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CTSA SPIRiT Call for Proposals

SPIRiT, the Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation, is pleased to announce a new funding program that supports pilot research projects representing collaborations between investigators from at least two of the SPIRiT sites. The SPIRiT Consortium members supporting this program include Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University – all members of the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program. The investigator(s) from each of the participating sites must have a significant, defined role in the research project. Although the participating investigators may have collaborated in the past, the research project proposed must be novel and not part of an ongoing project. In other words, the proposed research must represent a new collaboration between investigators from at least two (2) SPIRiT sites OR a new project conducted by existing collaborators from at least two (2) SPIRiT sites. Proposed projects may address any aspect of clinical and translational science.

Available Funding

The principal investigator from each individual SPIRiT institution may request up to $25,000 in direct costs from her/his institution for research efforts to be conducted at that institution over a one (1) year period. For example, a project that is being proposed by a team of investigators from three (3) SPIRiT sites can request up to $25,000 from each participating site for a total of $75,000 in direct costs. Monies will not be transferred from one institution to another. Additional budgetary restrictions may apply, as determined by policies and procedures at the individual participating SPIRiT institutions.

Research Plan

Teams that respond to this solicitation must submit one overall Research Plan. The research plan must include the sections described below. Note: sections A-B must not exceed five (5) pages.

  1. Specific Aims and Research Strategy: Concisely state the hypothesis to be tested and the Specific Aim(s) to be achieved during the award. Include a clear statement as to the aspects of the study that require or will be enhanced by participation of each SPIRiT institution. Meaningful collaboration from each site must be demonstrated. The Research Strategy should include: 1) Significance, 2) Innovation, and 3) Approach Sections.
  2. Team Collaboration: Describe the team that has been assembled across the SPIRiT sites. If investigators from any SPIRiT sites are active collaborators, or have been in the past, briefly describe the collaborative research. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project should be delineated for the Site PIs.
  3. Milestones Table: Provide a table listing the project milestones, time frame for completion, and responsible Site PI for each. This table must be no more than one page in length.

Review Criteria

Primary review criteria:
  • scientific feasibility and scientific merit of the project
  • potential to lead to more comprehensive studies
  • project is novel and is not simply a next logical step in ongoing studies
  • clearly defined and significant scientific roles for investigators from all participating sites


Applications Due: November 30, 2018 (5:00 p.m. EDT)
Award Decisions: March 2019
Award Start Date: April 1, 2019


If you have questions please contact Helen Seow at, 203-737-4512.


Can an application be submitted if there is only one participating SPIRiT site?
No, applications must contain at least two (2) SPIRiT sites.
Can a PI request salary and fringe?
With the limited amount of funding that is to be shared by each site, funds awarded by the SPIRiT program may not be used for salary/fringe support for the site PI and co-investigators. (Exception: University of Pennsylvania will support a minimal percent of effort for Penn investigators, using the Penn pilot funds.)
Who should I list as my BA?
  • Johns Hopkins University- Mark Garcia
  • University of Chicago- Sonya Redmond-Head
  • University of Pennsylvania- List your normal BA
  • University of Pittsburgh- Will Hierholzer
  • Washington University in St. Louis- Denise Zurliene
  • Yale University- Nicholas Licht