CCTS: Pilot Grants

Follow CCTS Online

  • TwitterFacebook

Pilot Grant Program

The CCTS announces the availability of pilot grant funding for 2010

November 13, 2009

To:UIC Clinical, Research, and Tenure Track Faculty
From:Theodore Mazzone, MD, Director, CCTS

For the Winter, 2010 funding cycle, two major procedural changes will be implemented in the CCTS pilot funding program:

  1. To help catalyze research in key areas, we have identified priority areas for funding for this cycle; and
  2. To help speed the review process and most appropriately focus applicants' efforts, we will require letters of intent and will invite full applications based on a review of the letters of intent.

Index

Goals of CCTS Pilot Grant Program
Deadlines for the Winter 2010 pilot grant program
Pilot Grant Guidelines
Planning grants
Preliminary Study pilot grants
Application Format for both planning and preliminary study pilot grants:
Application Download Links

The goals of the CCTS Pilot Grant Program are:

  • To foster outstanding new clinical and translational research at UIC by supporting the development of preliminary data that can be used to launch new NIH or other externally-funded research proposals;
  • To encourage interdisciplinary teams of investigators to develop collaborations or new research avenues;
  • To promote interactions between basic and clinical scientists; and
  • To support research collaborations with community partners and organizations.

This program focuses on clinical and translational research, and as such, all applications should meet at least one of the following criteria: involve human subjects, facilitate human subject investigations, establish infrastructure related to human subject investigation, or concern disease mechanisms with clear implications for pathophysiology of human disease, including animal models. Pilot funding aims to support several aspects of successful, extramurally funded research programs, including: proof of principle studies for new methodologies; feasibility studies for patient recruitment; measurement validation studies; pilot intervention studies to inform sample size and power estimation; establishment of collaborative community partnerships; development of new technologies to address a clinical research problem; improvements in biomedical informatics architecture and/or delivery of services, new methods for structuring or analyzing data sets; and stimulating pediatric clinical research.

For funding for the Winter 2010 funding cycle, priority will be given to letters of intent focused on one of the two areas listed below. Letters of intent from investigators proposing projects in other areas will also be accepted.

  • Translation of disease mechanisms based on laboratory science demonstrably relevant to human disease; and
  • Identification and development of procedures to reduce barriers to implementation of evidence-based prevention, screening/early detection, or treatment approaches into clinical practice.

The CCTS intends to fund applications in each of the two priority areas. Applications with a focus on areas other than those listed above may also be considered for funding.

The pilot grant program funds both Planning and Preliminary Study grants.

Planning grants of $25,000 will be one year in duration and focus on preparatory work for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Preliminary Study pilot grants can be up to 2 years in duration ($30,000 each year, with second year funding contingent upon progress made during year 01) and focus specifically on activities needed to prepare competitive NIH grant proposals.

↑ Back to Top

Deadlines for the Winter 2010 pilot grant program:

Monday, January 11, 2010
5:00pm
Letters of intent (REQUIRED) for form click here
Monday, January 25, 2010 Based on review of letter of intent, applicants invited to apply for pilot funding
Thursday, February 25, 2010
5:00 pm
Complete pilot grant application due
April 1, 2010 Award decisions
April 15, 2010 Award Start Date

↑ Back to Top

Pilot Grant Guidelines

Eligibility

a) P.I. Eligibility: Principal Investigators must be clinical, research, or tenure track UIC faculty or must be affiliated with other CCTS partners. CCTS partners include the Jesse Brown VA, Advocate Health Care, and other U of I campuses. Applications from partners are encouraged, but must also involve a UIC co-PI. Although adjunct faculty and academic professionals cannot serve as PIs, they may serve as named investigators, collaborators, or key personnel.Post-doctoral fellows who have dual mentorship from a clinical translational discipline and a basic, physical, or engineering discipline may also serve as key personnel.

b) Project Eligibility: Preference will be given to studies from investigators who wish to move their work into new, clinically relevant areas, to studies that involve new interdisciplinary collaborations, and to studies that show involvement of CCTS core resources (e.g., clinical/patient interfaces). Existing projects or collaborations will only be considered provided they demonstrate how the Pilot funding will lead to new avenues of research that otherwise would not have occurred. Examples could include early stage collaborations that are required to develop relevant preliminary data, multidisciplinary groups with the potential to develop new interdisciplinary science, or those needing support to develop the capacity to work as a group.

c) Invitations to Apply for Pilot Grants: Letters of intent are required and will be reviewed. Only applicants who have submitted a letter of intent and who are invited to apply for the full pilot or planning grant will be eligible.

