Community & Collaboration Translational Research Project Pilot Funding Opportunity

Anna Thornton Matos

Contact Anna Thornton Matos, C&C Project Director at or at 216-368-5776.

We are not soliciting Community & Collaboration Pilot applications at this time.

Request for Applications

The Community and Collaboration (C&C) Pilot Application of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is intended to support, promote and highlight interdisciplinary teams - which include translational partners - by providing pilot funding for a Translational Research Project (TRP) that addresses a particular population or public health issue.  

Scope of Proposals

As one of the two largest, cross institutional components of the CTSC the C&C component strives to foster translational research conducted by effective interdisciplinary investigative teams enriched with a diversity of stakeholders in order to spark creative solutions to complex health problems and accelerate translation of findings into practice across the CTSC in Greater Cleveland.  According to the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), translation is the “process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public”.

Therefore, the CTSC C&C component will focus on awarding TRP projects that can clearly articulate how the project is translational, or “traverses a particular step of the translation process for a particular target or disease”, as well as, how the population health issue being addressed benefits from engaging end user stakeholders or translational partner on an interdisciplinary research team. Successful applicants will include on their research team investigators from more than one discipline and at least one engaged translational partner, or stakeholder2 (see definitions).

Additionally, the CTSC C&C component welcomes proposals from both established and emergent teams. Successful proposals will demonstrate an understanding of the benefits of team science and stakeholder engagement, as well as, clearly identify and articulate how the TRP pilot funds will be used to improve population health outcomes. Importantly, we are looking for projects that have a clear understanding and projection of their translational product.  Translational products are not only procedures, devices and policies, but protocols, interventions, and therapies as well.


Awards for the translational research pilot projects will be granted by the CTSC C&C component.  

Case Western Reserve University will serve as the fiscal entity through which CTSC monies will be distributed and awards administered.


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, or 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 three disciplines (different schools, institutions, departments, etc)
  • Team must include at least one stakeholder who is engaged as a research partner with role and responsibility fully articulated
  • Guaranteed ability to expend funds before April 30, 2021
  • If human/animal subjects are involved, approved IRB/IACUC # or copy of IRB/IACUC application MUST BE INCLUDED with the application.  At this time, we cannot accept applications without approved IACUC or IRB protocols if required for the project as it delays the funding timeline.
  • The institution of record will be the PI’s primary institution.


Proposals will include the following:

  • Proposal should include: Specific Aims; Study Rationale (how the project fits the definition of translation described above and how the project would address a relevant population health issue); Research Plan; Innovation (how is your idea new and transformative); Research Team (including brief description of past collaborations (if any), backgrounds and roles), Timeline and Next Steps.  Proposal should be no more than 10 pages, 1.5-line spacing, and 11 pt. font; excluding references and Biosketches. 
  • Additional information that should be submitted, but is not included in the page limit includes:
    • Cover Page that includes the Title, PI/Co-PI, Institution(s), Department(s), and all co-investigators and stakeholders
    • NIH Biosketches for the PI/Co-PI
    • References Cited
  • One-page budget with categories and justification (note investigator salaries and travel are excluded).  

Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed by the CTSC scientific review committee and scored according to the rubric listed below. Reviewers will provide comments as appropriate via InfoReady. The committee will take into consideration the following:

  • Clear articulation of the problem being addressed by the proposed project
  • Demonstrate how the proposed work will address a population health issue
  • Rationale for how the project is translational, based on the definitions provided
  • Identification (by name, affiliation and email) of at least two investigators from different disciplines and their unique contribution to the team and project
  • Identification (by name, affiliation and email) of at least one stakeholder, with roles and responsibility on the project defined
  • Identification of 3-5 additional team members, excluding PI and stakeholder
  • Evidence of commitment of investigators and stakeholders to collaborate
  • Clear partnership vision and goals
  • Feasibility
  • Likelihood of future success
  • Budget justification


Scoring Rubric

  1. The Team (25 pts)
  • Investigators have demonstrated expertise to carry out the project.
  • Team includes a diverse group of investigators from different backgrounds and disciplines.
  • Have at least one engaged stakeholder as an active member of the research team.
  • Evidence of clear plan of contributions of the team – shows how the project can only take place within a multidisciplinary (with stakeholders) team.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities.


  1. The Translational Research Project (40 pts)
  • The proposed project is clearly aligned with the definitions of a translational project defined in the RFA.
  • Research plan is impactful and appropriately designed.
  • The project addresses an important health issue or problem facing the local community.
  • Likelihood that project will lead to a larger funded translational science project
  • The described project (either the project proposed or project in which the pilot data will be applied to) meets the definition of a translational science project.


  1. Innovation (10 pts)
  • The project is novel and transformative.
  1. Timeline/Feasibility (15 pts)
  • Outlines a clear and actionable timeline
  • Demonstrates how the budget will be expended by April 30 2021
  • If human subjects are involved, provides approved IRB protocol.


  1. Budget/Budget Justification (10 pts)
  • Description of expenditures both in spreadsheet and narrative form


Footnoted Definitions

1 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.

2 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.

Other Definitions

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.

Translational research (as defined by NCATS): The endeavor to traverse a particular step of the translation process for a particular target.

Translational science (as defined by NCATS): The field of investigation that seeks to understand the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process.


Any questions, please contact Ms. Anna Thornton Matos, C&C Project Director at or at 216-368-5776.