PKD-RRC Pilot and Feasibility Program

The PKD RRC Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) program will provide funds to eligible investigators for the development of innovative and high impact projects broadly related to the study of polycystic kidney and liver disease. Projects focusing on discovery (hypothesis-generating) and/or innovative (high-risk/high-reward) research are highly encouraged. The program will support basic, translational and clinical research proposals. Research involving human subjects is limited to observational studies with non-invasive or minimally invasive testing. Clinical trials, as defined by the NIH (, are beyond the scope of this program. Awards are expected to prepare the applicant(s) to submit a future investigator-initiated project (e.g. NIH R01). Applicants are encouraged, but not obligated, to make use of PKD RRC resources and expertise (


  • Early-stage investigators, as defined by the NIH (
  • Established investigators with no history of funding for PKD research who bring new and unique expertise to advance innovative research in polycystic kidney and liver disease
  • Applicants must have an independent faculty position at the time of the application.
  • Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Investigators at non-domestic (non-U.S.) entities (foreign institutions) are not eligible to apply
  • PKD RRC key personnel are not eligible to apply

Mandatory Letter of Intent (LOI): Deadline 5 PM EST on September 20, 2021

  • The LOI should contain the project title, applicant’s name, and institution
  • NIH Style Biosketch with other support (current and pending support)
  • Brief description of the project (no more than 3000 characters with spaces), including a statement of eligibility and any planned use of PKD-RRC reagents or resources
  • Use Arial font 11, single space, ½ inch margins
  • Email a single PDF containing the material requested for the LOI to
  • Invitations to submit a full proposal will be sent via email within three weeks of LOI submission

Full Application: Deadline 5 PM EST on November 19, 2021

  • You MUST have submitted an LOI and have been invited to submit a full application
  • The application must be typed in Arial font, 11 point or larger with single spacing and margins of at least ½ inch on all sides. Page numbers should be included. Appendices are not allowed.
  • All tables, graphics, and supporting documentation must be contained within the proposal itself. No additional materials may be submitted after the receipt date
  • Email a single PDF containing the Application to The deadline for submitting the proposal is 5 PM EST on November 19, 2021. An email confirming receipt will be sent to the applicant.
  • The Application should include the following sections:
    1. NIH PHS 398 face page

    2. Abstract (250 words or less)

    3. Budget and Justificationas described below

    4. Biographical Sketches
    An NIH biographical sketch is required for the PI and any key personnel

    5. Research Plan (Up to 4 pages total)
    A. Specific Aims
    B. Research Strategy
    1. Background and Significance: Discuss the scientific problem or challenge that will be addressed, and why it is important to the field of PKD. State the premise of the research project, including any strengths and weaknesses of prevailing relevant theories.
    2. Innovation: Briefly discuss any pioneering and possibly high-risk approaches that, if successful, will lead to groundbreaking or paradigm-shifting results.
    3. Research Approach: Describe preliminary data and the scientific plan and explain how anticipated results will lead to future funding. If applicable, describe the proposed use of PKD RRC cores, resources and expertise.

    6. Institutional letter of support (optional)
    Early-stage investigators who are selected to submit a full application may opt to include one letter of institutional support to describe the applicant’s level of independence, such as institutional commitment, protected time, and dedicated lab space.

    7. Literature Cited (No limit)

    8. Vertebrate Animals and/or Human Subjects

    9. Resource Sharing Plan


Applicants may request up to $63,500 (direct + indirect costs) for one year. No more than $10,000 may be used to support the principal investigator’s salary and fringe. A narrative justification should be provided for key personnel and any major equipment (cost greater than $5,000) deemed to be necessary for the proposed project.

Application Review

Each application will receive a primary review by at least three subject matter experts and be given scores for Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach, Environment, and an Overall Score based on the NIH Scoring System for Research Applications (1-9). Reviewers will strongly consider the goals of the program to support discovery (hypothesis generating) or innovative (high-risk/high-reward) research. The PKD RRC Consortium Monitoring Board will provide a secondary review of all applications. Final funding decisions will be made by the NIDDK. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or non-responsive will not be reviewed. All decisions are final, and appeals will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this solicitation. Written comments will be provided for all reviewed applications. Competitive renewal applications will not be accepted for a second year of funding; however, the applicant can submit a new application on a similar research topic. Unfunded applications can also be submitted as an amended application in subsequent cycles, but there will not be an option to respond to reviewers’ critiques. Funding begins January-February 2022. Multi-year funding requests are not allowed.

Expectations of Awardees Receiving Pilot Funding from the PKD RRC

  • Awardees are expected to join the PKD RRC as external members and take advantage of the research collaboration framework offered by the consortium
  • Awardees may be asked to participate in future grant reviews for the pilot program
  • Awardees are expected to present their research at the PKD RRC annual symposium and/or educational activities organized by the PKD RRC
  • Investigators are expected cite support from the PKD RRC in all related publications and presentations

Advisory Committee Option

P&F grant awardees, who are early-stage investigators, will be offered access to mentoring by members and subject matter experts within the PKD RRC consortium. The mentors will provide feedback on the project and assist in networking with established investigators in the PKD field. This is an optional service to assist early-stage investigators develop competitive research programs and apply for additional NIH funding.

If you have any questions about the PKD RRC Pilot and Feasibility Program or the application process, please contact us at

Application Forms