Pilot Feasibility


The University of Michigan Center for Gastrointestinal Research (UMCGR) invites applications for 2020 Pilot Feasibility Projects in the area of Peptide Biology and Gastrointestinal Function.

Pilot Feasibility Submittal Form - Deadline, March 9, 2020

Subject Matter

The University of Michigan's Digestive Disease Center is focused in the area of peptide biology and its role in GI function and pathology. The Center is especially interested to receive applications in the following areas:

  1. Regulatory peptide biology, including the biogenesis of the GI-related peptides (transcriptional control, tissue specific expression, mRNA regulation, post-translational processing) the regulation of secretion, receptor interactions (structure function aspects, multiplicity of receptors, binding or post-binding events), and cell biology (electrophysiology, ion fluxes). Projects dealing with peptides outside the GI tract or brain/gut axis must include relevance to the brain/gut axis.
  2. Gastrointestinal Peptidergic Function, at the integrative level of physiology and pathophysiology. Such projects would include whole animal as well as human studies, studies of interaction between peptidergic and non-peptidergic transmitters in the GI tract, and studies of peptidergic dysfunction in specific disease states.
  3. Other areas of gastrointestinal function or pathology. As evidenced by the above description, both basic and clinical animal models focusing on GI function are encouraged. Studies on the human application of peptides, peptides used in biomarker discovery.
  4. Microarray Gene Chip Technology and Proteomics applications designed to elucidate peptide involvement in GI function and pathology.
  5. Projects relating to the GI Microbiome and inflammation of Gut microflora, Microbiome-Host Interactions, Molecular Imaging using peptides for identifying dysplastic cells, Metabolism and Obesity.
  6. Projects relating to GI Cancer Biology or Metabolomics research.

Who Can Apply

First priority will be given to young investigators at the University of Michigan embarking on a research career, with the hope that the Pilot Feasibility Project will lead to the successful funding of an RO1 type application.

At least three years of postdoctoral training is required prior to the start of the award. Postdocs meeting this requirement, instructors/lecturers and young faculty through Assistant Professors are encouraged to apply.

More senior investigators will be considered only if the project represents a new direction in their research, and will be given lower priority.

Under normal circumstances, investigators will be eligible for a maximum of 2 years support in total from the Center.


Applications must be submitted using the NIH PHS 398 application packet forms which are available through ORSP. A link is also provided for you below and on the website. Please use the face page, abstract page, key personnel page, table of contents, detailed budget page and budget for entire proposed project period (not the modular budget pages), budget justification page, NIH biosketch, resource page, then science. You may also attach any relevant papers or supporting letters, etc. The science portion of the application is not to exceed a total of 5 pages (Aims, Significance, Work-to-Date, and Research Plan). 

Important: Current Pilot Awardees should include a brief update on the progress of their current project in the Science section. Please use Arial Font and size in the application is to be no smaller than 11 pt. No applications will be accepted without the Submittal Form for Pilot Feasibility Projects for the Center which can be downloaded on this page. It should include a paragraph on relevance to the mission of the UMCGR. Proposals are submitted electronically through Competition Space. A Letter of Intent is due on February 21, 2020. Business address: Room 6520E MSRB I, Box 5682.

PHS 398 Forms


Maximum budget request is $30,000/year. A maximum of two years of funding will be provided. Applicants seeking a second year will be expected to submit another competitive application in the year of requested funding.


Deadline for application is March 9, 2020. The proposals will be reviewed, including evaluation by the Center's External Advisory Committee in a fashion similar to the NIH review process. Finalists will be expected to give a 10–15 minute presentation on their projects to this committee before award selections are made. Funding period is June 1 to May 31 for up to two years. For questions or information, you may contact the Center's Director, Dr. Chung Owyang (734-936-4785), the Center Administrator, Jeffery Cole (734-647-2939), or the Center Program Assistant Pam Varga (734-647-2942).