2023-2024 RARC-BHI Pilot Grant Program 

We are pleased to announce the 2023-24 pilot grants program for the Rutgers Addiction Research Center in the Brain Health Institute.  

There are two main objectives of these pilot awards program: (1) to foster new collaborative, interdisciplinary addiction research among full-time resident faculty and Rutgers-affiliated clinical services, and (2) to support pilot data that will lead to sustained funding from an external agency (e.g., NIH). Pilot grants will be awarded for a one-year period and are limited to no more than $30,000 direct costs; no indirect costs or overhead are allowed. Additionally, the PI (or one of the PIs for MPI applications) must have a primary affiliation in RBHS because this pilot grant program is funded by the RBHS Chancellor. Faculty with part-time or visiting appointments are not eligible. Early career investigators, and investigators who have not previously had NIH funding are especially encouraged to apply. We anticipate making up to two awards in 2023-2024. You can learn more about last year’s awardees here.  

For the 2023-2024 pilot grant program we especially encourage applications that promote new interdisciplinary research collaborations between faculty and clinical/community partners. To learn more about addiction services offered by Rutgers clinical partners, visit the Rutgers Services page on our website. To hear directly from our partners, please click on the links below: 

We encourage faculty to reach out directly to our clinical partners to explore grant ideas. Partnership with other community organizations focused on prevention, intervention, treatment, or recovery are also welcome. 

Format: All applications should be formatted as an R21 NIH style application (1 page Specific Aims and 6 pages for the Research Plan). The rationale for this format is that it will allow investigators to have a proposal that can be directly submitted to NIH even in the event that the pilot is not funded through the initial round of pilot funds. All submissions will receive NIH-reviewer style feedback from an external scientist (additional details below); accordingly, we hope this process will be beneficial for investigators regardless of funding. Include Literature Cited, and, if applicable, sections on Vertebrate Animals, Protections for Human Subjects and Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children. Also include Budget, Budget Justification, NIH Biosketches for all Co-PIs, Facilities and Resources and Equipment information.  Within the Research Plan under the Innovation section please describe explicitly how the pilot funding will promote new collaborations and/or new projects. The application should be single-spaced, and use font/size Arial 11 with 0.5 inch page margins. All applications must include the Cover page (Title, PI(s), institutions, Project Abstract, etc.) and the Submission Check List accompanying this announcement.  The application should be combined into one PDF document with the Cover page in the front.  Only grant award recipients will need to submit the RAPSS Endorsement form and proof of University’s FCOI compliance.  IRB and IACUC approvals will also need to be submitted post-award using the Just-In-Time (JIT) approach. These forms and approvals are not required at the time of initial grant application submission; however, awardees will have to submit these items before the funds from the grant award are disbursed.  We anticipate that the award announcement will be made in March 2024.  It is recommended that the applicants prepare and submit the IACUC/IRB applications associated with the pilot grant project well in advance, to the appropriate institutional committees, in order to get these approvals in a timely-fashion.  

Please note-the pilot award funds cannot be used for PI salaries; however, pilot funds can be budgeted for post-doc, student and research technician stipends and salaries. Expenses are allowed as in NIH awards (e.g. supplies, animals etc.). Purchase of equipment costing more than $5000 needs to be well-justified in the budget. The entire application, including the Cover page & Check List, should be combined into one PDF document with the Cover page in the front. To download the application Cover Page, CLICK HERE.  Submit the SINGLE PDF file to rarc@bhi.rutgers.edu by 5 PM, Monday, December 18, 2023. 

All grants will undergo a dual stage review process, organized by the Rutgers Addiction Research Center at the Brain Health Institute. They will have an initial external review to judge scientific quality and be assigned a priority score by external reviewers (similar to NIH study section review). They then will be reviewed by an internal committee (similar to an NIH Council Review) to allocate funds consistent with the long-term strategies for developing addiction research at Rutgers and the sources of pilot funds. One main factor in determining funding will be perceived likelihood that the pilot data generated will lead to external funding. Career stage and history of prior funding will also be considered, with the goal of promoting new NIH-funded faculty.  

All pilot awardees will be required to submit a final progress report within 2 months of the end of the award. This report will include publications and grant applications submitted, as well as results obtained and the significance of those results. One PI also will be required to orally present results of the studies at the Annual RARC symposium. 

If you intend to submit a pilot grant proposal, please email rarc@bhi.rutgers.edu with a brief letter of intent, including the names of the PI(s), clinical partner you intend to collaborate with, title of your proposal, and a brief description of your project by November 20, 2023. This will allow us to identify external reviewers to ensure a timely review of applications.  

Please contact Danielle Dick, RARC Director, or Emily Balcke, RARC Program Manager (rarc@bhi.rutgers.edu) with questions. 

Click here to download the 2023-24 Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RARC-BHI) Pilot Grants Program Announcement

To learn more about last year’s 2022-2023 RARC-BHI Pilot Grant Program, click here.