Imaging Pilot Award

This service is provided by the Pilot and Collaborative Studies Resource (PCSR).


The Imaging Pilot Award provides funding for junior investigators in the following areas:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Optical imaging
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT)
  • Ultrasound

Structural, functional, or spectroscopic imaging studies in animals or human subjects with relevance to medical illness will be considered. The goal of the award is to obtain pilot data for NIH, NSF, or foundation grant applications. To ensure the methods proposed are optimal for the research question being posed, applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee with expertise in radiology and imaging. Budgets for approved projects will range from $5,000 to $10,000, as determined by the Imaging Review Committee.

In order to allow Imaging Pilot Award grantees to gather sufficient PET pilot data, the Department of Radiology will partner to augment this award by cost sharing up to an additional $10,000 in eligible PET services if the grantee's PET costs exceed the initial $10,000 awarded for the Imaging Pilot Award. For example, if the awardee needs $17,000 of eligible PET center services to obtain sufficient preliminary data, the PET center will cost share $7,000 (on top of the $10,000 allowed budget). Services eligible for this cost-share only include radiotracers manufactured by the PET Center or PET/CT scans.

  • Award amount: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Number of awards: Based upon availability of funds

See a list of current and past Imaging Pilot Award recipients.


  • At award time, qualified applicants must have an appointment as an instructor, assistant professor (clinical or tenure track) or associate research scientist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status is not required.
  • Preapproval of cost-share budget and eligibility is required. Please email Akiva Mintz to receive preapproval.


Applications for the Imaging pilot awards will be accepted in winter, 2019.

It is strongly recommended that interested applicants schedule a pilot funding eligibility consultation before beginning the application process.

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If your research has benefited from one or more Irving Institute resources, please remember to:

  • Cite our CTSA grant, UL1 TR001873, in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters.
  • Submit your publications to PubMed Central (PMC) for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Share your research updates with us by sending an email to:


Sabrina Harris
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