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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Application Information

This funding opportunity is now closed.

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The new Northwestern University George M. O’Brien Kidney Core Center (NUGoKidney) of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute aims to promote cross-disciplinary translational research for the identification and successful implementation of novel therapeutics for kidney disease, by providing funds for research with high translational potential, attract new investigators to study kidney disease and enhance collaborations.

To accomplish this goal, the NUGoKidney Center will fund 1-3 Pilot and Feasibility grants in FY2021.


This funding opportunity aims to fund pilot and feasibility studies focused on the identification of novel therapeutic approaches for the whole spectrum of kidney diseases. Applications proposing studies of novel targets for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases will be accepted for review. Successful pilot and feasibility studies should serve as a basis for subsequent applications for independent research support from the NIH or other funding agencies.

Investigators must specify which NUGoKidney Core facilities will be used for the conduct of their proposed studies, and justify the need to utilize these services. 


  • Both basic and clinical research investigators with an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent within and outside of Northwestern University are eligible to apply.
  • Investigators need to justify how the proposed studies relate to the broad area of kidney therapeutics.
  • Applications that foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and collaborations between basic and clinical researchers with an immediate translational value are particularly encouraged.
  • Investigators who received NUGoKidney P&F funds in the past two years are not eligible to apply.
  • Resubmission of previously unfunded applications will be accepted, but responses to prior reviews are not permitted.


Priority will be given to those projects with high translational potential or are designed to identify candidate pathways or targets with the greatest potential impact. In addition, junior investigators and investigators outside the field of kidney research are encouraged to apply to enhance opportunities to obtain additional external funds resulting from successful use of seed funds. Interdisciplinary collaborations are highly encouraged. 


  • Budgets will typically be approximately $50,000 (direct plus indirect costs) for the entire project period to be budgeted over one year. When extremely well justified, budgets up to $100,000 (direct plus indirect costs) will be considered). 
  • Budgets must be well-justified. 
  • One year maximum funding period. 
  • Earliest state date is July 1, 2020. 
  • Consult with appropriate NUGoKidney core about budget estimates. 

Application Guidelines 

Download the proposal template here.

Each proposal should be 3 pages maximum (Arial font, size 11, margins no less than 0.5 inches) and contain the following: 

  • Proposal title
  • Principal investigator(s)
  • Abstract (300 words max)
  • Specific aims 
  • Proposed research strategy (significance, innovation, approach [preliminary data, if applicable]) 
  • Expected outcomes and plans for subsequent grant submission 
  • Connectivity to the mission of this funding opportunity 
  • Use of NUGoKidney Center Core services and facilities 

Preliminary data are encouraged but not required.

Additional information to accompany the application (but outside the 3-page limit) should include:

  • Investigator biosketch (NIH-style, limited to 5 pages)
  • Project timeline
  • Budget
    • Permitted budget categories include: PI salary support (not to exceed 10% of total direct costs including fringe benefits), supplies, salary support for other personnel (e.g., study coordinator, technician), animal purchase and housing, core service usage, patient incentives (for clinical studies only)
    • Budget categories not permitted: equipment
    • Please use the provided budget template found here

Review and Post-Award Requirements 

Anticipated award date: July 1, 2020

NUGoKidney will manage the proposal submission and review process.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of leading experts in kidney diseases and therapeutics development and represent an all-encompassing breath of research to bridge basic discovery to development and implementation of new therapies into the clinic.

Post-award deliverables awardees are expected to provide include: 

  • An interim progress report six months after receiving funding; 
  • A final report describing the study’s findings, related publications, and funding must be submitted twelve months after receiving funding; 
  • Presentation findings at the 2021 Kidney Disease Therapeutic Innovation Symposium after the conclusion of the pilot study; and
  • Participate in annual survey of key results and outcomes of pilot award.


Send the full proposal as a single PDF file to with the subject line "2021 NUGoKidney P&F Application" by April 17, 2020, 11:59pm.

Additional Information & Questions 

Click here for additional information on NUGoKidney Cores and their services. 

Please send questions about the application process to 

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