​DRC Pilot and Feasibility Funding Program


The Joslin Diabetes Center's Diabetes and Research Center (DRC) sponsors a Pilot & Feasibility (P&F) Program that funds two studies of $50,000/year each year in the areas of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or complications related to diabetes. The P&F awards may be from basic, translational or clinical perspectives.

The DRC P&F Grant Program has several goals. First is to enrich the scientific base of the DRC at Joslin and other local institutions. Another major goal is to enhance interactions between researchers at Joslin and other local institutions and in particular to enhance interactions between basic and clinical researchers focused on diabetes and its complications. Finally, the DRC P&F Program aims to enhance research into the pathogenesis, treatments and potential cures for all causes and types of diabetes and their complications more generally.

Critical for the achievement of these goals is recruiting talented new investigators and embracing promising new experimental strategies or methods. Therefore, the program has traditionally provided support to three types of researchers: 1. New investigators in the diabetes field who have not previously received substantial NIH funding; 2. Experienced investigators in the diabetes field who wish to strike out in a novel direction; and 3. Investigators from other fields embarking on a diabetes-related project for the first time.

To accomplish this we hold a yearly competitive application process. Several months before the submission deadline we announce the upcoming P&F grant opportunity as broadly as possible to eligible departments and institutions. Two new grants of $50,000/year are awarded each year to researchers based either at the Joslin Diabetes Center or at neighboring institutions within Harvard Medical School and affiliated hospitals and centers. Special efforts are made to foster interactions between Joslin DRC investigators and the external P&F Study Program awardees. Applicants are asked to submit a description (abstract) of the proposed project using the designated website. Applications that are eligible are invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals are judged by internal and external reviewers chosen on the basis of expertise. We utilize a nationwide network of experts in the various fields related to diabetes to identify appropriate reviewers.

Proposals receiving the highest scores are recommended for funding to begin May 1 of the submission year. Anonymous reviews are provided to the applicants. We try to integrate P&F grant recipients, within Joslin and from other institutions, by encouraging use of the DRC cores and facilities. This includes facilitating access to Joslin DRC cores, an invitation to give a seminar at the Joslin, and invitations to Joslin retreats and other enrichment activities. Please visit the Enrichment Core portion of the Joslin Research website.

The Joslin Diabetes Center DRC P&F Grant Program has been highly successful for over 30 years. Projects funded in past years have covered a wide range of topics in the fields of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and their complications, including the control of insulin gene expression, mechanisms of insulin action and resistance, stem cell biology, beta cell apoptosis and potential renewal, mechanisms of leptin action and resistance, and autoantigen therapy of type 1 diabetes. The approaches have also been very diverse, covering wide varieties of biochemical, molecular biologic, genetic, immunological and clinical strategies. This breadth reflects the interests of Joslin's diabetes research program as a whole; see more about Joslin's Research Programs.

Please see "Application Process" and "FAQs" pages if you are interested in submitting a proposal. If your proposal involves human subjects, please see the “Human Subjects Research” page.

Submission is a two-step procedure. By midnight of Friday, January 4, 2019, the potential candidate should submit an electronic "Letter of Intent." Received letters will be pre-reviewed for eligibility and priority, and the successful candidates will be asked to submit a five-page electronic proposal following an abbreviated version of a standard NIH application, due by Friday, February 15, 2019. These applications will be reviewed, and awarded P&Fs will be selected for funding to start May 1, 2019. At the end of the year, each investigator will be asked to demonstrate progress on their project in order to justify a second year of support, and a final report is required at the end of the funding period.

For further questions about the grant and the application process, email: PandF@Joslin.Harvard.Edu.

Deadline for Letter of Intent:  Friday, January 4, 2019
Deadline for Full Application (invitation only):  Friday, February 15, 2019
Decision Announcement:  Mid-April
Funding Cycle: Begins May 1, 2019 and lasts 1 year. A second year of funding is contingent upon positive review of the P&F year 1 progress report


Click here to apply for P&F

All applicants are required to log in and submit proposals.