Pilot & Feasibility Program

About the P&F Program

The Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) is requesting applications for pilot and feasibility projects to support new investigators with projects relevant to nutrition or obesity who have no independent NIH (or comparable) funding.  The goal of the program is to help junior investigators perform studies that will help them build their independent research program and support their efforts to acquire a career development award (K01, K08, K23, VA CDA2 or similar award) or their first independent R01 award. The program supports a broad range of research on nutrition and obesity, which includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • Early life influences affecting long term health
  • Women’s health and sex differences research
  • Exercise, physical (in)activity, or energy expenditure
  • Metabolic regulation, dysfunction, and related co-morbidities (diabetes, cancer, CVD)
  • Interventions for better health

Proposals related to the science of behavior change, personalized nutrition/medicine, and disease-specific treatments are also encouraged. Fellows and junior faculty members who are from underrepresented minority populations or from disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.  Projects that have a research focus on underrepresented minority populations or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are also encouraged.


Investigators early in their training are strongly advised to identify a mentor who will help support the applicant in the conduct of the proposed project (a mentor support form is included in the application packet).  Absence of documented evidence of mentor's support for post-doctoral applicants will be considered a relative weakness. Evidence in the application that the mentor or department is prepared to provide some level of matching funds will be considered a strength, but it is not required.  Use of one of the NORC Core Labs (see http://cunorc.org/ for more information) in the proposed project is strongly encouraged and will be viewed a relative strength.  


Please contact the NORC Pilot Program Director Daniel Bessesen at daniel.bessesen@cuanschutz.edu (cc: caro.henauw@cuanschutz.edu) if you have questions about your eligibility or details about the application process.


FUNDING: Proposals can request up to $40,000 (direct costs) paid over a 2-year award period ($20,000/yr.).  Successful applicants will be required to provide a progress report after the first year of funding, and the second year of funding will be contingent on demonstrated progress towards the proposal’s original objectives and the ongoing availability of funds. No support for computers is allowed, but salary may be requested for technical support and/or the principal investigator.  Requests for travel expenses cannot exceed $1,000/year.  Expenses in all categories especially any requested salary support must be carefully justified.  




P&F Program Contacts

Director: Daniel Bessesen, MD

Coordinator: Caro Henauw, MS

Please contact the NORC Pilot Program Director, Daniel Bessesen, MD and cc Caro Henauw, if you have questions about your eligibility or details about the application process.


To obtain application instructions and document templates, please contact Caro Henauw, MS.



Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC)

CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

12348 East Montview Boulevard

Aurora, CO 80045


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