2016 / 2017 Health Disparities Pilot Grant Program

Overview: The CTR-IN Pilot Grant Program is a Limited Competition,Mentored Career Development funding opportunity. The mission of the CTR-IN is to build clinical and translational research capacity, and facilitate extramural funding success, among investigators with faculty appointments at the 13 universities in the Mountain West Research Consortium. CTR-IN has a policy of funding the best science at each partner institution in each application cycle, concordant with the results of scientific peer review. The program provides research funding, and a mentored pathway of milestones leading to publications and expansion of research skills, to help faculty achieve independent investigator status as reflected in the submission of an NIH R-type grant proposal (or equivalent) in clinical or translational research.

Funding Source: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS, U54GM104944).

Research Focus: The research topic for this round of pilot grant support must be focused on health disparities (or health inequalities) research. Health disparities can have different meanings and interpretations depending on the setting and population being studied. In general, health disparities are considered to be differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, access to care and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups.

Key Dates:
Final day for Submission of Nominating Packetsby the Institutional OSP
*[Please note: each institution may have an earlier deadline for submissions by investigators to be considered for nomination through the institution’s internal process. See Application Process, STEP ONE below]
02 December 2016
Invitations to investigators to submit full applications will be issued by 12 December 2016
Application Due Date 01 March 2017
Announcement of Applications Selected for Intent to Fund 31 May 2017
Earliest Start Date 15 July 2017


Project Duration: 11 months (July 15, 2017 through June 30, 2018); no carryover of unspent funds.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Nomination from Institution: Applicants must be nominated by their institution and subsequently invited by CTR-IN to submit a full application. Potential applicants must contact their local CTR-IN Concierge CTR-IN Concierge Network for instructions on the nominating process. See also STEP ONE below.
  • Principal Investigator (PI): The PI must 1) have a faculty-level appointment with a minimum of 0.5 FTE support at a participating CTR-IN Institution, and 2) must be eligible to submit extramural grant applications from their institution as a PI.The PI must devote at least 20% effort (2.4 person months) to the Pilot Grant project. Per IDeA program policy, an awardee may not concurrently receive research funding through other IDeA mechanisms (e.g., CoBRE or INBRE). Multi-PI projects are not allowable but co-investigators may be included.
  • Research Scope: In addition to the health disparities focus indicated above, the project must be Clinical or Translational Research. The CTR-IN is unable to fund pre-clinical or basic science research.

Funding Level and Allowable Expenses:
Applicants are encouraged to work with their Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to ensure that their budget forms are properly completed. Budget questions may be directed to Jeanette Snyder, CTR-IN Fiscal Manager jeanette.bernard-snyder@unlv.edu.Poorly completed budgets, or budgets requesting substantial support for elements that are not aligned with the CTR-IN mission to promote the PI development as an independent investigator, will be returned without review.

Direct costs of up to $60,000 per year may be requested. Permitted expenses include support for half of the salary and benefits associated with the PIs effort, salaries for research personnel, research supplies, and participant expenses. Consultant fees to support the mentor’s effort are allowable up to a maximum of $3,000.

All expenses must be allowable under NIH guidelines. Additionally, the following restrictions apply:

  • Equipment costs over $5,000 not allowable.
  • Significant foreign participation not allowable.
  • Laptops/computers not allowable.
  • Tuition and fees for graduate students – not allowable. However, stipend support is allowable.
  • Subcontracts to institutions located in non-IDeA states not allowable. However, services provided in non-IDeA states can be purchased on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Publication costs (i.e., page charges) not allowable.

Travel expenses are allowed, if necessary,for conducting field work as part of the project, or accessing experts or other resources such as meeting with the mentor. Budgets must include costs for the PI and the mentor to attend the CTR-IN Annual Meeting at Las Vegas (May 2017). Travel expenses may be requested for the PI to present this work at one national or regional meeting,providing the meeting date is within the project period and far enough into the project for data to be available.

Eligible Mountain West Research Consortium Institutions:

  • Boise State University
  • Idaho State University
  • Montana State University
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Montana
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • University of Nevada Reno
  • University of Wyoming

STEP ONE – Limited competition nomination of applicants from eligible institutions: Interested applicants must coordinate with their respective institution Research Office and CTR-IN Concierge (see CTR-IN Concierge Network). Each institution may have an earlier deadline for submissions for nominations through the institution internal process. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the designated institution Concierge.Each institution may nominate up to four applicants. Nominating Packets must be submitted by the institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs via the: Pilot Grant Evaluation Interface. Nominating Packets must include the following for each applicant:

  • An NIH format Biographical Sketch for the proposed PI and the mentor. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/faq_biosketches.htm
  • An NIH format Other Support document for the proposed PI. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/Non-competing_othersupport.pdf
  • A summary of the proposed research of not more than one page with sufficient detail to establish that the research is clinical or translational. The summary should also include a brief description of how the proposed research addresses health disparities (or health inequalities).
  • A letter of support signed by an appropriate institutional official committing to provide support for half of the requested PI effort if the CTR-IN Pilot Grant is awarded.
  • A letter of support from the proposed mentor indicating willingness to work with the prospective PI. For assistance in identifying a mentor, see (Mentoring).

