The Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research (MCDTR) Pilot/Feasibility (P/F) Grants Program provides critical start-up support and mentorship for high-quality T2 to T4 translational research proposals related to MCDTR research themes. A crucial feature of our successful P/F program has been its ability to stimulate interest in translational research in diabetes through many units of the university, including the Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Social Work, Institute for Social Research, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and the Center for Behavioral Solutions to Healthcare Engagement and Access. In addition, our support of multiple models of research casts a wide net, capturing the innovation of multidisciplinary research and facilitating the convergence of multiple research pathways focused ultimately on establishing and maintaining independence for early-stage investigators pursuing academic careers in diabetes translational research.
We propose to advance the P/F diabetes translational research agenda by further promoting research on health equity, social determinants of health, population health, clinical and translational diabetes health research and by establishing new collaborations across departments and divisions within the Medical School and across schools and institutes across the campus. Since 2011, 37 grant applications for type 2 translational research were received from 50 MCDTR members, and we fund two meritorious applications each year using both NIH and institutional resources. Since its inception in 2011, the MCDTR has awarded pilot research grants to 18 primarily early-stage investigators. These faculty members have made a substantial impact in diabetes translational research by publishing key papers and garnering research support from the NIDDK and other extramural funding agencies with a return-on-investment to date of $21 per dollar awarded.
The Specific Aims of the MCDTR P/F grants program are to:
Aim1: Stimulate new early-stage investigators to enter the field of T2 to T4 translational research in diabetes and to foster productive collaborations, with a focus on research that will improve health equity.
Aim 2: Provide systematic outreach and formal mentorship to enhance the research career advancement and professional development of early-stage faculty who are currently underrepresented in diabetes translational research.
Aim 3: Enable awardees to generate sufficient preliminary data to publish their results and successfully apply for research funding from the NIH and other national granting agencies.
Aim 4: Accelerate the pace of translation of interventions with proven efficacy into real-world settings to improve diabetes prevention, treatment, population health, and health equity.