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Division of Family Medicine (DFM) Pilot Project


‚ÄčThe goals of the Research Program in the Division of Family Medicine (DFM) are to 1) create a resource to nurture and advance an applied research agenda focused on primary care practice-based research; and 2) assist, support and guide DFM faculty in developing their Practice Based Research (PBR)/Scholarly Activities (SA) skills and accomplishments that will, in turn, support their careers and academic advancement. In support of these goals, the FM Research Program seeks letters of intent from DFM faculty for pilot projects designed to promote their PBR research in a particular area and/or to facilitate collaborations between DFM clinicians and other investigators. Click here for an example of a pilot proposal application.

Pilot Project: Priority Areas

We are seeking one-year pilot project proposals to support activities that will increase the likelihood of successful future research proposals, or will produce scholarly publications focused on primary care practice-based research or learning health systems. These include, but are not limited to the following priority areas:

  1. Improving clinical practice (e.g. using EMR data to construct new measures or ways of analyzing practice operations, patient outcomes, effectiveness of care, diminish healthcare and health inequities, and promote physician well-being)
  2. Improving educational practice (e.g. assessing outcomes or process of new or current educational programs to improve their impact, reach, effectiveness or efficiency)
  3. Improving our community facing programs (e.g. outreach, access, effectiveness, efforts to reduce healthcare and health inequities)
  4. Increasing collaboration between DFM clinicians and other investigators (at UCSD, or beyond)

Full Application Requirements (By Invitation Only)

Applications must be in NIH PHS 398 format, and include the following:
  1. Face Page (NIH Format- template)
  2. Abstract/Project Summary (up to 30 lines)
  3. Specific Aims (One Page- example)
  4. Research Plan (Six-Page maximum; Does not include References or Human Subjects)
  5. Human Subjects Section (If applicable) 
  6. Biosketches for Key Personnel (NIH format) 
  7. Detailed Budget Page** 
  8. Budget Justification 
**Note: Budget of up to $30,000 for the pilot project should be used mainly for salary release for the PI to conduct the pilot research project

Post-Award Requirements
  1. IRB Approval (if applicable; funding will be released after IRB approval is obtained) 
  2. Mid-Year Progress Report (one page)
  3. Year-End Final Progress Report (two pages) with attachments of proposal(s) for subsequent funding from internal or external sources and/or scholarly publications 

Submit Full Application

Please click here to submit the full application. The deadline to submit the full application is: 12/01/2020 by 11:59 PM PST. 

Letter of Intent (LOI) Requirements

  1. Specific Aims (one page) 
  2. Biosketch of proposed principal investigator (NIH format required) 
Note: Full specification of the study team is not required in the LOI. However, it is helpful to designate co- investigators from both DFM and other units of UCSD (or beyond) in the LOI since both are required for funding of a pilot project. If you require assistance contacting investigators with whom to collaborate, please contact Daisy Cruz ( with full information about your project and collaborative needs. The Research Committee will help look for potential collaborators for you. 

LOI Review Criteria

In addition to the standard NIH scientific review criteria, pilot project review criteria include:

  1. Study relevance to PBR and learning health systems sciences;
  2. Leveraging EHR-related data and/or the unique features of the DFM and its patients; 
  3. Likelihood that the project team will reflect a new collaboration between the DFM and other UCSD investigators; and 
  4. Likelihood that the proposed study will be completed within one year.

*Approval of your Letter of Intent is required to submit a full proposal for the Pilot Projects Program* 

Submit LOI

Please click here to submit the LOI. The deadline to submit the second wave LOI is: 09/01/2020. 

First Wave Full Application Submission Timeline

  • June 1, 2020: Invitations Sent for Full Applications (By Invitation Only)
  • August 1, 2020: Full Applications Due 
  • September 1, 2020: Announcement of Awards
  • October 1, 2020: Earliest time for starting project 

First Wave Notification Schedule

  • LOI Submission Due Date: 05/01/2020 
  • Invitations Sent for Full Applications: 06/01/2020 
  • Full Applications Due (by invitation only): 08/01/2020

Second Wave Application Submission Timeline and Notification Schedule

  • LOI Submission Due Date: 09/01/2020 
  • Invitations Sent for Full Applications: 10/01/2020 
  • Full Applications Due (by invitation only): 12/01/2020

Additional Information

This one-year project will have a maximum of $30,000 budget (total costs). Up to 2 grants will be awarded in each cycle, for a total of 2 cycles a year. All queries should be addressed to Daisy Cruz at (

Please note that start of funding is contingent on completion of human subjects review (after the winning proposals have been announced). Funding is also contingent on receiving sufficient number of applications of good quality and funding availability. 

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