Frequently Asked Questions: Pilot Projects

Below are a list of questions from prospective applicants to our Pilot Project Program. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please email us  at

Q: Are there other funding opportunities for postdocs?

A: If a faculty member were to submit an application, a postdoc could serve on the project. Only faculty can serve in a PI role on CTR-supported grants.

Q: Can an investigator apply to both Category 1 and 2 award mechanisms?

A: An investigator can submit an application to both categories of funding; however, only one application would be eligible to progress to the full proposal round.

Q: Can I submit an application with a collaborator who is from my same department?

A: Yes, as long as both investigators are from different disciplines. Interdepartmental and inter-institutional collaborations are encouraged, but not required.

Q: We have a research associate who will be appointed as a faculty in February. Is she eligible to apply for the Advance-CTR Pilot Project?  

A: Yes, the research associate could apply as long as the faculty appointment begins prior to May 1, 2020. A letter must be submitted with the Preliminary Application that is signed by the Department Chair indicating the applicant will receive the faculty appointment.

Q: I want to confirm that I am eligible for this despite being research faculty and not a tenure track faculty member?  

A: Yes, all faculty are eligible for award, regardless of tenure or research track status.

Q: Can there be more than two PIs on a research team?

A: Yes, there is no limit. However, the size of the team should not impede the research.

Q: I am interested in applying for the Advance-CTR Pilot Project Program (Category 2) but it is unclear whether or not I am eligible to be the Contact PI. I fall into the category of a senior faculty member with R01 funding in another area who is "entering a new area of clinical or translational research." The eligibility requirements for Category #2 does not specify that R01 funding is an exclusion as does Category #1. Please advise. 

A: If you are moving into a new area of clinical or translational research, then you are eligible to serve as a PI on a pilot project application, regardless of prior awards.

Q: Is requesting funding for equipment in the scope of the pilot grants?

A: Budgeting equipment (defined as durable items valued at $5,000+) is not allowed for this award mechanism. 

Q: Can an investigator who was previously awarded an Advance-CTR Pilot Project serve as a collaborator on a new pilot grant?

A: A prior CTR awardee is eligible to serve as a Multi-PI on a CTR Pilot Award. However, it is worth noting that our program makes an effort to spread resources across investigators in the state. Scientific merit is valued above all else during the decision stage of the application process. However, if two proposals score similarly, Council may choose to fund a collaboration between investigators who have not yet received any CTR support versus a project with a collaborator that the CTR has already supported. 

Q: I would like to confirm that there are no visa-based restrictions for Advance-CTR Pilot Projects?

A: Correct.

Q: Can a study be conducted outside of RI?

A: Research could be conducted outside of RI; however, funding from this IDeA mechanism of support cannot leave the state of Rhode Island except when used to cover fee-for-service products or consultant fees. Additionally, it is worth noting that it is a review criterion for Advance-CTR pilot projects whether the project addresses a health priority in RI, as defined by the RI Department of Health.