Pilot Project Funding Opportunities

Updated: July 2022


The Pilot Project program is supported through philanthropic committed funding and is designed to provide seed funds for investigator-initiated research. The intent of these pilot grants is to encourage translational research by funding well-designed projects that could be competitive for future larger grants from a federal or private agency.

Archived pilot project RFPs from the past year can be found here.


Funding Source Grant Name Description Deadline
Rush University Medical Center Research Catalyst Award

Applications for bridge funding will be accepted from researchers who have recently received strong, competitive scores on R- or P-type grants from federal granting agencies (e.g. NIH, DOD, NSF, NAS), yet just missed the pay lines. Innovative translational, basic science, clinical, population-based or health services research will be supported. The intent of this program is to support talented investigators who are likely to develop sustainable and impactful research programs by providing resources to bridge intervals in which the investigator does not have federal funding. This program will be periodically evaluated to determine its effectiveness. More information

Rolling basis
Chicago Center on Musculoskeletal Pain P30 This funding opportunity aims to fund pilot and feasibility studies focused on mechanisms underlying pain associated with musculoskeletal and rheumatic diseases (including - but not limited to - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, heritable connective tissue diseases, low back pain, intervertebral disc degeneration, fractures). Successful projects should provide the basis for subsequent applications for independent research support from the NIH and other funding agencies. More information
Proposal due
Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (CEID)
Pilot Projects - CEID
The Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (CEID) is opening the application process for pilot proposals for projects developing innovative approaches to research, education and community outreach in areas related to infectious disease. Projects are intended to enable alliances between Rush researchers and others in the community focused on educational and research activities in infectious disease. More information
Proposal due
Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) TL1 Postdoctoral Program in Clinical Research, Biomedical Informatics, and Health Equity


The TL1 Postdoctoral Program in Clinical Research, Biomedical Informatics, and Health Equity is a National Research Service Award (NRSA) funded training program comprising participating degree programs at the University of Chicago, Rush University, and Loyola University Chicago.  The program will prepare postdoctoral trainees with clinical (MD, DNP, PharmD, DMD/DDS, etc.) or research degrees (PhD) with the skills to conduct independent and collaborative research that will transform the science and practice of medicine, improve clinical practice and health outcomes, and advance health toward health equity.
Trainees can be based at any ITM institution and will select one of three training pathways based on their research interests and training needs: 1) Clinical Research Pathway, 2) Medical Informatics Pathway, or 3) Public Health Pathway.  More information
Application due