CSFN Pilot Proposal

CSFN Call for Pilot Project Proposals

The aim of this program is to support pilot projects for members and affiliates of the University of Montana NIH COBRE Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. The program is designed to support the generation of preliminary data for grant proposals and/or to develop a new direction of innovative or promising research.

Faculty and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply. Fellows must have faculty sponsorship. A faculty member can sponsor more than one project at a time, but recipients are eligible to receive funding for only one project at a time, and the work proposed must not already be funded by another source. Faculty salary is not an allowable expense.

Selected applications will be funded in a range of $5-15,000 for one year. New collaborative proposals from multiple PI’s may also be submitted, with a maximum request of $20,000. Awards will be granted for a maximum of one year. Supplemental faculty salary support may not be requested.

There is no deadline for new applications. Applications should be limited to five pages or less and include an abstract, statement of the hypothesis or aim, a brief statement of background information and/or preliminary data, a description of the experimental design and methods, and references. A one page budget should supplement the research plan, as well as Vertebrate Animals and Human Subjects documents, if they apply to the work proposed. The page limit does not apply to these supplementary sections.


Proposals will be reviewed by two senior Center members in the program area together with outside reviewers including members of the CSFN external advisory committee. The criteria for review will be based upon:

Relevance/Scientific Merit: Is the proposed research project cutting edge and will it potentially break new research barriers and address an issue relevant to neuroscience?

Significance: Will the project make a significant contribution to the general knowledge and the literature; does it have potential for development into a larger, funded project of some significance?

Quality: Are the research questions/aims clearly specified; is the design appropriate; are the measurements / data collection/analysis appropriate?

Feasibility: Can the project be done? Have adequate time and resources been allocated?

Potential: Will the project be likely to result in an application to NIH or NSF and lead to one or more peer-reviewed publications?

Awardees will be asked to provide an interim (6 month) and final progress report. Additionally, awardees must provide proof of all necessary research oversight approvals (IACUC, IRB, Hazardous Materials, etc.) prior to beginning the proposed work.


An electronic version of the proposal should be submitted to both:

Questions can be directed to Mike (406.243.4398) or Jesse (406.243.2381).