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Translational Pilot Program

The goal of the Translational Pilot Program is to develop novel technologies and methodologies, to test the feasibility of novel approaches and to stimulate inter-disciplinary collaborations that test generalizable solutions to translational research problems. Please note that hypothesis-testing research studies that aim to test a single strategy or technique will not be considered responsive to these RFAs.

The Translational Pilot Program will solicit, review, and award pilot grants designed to produce and test novel tools and methods to bridge translational gaps and overcome barriers inhibiting the pace of research translation.

Pilot Types

The Translational Pilot Program releases Ignition Fund pilot mechanisms once per month and two types of pilot mechanisms in the fall of each year, Targeted RFAs and Open (non-targeted) RFAs.

Ignition Funds will be issued once per month as small, rapid-access awards designed to help investigative teams maintain momentum on feasibility projects with high probability of traversing a translational gap and/or to obtain pilot data that will allow for the submission of a subsequent, larger extramural grant application. The Ignition Fund applications can be a specific research focus. Learn more.

Open RFAs will support the development of novel technologies and methodologies, test the feasibility of novel approaches, and stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations that test generalizable solutions to translational research problems identified by faculty and other stakeholders. This approach provides a mechanism for fostering creativity among the research community. Please note that hypothesis-testing research studies that aim to test a single strategy or technique will not be considered responsive to this RFA. Learn more.

For questions, please contact Mary Beth Barrack, mharbour@wakehealth.edu or 336-716-7097.

Targeted RFAs are designed to 'pull' pilot proposals from the Wake Forest community that address high-priority gaps and barriers. The goal of these projects is to develop novel technologies and methodologies, to test the feasibility of novel approaches and to stimulate inter-disciplinary collaborations that test generalizable solutions to translational research problems with a focus on specific areas. The specific areas are defined at each pilot release. Please note that hypothesis-testing research studies that aim to test a single strategy or technique will not be considered responsive to this RFA.

For questions, please contact Mary Beth Barrack, mharbour@wakehealth.edu or 336-716-7097.

Program Leadership

Sabina Gesell, PhD, Program Leader
Kristen Hairston, MD, Associate Program Leader
Michael Seeds, PhD, Associate Program Leader

Important Dates and Deadlines

Ignition Fund Deadlines
Aug. 7, 2018 August deadline   
Sept. 4, 2018 September deadline 
Oct. 2, 2018 October Deadline
Nov. 6, 2018 November Deadline
Dec. 4, 2018 December Deadline


TPP Open and Targeted Pilot Deadlines
Aug. 22, 2018     
Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline  
Oct. 24, 2018     
Full Application Deadline
Apr. 1, 2019
Project Start Date
Mar. 31, 2020     
Project End Date