The Center will seed the efforts of the various groups at UCLA interested in developing research projects and tools around rare diseases. The Center will launch a Pilot Project Program where approximately $30K will be given to at least one project per year. Initially the program will be open to Center faculty only, with the goal of expanding broadly over time. The goal of this program is to support the best research in rare diseases, with metrics of success being publications and grants. A second goals of the program is to develop tools and techniques that can be handed to a core facility for broader use. Program selection will be organized by the Executive Committee. Dr. Lajonchere will have oversight over the pilot projects program. We will have a rolling submission process that emphasizes the collaboration between Center faculty and with others in the UCLA community. Deliverables will emphasize utility to the Center plus an explanation about how the project will develop into an NIH-fundable effort or a core-managed capability. A publication should result from each awarded project. Awardees will be required to give a presentation at a yearly seminar. Ideally, the three-year goal of the Pilot Project Program is to engender at least one funded R01 grant and at least one non-NIH-funded grant (e.g., from a foundation).
Watch this space for more details coming soon