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2023–2024 Pilot/ Feasibility Grants

The SDDRC is pleased to announce a new round of pilot/feasibility grants for the 2023–24 academic year. We anticipate that 3–4 awards of $40,000 each will be made in digestive diseases research.

Digestive Diseases Research Awards

These awards focus on innovative research in the field of digestive diseases. Particular emphasis is placed on promising projects from early-career investigators (Assistant Professor level) that address an important challenge in the field and have a high chance of generating novel hypotheses and feasibility data in support of new external funding. In addition, proposals by established investigators that tackle new topics and directions will be entertained, although it is expected that the applicant will make a strong case for the novelty of the proposed work relative to past studies. Projects can be in basic science, translational research, or clinical studies. In all cases, the applications need to justify how the available funds and time frame are generally adequate to achieve the goals of the project.

All applications will be considered for eligible awards. Applicants do not need to decide which particular award is most suitable for their project and application.


Investigators must have a faculty position (including Adjunct, Project, and Research Scientist positions), at the time the award is made, at one of the academic institutions that participate in the SDDRC (UC San Diego, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, and The Salk Institute for Biological Studies). The application can be submitted before a faculty appointment, but the award will only be made after the appointment. Current membership in the SDDRC is not a requirement. Investigators that are not affiliated with SDDRC will be named associate members upon receipt of an award.

Guidelines for Proposal

The following information must be submitted:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Abstract (30 lines maximum), a brief description of the project; including hypothesis, one sentence description of each Aim, one to three sentences identifying the conceptual and/or technical innovation, relationship to the overall SDDRC theme of inflammation in the digestive tract, how the project will benefit from collaborations with SDDRC members, and plans for follow-up upon the successful completion of the project.
  3. Research Plan (NIH format following the current NIH instructions with sections on Significance, Innovation, and Research Strategy; 4 pages maximum including any preliminary studies, but excluding references)
  4. Plans for Future Funding (1-page maximum; explain plans for future extramural funding, including agencies and mechanisms, and discuss in detail why and how the studies supported by the current award will be critical for facilitating such funding)
  5. References (no page limit)
  6. Biographical sketches of key personnel (NIH format; 5 pages maximum)

Formatting of the application materials should follow standard NIH requirements (Arial, 11 pt minimum, single-spaced, 0.5-inch page margins).

Post-Award Selection Requirements

Upon selection of a project, additional requirements must be met before final awards can be made:

  • Budget and budget justification (NIH format, 1 page). Funds up to $40,000 can be requested for any legitimate expense of the project proposed, including salary support for the PI and/or laboratory personnel, supplies, equipment, and travel to professional meetings relevant to the proposal. Indirect costs are not payable on the awards.
  • Evidence of institutional approval for any animal and/or human studies if those are proposed.
  • Awardees are required to orally present their proposal and initial progress during the annual SDDRC symposium, which will be held in February 2024.


  • Application & Relevant Dates

    Use the following form to apply: Application Form 2023–24 (Word file)
    Send the completed application as a single PDF file to:
    The submission deadline is Monday, October 02, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.
    The anticipated start date for the awards is January 2024.