Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet) Pilot

The CWRU BETRNet Research Center, supported by NIH/NCI U54CA163060, announces a program to encourage innovative transdisciplinary and translational research related to Barrett’s Esophagus (BE).  The overall objectives of the program are: (1) to encourage innovative transdisciplinary and translational research, especially high risk/high impact research; (2) to explore emerging opportunities and to enhance productivity of the research projects in the BETRNet, and; (3) to attract new researchers, resources and technologies to conduct translational research on BE and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC).

Limited awards of up to $40,000/year will be made to eligible applicants for one year, with the possibility of a second year of funding based on the success of the pilot.  Pilot projects must have a transdisciplinary approach and translational research plan focused on BE and/or EAC in one of the focus areas defined by BETRNet.

The BETRNet sponsors innovative research through its Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program Partnership with the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) for full-time faculty from Case Western Reserve University. Eligible applicants may receive up to $10,000 CTSC Core matching funds.

The specific aims of the pilot project award program are as follows:

  1. To award pilot projects to enhance and extend the research goals and improve utilization of resources generated by the BETRNet primary projects;
  2. To encourage innovative transdisciplinary approaches to increase understanding and develop intervention strategies focused on improving outcomes in patients with BE and EAC; and 
  3. To obtain preliminary data to enable generation of proposals to successfully compete for funding at the national level.

Eligibility for Pilot/Feasibility Awards

All faculty with an appointment at the Assistant Professor level or higher at institutions participating in BETRNet are eligible to apply for pilot project funding. These institutions include:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Johns Hopkins University 
  • University North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • University of Washington
  • Washington University at St. Louis 
  • Mayo Clinic

This includes faculty at all schools of the universities and/or affiliated healthcare centers.  Investigators at the Instructor level will be considered eligible, if applications are accompanied by letters of support from department chairs indicating commitment to faculty positions at the Assistant Professor level by the time scheduled for pilot project initiation.

Additional Information

Pilot projects must have at least one investigator and another collaborator from a different discipline to encourage interdisciplinary-transdisciplinary research.  To accommodate submission of projects from investigators who may not be familiar with complementary investigators, pilot projects may be submitted by individual investigators representing either basic or clinical science; however, if the project is identified as meritorious and selected for funding, the BETRNet Steering Committee will seek to identify potential collaborators in alternative disciplines, basic or clinical, one of which should be identified as co-investigator before pilot will be awarded.

Guidelines for Preparing a Full Written Proposal

Pilot Project applications must conform to the following guidelines.  Failure to do so will result in proposals being rejected without review.

  1. Cover Page listing contact information for PI & Faculty Collaborators.
  2. Proposal (5 pages in length – excluding references) as follows:
    1. Specific Aims (1 page)
    2. Background & Significance (1-2 pages)
    3. Experimental Design (2-3 pages)
  3. NIH-style biosketches for all faculty participants
  4. Detailed budget/justification 
  5. Letter of Support from Department Head
    1. Cross-center proposals also require letters of support from each local BETRNet site PI to ensure willingness to cooperate and that each investigator has sufficient protected research time/facilities to conduct the proposed research.
  6. Applicants who hold a full-time faculty position at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and/or the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center are eligible to receive $10,000 core support from the CTSC through the Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program.
    1. If you meet the criteria, follow the steps below:
      1. Address how matching program criteria are met, if applicable; if a CTSC Core is utilized, documented consultation from the CTSC Core Director or his/her designee for each CTSC Core in the form of a Letter of Support is required.
      2. Detailed budget and written justification of use of CTSC Core(s) must be included in the application. It is preferred for applicants who have received information concerning Core fees and charges associated with the proposed research to include that information with the application.

Allowable Costs

A maximum of $40,000 may be requested in direct costs for one year, and may be used for the following:

  • Research Supplies
  • Equipment less than $5,000
  • Salary support for post-doctoral or technical personnel

Pilot project funds may not be used for the following: faculty salary support, travel, journal subscriptions, society memberships, or renovations.

No indirect costs will be transferred to other departments/schools/institutions outside of CWRU School of Medicine.

Award Conditions & Reporting

The budgetary period for this award will be 05/01/19 – 04/30/20.

The pilot projects will be monitored at several levels:

  • Quarterly Operational Progress Reports
  • Semiannual Research Progress Reports presented at BETRNet seminars
  • Annual Written Scientific Reports 
  • BETRNet Steering Committee and Advisory Board will monitor research progress and where appropriate, assist with conversion to independent research grant application

The following expectations are held for all awardees:

  • Establishment of co-investigators/collaborators to promote transdisciplinary collaboration and overall translational outcome
  • Prompt IRB and/or IACUC application and approval
  • Prompt initiation of research project
  • Quarterly operational status reports to BETRNet Steering Committee
  • Timely reporting
  • Use of BETRNet and Cancer Center Core Facilities where appropriate
  • Review of Data by BETRNet Bioinformatics Core before presentation or publication
  • Acknowledge support by Cancer Center and TRC-F in all publications and presentations
  • Presentations at BETRNet Meetings
  • Compliance with BETRNet Data Sharing and Publication Policies

For Additional Information, Contact:

The application deadline was January 31, 2019 at 11:59 PM.