Pilot project guidelines

2014 Deadlines
Letter of intent: Thursday, July 31
Full Submission (by invitation only): Monday, September 22 Read More


Hope Center Pilot Awards advance the translational neuroscience goals of the Hope Center. Faculty may request up to $100,000 for two-year projects. Projects must involve at least two collaborating laboratories.  Each collaborating investigator should have a significant role in the project, and funds must be shared by at least two collaborating labs.  The Project PI must be a Hope Center faculty member; other collaborators and co-investigators are not required to be Hope Center members.  Each proposed project must be in a pilot phase and not a continuation of an existing project.  Projects will be reviewed by an independent faculty committee that will consider scientific merit, innovation, importance for future application to human nervous system disease, potential for external funding, and ability to advance the overall goals of the Hope Center.  Final decisions on funding will be made by the Hope Center Steering Committee based on recommendations of the Review Committee as well as programmatic considerations.

Examples of topics that are eligible for funding include

  • Protein Folding and Neurodegeneration
  • Axonal Injury and Repair
  • Neurogenetics
  • Neurovascular Injury and Repair

This list is not exhaustive; other topics will be considered.  All proposals must be consistent with the Hope Center mission:

To improve the lives of people living with neurological disorders, through collaborative research that aims to discover fundamental mechanisms of neurodegeneration and repair, and translate that new understanding into cures and treatments.

**Award recipients commit to serving on a Hope Center pilot application review committee at least once within three years of the award.

Hope Center Pilot Projects – Application Instructions

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is required and is due July 31, 2014.


LOIs may be submitted by Hope Center Faculty members.  The Project PI must be a Hope Center faculty member as of June 30, 2014.


Please see the attached LOI application form.    Completed LOIs should be submitted as a single pdf and forwarded to Anneliese Schaefer, amschaefer@wustl.edu.

LOI Screening

After review of LOIs, the Hope Center will follow up with applicants by August 15 to let them know if there is an invitation to submit a full proposal.  Full pilot project submissions will be due September 22.   (As in the past, the full proposal will include a research proposal (5 pages maximum, single spaced, Arial 11 font) as well as references, and proposed budget and justification.)  Decisions on funding will be made mid-November.  

2014 Hope Center Pilot Timeline

  • July 31: LOIs due
  • August 15: Applicants will be informed if they are invited to submit full proposals
  • September 22: Full pilot submissions due
  • January 1, 2015: Start date for new awards

Note, for any project approved for funding, the following materials will be required before release of funds:

• Animal and/or IRB approvals, if applicable (note that the Hope Center cannot release funds until appropriate approvals are in-place).
• A one-paragraph description of the project and its importance, in language appropriate for the lay public.
• Progress reports at 12 and 24 months, including scientific findings, publications, funding, and intellectual property arising from the project.


For any questions about the Hope Center Pilot Project Program, contact Anneliese Schaefer, amschaefer@wustl.edu.


Pilot Project Awards

Click below to learn details and progress of active and previous pilot awards.

Active pilot projects

Previous pilot awards

Just-in-Time Funding

In addition to pilot projects, the Hope Center has initiated a funding mechanism to support pressing needs for funds to generate pilot data.

JIT Funding