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Pilot Project Program

The Indiana Alcohol Research Center is soliciting proposals for pilot projects from investigators who want to develop research programs on alcohol use disorders. Applications pertinent to basic mechanisms and genetic underpinnings of alcohol preference, binge-and higher-level (‘high-intensity drinking’) intake, and tolerance, are particularly welcome. Other areas of research that elucidate mechanisms of alcohol use disorder and their risk are also welcome. Early-career investigators and researchers new to the field of alcohol research are strongly encouraged.

The purpose of a pilot grant is to allow an investigator to obtain preliminary data that will lead to extramural funding. Previous experience in research on alcoholism is not required.

Pilot projects are limited to $50,000 (direct costs)  per year for two years (salary support for the principal investigator is allowed up to 5% effort). Up to two projects will be funded this funding period (December 5, 2024–November 30, 2026). The application deadline is September 3, 2024. A letter of intent will be due August 1, 2024.

Submit a project proposal via Indiana CTSI

A one-page cover letter that includes complete contact information for the principal investigator is also required. The research plan is limited to three pages and must include the following:

  1. Specific Aims (1/2-page limit)
    Goals of the research, expected outcomes/impact on the research field(s), and objectives. 
  2. Significance 
    Importance of the problem; how this line of research will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, etc.; how and why the preliminary data obtained will support an extramural proposal for the broader line of research.
  3. Innovation 
    Describe novel approaches, methodologies, instrumentation etc., and any advantage over existing ones; how the application challenges/seeks to shift current research.
  4. Approach 
    Overall strategy, methodology and analyses; how data will be collected, analyzed and interpreted; Potential problems, alternative strategies; add any PI’s preliminary studies, data and experience.
  5. Application Plans
    Describe plans/timeline to apply for extramural funding related to the pilot project, including funding sources. 
  6. Connection with the Indiana Alcohol Research Center
    Provide details on how this pilot project is related to the center's scientific program and/or uses center resources. 

The following criteria will be used in evaluating applications:

  • Scientific merit (scientific premise, impact, significance, innovation, feasibility)
  • Investigators (expertise, potential contributions, career stage, new entry into alcohol research)
  • Likelihood of the project leading to extramural funding (R01 or similar)
  • Relation to the IARC scientific program and use of center resources (facilities, expertise, animals, data, specimens, etc.)

Applicants should submit their application not later than September 3, 2024. The funding of the pilot project program is conditional on continued support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as approval of recommended proposals by the program officer.

Questions should be directed to Karmen Yoder at or 317-963-7507.

Submit a proposal