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 6 areas depicted by graphic icons. Mountain represents the Appalachian Translational Research Network);  the barn represents the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; a tractor represents the Rural Health Research Support Network; 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.


Other Rural Health Information

NCATS and CTSA Program Sponsored Events

  • Join NCATS and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for the 2020 NIH Rural Health Seminar: Challenges in the Era of COVID-19. The seminar will bring together researchers, medical practitioners and others to explore topics in rural health. Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on rural populations, on systems and workforce issues, and on community engagement in response to the pandemic. Learn more.
  • The Inaugural NIH Rural Health Seminar held on November 18, 2019, explored how innovations in clinical and translational science could improve rural health outcomes. Watch the videocast.
  • The CTSA Program Un-Meeting on Rural Health and Health Equity focused on collaboration to improve rural health and achieve health equity. Learn more.

In the News

  • Dr. Austin and Dr. Kurilla guest-edited a recent 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.
  • Appalachian Translational Research Network 10th Annual Health Summit — Community-engaged Research in Translational Science: Innovations to Improve Health in Appalachia • Sept. 22-23, 2020. View the agenda (PDF - 558KB).
  • NCATS Director’s Message - April 9, 2019: Applying Translational Science to Address Rural Health Disparities. Read more.
  • CTSA ANSIBLE included a message from Michael G. Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D., ​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. See more.

CTSA Program Funding Opportunities

  • To encourage collaborations to address health disparities that disproportionately affect rural, minority and other underserved populations, the CTSA Program expanded eligibility of the Collaborative Innovation Award (U01) to currently funded NIH Institutional Development Award Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) institutions. For more information read the funding opportunity announcement, PAR-19-099, and the notice NOT-TR-19-016.

Other Collaborative Efforts


Past Events

Linking Research to Rural Communities with the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Webinar
March 31, 2020
This webinar expanded upon the Rural Monitor article from 2019 with speakers Michael Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D., Kay Miller Temple, M.D., and Laura James, M.D.