Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Funding Announcements

U54 Concept Pilot Project Competition



The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK IDDRC) announces the availability of Pilot and Feasibility awards (up to $20,000 annually per award) for both basic science and translational projects that involve intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). The awarded funds are intended to enable new and established investigators to generate preliminary data in order to successfully apply for extramural funding for their project. Pilot and feasibility funds are not intended to support or supplement ongoing IDD research programs. Eligible applicants must hold the rank of instructor or higher at the time of the award.

ELIGIBILITY. This program is designed to support:

  1. New investigators with interests in IDD research. Meritorious applications from new investigators will receive priority for funding.
  2. Established faculty who wish to explore a new area of research involving IDDs that constitutes a substantive departure from their on-going work.
  3. Established faculty currently focused on IDD-related research who are attempting to build preliminary data for additional NIH grant support.

Please note: It is not necessary to be an RFK IDDRC investigator or clinical partner at the time the application is submitted.


A one-page letter of intent (LOI), using the attached template, is required by October 15, 2015. Those selected will be informed shortly thereafter, with R03-style grant applications due on or before December 1, 2015. Additional details of how to assemble the grant will be provided with the notice of acceptance of the LOI. It is anticipated that the one-year funding for successful applicants will be initiated on January 1, 2016.

In your one-page LOI please include (1) an overview of your specific aims and (2) hypothesis to be tested, (3) its relevance to IDDs, (4) a list of the IDDRC cores you expect to access and (5) a proposed budget. In terms of the budget, the total amount requested can be up to $20,000, although smaller requests are strongly recommended. Salary support for the investigator is not allowed. Please note: It is required that 25% of the grant budget be used to cover costs of RFK IDDRC scientific core use. A description of the 6 scientific cores of the IDDRC can be found at

Submit your one-page LOI electronically as an e-mail attachment to on or before October 15, 2015. Please use the RFK-IDDRC LOI Pilot Project template. Questions concerning this program should be directed to Lisa Guillory.  

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