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The BUILD EXITO Pilot Project initiative is designed to provide environments in which Scholars can conduct hands-on research and junior faculty can get help writing and submitting NIH-style grants and then conduct pilot project research to aid in finding future funding. Faculty at any of the ten BUILD EXITO institutions can apply for funding for up to $50,000 to conduct research that will be completed within one year. Pilot Projects can include feasibility studies, secondary analyses of existing data, small, self-contained research projects, or projects to develop new research methodologies or technology. Faculty also receive support through the Pilot Project mechanism in preparing an R03-type proposal, in understanding the parts of a biomedical proposal, in designing a fundable research question, in responding to reviewers comments, and through the opportunity to gather preliminary data for future research projects.
After releasing the first RFA in fall 2015 we received 62 letters of intent and 33 full submissions. We are thrilled to have awarded funds to ten faculty members, 8 at PSU and 2 at OHSU, who put together scientifically rigorous and innovative proposals. The research interests of awardees are diverse, including a faculty member looking at surface modification of gold nanorods, another studying successful engagement of high-risk migratory homeless youth in HIV- and drug-prevention services, and another who researches how developmental stress shapes cardiovascular fetal growth and function. We believe that supporting a diversity of researchers and interests not only creates opportunities for institutional growth and change but provides a concrete example to our Scholars of how many different ways one can be a researcher and conduct meaningful research in an academic setting.
We just released our second-round RFA and are looking forward to working with faculty as they prepare and submit proposals to fund their ideas for new research and to learn about the process of creating a fundable project. We are also excited to provide even more of the essential hands-on research environments that undergraduates need along their successful pathway to become researchers.
The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.