFRD, by enabling them to initiate or expand research activities directly relevant to CFRD and to obtain preliminary data and publications that will foster on-going CFRD research projects.

We expect to make at least two P&F awards under this mechanism. Awards will be granted for an initial year, with an option for a second year of funding contingent on initial progress. The budget for the first twelve-month period cannot exceed $75,000 direct and $108,500 total costs. Funding for the second period is also capped at $75,000 direct/$108,500 total costs, and will be contingent upon adequate progress in year one and availability of funds from NIH. Funds will be provided as subawards under the DartCF P&F program. Projects may propose laboratory, translational, and/or computational approaches. Human subjects research including clinical studies are allowed, but clinical trials cannot be supported by this mechanism. Projects may be preliminary in nature, working towards development of continued funding following successful completion. Successful applicants will be expected to participate remotely in DartCF seminars, to present their work at least annually, and to provide a written progress report at the end of each year of funding.

Application due date: December 1, 2023

Anticipated award period: February 2024 – June 2025 (NCE may be possible)


The principal investigator (PI) must (1) hold an MD, PhD, MD/PhD, or equivalent terminal degree; (2) hold a faculty appointment and be an independent investigator with institutional support; and (3) be affiliated with one of the NIDDK Diabetes Research Centers or Centers for Diabetes Translation Research. We encourage submissions from PIs at all DRCs and CDTRs. Preference will be given to new or emerging projects and collaborations and to PIs new to CF or at institutions that do not also host Cystic Fibrosis Research and Translation Centers (which are: Cincinnati Childrens, Dartmouth, Emory/Georgia, Iowa, UAB, UNC, UW). If multiple PIs are proposed, the contact PI must meet the eligibility requirements, and preference will be given to projects in which the majority of the activity will be performed in an eligible lab or group. If one or more of the PIs does not hold a tenure-track appointment, the letter from the NIDDK Center Director should confirm scientific independence and institutional support. Please note that the NIDDK CF Pilot & Feasibility program particularly encourages submissions from new investigators, established investigators new to CF, or established CF investigators pursuing high- impact/high-risk projects that are a significant departure from their usual work; support is especially encouraged for investigators from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research. These individuals include persons from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. See this link for more information.

Application Instructions

The application packet should be submitted by 5pm on December 1, 2023 as a single PDF file named “CFRD Pilot_[Last Name]” by email to Program Administrator Rosemary White ( The PDF file should include all of the following items:

  1. A cover page listing the project title and the name, academic affiliations, and NIDDK Diabetes Center affiliation of each PI;
  2. The research proposal, beginning with an Abstract (30 lines maximum, on a separate page), followed by a Research Strategy (3 pages maximum) following the standard NIH format (significance; innovation; approach). This section must describe the central hypothesis or unmet need motivating the application, the specific aims of the research, and the impact and relevance of the project, including the potential to enhance the understanding and treatment of CFRD. References do not count towards the page limit;
  3. Budget and budget justification (maximum $75,000 direct and $108,500 total cost per funding period). Please note that faculty salaries and service contracts are not eligible for support;
  4. Current NIH biosketch(es) for the PI(s) and any CF mentors or advisors;
  5. A funding plan (1 page maximum) should describe how successful completion of the CFRD P&F project will be used to support subsequent applications for NIH or foundation support for continuing studies;
  6. Applicant eligibility: a letter from the Director of an NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Center or Center for Diabetes Translation Research, confirming the affiliation of the PI with the Center, and if one or more of the PIs does not hold a tenure-track appointment, confirming their scientific independence and institutional support;
  7. A letter signed by an institutional official confirming that the institution is aware of NIH subaward policies and is prepared to establish a subaward with Dartmouth if the pilot is approved for funding.

Note: Once projects are recommended for funding, additional documentation may be required for final NIH review, including for example IACUC or IRB approvals.


Proposals will be reviewed by the DartCF External Advisory Committee, who will rank applications relative to the criteria described below and make funding recommendations. Final project approval will be granted by NIH Program Staff. Projects must address mechanistic, translational, or clinical research problem with direct relevance to CFRD. In addition, the most competitive proposals will:

  1. Present high-quality, high-impact science. Scientific excellence is a prerequisite for funding (Approach);
  2. Outline the potential for translation of research findings (Impact);
  3. Incorporate interdisciplinary, cross-programmatic, collaborative, or innovative approaches (Innovation);
  4. Support the development of new research or a significant departure from their usual research directions or collaborations. Preference will be given to junior faculty members (especially early stage and new investigators), faculty members new to CF or at institutions that do not host Cystic Fibrosis Research & Translation Centers, and established investigators exploring new research directions (Innovation), and for investigators from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research;
  5. Demonstrate a strong potential to carry out the proposed research successfully. For faculty members who do not have a track record of publications in CFRD, the participation of a mentor or advisor with CF, and ideally CFRD, expertise is recommended. Candidate mentors may include local CF clinical colleagues as well as faculty members affiliated with NIDDK P30 Cystic Fibrosis Research & Translation Centers or CF Foundation Research Development Programs (Environment and Investigators);
  6. Present a strategy to secure continued funding following successful completion of the P&F project.