You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Research Collaborative Pilot Research Grant

Collaborative Pilot Research Grant

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the call for applications for the first round of its new annual Collaborative Pilot Research Grant which will provide funds to support pilot research with strong potential to generate significant external funding.

Because this program is meant to facilitate collaborative research, at least 2 CAS full-time faculty must participate on any given proposal, with one typically serving as the PI or, with appropriate justification, 2 serving as Co-PIs. Strong preference will be given to projects that have a high likelihood of generating successful applications for external funding in the amount of >$250,000 within 2 years of pilot project completion. Ideally, applicant teams will include at least one junior faculty member and one faculty member with proven experience securing external funding. Upon completion of the pilot research the successful applicants will automatically qualify for the CAS Grant-writing Assistance program, which provides for assistance from a professional grantwriter, in developing their proposal based on the pilot research project.

Funding amount

The program will provide up to $40,000 to support research related expenses.


The project PI must be a full-time CAS faculty member and at least one other full-time CAS faculty member must also be included on the project. Non-CAS faculty may be included on the team as well. Faculty are eligible to serve as PI on a pilot project funded by this program no more than once every three years.

Project period and deadlines

The deadline for applications is Monday, January 17 at 5PM. Projects will typically be granted for a one-year period. We anticipate making a funding decision by March 1.


Applications will consist of an Application Form and the following:

Title and Description of research to be conducted, not to exceed 5 pages and to include:

  • A summary of project aims (up to ½ page)
  • Background and significance of the research question
  • Brief summary of the qualifications of the research team that are of specific relevance for the proposed project
  • Methods and expected outcomes
  • Timeline

Additional required materials (not included in page limits above):

  • References cited in the research description
  • CV or biosketch for each participating investigator
  • Detailed and well-justified description of how, if successful, the project is likely to lead to a successful application for external funding within 2 years of completion, including reference to specific funders, funding opportunities, and mechanisms when relevant (1 page max)
  • Itemized budget of project expenses of up to $40,000
  • Budget justification

Review criteria:

  • Qualifications of the PI and the research team to conduct the research
  • Scientific merit: Significance of the research; Soundness of methods; Overall feasibility of the proposed timeframe
  • Likelihood of leading to an application for significant (> $250,000) external funding within 2 years of project completion

Review process

The Associate Dean of Research will solicit reviews by subject matter experts who will provide written evaluations of the proposal and funding recommendations. Based on these reviews, the Associate Dean will make a funding recommendation to the Dean who will make the final funding decision. We expect to fund one proposal per year.

No funds will be disbursed for human subjects or animal research until IRB or IACUC approval has been granted, as relevant.

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single file (PDF or Word), starting with the application form, to the Associate Dean of Research at and cc’ed to