Spinal Cord/Nerve Injury and Pain (SCNIP) NeuroTeam Pilot Grant

The purpose of the Pilot Grant program is to provide limited short-term support of research related to SCNIP, in areas where preliminary data are scant or nonexistent, with the intention of gathering data that will be put forward for an external grant. Research proposals submitted to this program should represent unique or novel ideas with potential to open significant new avenues of research related to spinal cord, nerve injury and pain. Pilot data is not required to apply; however, the conceptual or theoretical basis of the ideas must be appropriately articulated.

Award amount and term: The total budget request may not exceed $30,000. The grants will support a term of up to 2 years with no opportunity for renewal. The number of Pilot Grants awarded in each competition will depend on available funds.


  • Primary applicant must be a full member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and SCNIP NeuroTeam.
  • Primary applicant must hold a full-time academic appointment at the University of Calgary.
  • Primary applicant cannot have previously received a SCNIP Pilot Grant (as the primary applicant).
  • Any academic or research investigator who is eligible under the policies of their host institution to be considered a PI may be listed as a Co-Investigator.
  • Proposed project must not have received pilot or other funding (i.e. supplementary or “top up” to an existing project is not permitted).

Open Science: HBI adheres to the five principles of Open Science.  These principles guide all research conducted using HBI resources.  If funded, successful applicants agree to abide by Principles 1 to 4.  

Application Procedure: Principal investigators should complete and submit their applications by email to hbi.research@ucalgary.ca. Applicants must complete the application form and provide supporting documents in PDF format. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Application Deadline: The deadline for completed applications is January 15, 2022. Applications that arrive after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Review and Evaluation Criteria: Applications will be reviewed by peers outside of the SCNIP NeuroTeam and possibly outside of the University of Calgary. Reviewers will rank applications based on potential impact of research and benefit to spinal cord injury, pain, and/or nerve injury, investigator’s contributions to the SCNIP NeuroTeam, and the ability of the individual or team to complete the work.

Notification of Award: The principal investigator and co-investigator (if applicable) will be advised by email of the decision of their grant application. The funds will not be forwarded until the letter of agreement has been executed. Awards will be conditional upon ethical approval of the project.

Eligible Expenses: The funds may be used for salary support, graduate student stipends, minor equipment, materials and supplies, and subject costs including patient reimbursements, but they may not be used for travel.

Final Research Report: At the conclusion of the funding period, successful applicants will be required to submit a lay summary report and a one-page written report, which describes how the funds were used, including the successes and the failures of the project(s), and details of external grants in preparation or applied to support continuation of the project(s).