The Pilot Grants program is a catalyst and vehicle for the transformation of clinical and translational science in Georgia. The program promotes new networks of multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research teams to re-engineer the health sciences enterprise of the city. The program enhances currently available resources from each Georgia CTSA partner by investing in new clinical and translational research paradigms, to encourage young faculty to develop cutting-edge science, and to become the glue that cements investigators and projects across the research consortium. Funding is used to support one to two year pilot projects consonant with the broad aims and objectives of the Georgia CTSA.

Pilot projects are intuitively understood to represent preliminary, preparatory, or feasibility studies designed to assess the applicability of new technologies, protocols, data collection instruments, or subject recruitment strategies as stepping-stones toward a full, hypothesis-testing investigation. The four academic institutional partners of the Georgia CTSA collectively recognize the critical need for start-up, feasibility, or proof-of-concept resources. Several pilot grant programs operate across each of the three academic institutions, providing resources to generate preliminary data and to demonstrate the feasibility of novel experimental tools and concepts. New investigators, more established scientists transitioning beyond their traditional pedagogic disciplines, and new collaborative teams of trans-disciplinary investigators are particularly dependent upon these sources of financial support.

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