Pilot Research Grants

Pilot Research Grants support research expenses directly related to the submission of a proposal (or proposals) for large extramural funding.

Award features

  • Pilot Research Grants will be available in amounts of up to $20,000 each.
  • Awards can fund expenses such as data collection or generation, preliminary analysis, collaborative activities with partnering colleagues, etc.
  • Awards are made in the Spring semester, to cover expenses incurred through the end of the following summer (i.e., August 31 the next calendar year).


  • All full-time teaching members of the Main Campus, with the exception of those in the McDonough School of Business, are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty are encouraged to combine a Pilot Research Grant with other Georgetown support, for example with school-based research funds, or with funds from their research accounts.

Selection Criteria

Subject to satisfying the eligibility criteria above, selection of proposals will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality: applicants must identify a specific external funding opportunity or opportunities and the impact the Pilot Research Grant would have on the likelihood of being awarded such external support. They should explain in broadly accessible language the importance of the proposed research and the contribution it would make if external funding were to be awarded.
  • Feasibility: applicants should present a clear and detailed plan for how the pilot research will be executed.
  • Value for money: A detailed budget, including where applicable items financed from other sources, should demonstrate how resources will be used efficiently to execute the project. In addition, the external funding opportunity(ies) should be identified, and the potential funding levels specified. In general, ceteris paribus, external opportunities that would generate at least 10-20 times the Pilot Research Grant investment requested.
  • Credentials: applicants should explain how their track record, or in the case of junior faculty, their promise of future achievements, supports the notion that the proposed work will be successful.


Applications consist of a project narrative of up to 1,000 words, a budget, budget justification, and a current CV. The narrative will address the issues of quality and feasibility outlined above, with a particular focus on how the Pilot award would be leveraged to secure significantly larger external funding. It should include a description of the nature of the proposed pilot research as well as the larger project that would be possible with external funding, including the central hypothesis, the site, methodology, data, collaborations, and other inputs into the work.

A budget, following the structure in GU-PASS and detailing specific items and costs, should be submitted. Allowable items include travel, materials and supplies, research assistants, data and data collection, etc. Funding cannot be used to pay faculty salaries or other direct compensation. If other funds, secured or pending, are to be used in combination with the ARG, these should be identified and included in the budget. A succinct budget narrative should also be included.

Your submission will be reviewed by faculty colleagues outside of your department, but in a related field.  Please take this into account when crafting the language of your proposal.

Applications should be submitted via GU-PASS

The GU-PASS application window will open December 13, and the deadline is January 29, 2024.

Financial process

Funds will be made available in a cost-center under the Vice Provost for Research.  Budgeted items can be charged to that cost center through August 31 of the year following the year in which the grant is awarded.  Any surplus remaining after August 31 will expire at that time.


Recipients should submit a 200-word description of the activities that were conducted and made possible with the award by September 30 of the year after which the award is granted, with links, if available, to electronic copies of application(s) for external funding made possible by the grant, and any materials – publications, working papers, reports, etc. – produced as a result.

The deliverable can be uploaded in GU-PASS. Instructions for uploading the deliverable may be
found in this User Guide.

Faculty members who do not submit a deliverable as required will be ineligible for future internal grants.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other Provost Office internal grant, please email internalgrants@georgetown.edu.