Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Application Information

Call for 2020 Pilot & Feasibility Funding Opportunity

This opportunity is now closed and applications under review. Check back here for our 2021 call.  

The new Northwestern University George M. O’Brien Kidney Core Center (NU GoKidney) 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 NU GoKidney Center will fund up to two (2) Pilot and Feasibility grants in FY2020.


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. Successful pilot and feasibility studies will serve as a basis for subsequent applications for independent research support. Proposals focused on either of the following areas will be accepted for review:

  • Applications proposing studies of novel targets for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases; OR 
  • Applications proposing use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies to study subpopulations of patients with kidney diseases that may benefit from targeted therapies.


  • 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 therapeutics and the two specific objectives of this announcement.
  • Applications that foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and collaborations between basic and clinical researchers with an immediate translational value are particularly encouraged.
  • Investigators who received NU GoKidney P&F funds in FY2019 are not eligible to apply.


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 must be well-justified and may not exceed $50K in direct costs (indirect costs are not allowed).
  • One year maximum funding period. 
  • Earliest state date is July 1, 2019. 
  • Consult with appropriate NU GoKidney core about budget estimates. 

Application Guidelines 

Download the proposal template.

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 NU GoKidney Center Core services and facilities 

Investigators need to specify which NU GoKidney Core facilities will be used for the conduct of their proposed studies, and justify the need to utilize these services. 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: salary support (not to exceed 10%), supplies, animal purchase and housing, core service usage, patient incentives (for clinical studies only)
    • Budget categories not permitted: equipment purchase, indirect costs.

Please use the provided template (includes budget template). 

Review and Post-Award Requirements 

Anticipated award date: July 1, 2019

NU GoKidney 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 2020 Kidney Research Day 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 "2020 NU GoKidney P&F Application" by April 30, 2019.

Additional Information & Questions 

For additional information on NU GoKidney Cores and their services, please visit

Please send questions about the application process to 

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