Pilot/Feasibility (P/F) Project Program

Introduction and Goals

The Pilot/Feasibility (P/F) Project Program is a magnet that pulls investigators into the Liver Center and has helped sustain a robust cadre of investigators. The emphasis has been to fund young investigators, who are more likely to stay in digestive disease research if their P/F project is successful. The research potential of P/F project holders is markedly enhanced by the Core facilities of the Liver Center, which enable investigators to utilize research methodology that would otherwise be unavailable or unaffordable, and an Enrichment Program that has promoted numerous collaborations.

Goals of the P/F Project Program are to:

  1. Attract and support talented young investigators to work in liver or digestive disease-related research.
  2. Provide junior faculty with support and mentoring that will allow them to generate preliminary data for external funding.
  3. Facilitate collaborations between members of the liver center and established investigators in other fields.
  4. Encourage investigators to re-direct their science to a digestive disease related area.

Director: Laurie D. DeLeve, M.D., Ph.D. (deleve@usc.edu)

P/F Project Program

All USC faculty members with a research project may apply for P/F project grant; senior fellows with a formal commitment for a faculty position are also eligible. The three categories of eligibility for the applicants are: Category 1: new investigators who are the principal investigator on a project and who do not have external funding; Category 2: established investigators in fields other than digestive diseases, who are interested in redirecting work and expertise to digestive disease; and Category 3: established investigators in digestive disease who wish to make a major shift in emphasis (e.g., intestine to liver).  Category 1 applicants may be K grant awardees if the P/F project grant expands the scope of the work included in the K award; AASLD Liver Scholars and local foundation awardees are eligible under the same limitations. Applications for category 3 are the most closely scrutinized to ensure that funding of the project will fit the Center’s goals for an established investigator, i.e. retaining the investigator in digestive disease research or fostering new collaborations with center members. Among the 15 investigators funded in the current cycle, 14 investigators were eligible in category 1 and 1 investigator was eligible in category 2.

The topic of the application must be related to digestive diseases and preferably be consistent with the 4 Themes of the Research Base, which are: (1) Viral Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma; (2) Steatohepatitis and Fibrosis; (3) Liver Injury: Hepatotoxicity, (Inflammation, Signal Transduction, Free Radical/Oxidative Stress) and Mitochondrial Pathobiology; and (4) Repair, Regenerative Medicine and Developmental Biology.

*Keck School of Medicine also provides support for a Young Investigator with funding to facilitate the growth of the research faculty. Candidates must be within 3 years of completing post-doctoral training or a Gastroenterology/Hepatology Fellowship at the time the award starts and must have identified a mentor who is a member of the Liver Center.

Most recent call for Pilot and Feasibility Funding: