Pilot studies and grants

The ANZCA Clinical Trials Network Pilot Grant Scheme is a fast-track program open to Fellows of ANZCA and the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM). The program was created to assist Fellows in the development of high quality projects with the potential to acquire future competitive funding, for example, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funds, and develop into large multicentre research studies.


To support this purpose ANZCA allocates A$30,000 each year to the clinical trials network to administer the pilot grant program. Grants of up to A$10,000 are available each year. To be eligible for a pilot grant the proposed study must be approved by the ANZCA Clinical Trials Network, and have Human Research Ethics Committee or New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committee approval. Applicants are encouraged to present their research proposal at the annual ANZCA Clinical Trials Network strategic research workshop held in August, where they will receive peer-review feedback from the Clinical Trials Network Executive before submitting their application. 


Pilot grant policy and application form

Applicants will need to familiarise themselves with the Pilot Grant Scheme Policy and send a copy of the following to the clinical trials network manager:


Applications will be adjudicated by the Clinical Trials Network executive and will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the research question.
  • Appropriateness and feasibility of the research methodology.
  • Justification of the study as pilot research.
  • Potential for the research to attract future competitive funding or to develop into a larger study.


Pilot grants should not be confused with novice grants. Excellent references on pilot grants can be found at:
  • Arain M, Campbell MJ, Cooper CL & Lancaster GA.  What is a pilot or feasibility study? A review of current practice and editorial policy.  BMC Med Res Methodol 2010, 10:67. Pubmed
  • Moore CG, Carter RE, Nietert PJ and Stewart PW. Recommendations for planning pilot studies in clinical and translational research. Clin Transl Sci 2011, 4(5): 332-7. Pubmed
  • Thabane L, Ma J, Cheng J, Ismaila A, Rios LP, Robson R, Thabane M, Giangregorio L, Goldsmith CH. A tutorial on pilot studies: the what, why and how. BMC Med Res Methodol  2010, 6; 10:1. Pubmed


2020 deadlines


Pilot grant deadline: 18 May 2020.
Pilot grant deadline: 6 October 2020.


For further information please contact the ANZCA Clinical Trials Network.

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