STEP TWO – Invitation to submit pilot grant application: Nominating Packets will undergo administrative review by CTR-IN to ensure that they are responsive to this announcement. OSP representatives will be notified of any nominations that are found to be non-responsive. A Nominating Packet that is determined to be non-responsive to this FOA may be replaced with another while the Nomination phase is open.Early submission of Nominating Packets is encouraged in order to allow adequate time to prepare a replacement where applicable. Applicants with approved Nominating Packets will be invited to submit a full application.

STEP THREE – Full application: Applications will be submitted by the PI via the Pilot Grant Evaluation Interface. The items indicated below should be prepared as separate documents that can then be uploaded at the Application Portal.Applications must use the PHS 398 forms (where indicated). Instructions on the use of those forms are available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html. Applications must conform to standard NIH formatting requirements with regard to fonts, size and margins (e.g., Arial, 11 point, ½” margins).The following items should be included in your submission:

1. Face Page (Form Page 1).
[Note: On Face Page, please include ERA Commons ID, institutional signatures and make sure that your face page matches the final budget + Indirect Cost.]

2. Checklist with F&A cost breakdown at 10%(Checklist Form Page)[Note: Facilities and Administration Costs are limited to the federal/NIH de minimus rate of 10%.]

3. Project Summary and Relevance, Listing of Key Personnel, and Project/Performance Site (Form Page 2).

4. Detailed Budget (Form Page 4).
Special requirements regarding PI support: Pilot Grant PI must devote at least 20% effort to the proposed research (i.e., 2.4 calendar months); up to 50% effort may be proposed. While the budget narrative must reference the full amount of effort required to accomplish the proposed scope of work, the budget may request CTR-IN funds for not more than half of the PI effort. Per prior agreement with CTR-IN partner institutions the balance of PI effort is to be covered by institutional support in the form of release from teaching, direct salary support, assignment of time provided to pursue scholarly activity, or other mechanism appropriate to the institution. This support is not a formal cost share, and no recording/reporting requirements exist. Budgets should list the full PI effort proposed as appropriate for their appointment in calendar months, or academic and summer months. Support requested may not exceed half of that value.

5. NIH format Biographical Sketch for Key Personnel and Mentor (five page maximum per individual). Policy/faq_biosketches.htm

6. Detailed budget justification.

7. Resources and Environment.

8. Specific Aims (not to exceed one page).

9. Research Strategy (not to exceed four pages). Research Strategy should include:
9.1. Significance, including how this project addresses health disparities (or health inequalities).
9.2. Innovation.
9.3. Approach. Note – in addition to research methods, the approach section should include the following:
9.3.1. Project timeline
9.3.2. Interim milestones
9.3.3. Plans for developing and submitting future extramural grant application

10. Literature Cited (no page limit).

11. Planned Enrollment Table (OMB Number: 0925-0001 and 0925-0002). [Note: Per recent NIH policy, projects deemed exempt by the IRB must still submit the enrollment table.]

12. Protection of Human Subjects section (no page limit).[Note: Must complete all elements Pertaining to Non-Exempt Human Subjects Research as indicated in Part II, Sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.4: Supplemental Instructions.pdf]

13. Human subjects approval. IRB approval letter (or IRB exemption letter) must be provided at the time of application submission. Documentation of human subjects training for key personnel (e.g., CITI) must be available upon request during the Just In Time phase (May 15, 2017 – June 30, 2017).

14. Fully executed Memorandum of Agreement between PI and Mentor (see Mentoring).

CTR-IN Resources to Assist Applicants:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Pilot Grant Program can be found at: Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Each participating institution has a biostatistician supported by CTR-IN to assist prospective investigators in developing their research ideas. This biostatistical support is provided free of charge. Participation of the CTR-IN biostatistician in the drafting of proposals, and as the biostatistical co-investigator, is mandatory (see CTR-IN Biostat Support Contacts).
  • The CTR-IN provides mentorship and educational support to assist researchers at partner institutions (see Mentoring).
  • Educational videos and other resources related to clinical and translational research can be found at the CTR-IN Virtual Classroom, here ...
  • The CTR-IN currently funds pilot award investigators at each of the Mountain West institutions. A list of current awardees and their projects can be found at: Pilot Grants Awarded.
  • Any questions about the Pilot Grant Program can be directed to Curtis Noonan (curtis.noonan@umontana.edu).


Contact Us

To contact the CTR-IN Administrative Core by phone, you may call (702) 895-1079 between 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays. Or, you may email us at ctr-in@unlv.edu at any time.


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