Washington National Primate Research Center

The Pilot Program at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) provides specialized research facilities, expertise and limited support to investigators.

In most cases, pilot projects are focused on unique or emerging research opportunities, requiring preliminary studies to generate scientific data that will lead to future expanded grant applications for independent funding.

The Center annually sponsors the Ignition Awards. The awards support preclinical translational research in the areas of non-human primate models of human disease, drug delivery, transport, metabolism, and manufacturing.

Fill out form at bottom of page to receive application.

Ignition Awards

The WaNPRC is pleased to sponsor the Ignition Award pilot study program, focusing on the use of nonhuman primate (NHP) models of human disease. The purpose of this award is to explore innovative areas of NHP research and generate preliminary data to serve as a basis for submission of new research grant applications (e.g. R01-type applications to NIH or other funding agencies) and/or subsequent clinical studies. Applications should either have a primary focus on translational applications or a primary focus on the development or enhancement of the use of nonhuman primates as animal models.

The WaNPRC anticipates awarding two separate awards of up to $75,000 each. The award will be administered by the Primate Center and must be used for Primate Center study costs, including animal costs, per diem, procedures, supplies and salaries. The proposed use of funds outside WaNPRC will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


This program is designed to support innovative studies utilizing resources within the WaNPRC. NHPs are the preeminent animal model of the human condition. This award program will facilitate use of NHP models, services of the WaNPRC, and resources within the ITHS to provide data applicable to subsequent grant applications and/or clinical studies. This program will provide an opportunity to advance research programs developing and expanding the use of NHPs in research of human diseases and, by operating jointly with the ITHS, advance the translation of therapeutics, diagnostics or device development to clinical care.

Examples of potential projects include, but are not limited to:

  1.    The development of clinical tests/diagnostics/therapeutics that have the potential to
    1.     speed translational research (i.e., new outcome measures)
    2.     improve clinical treatments (i.e., new therapeutics or new indications for approved drugs)
  2.    Studies that advance neuroscience applications, surgical techniques
  3.    The development and/or validation of a new disease model using nonhuman primates
  4. Reproductive and/or developmental studies that may have direct clinical applications

Application Process Details

Eligibility:  Any research scientist or research faculty can apply except those who have received an ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award within the previous three (3) years. 

The Center particularly encourages applications from early-stage investigators and junior faculty.  This is an opportunity to pursue innovative research projects or collect preliminary data that can provide proof of concept and lead into future funding. Please see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm for more information.

Budget:  Applicants are encouraged to contact the WaNPRC at: pcgrants@uw.edu to discuss the scientific components of their projects, WaNPRC resources that are available, and general costs of the services to be provided. Complete budgets are required for the applications. Applicants are strongly advised to develop their budgets in collaboration with WaNPRC.

Applications with budget requests insufficient to complete the Specific Aims will not be advanced to scientific review.

The budgets for the NHP studies will be administered by WaNPRC. All financial activity will be overseen by the WaNPRC Research Administration Division.

  1. It is the PI’s responsibility to clearly demonstrate how the proposed research has the potential to positively impact the quality or the conduct of clinical and translational research or how the planned experiment impacts or expands the use of nonhuman primates as an animal model in the context of the proposal.
  2. The PI should clearly describe how the proposed evaluation methodology provides an innovative approach to conducting the proposed research.
  3. Up to $75,000 per selected applicant will be directly applied to the costs at WaNPRC.
  4. No additional funds are necessary for indirect costs.
  5. No UW eGC1 is required.

Application process:

Step 1 –Submit a Letter of Intent to WaNPRC by December 18, 2020. Please include proposal Title, Abstract (250 word max), Key Personnel, WaNPRC Core or Affiliate Scientists, and potential reviewers (can be internal or external to UW). Letters of Intent will be used to identify potential reviewers, and everyone who submits a letter of intent will be eligible to submit a full application.

Step 2 –Submit the application to WaNPRC by January 18, 2021.

(email to pcgrants@uw.edu or Box 357330, Attn: WaNPRC 2021 Pilot Program).

No applications time stamped after 01/18/2021, 11:00 PM Pacific will be considered

Step 3  –Review of Applications

The Review Committee will score the applications and applicants will be notified of their status by March 4, 2021.  All applicants will receive reviewers’ comments. Scoring is not provided. Detailed review criteria are listed below.

 NOTE:  The PIs receiving awards are responsible for securing approval from the UW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before a new project can begin.

Step 4  – 2021 Award recipients

Budget period is anticipated to begin May 1, 2021 and must be spent by April 30, 2022. There will not be any option for a no-cost extension or carry-forward.

Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit their applications for the next round up to a total of two (2) times. The Review Committee may deny the opportunity to resubmit an application if the reviewers determine the application does not meet the intent of the program. Resubmitted applications should include a 1-page Introduction to address previous reviewers’ comments and outline changes since the last submission.

Review Criteria and Committee Details

The combined review committee for the Ignition Award applications will consist of members of the WaNPRC Research Advisory Committee, the ITHS Drug and Device Advisory Committee (DDAC), and others as identified by the WaNPRC Associate Director for Research. Members of the committee are selected to provide interdisciplinary insight into the proposed research. The committee is composed of Core and Affiliate Scientists along with reviewers external to the WaNPRC. As needed, WaNPRC will also invite representation from CoMotion for guidance on innovation represented by the technology.

Reviews are performed according to the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit
  2. Status of applicant as an Early-Stage Investigator
  3. Innovation
  4. Potential impact on human health and/or the use of nonhuman primate models
  5. Probability of future grant funding and/or clinical studies

Reporting requirements

The WaNPRC requires an interim and annual report from all award recipients. The dates and specifications for these reports will be stated in the WaNPRC Notice of Award.

Quarterly in-person meetings with a WaNPRC or an ITHS representative may be requested to track the progress of funded activities.


The WaNPRC reserves the right to publicly disclose information about its granting activities. WaNPRC communications to the public may include lists of funded applications, the names of principal investigators and applicant institutions and departments, titles of proposed activities and reports about progress and outcomes. Please note that records produced at the University of Washington are subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.

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