Wake Forest Translational Science Institute (TSI)


"Understanding and Addressing Pathways to Physical Disability in Older Persons"

The Wake Forest Older Americans Independence Center (Pepper OAIC Center) is requesting grant applications for funding of pilot projects to produce preliminary data for larger, definitive studies and for exploratory analyses of existing databases.  Proposals should focus on understanding the contributions of adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, the peripheral and central nervous system, blood flow, biomarkers, and related factors on the development of physical disability in older persons.  Complementary and integrative approaches to physical disability in older adults are allowed, thanks to supplemental funds made available from the Center for Integrative Medicine .   Innovative, multidisciplinary, and translational approaches are encouraged, as are involvement of junior faculty and a focus on producing data to support applications for extramurally funded projects.  Preliminary data are not required to be competitive. Co-funding will be provided by Translational Science Institute. The Clinical Research Unit has funds (over and above those in this RFA) that may also be applied to patient-oriented pilot studies to cover laboratory, imaging, and other associated costs. Awards are open to Wake Forest faculty and TSI partner faculty. Applications will be submitted through the newly developed online ePILOT application (information regarding the ePILOT is outlined below).

Projects should address at least one of the main objectives of the current OAIC listed below and their role in the development of physical disability in older persons.

a.   Assess the potential roles in the development of physical disability in older persons of:

  1. adiposity and fat distribution
  2. changes in musculoskeletal mass, composition, and function
  3. components and / or changes in properties of the peripheral and / or central nervous system
  4. arterial blood flow to skeletal muscle
  5. blood, tissue, and genetic biomarkers

b.   Use a translational research approach to assess factors, including biological, genetic, co-morbid and behavioral, which contribute to age-related obesity and/or sarcopenia, physical function decline, or progression to disability.

c.   To develop and reliably test in clinical or pre-clinical studies novel interventions which target adiposity, peripheral or central nervous system, vascular, body composition and/or musculoskeletal related factors for preventing the age-related decline in physical function and preventing or reversing the progression to disability.

Integrated, multidisciplinary, and translational approaches are particularly encouraged. The OAIC can help to identify collaborators with expertise in aging and disability.  

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of:

  1. Scientific merit
  2. Innovation
  3. Relevance to theme of understanding and preventing physical disability in older Americans
  4. Potential for the data from the project to eventually result in a subsequent larger extramurally funded project
  5. Junior faculty involvement

Basic science and clinical research projects are encouraged. These may originate from investigators at Reynolda or Medical Center campuses, and can include collaborations with other institutions, particularly those with Pepper Centers.  Projects can be funded up to a maximum of $25,000 per year for up to 2 years.  A letter of intent of one page or less stating the hypothesis and brief overview of approach is due Friday, September 16, 2011, final applications are due Monday, October 17, 2011, with notification of funding by December 20, 2011.

A letter of intent of one page or less stating the hypothesis and brief overview of approach is due Friday September 16, 2011, final applications are due Monday October 17, 2011, with notification of funding by December 20, 2011.

Inquiries and Letter of Intent are strongly encouraged so that we can provide specific guidance in developing relevant and successful proposals.  For additional information or clarification please contact Dr. Dalane Kitzman at 716-3274 or Dr. Tom Register at 716-1557. 

Application Process

Letter of Intent (LOI): Investigators are strongly encouraged to submit a 1 page LOI by 09/16/11.

ePILOT application system

  • TSI has elected to participate in the newly developed institutional ePILOT application whereby the application is submitted and captured electronically.
  • ePILOT is hosted on the Wake Forest Pilot web page which provides an entry point to the application process as well as a description, including this RFA, of current pilots across the institution.
  •  Pilot Web Page; Access ePILOT

LOIs requirements (submitted electronically through ePILOT)

  • Descriptive title of proposed research
  • Submitting Investigator: Name, institution, academic rank, e-mail address
  • Co-investigators: Name, institution, and academic rank
  • Brief description of study/abstract

Full Application: Individuals must submit by 10/17/11.

Summary of application requirements (see ePILOT guidelines for a complete description)

  • Project Title (limit 81 characters)
  • Anticipate Start/End Date
  • Submitting Investigator, Department, and Email
  • Co-Investigator(s), Institution, Department
  • Abstract (max. of 30 lines)
  • Specific Aims Page (1 page)
  • Research Plan (6 pages)
  • Protection of Human Subjects (1 page)
  • Specific requirements of RFA (1 page)
  • References
  • Budget Template and budget justification
  • NIH format biosketches
  • Letters of support
  • Images (if applicable)

Application Process Timeline

  • Letter of Intent submission: 09/16/11 (inquiries recommended)
  • Application deadline: 10/17/11
  • Anticipated award announcement: 12/20/11

Printable version of Pepper OAIC RFA