Pilot and Feasibility Grant

A Hand holding a pen signing an application.

The Columbia Diabetes Research Center (DERC) offers Pilot and Feasibility grants to support diabetes-related research at Columbia University. New awards will be funded in March of each academic year. 

The Diabetes Research Center funds Pilot Feasibility projects related to diabetes for up to $50,000 per year. Projects are generally funded for a year, but can be extended for a second year, based on progress.

The Pilot Feasibility Program solicits applications from qualified investigators, ensures prompt peer-review, oversees grant administration, monitors funded investigators’ records of productivity, and integrates sponsored research with other programmatic enrichment activities.


Investigators need not be Diabetes Research Center members at the time of application. However, they need to be appointed to the faculty. Please note that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are NOT eligible to apply.

Three types of applications are considered:

  1. Proposals from young investigators who have not held any prior funding to carry out preliminary studies leading to an NIH, ADA, or JDFR grant application
  2. Proposals for innovative and high-risk projects by established investigators in the field of diabetes
  3. Proposals from established investigators, without prior funding in diabetes, who wish to undertake a diabetes project


Applicants may request up to $50,000 per year for up to two years. Indirect costs are NOT applicable. A second year of funding will be based on demonstrated progress and availability of funds. The awards can be used for salary support and research expenses. Proposals will be reviewed by two outside experts.


  • Letter of Intent: October 15, 2024
  • Completed application (if requested): December 15, 2024

Application Information

Please submit a 1-page non-binding letter of intent online as a PDF stating the applicant’s name, campus address, title of project, and brief outline of the proposed research, as well as other pertinent information, such as current use of DRC facilities and current diabetes-related funding. Append an NIH biographical sketch. Please submit the entire letter of intent as a single PDF file

Letters of intent should be addressed to:

Rudolph Leibel, M.D.
Associate Director for Pilot & Feasibility Programs
c/o Denise Gelpi
Email: dg3400@cumc.columbia.edu
Diabetes Research Center
Berrie Research Pavilion- Room 238
1150 Saint Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10032

Please use a new NIH-type biography: biosketch sample

Upon review and approval of the letter of intent, chosen applicants will be directed to an online grant application.

We use a simplified PHS 398 form for P/F applications. Complete the front page as usual; approval from the Grants & Contracts Office is not required. Please obtain the Department Chair's signature. IACUC or IRB approval should be obtained where necessary. Budget requests of up to $50,000/ year for up to two years will be considered. Do not exceed these amounts. Use the current NIH biosketch format for all key personnel. The experimental plan should be limited to five single-spaced pages, using 12-point type. Please submit the entire application as a single PDF file.