Applying to Research at the AHPRC

Application Info

A researcher works with a participant

The call for 2024-25 Pilot Award applications will be announced in late Spring 2024. If interested in applying for an award, please download the award application and cover sheet.

Learn more about the goals of the AHPRC pilot award program online and in our guidelines.


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About the AHPRC Pilot Award Program 

The Marquette Athletic and Human Performance Research Center (AHPRC) pilot award program is designed to facilitate and foster collaborative health- and performance-related research between disciplines at Marquette University and with partner institutions and community organizations that align with the following:

1) understanding the mechanisms, the best strategies and cutting-edge technology for enhancing athletic and human performance in healthy and clinical populations across the lifespan,

2) utilizing ‘exercise as medicine’ as well as nutritional, psychological and other novel interventions for optimizing performance, training, rehabilitation and prevention of disease and injury.

Funds Will Be Provided To

  1. Support new and promising collaborative and community-based projects that increase the understanding of athletic and human performance with respect to injury prevention, rehabilitation and optimizing human performance within athletic, healthy and clinical For example, topic areas could include (but not limited to) metabolic disorders, cancer, adaptive sports, data analytics in human sports and performance, head injuries/concussion, populations across the lifespan (pediatric and older adults), or COVID-19 pandemic-related health disparities.
  2. Gather preliminary data for projects poised to be competitive for new extramural grant submissions that are relevant to
  • understanding the mechanisms of human performance (physical and mental) within athletic, healthy, clinical, or community-based populations.
  • understanding the influence of physical activity, exercise training, nutrition and psychological interventions on health and human performance within athletic, healthy, clinical, or community-based populations.
  • research in novel technologies, approaches and data applications to understanding and improving health and human performance in athletic, healthy, clinical, or community-based populations.
  1. Fund novel analyses or approaches of already existing data sets that provide new insights and understanding of health and human performance in athletic, healthy, clinical, or community-based populations.
  2. Stimulate and foster:
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists, engineers, coaches, clinicians, and other researchers to understand and improve human performance and solve health-related problems using exercise training, physical activity, nutrition, and psychological interventions in athletic, healthy or clinical populations.
  • Community-engaged research and partnerships to improve community wellness and address health disparities.

Guidelines and Requirements

  • The principal investigator (PI) must be faculty from Marquette University.
  • Collaborations are encouraged. 
  • Use of AHPRC facilities and services for this research is encouraged but not required.  
  • Important Dates (summarized at the end of the RFP):
    • Final proposal due: 4:00 PM CDT Friday, August 18th, 2023
    • Award of funds: Monday, October 2nd, 2023*
    • January report: Monday, January 29th, 2024
      • 200-word summary of progress and budget spent to date
    • All awarded funds spent by Friday, May 24th, 2024
    • Final report due: Friday, June 28th, 2024

* Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must be obtained prior to the award and release of funds for research involving human subjects.

  • Questions are to be directed to Dr Sandra Hunter (Director of the AHPRC in the Office of Research and Innovation) via email at


  • Several awards will be funded up to $10,000 each.
  • No indirect costs will be allowed.
  • All funds must be spent by May 24th, 2024.
  • Academic year salary for faculty will not be granted.
  • Salary can be granted for research assistants, undergraduate students, or graduate students to complete the work.
  • Equipment requests over $4,000 in general will not be granted.

Review of Proposals

Proposals will be reviewed over a 4-5-week period based on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) scoring system which involves a 9-point scale (1-9).  Key areas to be scored are:

  • Impact, Significance, and Innovation
  • Research Plan and Approach (include feasibility to complete in 7-8 months)
  • Environment and suitability to the aims of the AHPRC
  • Investigators: track record.
  • Other considerations that will affect the overall impact score and need be addressed include how this award will lead to further funding and a plan for use of AHPRC facilities in the future for this line of research.

Link to NIH scoring.

Overview of Due Dates

Action Due Dates
Final proposal due  Fri, Aug 18, 2023, 4pm
Award of funds  Fri, Oct 2, 2023
January Report  Mon, Jan 29, 2024
End of funding Fri, May 24, 2024
Report Fri, June 28, 2024


Questions are to be directed to Dr. Sandra Hunter, Director of the AHPRC in the Office of Research and Innovation, via email at