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2023-2024 Call for Applications

The primary objective of this request for applications is to support the development of innovative research in nutrition and obesity. Pilot awards are designed for researchers to collect preliminary data that supports a grant application for independent research support and published work.

Streamlined 3-page Application Process

The Application for the 2024 UNC NORC Pilot and Feasibility Awards is now open. The guidelines for full proposals can be found here. Complete applications must be submitted as a single PDF file by 5pm on November 10th, 2023 using the following LINK. For more information about the application process, please contact the UNC NORC Managing Director,  Ashley Irwin.


Faculty members or senior postdoctoral scholars at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be new investigators without current or past NIH research support (R01, P01 or R24) as a PD/PI. Current or past K01 awards are acceptable. OR
  • Applicants must be established, funded investigators with no previous work in nutritional sciences and/or obesity and who wish to test the applicability of their expertise to a nutritional science and/or obesity-related problem. OR
  • Applicants must be established investigators in nutrition/obesity research who propose testing innovative ideas that represent a clear departure from their ongoing research interests.


The UNC NORC will award pilot grants of up to $40,000 in direct costs each. The award must be spent within one year of the project’s start date. The project’s start date must be within three months of notice of award. P&F funding is not intended to extend projects for which it would be appropriate to submit an NIH grant application. Funds are not intended to support or supplement ongoing research projects. All expenses must conform to the general policies of UNC-CH and the UNC NORC. Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval is required before funds will be released. 75% of funds will be released upon completion of IRB and/or IACUC approvals; the remaining 25% of funds will be released after completion of a six-month progress report. The awardee will be expected to meet with their UNC mentor and the UNC NORC P&F Program Co-Directors at months 3, 6, and 9 (at a minimum).

Project Criteria

P&F Program projects may be biomedical, epidemiological, or clinical. They may include laboratory or non-laboratory research projects that focus either on human nutrition, animal work that could be translated to human nutrition, or basic research related to nutrition or obesity. Human nutrition or human obesity projects may focus on inpatient or outpatient studies or on epidemiological or community-based research that is social or behavioral in nature. To support their P&F projects, investigators are strongly encouraged to use one or more of the services offered by the four UNC NORC cores. We welcome applications intended to generate pilot data that will address reviewers’ comments from recently scored grants.

  • Basic Science and Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations
  • Precision Nutrition: Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation, and Requirements for Nutrients
  • Understanding and Changing Diet- and Obesity-Related Behavior