University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Minnesota Obesity Center

Call for Proposals

Pilot & Feasibility Program

Please note: The 2014-2015 Call for Proposals is now closed.

2014 Program Announcement

Purpose: This call for proposals solicits applications for research grants to conduct research related to nutrition and obesity.  The goal of the Pilot and Feasibility Program is to provide seed money to attract new investigators, junior or established, into the study of nutrition/obesity in association with the Minnesota Obesity Center with the intent that the recipients use these monies to further develop their research and to achieve extramural funding in nutrition and/or obesity research.

Funds Available:
Selected applications will be funded up to $25,000 Direct Costs per year for one year, with an option for a second year dependent on demonstrated productivity and need. Recipients will have access to additional technical support through the Core System of the Minnesota Obesity Center. Four research cores are funded by the Center to provide services to Center investigators: 1) the Disordered Eating Assessment Core, 2) the Epidemiology & Intervention Core, 3) the Metabolic Studies Core, and 4) the Molecular & Cellular Basis of Obesity Core.

Examples of Core Services Provided Include:
• access to the Eating Disorders Research Clinic at the Fairview/University Medical Center
• services provided by the Data Collection and Services Center, the Nutrition Coordinating Center, Health Care Delivery Section, and physical activity measurements
• state-of-the-art methods for studying energy metabolism and nutrient partitioning at the whole body level in humans
• gene expression analysis, animal physiology and energy metabolism, adipocyte cell biology, and Seahorse technology for cellular bioenergetics

Who is Eligible: 1) Junior Investigators beginning their research career focusing on nutrition/obesity, or
2) Senior Investigators for whom nutrition/obesity research is a change of direction. Applicants must hold an academic position with an institution affiliated with the Minnesota Obesity Center.

Application Deadline: Please note - deadline has been extended to January 15, 2015

Funding Date:  April 1, 2015

Proposal requirements: (Arial font, 11 point, 0.5" margins),

1) Face page (pilot project application face page)
2) Abstract
3) Research Plan (not to exceed 2 pages)

a. Statement of Hypothesis and Specific Aims
b. Background, Significance, and Rationale
c. Preliminary Results (if applicable)
d. Research Design and Methods
e. Optional expanded description of methods (not to exceed 1 added page)

4) Budget and justification for the entire proposed period of support by year.
5) Biosketch for the Principal Investigator on standard NIH PHS398 forms
6) Letters of support from collaborating investigators
7) References (not included in 2-3 page limit)

PHS398 (rev 08/2012) Application forms may be downloaded from:
NIH link

Budgetary Restrictions
: Funds may not be used for the following: salary support for Principal Investigator, secretarial support, travel, publications, service contracts, and equipment. Budget should include direct costs only. Do not send the proposal to Sponsored Projects Administration.

Research Subjects: Use of research subjects requires the approval of the appropriate institutional research subject committees (IRB, IACUC or ICB). An application will be accepted if approval is pending, but funds will not be released until approval has been confirmed.

Proposal Review: The Review Committee is comprised of nationally recognized nutrition and obesity experts, as well as Minnesota Obesity Center Participating Investigators. The NIH scoring scale will be utilized as outlined:

1.0 - 1.5 Outstanding
1.5 - 2.0 Excellent
2.0 - 2.5 Very Good
2.5 - 3.5 Good
3.5 - 5.0 Acceptable

Requirements if Funded: Awardees will be expected to present their work at a Minnesota Obesity Center sponsored event during the funding period, and to prepare annual progress reports upon request.

Submit completed application electronically to

For questions, contact the Minnesota Obesity Center at or 763-807-0559.


In This Section

Call for Proposals

Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards

Advancements in Obesity Research

Other Pilot and Feasibility Program Projects

Pilot and Feasibility Program Supplements