BRI Pilot Finding Awards


The Brigham Research Institute (BRI) has made funds (up to $400,000) available in 2018 to support basic, clinical and translational projects/activities related to any scientific theme with the goal of obtaining preliminary data that will be used to apply for new funding from the National Institutes of Health, other federal and state grantors, foundations, industry and other granting agencies



  • Applicant must identify funding opportunity for which they will apply (the corporations and foundations team from the Development office can help identify opportunities – please contact if you need assistance). Identification of multiple funding opportunities may be advantageous
  • Requests of any amount up to $50,000 will be considered; projected return on investment must be 10x total award amount (for example, a $25K request should be applying for a grant worth >$250,000 total costs)
  • Applicant must outline a timeline including a specific start date and discrete milestones (spanning no more than one year) leading up to and culminating in the submission of a specific external grant based on the preliminary data that will be generated with the funds requested
  • Applications will be accepted during two cycles with deadlines of April 30th, 2018 and Oct 31st, 2018 respectively
  • Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis
  • Applications will be evaluated and prioritized by an internal faculty review committee and BRI leadership
  • The BRI is under no obligation to spend any or all the funds available to this mechanism and projects may be partially funded
  • No-cost extensions may be permitted under extenuating circumstances; unused funds will be returned to the BRI
Jan 2018 RFA issued
Apr 2018/Oct2018 Applications due
Jun 2018/Dec 2018 Decision notices issued
Earliest possible from the date of notice Award date
Application/Review Criteria
  • Applications can request funding for feasibility studies, secondary data analysis, development of new research methodology/technology or other purposes if they directly serve the goal of obtaining preliminary data that will in turn be used to apply for larger external grants/awards.
  • Applications should be focused on clear, discrete project/plan to obtain preliminary data
  • Applications will be evaluated based on:
  • The feasibility of the proposed project achieving its end goal within the period proposed
  • The likelihood of the proposed project to obtain follow on external grants/awards
  • Strength of team/investigator
  • Allowable expenses include (but are not limited to) salary, equipment time, reagents, pre-clinical models, data sets, data analysis etc. Equipment purchases must be approved by the BRI prior to submitting applying (contact for approval) .
  • Collaborations are encouraged; external collaborations are welcomed but subcontracts will not be allowed
  • Priority may be given to applications applying for grants with full overhead
  • All members of the BWH research community are invited to apply. Junior faculty holding a rank of Assistant Professor and below will be given priority
  • Individuals may serve as the PI of only one proposal but may be co-Is on multiple proposals
  • Recipient must remain at BWH for duration of the award, award may otherwise be forfeited
  • No-cost extensions require special permission; such requests must present a credible plan for submitting a follow-up proposal
  • Recipients will have a quarterly check in with a BRI staff member to track progress
  • Recipients must provide a six month and one year report of activity to the BRI and an oral presentation to the BRI ROC at the end of the funding period
  • Recipients must notify the BRI at the time of the external submission and subsequently at the time a decision is received
  • Recipients must acknowledge the BRI in publications (posters, journal articles and grants) resulting from this support and must notify the BRI when such papers have been submitted.
Application Format

Full Applications (due Apr 30th 2018/Oct 31st 2018) should be submitted electronically here and must include the following:

  1. Basic information, including:
  • Applicant’s Name, Department and Division, BWH and HMS professional appointments, telephone number and e-mail address
  • Title of project
  • Abstract or proposal summary – limit 300 words


  1. Proposal (2-page limit, excluding references) detailing the following:
  • Introduction/Background
  • Approach/strategy – experimental details, contribution of each team member
  • Timeline including specific start date and discrete milestones (spanning no more than 1 year) leading up to the submission of an external grant based on the preliminary data that will be generated with the funds requested
  • Defense of feasibility – arguments/facts to support that the proposed project is most likely to result in the submission of an external grant at the one-year mark or earlier. Letters of support can be included as a separate document
  • A brief explanation for why such an external application will most likely be approved/awarded


  1. Biosketches of Principal Investigator, co-investigators and significant key personnel in NIH format.
  2. Detailed budget for one year for a maximum of $50,000 (smaller requests are welcome) and 15% indirect costs. Subcontracts not allowed

Questions about eligibility, format, review criteria and process may be sent to Anu Swaminathan, PhD, BRI Director for Scientific Programs & Partnerships, at or 617.525.8380