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The Center for Smart Use of Technologies to Assess Real-world Outcomes (C-STAR) will fund 4 pilot projects per year. Each project may receive up to $25,000 in direct costs that must be expended within 12-months of study start date. Awardees will also receive mentorship from top leaders in engineering, clinical research, outcomes and implementation science research.

The mission of C-STAR is to leverage the collective experience of our clinicians, scientists, engineers, and patients to support the smart use of technology to assess motor and cognitive performance and/or outcomes in laboratory, clinical, or community settings. We are looking for projects with the potential for significant clinical impact that will likely lead to successful grant applications to NIH and other national funding agencies.

See our previously awarded projects.

Eligibility and Submissions


Clinicians and researchers with innovative ideas for the use of technology in rehabilitation research are eligible to apply. Applicants must be affiliated with US-based institutions. They must be eligible to submit an R01 or equivalent and receive NIH funding as Principal Investigators. Preference is given to clinical and basic scientists who are in the early stages of their independent career in rehabilitation research. 

Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.

Foreign components are not permitted as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. 

Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

If you have an idea that accelerates the use of sensor and video technology in rehabilitation research, consider also applying for a pilot project award offered by our partner center, Restore Center at Stanford University in addition to submitting to C-STAR.

Key Dates


Letter of Intent due: September 25, 2023 

Invitation of full Proposal: by October 13, 2023

Full Proposals due: November 20, 2023

Pilot Project Awardees notified: January 5, 2024

Earliest Pilot Project start date: March 1, 2024 *pending completion of all post award documentation


Letter of Intent Submission Instructions (due September 25, 2023)


Submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) is required from all pilot project applicants.

Applicants must complete and follow the instructions outlined within the LOI form. Once completed, the form and related documents should be submitted online via REDCap along with the principal investigator’s NIH biosketch.

You will be asked in the LOI form to describe how you plan to use C-STAR’s resources to help you advance your career. You may find the resources offered on the C-STAR website and a description of our cores of expertise on our C-STAR Cores webpage.

Only individuals who receive “An Invitation to Submit” may submit a full proposal application for consideration.


Full Proposal Application Instructions (due November 2023)


Letter of Intent applicants who receive an invitation to submit their full application must submit each of the following elements:


1. Cover sheet that includes:

  • A descriptive project title
  • Key personnel with their title, position and institution
  • Sponsored Program Office administrative contact information
  • Total budget amount requested
  • The population(s) you wish to study
  • The location(s) the study will occur
  • Identify which apply: (a) Lab/scientific research (b) Clinic, medical or rehabilitation services (inpatient or outpatient)  (c) Community – the natural environment (home, work or recreation)
  • Disclose any other submissions for this pilot project. If this is the only submission, include the statement, “This pilot project has not been submitted elsewhere.”

2. Study aims or goals (1-page max)

3. Research plan (3-pages max)

  • Introduction (background information, significance and implications of the project)
  • Methods
  • Outcomes measured
  • Project timeline for completing the proposed project, preparing and submitting a manuscript to an appropriate professional journal, and preparing and submitting a competitive grant application by or shortly after the end of the award period

4. Additional information (1-page max)

  • Your specific plans for securing extramural funding from this pilot project once completed
  • C-STAR resources you are planning to use in addition to pilot project funding
  • How your project will be used to promote your career and future research

5. Budget and justification

  • Please use PHS 398 Form Page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period in MS Word Version (1 page) found in the Instructions and Form Files for PHS 398Use ONE continuation page as needed for the budget justification.
  • Facilities and Administrative costs (indirect costs): F&A costs are capped at 58.5% Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). Institutions with federally approved F&A rates below this cap must apply their federally approved F&A rate. For institutions that do not have a federally negotiated F&A rate, a rate not to exceed 10% of MTDC may be applied. A current copy of your F&A rate agreement will be required prior to award issuance.
    *SRAlab applicants will NOT be eligible for F&A costs.
  • Funds may not be requested for general office supplies, computers and laptops, travel, conferences, publication fees, entertainment of visitors, capital equipment, membership dues and fees, tuition or teaching activities.

6. Literature cited (not part of the 3-page limit)

7. NIH biosketches of key personnel (see the link for updated NIH biosketch template)

8. Letter(s) of support (optional)

Application Review Criteria & Process


Each application will be reviewed by two to three reviewers with relevant expertise. Applications will be scored on the 1-9 point NIH scale. Recommendations for funding will be based on: 1) quality of the research (scientific merit, innovation, and impact); 2) relevancy to the mission of the C-STAR; and 3) qualifications of the research team to lead the research effort toward securing extramural funding.

Please contact cstarpilotprojects@sralab.org with any questions or for more information.

C-STAR is funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant #P2C HD101899) supported by NICHD and NINDS.

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