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Request for Funding

Pilot grants are offered to by the KU School of Health Professions to its faculty and students. Learn how to apply.

To support faculty research and collaboration, the School of Health Professions established a pilot grant program. This program provides funding to be used for research purposes as well as the costs involved in pursuing competitive national funding.

All full-time and part-time University of Kansas faculty members in the School of Health Professions are eligible for funding.

Additional applicant criteria

  1. The primary investigator (PI) of the research in question must be a School of Health Professions faculty member.
  2. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received School of Health Professions research support.
  3. In the case of equally strong proposals, preference will be given to tenure track faculty who are not yet tenured.

Additional project criteria

  1. All proposals recommended for funding must meet a high standard of scientific merit and must be clearly and comprehensively described.
  2. Research questions must be stated clearly. In experimental design, hypotheses to be tested and methods for addressing research questions must be stated clearly.
  3. The most important question the committee will address in its review of each proposal is, “Is the project likely to generate data that can facilitate successful application for external funding?” To be awarded funds, the proposal must make it clear that the answer is in the affirmative.
  4. The proposal should include a plan for obtaining external funding. Preferences will be given to proposals with a strong potential for external funding. Evidence of such potential includes, but is not limited to:
  • Summary sheets from proposals submitted that received good scores, but were not funded
  • History of previous funding (not limited to KUMC history)
  • Evidence of completion of research projects, such as publications.
  1. The research committee reserves the right to seek external review of proposals if deemed necessary.
  • As part of the application (see the cover page), submit the name of three (3) reviewers who can speak to the scientific merit of the proposal but are not in conflict (for example, prior collaborators, mentors, or colleagues) to provide an unbiased review.
  • Limit these reviewers to the University of Kansas or the University of Kansas Medical Center, if possible.
  • List individuals in order of preference. Please be aware that funds are not available for an honorarium or compensation for these individuals.
  • If sought, these reviews will not be returned to the applicant but will be synthesized in a written response to the applicant from the School of Health Professions research committee chair.

What's covered in the pilot grant

  1. A total of up to $30,000 is available to support this project. Available funds are primarily designated to cover operating expenses and consumables.
  2. Research assistants and participants may be paid, but faculty salaries cannot be supplemented.
  3. Costs of dissemination of the results of funded projects (e.g., page costs, travel to conferences) cannot be supported.

Deadlines to apply

Contact Mindy Bridges, Ph.D., chair of the school's research committee, at mbridges2@kumc.edu for the year's official deadlines.

Generally, a non-binding letter of intent must be submitted around March 1. A complete application is due by mid-April. No applications will be accepted after this deadline.

Awards timeline and responsibilities

Awards will be announced by late May. Awarded funds will be available on July 1 and must be spent by June 30 of the following year.

If a proposal is not recommended for funding, the chair of the research committee will inform the applicant of the reasons why the proposal was not successful. The applicant may seek the opinion of the research committee regarding how the proposal could have been made stronger.

All proposals recommended for funding must be approved by the dean of the School of Health Professions. Awardees will be requested to present their supported research in a School of Health Professions faculty meeting.

How to apply for funding

Initial step: Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is required and must include:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Name(s) of collaborator(s)
  • Title of the project
  • A brief paragraph about the topic of the proposal
  • Identification of external reviewers, if needed.

Submission of a letter of intent is not binding; therefore, faculty are not obligated to submit a full proposal and the focus and title of your project may change in the proposal.

Follow-up step: Proposal

Tips for writing your proposal include:

Be clear, concise and comprehensive. The research committee is composed of five faculty members, but they are from diverse scientific backgrounds. The proposal should be written so that it is understandable to scientists in the other health professions (i.e., avoid jargon, give definitions, etc.).

Use guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research committee requires NIH formatting for the standardization of proposals and scoring even if the investigator has plans to apply for non-NIH funding.

Format the proposal in this way:

  • Use a font no smaller than 11pt except for figures and tables, which may be 10 points.
  • Include a cover page
  • Follow with the proposal, which includes
  1. Abstract (no more than 250 words)
  2. Main proposal
    1. Aims: State concisely and realistically what the research described in this application is intended to accomplish. If appropriate, state what hypotheses will be tested. Do not exceed one, single-spaced page.
    2. Significance: state why the research is necessary and important. Include a brief review of the relevant research, critically evaluate the existing knowledge, and identify the gaps in this knowledge, which the project is intended to fill.
    3. Innovation: Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense?
    4. Approach: describe the experimental design and the procedures to be used to accomplish the purpose of this project. If appropriate, include the following headings, “subjects,” “setting,” “equipment/measures,” “design,” “procedures,” “data analysis,” and “potential limitations and difficulties.”

Sections B-D above should not exceed six pages, single-spaced. Follow with:

  1. Anticipated results and implications for future research: what results are expected to be obtained and how will these provide the basis for future research? What is the impact of the results on future funding opportunities? Clearly state what plans for future application for external funding include. Do not exceed one-half page, single-spaced.
  2. Budget and justification: submit a realistic budget, considering the limited funds available to applicants. When available, include information about support from other sources. Do not exceed one-half page, single-spaced, for each. Please indicate a time schedule for spending of money.
  3. References cited.
  4. Biosketch: include a current NIH biosketch of all key personnel. NIH Biosketch Example
  5. Human or animal subjects: for research studies requiring human subjects committee or institutional animal care and use committee approval, documentation (letter of protocol approval) will be required before release of funds. Please send approval letter from one or both of these committees to wwang2@kumc.edu. After this letter of approval is received, instructions will be sent for obtaining funds.

Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not adhere to this format will not be reviewed.

Please combine all required sections into one PDF document attached to an email submitted to Mindy Bridges, Ph.D. at mbridges2@kumc.edu.


Questions should be directed to Susan Carlson, Ph.D., associate dean for research, or Mindy Bridges, Ph.D., chair of the school's research committee.

KU School of Health Professions

KU School of Health Professions
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Mailstop 2007
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5235 • 711 TTY
healthprofessions@kumc.edu