NIAID/NIH Centers for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation (CMCR) Program Call for Pilot Project Applications

The Centers for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation (CMCR) are now accepting applications for pilot projects focused on practical approaches for radiation biodosimetry or the development of agents for the mitigation of acute or late radiation effects.

Pilot project funding is intended to foster novel/early ideas within and outside awarded CMCRs, to develop or incorporate new technologies as they become available, and to encourage collaborations among members of different centers and between the CMCRC and investigators within and outside the US (although research collaborations with existing centers are not required). The use of Pilot Projects permits maximum flexibility to advance in exciting research directions that seem most scientifically fruitful and allow for a greater element of risk than is permitted in standard NIH funding opportunities.  Pilot projects must be within the scope of the original CMCRC RFA (linked above).

PIs of pilots funded through this program in 2015 or later are not eligible to apply but may be included as co-investigators.

Below is a link to each of the four CMCR Centers' websites for more detailed information on each center involved.

Duke University CMCR
(Nelson Chao, M.D., Principal Investigator)

(William McBride, D.Sc., Ph.D., John Chute, M.D., and Joanne Weidhaas, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigators)

University of Pittsburgh CMCR 
(Joel S. Greenberger, M.D., Principal Investigator)

Columbia University CMCR
(David Brenner, Ph.D., D.Sc., Principal Investigator)


Proposals should be sent by 3/15/19 to Margaret Zhu at and should consist of items 1-15 below assembled in the following order into a single pdf document:

  1. Face Page
  2. Abstract (30 lines)
  3. Specific Aims and Milestones (1-page max.)
  4. Research Plan: Background/Preliminary Results, Research Design and Methods (3 pages max.)
  5. References Cited
  6. Detailed budget for year 1 (may use NIH format)
  7. Budget justification (one year only)
  8. NIH format Biographical sketch (including other support) for key personnel
  9. Resources and Equipment
  10. Protection of Human Subjects, if applicable
  11. Details of Vertebrate Animal Research, if applicable
  12. Letters of support (optional)
  13. Completed checklist


The proposals will be evaluated using standard NIH scoring criteria (Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment), with weighting given to both innovation and significant translational impact 1) in the context of potential contribution to the overall goals of the CMCRC, and 2) in the field of the proposed research.  Note that your research plan should also address the NIH requirements concerning rigor and reproducibility.

Human use and animal protection documentation will be requested as appropriate from projects selected for funding on a “just in time” basis.  Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Notes on the budget:

  • The maximum award is $100,000 per year (direct costs). 
  • Funding will be awarded for one year only.
  • As per NIH guidelines, pilot budgets may not include sub-contracts.
  • As per NIH guidelines, the indirect rate for non-US applicants is capped at 8%.


Click HERE to download application forms


Applications are due March 15, 2019

Anticipated project start date: August 1, 2019


Inquiries should be sent to:

Margaret Zhu

Center for Radiological Research

Columbia University Medical Center