Community & Collaboration Team Science Annual Pilot

The Community and Collaboration (C&C) component of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is pleased to offer a unique funding opportunity intended to support, promote and highlight multi-disciplinary collaboratives that have come together to address a particular health issue or problem facing the local community. The teams must include investigators from more than one discipline and at least one engaged community stakeholder[1]. The goal of this short-term funding opportunity is to provide support for these collaboratives to develop a feasible and actionable plan that identifies a minimum of three translational research projects (TRPs) aimed at addressing the issue and having the potential to improve population health outcomes in the Greater Cleveland area. Such well-defined plans will be highly beneficial when applying for future TRP pilot funding opportunities from the C&C as well as providing feasibility and rationale for future external funding.

The CTSC C&C component has identified several barriers to team successes including limited time for collaboration, brainstorming, and interaction among team members, particularly when team members are located in different departments, school or organizations. To address this, the C&C will provide selected groups with a package of support that involves one, 3-4 hour collaborative working retreat and up to 30 hours of pre-retreat and post-retreat administrative support to be used for planning, scheduling, meeting logistics and action plan development. Refreshments and parking will be provided. Both graphic and written recorders will be present at the retreats and if requested, a trained group facilitator will be provided. Finally, structured group sessions may also include team facilitation on Strategic Team Design Vision and Aim Planning, Communication Techniques, Stakeholder Engagement and Action Plan Development, conducted prior to or as part of the retreat.

The collaborative retreats must be scheduled to take place before the end of April 2019 and team members must commit to attending the full retreat period. Summaries of the retreat and/or resulting written Action Plans must be completed and submitted to the C&C Component by no later than July 1, 2019, using templates provided by the C&C Component (see Definitions: C&C Action Plan).

The following chart summarizes projected team responsibilities, benefits and deadlines for the CTSC C&C Pilot Funding for a collaborative working retreat:

Phase Team Responsibility Incentive/Benefit Deadline
1 Submit RFA for CTSC Community & Collaborations Component Pilot Program
  • Be one of the first multidisciplinary teams supported by the CTSC to develop a collaborative action plan for team-based translational research.

RFA due January 25, 2019

Decisions made February 4, 2019


Commit to and complete a collaborative Working Retreat

Collectively identify 3 Translational research projects (TRPs)

  • C&C team provides administrative and meeting logistics support to schedule and hold collaborative retreat (just get your committed team there).
  • Structured time with team/collaborative and guidance on team design and communication strategies
  • Professional facilitation around team science
  • Follow-up consultation around stakeholder engagement and community-academic grant support by C&C Staff
  • Receive access to online C&C resources
Retreat must be held before April 30, 2019
3 Complete C&C Action Plan
  • Defined team structure (know who is at the table and who is still needed).
  • Have a well-articulated plan (with TRPs) for seeking both internal and external funding.
  • Have completed required first step (having a plan) for future C&C pilot funding.
Action plan delivered by July 1, 2019
4 Respond to call for TRP Pilot Funding
  • Potential Funding for TRPs articulated in the Action Plan.
September 1, 2019


Scope of Proposals

The CTSC C&C component welcomes proposals from both established and emergent teams containing inter-disciplinary members, that are committed to engaging stakeholders as a part of their translational research projects. Preference will be given to those with well identified stakeholder partners. Successful proposals will demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow together as a team, an understanding of the benefits of team science and stakeholder engagement, the ability to clearly define the problem the team has come together to solve, as well as, potential pathways to solving the problem thru translational science projects. This award is ideal for teams that identify their main barriers to success as limited time and support for collaboration, brainstorming, and interaction among team members, as well as those that can articulate the need for guidance on strategic team design and developing an action plan related to their proposed translational research projects.


Awards for the collaborative working retreats will be granted by the CTSC C&C component. The C&C will fund 4-6 teams. Case Western Reserve University will serve as the fiscal entity -- no monies will be directly given to teams.


The Collaborative Lead (PI) is required to be a full-time faculty member (or the equivalent) from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and eligible to be a PI for an NIH grant.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Team includes investigators from at least two disciplines (different schools, institutions, departments, etc) and at least one stakeholder partner.
  • Availability for 3-4 hours on one day of 5-10 team members between February 15 and April 15, 2019.
  • Team members should include leadership and decision-makers along with supporting staff.
  • Team members must commit to attending the full time period of the retreat, when held.
  • The institution of record will be the PI’s primary institution.


The deadline was 11:59 pm on January 25, 2019.

Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed by the CTSC scientific review committee. Reviewers will provide comments as appropriate via InfoReady. The committee will take into consideration the following:

  • Clear articulation of the problem being addressed the group
  • Identification (by name, affiliation, and email) of at least two investigators from different disciplines and at least one external stakeholders.
  • Identification of 3-5 additional team members.
  • Evidence of commitment of investigators and stakeholders to collaborate
  • Clear partnership vision and goals
  • Feasibility
  • Likelihood of future success


  • Translation (as defined by NCATS): The process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and populations – from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral interventions.
  • Community (as defined by NCATS): The term community includes all stakeholders connected to clinical and translational research. Communities may include but are not limited to non-profit or industry entities engaged in translational research and might include disease advocacy groups, local health providers, community-based organizations, and other national or local communities.
  • Stakeholder: An independent, engaged, individual or group who has a stake in the outcome, and whose input could greatly enhance the research endeavor. Types of stakeholder may vary depending on the focus of the problem, the type of research conducted, and the composite and orientation of the investigative team.
  • C&C Action Plan: A written plan that summarizes the purpose, goal, objectives and planned actions (through well-described translational research projects) of a collective group of investigators and stakeholders who together seek to address an important health issue or problem in the community. The Action Plan includes worksheet guides to be completed as part of the retreat as well as templates for describing the TRPs.

[1] The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the NIH agency that funds the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) define the “community” as any stakeholder that is connected to clinical and translational research. Communities may include but are not limited to non-profit or industry entities engaged in translational research and might include disease advocacy groups, local health providers, community-based organizations, and other national or local communities.