Pilot Grant Program

Request for Applications for Pilot Studies

(Rolling Application Deadline)


CREST solicits applications for pilot grants intended to lead directly to extramural research grant applications in applied and/or methodologic pharmacoepidemiology. Special consideration will be given to projects leading to grant proposals that develop and/or evaluate methods for the design and/or analysis of pharmacoepidemiologic studies, including comparative effectiveness research (CER) / patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) involving medical products.



Grant Term:


Up to 1 year. Unexpended funds must be returned at the end of the funding period.




Applications for amounts of $1000 to $15,000 in direct costs will be considered. No
indirect costs will be covered. Salaries of faculty members, trainees, and instructors may not be
Salary support for research staff is allowable.




The principal investigator (PI) must be a full-time University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
faculty member or trainee. Where the PI does not hold the rank of assistant professor or above at
Penn, a full- time Penn faculty member at this rank must agree to serve as mentor. Multiple
distinct proposals from the same investigator(s) are permitted.

Evaluation criteria:

•     scientific merit, creativity, and innovation
•     prospects for future extramural funding
•     relevance to applied and (especially) methodologic pharmacoepidemiology



•  Use 11 point font, single spacing, and 1 inch margins.

•  The entire application must be compiled as one PDF file.

•  Please include the following components, in this order:

1) title of the proposal;

2) name, degrees, and academic title of PI and other investigators;

3) abstract (≤250 words)

4) 2-page NIH biosketch of the PI and (if applicable) faculty mentor;

5) specific aims of the pilot study;

6) significance and innovation;

7) approach;

Items 5-7 together may not exceed 3 pages.

8) specific plans for applying for external funding, including funding agency, mechanism, and deadline;

9) whether the study involves human subjects as, defined by Office for Human Research Protections;

10) literature cited;

11) itemized budget with brief justification.

Email the application to hennessy@pennmedicine.upenn.edu



•    Funds for studies involving human subjects will not be released until evidence of IRB approval
or IRB determination of exemption is provided.

PIs of funded pilots must:

1) join CREST if not already a member;

2) acknowledge CREST support in resultant publications and presentations;

3) submit a final report; and

4) present final results at a CREST-sponsored seminar.


CREST members develop real-world evidence about the health effects of medications and other medical products, and prepare the next generation of pharmacoepidemiology leaders. CREST is an academic partner to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-funded Sentinel Initiative. CREST members are also editors of the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, and the books Pharmacoepidemiology, 6th edition and Textbook of Pharmacoepidemiology, 3rd edition.   


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