Research Funding is Available for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities-Related Pilot Grants

The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK IDDRC) is pleased to once again announce the availability of Pilot and Feasibility awards (up to $35,000 annually per award) for both basic science and translational projects that involve intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). The awarded funds are intended to enable new and established investigators to generate preliminary data in order to successfully apply for extramural funding for their projects. Studies that create collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians to better understand and/or treat IDD are of particular relevance for this funding mechanism. 

Our pilot grant program is open to any proposal related to pediatric brain issues linked to IDD and autism. Areas of emphasis include studies involving human patients as well as those involving basic research on gene mutations and their disorders as part of Operation IDD Gene Team, a description of which can be found on our website.

Eligible applicants must hold the rank of instructor or higher at the time of the award. It is not necessary to be an RFK IDDRC investigator or clinical partner at the time the application is submitted.


Page 1: Face Page. Provide us with your name, the name of collaborators on this project, departmental affiliations, and the title of your project.

Page 2: Specific Aims (One page only). Include a summary of the project focused on the research aims of the project, including a concise rationale for the hypothesis and experimental approach, and impact on IDD research.

Page 3-5: Proposal Narrative (Three pages maximum). This should include the scientific background and relevance to IDDs, preliminary results if applicable, experimental designs, pitfalls and alternative strategies, and future directions for IDD research.

Note: References and Figures should be added at the end and are not included in the page limits for the Proposal Narrative but are limited to 10 figures.

Pages 6 and onward:
Include a one-page line-item budget using a standard PHS398 budget template. Please note that the budget maximum is $35,000 and that this funding mechanism requires that 25% of the budget is used for IDDRC cores or other Einstein Shared facilities. IDDRC core descriptions can be found on our website.

  • Biosketches (for PI and key scientific personnel). Use the standard, current NIH format.
  • NOTE: There is no need for NIH-style sections on Human Subjects and/or Vertebrate Animals, Resource Sharing, etc. We will deal with these issues, as needed, at a later point.

Proposal Submission DUE DATE: September 1, 2023 (with an anticipated start date of November 1, 2023).

For any questions, please emai