MDRC Pilot/Feasibility Grant Program


The Pilot/Feasibility (P/F) Grant Program is sponsored by the Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC). Its purpose is to promote research in diabetes by new and established investigators at the University of Michigan. The ultimate goal of the program is to accelerate the pace of research and enable awardees to generate sufficient preliminary data for successful applications for major research funding from the NIH or other national granting agency.

Grant proposals may be in the areas of basic biomedical or clinical research and should address key questions regarding the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diabetes, its complications, or related endocrine or metabolic disorders (for example: obesity, metabolic syndrome, counter-regulatory proteins).

Individuals who have full-time instructional, research or clinical faculty positions at the University of Michigan are eligible to apply as Principal Investigators of P/F proposals. Eligible applicants are: a) new investigators beginning careers in diabetes-related research; b) established investigators who have not previously worked in diabetes research but wish to focus their expertise on diabetes; or c) established diabetes investigators who propose innovative research in diabetes that represents a clear departure from their ongoing research. This new direction cannot be an extension or outgrowth of research currently being undertaken by the applicant. Priority is given to investigators in category “a” followed by investigators in category “b”. Individuals who are awarded a MDRC P/F grant are not eligible to receive a MDRC DISP grant in the same year.

P/F proposals should be for one year of support with funding up to $50,000 direct costs.

Each proposal will receive extramural peer review by recognized experts in the area of the proposal from the United States and abroad. Revised proposals from previous cycles are considered new applications and will be reviewed as such. The MDRC Grants Program Advisory Council of expert investigators reviews the P/F applications together with their respective peer evaluations and ranks the applications based on scientific merit and relevancy to diabetes research before final funding decisions are made. 

P/F grant awardees are queried annually by MDRC administrative staff and are required to provide information on the publications and funding that stem from the P/F grant as this information must be reported to NIH. P/F grant awardees are also expected to present their research at the Annual MDRC Diabetes Symposium generally held in the spring. If awarded, junior faculty will need to identify a mentor and investigators outside the diabetes field will need to identify a diabetes advisor.

The current application cycle has ended.

Questions: Please contact Sarah Cain, (734)763-2561,

Remember to cite the Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) in publications as follows:
“The project described was supported by Grant Number P30DK020572 (MDRC) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases”