The goal of the Research Pilot Program is to increase the number of externally-funded research grants held by faculty/research staff members of the Department of Medicine. The Research Pilot Program will fund pilot projects to generate data, publications and/or research collaborations that will be used to support external grant applications by DOM faculty/research staff members. The ultimate effectiveness of this program will be measured by how successfully these pilot grants lead to external funding.

Pilot applications may be submitted up to 1 month prior to the April 1st and October 1st submission deadlines.  Applications are reviewed and awarded twice a year.

The DOM provides a variety of pilot funding opportunities for innovative basic, translational, clinical and health services research that moves new discoveries along the research continuum to humans and the community. Grant proposals that include multidisciplinary research teams, have matching college/department/division funding, and stand to have a substantial impact on the medical field will receive priority.

Types of Awards

Award TypeDescriptionDurationAmount
Trainee AwardsSupport for development of a solid research foundation, toward a career development award.1 yearUp to $10,000
Critical Experiment AwardsGenerate necessary preliminary data for a manuscript or grant submission.1 yearUp to $10,000
General Pilot AwardsSupport the collection of pilot data for an upcoming grant submission or a project that represents a new research direction that is currently unfunded for an investigator.1 yearUp to $50,000
Career Development Supplemental AwardSupport new investigators with a multi-year, extramurally funded career development award.Aligns with award periodUp to $30,000
DREAMS AwardOffered every other year. Supports dysphagia research and education2 yearsUp to $60,000

Additional Details

Budget Considerations

Typical project costs can be budgeted except for faculty salary and meeting/conference/training travel. Travel directly associated with conducting the project is allowable (e.g., conducting assessment or experiments at another facility or field work). Student, postdoctoral and research associate/staff salaries are also allowable. However, it is expected that faculty be allowed release time to conduct the research.

Application Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file within the DOM Pilot Program Application by the following deadlines:

  • Spring deadlines: April 1st for a July 1st start date.
  • Fall deadlines: October 1st for a January 1st start date.

Proposals will be reviewed by the DOM Study Section Sub-Committee and funding recommendations will be provided to the DOM Research Oversight Committee for funding approval.

Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by the DOM Study Section Sub-Committee which consists of representatives from the different divisions within the DOM. Therefore, grants should be written for a general scientific audience. Review criteria will include:

  • Quality and feasibility of the research
  • Research expertise or potential of the applicant(s)
  • Potential for external funding
  • Impact, significance and innovation
  • Presence of matching funds from other sources (applicant, division, SMPH, etc.)
  • Feasibility of mentoring plan (if applicable)

Funding recommendations go to the DOM Research Oversight Committee for final approval.  Applicants will be notified of funding determinations by June 1st or December 1st depending on the pilot cycle.

Conditions of Award

Funds will not be released until documentation of IACUC or IRB approval has been provided, if applicable.

Funds are to be expended during the approved budget period. Requests for a budget extension are to be made to the DOM Research Oversight Committee and sent to 30 days prior to the end budget period. Extension requests must provide progress on the research to date, an explanation of the research to be completed, and a justification for why the extension is necessary.

All resultant publications and presentations should acknowledge funding from the DOM.

All resultant applications to external funding agencies must be routed through the University of Wisconsin, Department of Medicine. This is necessary to ensure that indirect costs are directed back to the DOM to support the department’s activities, including this pilot program.

Post-Award Requirements

Once a grant is awarded, the responsibilities of successful applicants include acknowledgment of DOM support in any publications emanating from the supported project, as well as summary reports and reporting of successful and independent grant applications resulting from the work supported by the DOM Pilot Program.

  • Awardees are required to inform the DOM Office of Research Services if the Pilot Project receives external funding.
  • All awardees are asked to acknowledge DOM support in all scientific posters, presentations and publications using the specific language listed below:
    • Direct DOM Funding Support: "This research was supported by a pilot award from the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and from a grant sponsored by Sponsor (insert grant #)."
  • Awardees may be invited to present a seminar at the weekly Grand Rounds lecture series or other appropriate venue.
  • Awardees of the Trainee, Career Supplemental and General Research Pilots must present results of this work in poster or talk formats at the Annual Research Day event.
  • A final summary report is due 30 days after the close of the project period. The 1–2-page report will contain a synopsis of scientific progress, a list of resulting collaborations, publications, and grants, and a description of the relationship of the project to DOM. Failure to do so will disqualify PI from all future DOM funding mechanisms.


For more information, contact us at