2018 CCIA Administrative Supplements Projects

CTSA Program External Reviewer Exchange Consortium

University of California, Irvine

Principal Investigator: Dan Cooper, M.D.

The CTSA Program External Reviewer Exchange Consortium (CEREC) is a collaborative effort among nine CTSA Program hubs (UC Irvine, The Ohio State University, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Washington, University of Southern California, and Harvard University) to exchange reviews of pilot project applications using qualified subject matter expert reviewers and removing conflicts of interest with pilots. CEREC will:

  • Coordinate the review of each of the nine institutions’ pilot grant applications by qualified, unaffiliated faculty reviewers;
  • Use a web-based portal (CEREC Central) that can be accessed by each CTSA Program partner hub to view proposals in real-time;
  • Optimize the quality of scientific review for pilot projects; and
  • Evaluate the efficiency of the CEREC peer-review exchange process model.

This multi-CTSA Program hub peer-review exchange process model has the potential to be duplicated and disseminated throughout other CTSA Program networks to accommodate and enrich rigorous reviews of pilot projects funded through the CTSA Program.

Dissemination of an Online and Interactive Individualized Development Plan Tool to Advance Clinical and Translational Science Career Development

University of Pittsburgh

UL1 Principal Investigator: Steven Reis, M.D.
Contact Principal Investigator: Doris Rubio, Ph.D.

The University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with Indiana University, University of Southern California and University of Pennsylvania, proposes enhancing and disseminating the University of Pennsylvania’s online and interactive tool to assist clinical and translational trainees to plan and discuss their career development goals with their mentoring teams. This Individual Development Plan (IDP) tool will:

  • Track goal setting, deadlines, commitments and productivity through dashboard metrics;
  • Maximize the user experience with interactive interfaces;
  • Give trainees the opportunity to interact with and obtain real-time and continuous feedback from multiple mentors over time on CTSA-identified clinical and translational research competencies; and
  • Monitor KL2 scholars and TL1 trainees continuously along the different stages of research training programs.

This project will provide an effective tool to develop and manage an IDP that can be adopted at any institution’s internal trainee portal. The dissemination of this tool across the CTSA Program is expected to improve mentors’ interactions with their trainees or scholars and to facilitate the storing and tracking of career and clinical and translational research competency metrics.  

Implementation Science Curriculum to Accelerate Translation in the CTSA Program

University of California, Los Angeles

Principal Investigator: Steven Dubinett, M.D.

The science of implementation and dissemination is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that aims to improve the relevance and uptake of research-based knowledge in real-world settings. This project proposes to disseminate curricular and course content and expertise in implementation science among six CTSA Program hubs — University of California (UC) Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, and University of Southern California — with the goal of enhancing CTSA Program capacity in implementation science. The overarching aims are to:

  • Increase the capability of CTSA Program hubs to train implementation science investigators;
  • Develop a model for preparing health systems and public health agencies to apply implementation science methods; and
  • Disseminate best practices in implementing enhanced, collaborative training in a multi-institutional CTSA Program network through publications, presentations, and sharing models and curricula.

This project will support CTSA Program hubs in preparing researchers to develop effective interventions in “real-world” settings and to increase the readiness of leaders and key staff in local health systems and public health agencies to use these methods. Ultimately, this project will demonstrate how CTSA Program hubs can share expertise so that researchers and health care leaders have more success solving care delivery challenges that affect patients and populations. 

Increasing Recruitment and Retention in Research through Participant Engagement at Fixed and Mobile Blood Donation Centers

University of California, San Diego

Principal Investigator: Gary S. Firestein, M.D.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Medical College of Wisconsin and Stanford University hubs will partner to implement the use of both fixed and mobile blood donation centers as innovative sites to engage a greater number of participants in research projects and clinical trials. This approach to recruitment has been demonstrated to be effective at UCSD and is now being expanded to two additional hubs to reach potential participants who would not normally participate in research or clinical trials. This supplement will support:

  • Partnerships between CTSA Program hubs and blood banks to implement fixed blood donation centers as clinical research sites;
  • Expansion of the geographic reach of research projects or clinical trials to rural areas, immobile populations and places of business by utilizing mobile blood donation units as “mobile clinical trial centers” during regular and off hours; and
  • Measurement of the impact on acceleration of translational research achieved from utilizing blood donation centers as satellite clinical research sites. 

