Internal Funding at VUMC

Bridge Funding

VUMC departments:  For more information, download the Bridge Funding guidelines (VUnet login required).

VU departments:  Please contact your department chair or dean's office for guidance.


Other Internal Funding

Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease (VCKD) Pilot and Feasibility Proposals

The VCKD is seeking Letters of Intent for a Pilot project proposal with a deadline for submission on September 20, 2016


Pilot studies in any aspect of renal disease research are supported by the VCKD.  Such funds must be used for young investigators, investigators from other fields willing to bring their research expertise to nephrology, or for investigators currently in the nephrology area whose proposed research would constitute a totally new direction.  Pilot support is not intended for established investigators with ongoing research, but is intended to provide support allowing an investigator the opportunity to develop preliminary data sufficient to provide the basis for an application for independent research support through conventional granting mechanisms.

New pilot studies are limited to a maximum of 1 year support. Second year funding award may be available contingent on satisfactory progress in year one.  An investigator is eligible for such support only once unless the additional proposed pilot study constitutes a real departure from his/her ongoing research.  Awards are up to $40,000/year in direct costs. The funding period will be from July 1- June 30.

To be eligible for a pilot and feasibility study an individual must be a faculty member (rank of Instructor or above) and must fit within the NIH Guidelines for eligibility.  Some examples may be helpful.

1)         A study proposed by an established investigator who has experience in areas other than nephrology and who wants to test his/her ability to contribute to the nephrology field.

2) A study proposed by a young investigator with an interest in a career in research in nephrology before he/she has yet developed to the point of being able to obtain individual grant support.

3)         A study by an established investigator in nephrology who wants to pursue a question in a totally different area from their current research field.


For this Letter of Intent, each applicant should include:

- A Specific Aims page (page 1)

- List of VCKD resources the PI might use for this study (click HERE to see list of VCKD resources)


The completed application should be consolidated into one PDF document and submitted via e-mail to by September 20, 2016.  A decision about the suitability of the proposed application to be considered as a pilot project will be made by December 1, 2016, and further instructions about the application format will be provided at that time.


Feel free to contact Drs. Ray Harris or Ambra Pozzi ( or prior to grant submission for clarification.


Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Pilot Project Funding Opportunities
$25,000 – $50,000/year for one year
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center regularly solicits applications for pilot funding to support basic, translational, clinical or collaborative cancer research. Pilot funds allow investigators to collect preliminary data to support an application for independent research support through extramural, peer-reviewed funding.

Funding opportunities are provided through the following sources:

  • Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) [Cancer Center members only]
  • American Cancer Society - Institutional Research Grant (IRG) [junior investigators only]
  • SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in GI Cancer: Pilot Projects
  • SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in Breast Cancer: Pilot Projects

Calls for proposals are distributed throughout the year by email, online, and in campus publications. Award amounts and submission deadlines vary.

For more information about the above opportunities, please visit the Cancer Center’s Funding Opportunities page, or email


Cancer Training Grants
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Vanderbilt a $4.4 million, five-year grant to fund training for senior fellows and junior faculty for careers in cancer-oriented research. This is a renewal of a current grant program. The goal of the Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program is to train skilled clinician scientists who can design and implement clinical oncology trial research and lead translational research projects.
The deadline to apply for the grant is Feb. 1, and awards will be announced in April.


Core Center in Molecular Toxicology pilot projects
All faculty in the University are eligible (including any research-track faculty eligible to submit other grants for external funding)
1 year project period with a possible second year of funding
Up to $40,000 per year
LOI due November 15
Full application due January 15


Conte Center Pilot Project Grants
These awards are an internal funding program available to Vanderbilt University faculty with the intent of supporting innovative pilot studies in serotonin neurobiology. Call for applications: 2015 Conte Pilot Projects.
Up to $20,000 for one year; Investigators may reapply for a second year of funding, if appropriate 
Full application due March 2


VUMC Faculty Research Scholars
Up to $75,000/year (up to 3 years)
This is an internal career development award for faculty researchers pursuing basic, translational, or clinical research projects. Details of this award may be found at:
Survey of intent due January 15
Application due February 16


Digestive Disease Research Center (DDRC) Pilot & Feasibility Project Funding Opportunity
$10,000 – $25,000/year for 2 years; 4 grants a year total
Applications are solicited for pilot projects to conduct basic, translational, clinical or collaborative research relating to digestive diseases. Applications will be considered in all areas of digestive disease research. Funds will support focused projects from individual investigators and are intended to provide support to collect preliminary data sufficient to support an application for independent research support through traditional NIH mechanisms. Funded projects will range from $10,000 to $25,000 per year. DDRC funding is limited to two years support at a maximum level of $25,000 per year.


DDRC Young Investigator
$25,000/year for 2 years
Exceptional applicants at the junior faculty level with a high likelihood for progression to extramural funding and a successful career in investigative gastroenterology are eligible to be named as a DDRC Young Investigator. Salary support for such an individual is limited to 24 months and cannot exceed $25,000/year and requires 80% of faculty effort to be focused on research. The deadline for submission of a complete application is listed on the DDRC website.


Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Award Program
This competition is open to Vanderbilt Kennedy Center faculty Investigators or Members for conducting pilot projects consistent with the mission of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center’s mission is to conduct and support collaborative research that investigates fundamental mechanisms of behavioral, cognitive, and brain development and plasticity relevant to developmental disabilities, across the lifespan. The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s aims are to better understand children’s development, to prevent and solve developmental problems, and to enable people with developmental disabilities to lead better lives. Due dates for submissions: annually in August

Pilot and Feasibility Grants for Research Related to Diabetes and Obesity
The Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC), and the Vanderbilt Center for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR) announce the availability of Pilot and Feasibility Grants in the following areas:
·      Translational or behavioral science research (Type II translational research) related to diabetes or obesity; this grant mechanism is open to junior faculty members, investigators from other fields wishing to bring their expertise to diabetes- or obesity-related research, and investigators currently conducting diabetes-related research who are proposing a new research direction.  For the purpose of this announcement, Type II translation is defined as research focused on translating interventions/ approaches that have clearly demonstrated efficacy into real world health care settings, communities, and populations at risk.
Click here for website 

·      Basic or clinical research related to diabetes, metabolism, or obesity; this grant mechanism is open to junior faculty members, investigators from other fields wishing to bring their expertise to diabetes- or obesity-related research, and investigators currently conducting diabetes-related research who are proposing a new research direction.
Click here for website 

·      Diabetes- or obesity-related pilot studies that utilize one of these Vanderbilt resources: VICB High-Throughput Screening Facility, BioVU, or the Mass Spectrometry Research Center; this grant mechanism is open to any Vanderbilt faculty member.
Click here for website

The deadline for application for all three types of Pilot and Feasibility Grants is January 15, 2016. Printed copies of applications may be delivered any time the week of January 18th.  Investigators can apply to one or more funding mechanisms. The monies allocated will be from $30-50,000 per year for 1 to 2 years as decided by the application review panel.  The grant template and additional program information is available at the websites above.

A budget is not submitted until the project is funded.