The NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) on CNS Metabolism at the University of Kentucky offers pilot project grants. These pilot grants are intended to assist investigators in generating sufficient data to be competitive for extramural funding in the research area of the role of CNS metabolic mediators of brain function and disease.

Pilot grants will be awarded for up to $50,000 for one year, direct costs only, and must be spent by February 28, 2025. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 1, 2024.



Eligibility is limited to full-time regular, special, and clinical title faculty as well as full-time research faculty of the University of Kentucky.  Junior faculty are encouraged to apply.  Senior faculty with new projects of relevance to the CNS-Met are also eligible for pilot funding.  Current and former key personnel on the CNS-Met COBRE are not eligible to apply.


Pilot Applications should be in Word & included in this order:

  1. NIH format Biosketch with other support.
  2. Abstract including project title (one page max). 
  3. Research Proposal (three pages max) The Research Proposal should follow standard NIH format, with a Specific Aims page followed by background/significance, preliminary data, and experimental approach (single-spaced using no less than 11-point Arial font and 1/2” margins).


If selected for funding the following will be needed within two weeks of award notification:

  • Submission of IRB or IACUC approval request. Applicants do not need IRB or IACUC approvals to submit a pilot grant application, but necessary IRB or IACUC protocols are required for final approval by the NIH..
  • NIH budget form and justification in WORD.  


Funds may not be awarded if required protocol approvals are not received in a timely manner.

See the CNS-Met website, Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center | CNS-Met COBRE | University of Kentucky College of Medicine (  for a description of the overall CNS-Met program. Please read the entire Pilot Projects page on the website (including the FAQ & the links to the latest NIH forms) for additional details to assist you in developing and submitting your proposal.


Submit your Full Application (1-3 above) as a single or individual Word file(s) to Mark.Schwarcz@uky.eduCOBRE Program Administrative Coordinator.  Please note that this is a one-step process. 


For questions, please contact Mark Schwarcz at 201-334-2959.


Frequently Asked Questions

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Use the following sentence to cite the COBRE award in your COBRE work:

"This publication (or project) was made possible by the University of Kentucky CNS Metabolism (CNS-Met) COBRE, supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences – NIGMS (P20 GM148326) from the National Institutes of Health."