The inability to recruit and retain the required participants in a research project or a clinical trial is a major bottleneck for translational science. This project has the potential to demonstrate the impact of an innovative way to encourage hard-to-reach and underserved communities to participate in research projects and clinical trials.

Online Learning Resources for Team Science and Community Engagement

Northwestern University

Principal Investigator: Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M.

Teamscience.net is the first comprehensive online, open-source learning tool about team science. Users can navigate through four learning modules that provide an introduction to team science and can participate in simulated challenges in behavioral, clinical and basic science teams. However, it has become increasingly clear that the software platform on which teamscience.net operates is outdated and that content needs a significant upgrade. Northwestern University, along with the University of Illinois at Chicago, will:

  • Upgrade, expand, evaluate and disseminate the team science learning resource;
  • Improve the user experience by converting the format from Flash to HTML5; and
  • Build a new module in collaboration with local experts to address the needs of teams in community-engaged research.

To enhance dissemination, a Shareable Content Object Reference Model-compliant learning management system (LMS) will be used. This project will allow other CTSA Program hubs to import the learning tool onto their own LMSs. This collaboration will lead to the dissemination of the enhanced team science e-learning resource across CTSA Program hubs and prepare the resource to be sustainable for the future. 

Social Networks to Map Team Science

University of Florida

Principal Investigator: David R. Nelson, M.D.

The University of Florida and the University of Kentucky CTSA Program hubs will employ social network analysis to understand the pattern and determinants of scientific collaboration within and around CTSA Program hubs. Although CTSA Program hubs are increasingly encouraged to promote team science and collaborations within and between hubs, there is little consensus on what data and methods should be used to measure and evaluate the contribution of different CTSA Program hubs to team science in their respective academic institutions. This project will provide support for the University of Florida to disseminate their approach of social network analysis to the University of Kentucky to develop metrics and methods that can be used to inform the establishment of cross-hub collaborations. This collaborative effort will:

  • Describe the scientific and collaborative profile of CTSA Program hubs as networks of research communities;
  • Assess the impact of CTSA Program programmatic efforts on team formation; and
  • Evaluate the effect of CTSA Program-induced collaborations on research productivity at both the team and individual levels.  

Network science methods will be used to identify cohesive research communities or clusters in the networks. This project has the potential to disseminate a blueprint for consistent monitoring and evaluation of impact of the CTSA Program on scientific collaborations and team science.

Using Barbershops to Engage Black Men in Research Across the CTSA Program

University of California, Los Angeles

Principal Investigator: Steven M. Dubinett, M.D.

This project will disseminate a novel intervention, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hub to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center CTSA Program hubs, in which pharmacists partner with barbershops to test black patrons for high blood pressure, prescribe high blood pressure medications as appropriate, and follow up with participants at future haircut appointments to check that the medications are working and not causing problems (see story here). The project will:

  • Identify a core group of stakeholders in the Vanderbilt CTSA Program hub and the Nashville community to build a network of barbershops to engage in health promotion and health research among black men;
  • Establish an initial network of eight barbershop research sites in Nashville;
  • Use the new Nashville barbershop network to execute a smaller version of the Los Angeles Barbershop Blood Pressure Study; and
  • Develop a complete manual of operating procedures and training materials for all roles of clinical study (lead barber, clinical pharmacist, community physician champion, etc.).

This project has the potential to demonstrate the impact of directly engaging communities and utilizing alternative health care delivery, through pharmacists, in nontraditional settings. This collaborative project, focusing on a novel community engagement approach, has the potential to be disseminated across the CTSA Program to include other underrepresented communities.