Award Types and Amounts

a) Planning grants: Planning grants are one year in duration in amounts up to $25,000. The primary focus of planning grants is on preparatory work for interdisciplinary collaborations. Examples of planning grant funding uses include: secondary analysis of existing data from an interdisciplinary perspective to generate study hypotheses; preparation of joint publications from a newly formed interdisciplinary team to strengthen their competitiveness for NIH funding; or support for the logistics of preparing a center grant or program project application, including convening a pre-proposal advisory board. Planning grants may lead directly to submission of extramural funding applications or they could lead to subsequent pilot studies.

b) Preliminary Study grants: Preliminary study grants are up to 2 years in duration ($30,000 each year, with second year funding contingent upon progress made during year 01) and focus specifically on activities such as conducting preliminary research to inform study design, demonstrate feasibility of research protocols, pilot test novel methodologies, or initiate and establish new interdisciplinary research.

Submission Process

Letters of Intent (2 pages maximum) are required of all applicants(for form click here) and must be submitted electronically to: Lauren Walsh (laurenw@uic.edu) with “CCTS Pilot Grant Letter of Intent” as the subject line. Letters of intent should include:

  • the names and affiliations of all investigators;
  • type of grant (planning or preliminary study)and anticipated budget request;
  • a 750 word description of the research (written for a lay person to understand), addressing aims, approach and significance;
  • a statement of why this is a “pilot” grant application and how the pilot grant would facilitate a future external grant proposal;
  • A list of which CCTS core services may be needed to complete this project
  • A statement of how this proposed project may extend collaborations or develop new areas of research for the investigators.

Following an initial review of the letters of intent, applicants may be invited to submit full proposals.

Proposals are to be submitted in two forms:

  • One PDF file of complete proposal to laurenw@uic.edu. This should be one file and not a series of attachments.
  • One original paper copy to the attention of: Ms. Lauren Walsh, CCTS, 914 S Wood Street, MC 595, Rm 217 MCA, Chicago, IL 60612.

Applicants are encouraged to work with the CCTS Cores in the development of their pilot grant proposals. These cores include: Design and Analysis, Clinical Interface, Community Engagement, Biomedical Informatics, Translational Technologies and Resources, and Regulatory Support , Advocacy and Bioethics Core. To access these services, please contact Lauren Walsh at 312-413-7316, or laurenw@uic.edu, to discuss your interests and available appointments.

IRB Approval: IRB approval is not required at the submission stage for a planning grant or a pilot grant. If you are selected as an awardee, pilot grant funds will be made available only after IRB approval (or exemption) has been granted.

↑ Back to Top

Application Content

Planning grants

Planning grant submissions should include the following:

A. Cover Page (for form click here)

B. Narrative Summary – up to 10 pages (exclusive of references) that includes the following information:

a) Abstract (100 words) that provides a narrative summary of the proposed planning grant activities in language appropriate for a multidisciplinary review panel.

b) Specific Aims (1/2 page) that describes the purpose of the planning grant

c) Background and Significance (2 pages) that describes the significance of the proposed are of research and how the planning grant activities will create the potential for new directions and innovation in the proposed area

d) Qualifications of the study team (2 pages) that describes the expertise and background of the proposed collaborative team. This section should make it clear to the reviewers how the research team will accomplish translational and clinical research goals together that would not be possible working independently.

e) Planning grant activities (up to 5 pages) that describe in detail the proposed planning grant activities. This section should include a description of the anticipated next steps from the planning grant and specific, measurable criteria for evaluating the planning grant’s success.

f) Detailed budget* Each application requires an appropriate budget with full justification of personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, animal and patient care costs, costs associated with human subjects, and other expenses necessary for the proposed project period. An excel spreadsheet or table is acceptable.

  • Budget cannot include salary support for any investigator but should specify their time commitment.
  • Post Doc support and student stipends/fringes are eligible expenses.
  • Tuition remission is not an eligible expense. This will be covered by campus.
  • Indirect costs are prohibited.
  • Limited travel for purpose of professional meetings or essential collaboration may be approved.

g) NIH biosketches*: NIH biosketches including current and pending support for past five years for all key personnel noting areas of potential funding overlap with this proposal.

h) Letters of support* from the Department Heads of all key personnel for the development of the proposed collaboration.

* Budget, biosketches, and letters of support are not included in the page limits.

↑ Back to Top

Preliminary Study pilot grants

Preliminary Study pilot grant submissions should include the following:

A. Cover Page (for form click here)

B. Narrative Summary - up to 10 pages (exclusive of references) that may include the following, as appropriate:

a) Abstract: This should present a concise statement of what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and why, in language suitable for a multidisciplinary clinical review panel. This summary might:

  • Identify what issues or questions will be explored and the possible long

  • term societal impact and benefits.
  • Describe how the proposed work could be supported at a later date by an external agency, if appropriate.
  • Provide a summary time-line for the scholarship by major aims, goals, or milestones.
  • Define any terms that are unique to the field
  • Highlight critical administrative plans and agreements that will be prerequisites for interdisciplinary collaboration.

b) Specific Aims: The questions or problems to be addressed. This might describe current efforts in this area and why the why pursuit of these questions will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach.

c) Background and Significance: Should be consistent with the goals and objectives of the NIH Roadmap CTSA initiative (http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ovcr/research/funding/NIH-Clinical.shtml).

d) Preliminary Data: Include only the preliminary data that are highly pertinent to the proposal.

e) Experimental Design/ Methods: Applicants may wish to outline the strategies proposed to accomplish the specific aims of the project and discuss the innovative aspects of the approach. Any new methodology and its advantage over existing methodologies should be described.

f) Resources: A description of the resources and working arrangements required to implement each project should be described. A distinction must be made between those resources that already are in place (including staff) and those resources that must be added to advance the project. Each PI’s expected contributions and responsibilities should be outlined. You may wish to discuss any long-term management plans.

g) Plans for extramural funding: Detailed plan for submission of competitive applications to external funding agencies (priority will be given to applications planned for NIH funding). Program announcements and other pertinent NIH initiatives should be included. If known, applicants should specify the institute and program officer for the planned submission.

h) Budget*: Each application requires an appropriate budget with full justification of personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, animal and patient care costs, costs associated with human subjects, and other expenses necessary for the proposed project period. An excel spreadsheet or table is acceptable.

  • Highlight critical administrative plans and agreements that will be prerequisites Budget cannot include salary support for any investigator but should specify their time commitment.
  • Post Doc support and student stipends/fringes are eligible expenses.
  • Tuition remission is not an eligible expense. This will be covered by campus.
  • Indirect costs are prohibited
  • Limited travel for purpose of professional meetings or essential collaboration may be approved

i) NIH biosketches*: NIH biosketches including current and pending support for past five years for all key personnel noting areas of potential funding overlap with this proposal.

j) Letters of support*; Include letters from the relevant Department/Unit head(s) affirming their agreement to the needed protected time, space, and other resources necessary for all study investigators to conduct the research.

k) Appendices*: Should be limited to measurement instruments, surveys, and letters describing pledged resources.

* Budget, biosketches, letters of support, and appendices are not included in the page limits.

↑ Back to Top

Application Format for both planning and preliminary study pilot grants:

  • Single-spaced
  • 12-point font minimum
  • Margins no less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) all around.

Review process

Members of the CCTS Translational Research Academy will serve as reviewers, with membership on the review panel augmented to assure knowledgeable reviewers for all submitted proposals. The review committee will score the proposals and forward their recommendations to the CCTS Steering Committee. The CCTS Steering Committee will serve as the council making final funding recommendations.

Selection criteria

Selection of proposals for funding will consider the following:

a) Intrinsic Merit. The overall quality, relevance and innovation of the work to the CCTS goals; the likelihood that the work will (a) lead to fundamental advances, to new clinical discoveries, or to new technological developments, and/or (b) improve the quality of life in Chicago and the broader community; (c) representation of pilot funding across the continuum of translational and clinical sciences; (d) the likelihood that the application will lead to successful funding in extramural competition will be factors in review.

b) Appropriateness. The need for and suitability of the initiative to the CCTS goals and mission; whether the proposed approach will add significantly to what could be accomplished through existing methodologies. In addition, the integration of component projects is important and should be described explicitly.

c) PI Qualifications. The qualifications and credentials of the PIs, and their past productivity will be considered.

d) Institutional Commitment. The nature and level of resources available from the colleges/departments and from other sponsoring units will be considered.

e) Appropriateness of Management Plans and Arrangements. The adequacy of the organizational and administrative plans; the appropriateness of the budget; and the mechanism to evaluate project progress will be considered.

Funding and Compliance Requirements

Funded projects are required to submit brief semi-annual progress reports as well as a final report. Investigators must acknowledge CCTS funding in all publications and presentations. Investigators will also be invited to participate in further activities with the CCTS as appropriate (e.g., seminar presentations, training course lectures, and review of future applications). No pilot funds will be released without complete IRB approval or exemption from UIC’s Internal Review Board.

Monday, January 11, 2010
5:00pm
Letters of intent (REQUIRED) for form click here
Monday, January 25, 2010 Based on review of letter of intent, applicants invited to apply for pilot funding
Thursday, February 25, 2010
5:00 pm
Complete pilot grant application due

Award Decisions

Awards will be announced April, 2010. Funding for the selected studies will not begin until there is an IRB-approved research protocol.

Progress and Post Award Reporting

A semi-annual progress report must be submitted to the CCTS Steering Committee at the end of the first six months of funding, and at the end of the funding cycle.

Grant Conditions

Grantees will be expected to participate in the CCTS interdisciplinary seminar series, including a presentation of their findings. They may also be asked to serve as peer reviewers in subsequent intramural grant competitions.

Questions

Faculty with questions should contact Lauren Walsh, Investigator Interface Coordinator, at 312-413-7316 or laurenw@uic.edu.

↑ Back to Top

Application forms for download

↑ Back to Top