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Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program

The application period for the 2014 Pilot Studies Awards is now closed.


Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program?
    Our Pilot Studies Program seeks to foster the development of new, significant, interdisciplinary translational research among the faculty and senior trainees at Tufts schools, clinical affiliates and partner organizations, which is competitive for extramural federal research funding. The Program performs active outreach to generate the strongest pool of proposals possible via broad communication of the program to all partners and through methodological study design support, identification of collaborators, and regulatory guidance. Over 50% of all awards over the last five years were awarded to bench-to-bedside applicants, providing a full translational program.

  • What are the types of grants awarded?
    Tufts CTSI offers three types of translational pilot awards:
    Catalyst: supports interdisciplinary research teams to develop sufficient preliminary data to secure future extramural funding. Thus, the collaborating applicants must have a preliminary hypothesis underlying the proposed research and must articulate a defined plan for extramural funding (i.e., R01 or P01 awards, SBIR awards with industry collaborators, or equivalent).
    Multi-site Catalyst Awards: The multi-site catalyst awards should follow the same guidelines as the above catalyst awards at each site. Tufts CTSI will consider applications from up to three entities, with a budget allocation up to $30,000/site (e.g., a three-site pilot could request a budget of up to $90,000) and include direct costs only. This mechanism applies to the following four site categories: (1) Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center Affiliated Hospitals, Schools and Centers, (2) Brandeis University Heller School and Schneider Institutes, (3) Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences, and (4) RAND Corporation.
    Methods Development: supports researchers in the development of a new translational research method. Applicants must also articulate a defined plan for seeking extramural funding for additional research and dissemination.

  • Who is eligible to apply? 
    Interdisciplinary research teams (two or more disciplines) in which the PI is a full-time Assistant Professor (or above) faculty member of a CTSI academic partner institution. Other team members can include faculty and researchers from any Tufts CTSI member institutions and our community partners. The projects must move development of a treatment, approach, or technology along the translational pathway, directly relating the study activities to achieving health impact. Submission is required of appropriate IRB and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval documents for projects that involve human or animal subjects.

  • What is an Interdisciplinary Research Team?
    The NIH Roadmap states that interdisciplinary research "integrates the analytical strengths of two or more often disparate scientific disciplines to create a new hybrid discipline. By engaging seemingly unrelated disciplines, traditional gaps in terminology, approach, and methodology might be gradually eliminated." Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) exist to impact health by promoting research that translates insights from basic biomedical research from bench to bedside (T1), from bedside to practice (T2), and impact generally available medical care and public health measures and policy (T3 and T4). In order to do this effectively, team members ideally should be from distinct disciplines, departments, and Tufts-affiliated organizations. Proposals by multiple investigators from a single discipline will not be considered.

  • How can I find out about projects that were previously funded?
    To view the abstracts for all prior Pilot Studies Program awardees, click on the links on the left side of this page. 

  • If I previously received a Tufts CTSI pilot studies grant, can I apply again?
    If you received a prior award from Tufts CTSI, you may apply again if it is for a different project or a different type of grant for the same project (i.e., methods development to catalyst). Tufts CTSI would not support two grants of the same mechanism for the same project (i.e., catalyst to catalyst or methods development to methods development).

  • Where can I find the application and other information?
    If you submitted a Letter of Intent, a link to the applications and instructions was emailed to you.

  • Can I apply simultaneously for a KL2 award and a Pilot Studies Program grant?
    A single PI can submit both a KL2 and a pilot application, and these will be reviewed and independently scored by separate review committees. Please note, however, an investigator cannot be awarded a simultaneous KL2 award and Pilot Studies Program funding as the PI or lead. If an investigator has a KL2 award, he or she may serve as a co-investigator of another Pilot Studies Program application. This pilot study must be a different research project than that proposed for the KL2.

  • When are the due dates for submitting my application and IRB materials?
    All pilot award applications must be submitted by Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:00PM.
    It is expected that you will draft applications to the IRB/IACUC/IBC as early as possible, if applicable to your project. Please complete any required regulatory documents and submit them to Tufts CTSI by March 5, 2014 at 5:00PM. If your project is awarded, you will be required to submit your materials to the IRB/IACUC/IBC by April 7, 2014. All projects must receive approval from the respective regulatory office prior to dispersal of funds on June 9, 2014.