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.


All Cleveland Clinic main campus Professional Staff members, residents, fellows, and allied health professionals are eligible to be Principal Investigator (PI). If the Principal Investigator does not hold the appointment of Professional Staff, a Staff Sponsor holding that appointment must be named on the application.  PIs and Staff Sponsors must both be Cleveland Clinic personnel.

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:

Contact Us

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