CTSA Program Rural Health Efforts

The NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program is committed to accelerating clinical and translational research to address health disparities and the significant burden of conditions that disproportionately affect rural, minority and other underserved populations (NOT-TR-19-015). Increasing the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of clinical and translational research will reduce the burden of disease and promote health equity. Enhanced efforts by the CTSA Program to address longstanding regional health disparities are expected to provide innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to reducing the burden of disease among vulnerable populations.

Highlighted Projects

The following highlighted initiatives showcase CTSA Program-supported efforts across the country to reduce rural health disparities through collaboration, community-academic partnerships, primary care provider and pharmacist engagement, and peer outreach. Click each graphic element to learn more.

Rural scene that highlight 5 areas depicted by graphic icons. Mountain represents the Appalachian Translational Research Network);  the barn represents the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; a physician’s office represents the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho region Practice and Research Network; a group of people represent the Peer-based Retention of People who use Drugs in Rural Research; and the pharmacy represents the Collaboration to Enhance Naloxone Distribution in Rural Areas.


Credit: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Other Rural Health Information

CTSA Commitment to Rural Health

  • Dr. Michael Kurilla and Dr. Christopher Austin guest-edited an issue of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science that focused on improving rural health. The special issue seeks to advance clinical and translational science in addressing rural health and features articles about turning observations made in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve both the health of individuals and public health overall.
  • In the April 2019 Director’s Message: Applying Translational Science to Address Rural Health Disparities, former NCATS Director Dr. Austin discussed the CTSA Program’s nationwide reach and an innovative, collaborative model that includes engagement with communities and patients, which is essential to creating successful approaches to address rural health disparities.
  • CTSA ANSIBLE included a message from Dr. Kurilla to encourage the CTSA Program to expand translational research efforts that address rural health disparities and health conditions that disproportionately affect minority and special populations.

CTSA Program Funding Opportunities

  • The NCATS CTSA Program promotes the expansion of efforts to accelerate clinical and translational research to address health disparities and the significant burden of conditions that disproportionately affect rural, minority and other underserved populations (NOT-TR-19-015). Examples of project areas that may address the goal of improving rural health and eliminating health disparities include, but are not limited to:
    • Projects that address translational science barriers, such as improving access to clinical trials for rural communities, leveraging community organizations or public-private partnerships to facilitate outreach and rural participant recruitment into clinical trials, and harnessing technology to simultaneously deliver effective care and advance research.
    • Projects designed to implement, assess and/or disseminate methods, approaches, education and training in clinical and translational science that are targeted to improving rural health outcomes and eliminating health disparities.
  • Further information and funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for the NCATS CTSA program can be found at ncats.nih.gov/ctsa/funding.


Past Activities