Through a scientific peer-review process, the Research Program Committee (RPC) provides internal funding to promote the development of investigators initiating clinical or translational research projects. This competitive funding is awarded with the expectation that the project will result in abstracts, publications and/or pilot data that will enhance the ability of the investigator to compete for external funds.

The Research Program Committees funds pilot or focused research projects that address clinical problems. A well-designed, innovative clinical/translational research project, with an identifiable hypothesis that illustrates efficient use of resources within a realistic timeline will receive a favorable review.

RPC priorities include:

  • Collaborative projects between Clinical Staff and Basic Science Staff are a priority.
  • Pilot funds for clinical investigators early in their career (i.e., Assistant Professor level) to accomplish a one-year research project, with the future goal of seeking external funding. Proposals must outline how external funding will be sought.
  • Senior clinical investigators changing their line of clinical research, in need of pilot data to seek external funding.
  • Projects that intend to utilize the Clinical Research Unit are given priority.


The PI must hold a primary or secondary appointment from a Clinical Department at the Cleveland Clinic that will provide the matching funds for the project.

Eligibility to be a PI on any research project at Cleveland Clinic changed in December 2018. Please refer to the full policy at this link:

Individuals Eligible to Serve as PI at Cleveland Clinic
To be eligible to serve as PI, an individual must be qualified under one of the following eligibility requirements:
A. Physicians, PhDs, Dentists and Psychologists that have an active Staff appointment.
B. Other patient service professionals including registered nurses, pharmacists, audiologists, respiratory therapists and other licensed/clinical professionals must meet all the following criteria for consideration to be a PI:

  1. Research is part of the scope of their employment responsibility and is not being conducted to meet a training or degree requirement.
  2. They have received approval from their institute leadership.
  3. For projects approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), they have training and experience and confirmed clinical research competencies in accordance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) Policy 120: Human Subject Protection Education and Training

Individuals Not Eligible to Serve as PI
Individuals who are trainees (including Fellows, Residents, Masters or Doctoral Candidates, and Postdoctoral Researchers), volunteers, or visiting personnel may not serve as PI. Trainees may not serve as PI for research conducted to support an academic degree. Trainees may serve as a Co-Investigator under the supervision of an individual qualified to serve as PI.

Scientific Review:

Submissions are peer-reviewed using criteria based on the NIH review process (Significance, Approach, Innovation, Investigator(s), Environment). Investigators are provided blinded-review comments at the time of award notification. If not awarded, PIs are allowed to submit a revision of the original application exactly two more times within a rolling calendar year (i.e., initial submission and two re-submissions).


  • Cancer
    Daniel Lindner, MD, PhD
  • General Medical Sciences
    John O'Toole, MD
    Rachel Scheraga, MD
  • Neurosciences
    Daniel Ontaneda, MD
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
    Milind Desai, MD
  • Biomedical Engineering/Transplant
    Ela Plow, PhD


The maximum total project award that can be requested is $25,000. Fifty percent of the awarded dollars are funded by the RPC (maximum of $12,500); the other 50% of the awarded funds (maximum of $12,500) come from the sponsoring department. Matching support by the sponsoring department is a requirement. Investigators are strongly encouraged to develop realistic budgets that match their project needs. Budget requests are reviewed as part of the proposal and the RPC can award an alternative budget.

Apply for Funding:

Applications are accepted the first Monday of the following months: February, April, June, August, October, December.

Eligibility, procedures, and budget information:
RPC Policy Grid


Successful Application Tips

  • Priority funding goes to RPC projects that plan to utilize the M51 Clinical Research Unit. If your project requires blood draws, outpatient exam room space, overnight admissions, patient monitoring, and/or laboratory sample processing, you should request use of resources at the CTSC Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at the same time as your RPC submission. See this link for information, contacts, and a Clinical Research Unit Resource application form:

RPC established submission dates this year are:

Submission by midnight: Results Communicated:

February 1, 2021

March 31, 2021

April 5, 2021

May 30, 2021

June 7, 2021

July 31, 2021

August 2, 2021

September 30, 2021

October 4, 2021

November 30, 2021

December 6, 2021

January 31, 2022

Contact Us

  • RPC Administrative Office
    • Cleveland Clinic, Desk M51
    • 9500 Euclid Ave.
    • Cleveland, OH 44195
    • Email:
    • Tel: (216) 444-2295
  • Administration:
  • RPC Executive Committee: