Since the inception of Tufts CTSI, we have worked to break down silos within and across our institutions, build relationships, and develop a sense of common purpose across the research enterprise. In June 2015, our Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) signature program, led by John Wong, MD (Director) and Thomas W. Concannon, PhD (Associate Director), made significant strides in bringing researchers together for information sharing and collaboration. They solicited proposed CER projects from across the Tufts CTSI partnership, and then hosted an interactive learning day featuring the presentation of these “use cases,” followed with commentary by experts who addressed specific barriers to their success and small group discussions by grant team members and attendees. The use cases included a randomized clinical trial, a patient-centered outcomes research project for communication and dissemination, a pragmatic clinical trial, and a study of big data.

A subsequent session in November 2015 featured discussions about review criteria at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and other funders, and participants identified next steps to help project teams continue making progress toward funding proposals.

Of the four use cases presented in June, one led to a KL2 Career Development Award (Keren Ladin, PhD, MSc of Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences), another to a submitted letter of interest to the Commonwealth Fund (James Chambers, PhD, MPharm, MSc, of Tufts Medical Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies) and another to Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program funding and a PCORI Eugene Washington Engagement Award (Susan Hadley, MD, of Tufts Medical Center). The fourth presenter (Matthew Siegel, MD, of Maine Medical Center) was awarded a three-year multi-site study in autism and decided not to pursue his CER proposal at this time.

This model was so successful, the CER Program is planning additional interactive learning days in 2016, and our One Health and Stakeholder and Community Engagement teams are planning to host similar events.