New CTSA Program Funding Opportunities: Collaborative Innovation Awards

On April 2, 2015, NCATS released two new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for Collaborative Innovation Awards, designed to stimulate team-based research across the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) consortium. NCATS’ 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.

Translating biomedical discoveries into the clinic is essential to improving human health. However, the current translational process has many barriers, resulting in long delays before a new treatment is available to people who need them.

PAR-15-172 and PAR-15-173 solicit proposals for innovative collaborative investigations among three or more CTSA hubs to improve research methods at any step in the translational process. Through these awards, NCATS will foster research collaboration by encouraging teams from multiple hubs to work together to develop, demonstrate and disseminate multisite experimental approaches that overcome translational science roadblocks.

“By combining the innovative efforts of three or more CTSA hubs in flexible networks, we aim to enhance the effectiveness of the CTSA consortium to address systemic translational science questions,” said Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., NCATS director of clinical innovation.

PAR-15-173 solicits pre-applications from interested investigators. Applicants whose proposals are found to be meritorious and relevant to the CTSA program will be invited to submit a full application via PAR-15-172. The first pre-applications are due on June 24, 2015; full applications are due in February 2016.

“The CTSA program is designed to transform the translational ecosystem by overcoming barriers in translational science, operations and training,” said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. “The release of this funding opportunity represents an important milestone in a new era of CTSA-driven innovation, collaboratively developing translational solutions to improve human health.”

NCATS expects to commit approximately $9 million in fiscal year 2016 funding for multiple five-year awards, depending on available funds. At the full application stage, applicants for clinical projects may request up to $1 million in direct costs annually. For nonclinical projects, applicants may request up to $500,000 annually in direct costs.

In developing the FOAs, NCATS carefully considered input about the CTSA program from the Institute of Medicine, a working group of the NCATS Advisory Council (PDF - 414KB), CTSA investigators, patient groups, other NIH Institutes and Centers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical development organizations, regulatory agencies, and the broader clinical and translational research community.


Posted April 2015