Skip to main content.

Pilot Studies

SMAST has a limited amount of funding available to support pilot projects that include the use of one of the SMAST core research facilities. These pilot funds are expected to be used to generate preliminary data for grant applications.  Proposals must include use of the Acoustic-Optic Test tank or one of the SMAST seawater labs. Funding can be used offset the cost of the core research facility usage fees. The investigator is responsible for providing all other supplies, equipment and organisms.  On average, each grant will range from $2,000-$3,000. However, applications up to a maximum of $10,000 will be considered if the proposal will clearly benefit multiple investigators on campus and multi-investigator grant applications.

In reviewing applications, priority will be given to:

  • Investigators who have not previously used the SMAST core research facilities
  • Investigators who have no other sources of funding
  • Junior investigators (e.g. Assistant Professors)
  • Proposals that benefit multiple campus investigators

All UMass Dartmouth faculty eligible to apply. Investigators are encouraged to consult the SMAST core research facilities staff to help develop these pilot funding proposals and budgets. Applicants do not need to compute the budget, they just need to provide sufficient information in the application for the SMAST core research facilities staff to estimate amount of funding needed (i.e. number of days (Acoustic-Optic Test tank) or number and size of tanks and length of study (seawater labs)). Typically, funds will support 1 week of use of the Acoustic-Optic Test tank or one month of the SMAST seawater lab.


Please fill out the following forms, and attach a biographical sketch, and save as a single PDF file. Applications can be submitted at any time. They will be reviewed by the SMAST Executive Committee, applicant’s home Department Chairperson (if applicant’s department is not affiliated with SMAST) and ad hoc reviewers as necessary. Decisions will be made based on scientific merit and available funds and communicated to the applicant within 60 days of an application being received.

Applications should be sent to SMAST Assistant Dean for Operations, Mike Marino (


  1. If applicable, all studies require that the PI has an active IACUC protocol covering the proposed research at the time studies are to be performed.
  2. Pilot Funding from the SMAST core research facilities should be acknowledged in any publications resulting from this support.
  3. Data acquired with pilot funding may be used by the SMAST core research facilities in scientific presentations and on its website, with appropriate credit to the PI.
  4. PI should be willing to share data acquired using the SMAST core research facilities pilot funding with other UMass Dartmouth investigators for whom the same pilot data would aid in grant proposals, subject to appropriate credit to the PI and subject to it not competing directly with PI’s own proposal.
  5. Funds must be utilized within 12 months of award.

Pilot Study Application (PDF)

Back to top of screen