About the CTSA Program

Under NCATS’ leadership, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program supports a national network of medical research institutions — called hubs ― that work together to improve the translational research process to get more treatments to more patients more quickly. The hubs collaborate locally and regionally to catalyze innovation in training, research tools and processes.

CTSA Program support enables research teams including scientists, patient advocacy organizations and community members to tackle system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical and translational research that no one team can overcome. The Focus Areas of the CTSA Program are to:

  • Develop, demonstrate, and disseminate innovations that turn science into medicine faster;
  • Promote impactful partnerships and collaborations;
  • Address health disparities;
  • Provide a national resource for the rapid response to urgent public health needs;
  • Promote training and career support; and
  • Nurture the field of translational science.

CTSA Program Clinical Studies

Through CTSA Program hubs, NCATS supports activities to test and develop innovative approaches to barriers in clinical research. One example is the, efficient recruitment of research participants and institutional review board (IRB) approvals for multisite clinical trials. Ongoing approaches include the following:

  • The Trial Innovation Network is a collaborative initiative composed of three key organizational partners:
    • Trial Innovation Centers
    • Recruitment Innovation Center
    • CTSA Program hubs

NCATS’ vision for the Trial Innovation Network is to address critical roadblocks in clinical trials and to accelerate the translation of novel interventions into life-saving therapies. Features will include a single-IRB system, master contracting agreements, quality-by-design approaches and a focus on evidence-based strategies to recruitment and patient engagement.

These and similar activities are intended to improve the quality and speed of clinical research in the CTSA Program network for a broad range of research studies, with the ultimate goal of bringing more evidence-based treatments to more patients more quickly.