The Big Tent

CTSI 2016 NIH Renewal Proposal Launchpad

About The Big Tent


The NIH grant awarded to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) must be recompeted in 2016, and the proposal planning process has begun. That includes using UCSF Open Proposals to solicit your ideas for high-impact initiatives to include in the next 5-year CTSI grant. CTSI’s goal is to involve the broadest community possible — the UCSF community, affiliate organizations, community partners, etc. — to help identify and plan activities that will substantially improve translational research at UCSF, regionally and nationally.

Timeline and Open Proposal Process

The Big Tent Open Proposal process will include a Submission Phase and an Improvement Phase. As part of the Improvement Phase, select proposals will be included in a workshop during the CTSI annual retreat on July 29th. This forum also provides an opportunity for colleagues to post comments and suggestions during the Open Improvement Phase, which will end two weeks after the retreat. At that point, a selection committee will identify 1-3 proposals for small planning grants to develop these ideas for possible inclusion in the 2016 CTSI proposal.

  • June 26 – July 22, 5pm PST: Open Submission Phase
    • Develop and submit proposal
    • Subscribe to email updates to view new proposals and comments
  • July 22, 5pm PST: Proposal Submission Deadline
  • July 23 – Aug 12: Open Improvement Phase
    • Browse proposals and comment to improve others proposals
    • Review comments on your own proposal and revise if necessary
  • July 29: CTSI Annual Retreat
    • In-person discussion and improvement of selected proposals
  • Aug 13 – Sep 15: Review Phase
    • Proposals will be reviewed
  • Sep 16: Announcement of selected proposals for planning grants

Back to top

Proposal Format

Please propose (max 1 page) an initiative that will address a significant challenge in translational research, which includes preclinical early translational research (T1), clinical research, comparative effectiveness, outcomes research and implementation science (T2-T4). Please address:

  1. Scale and significance of the problem
  2. Current approaches (nationally)
  3. Proposed approach and why it is innovative
  4. Potential partners
  5. Projected impact; if possible, use back-of-the-envelope calculations to provide quantitative support

Need to apply on behalf of someone else? Learn how

Back to top

Background Information

The NIH criteria for successful CTSA awards are evolving under the direction of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), but the most recent RFP and discussions with NIH leadership provide some guidance. View a brief summary of focus areas from the last RFA. Some themes to expect:

  1. The 2016 proposal will not be a renewal, but will be considered a ‘new’ proposal. This is the time to step back and think about new approaches to services, infrastructure and training that can advance clinical and translational research at UCSF and nationwide.
  2. NCATS will be looking for high impact, ideally implemented beyond UCSF or with the potential to scale beyond UCSF. Although important, smaller incremental changes at a local institution will likely not be considered competitive.

The networks CTSI has facilitated in the current grant period provide good platforms for scaling beyond UCSF. Please consider how your idea might benefit from and expand these or other networks.

  1. UC Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration & Development (BRAID)
    Supervisory group for UCOP-funded network of five UC medical centers addressing common challenges, such as IRB approvals, contracting, biobanking and more.
  2. UC Research Exchange (UC ReX)
    Facilitated by UC BRAID, initiative to enable collaborative research across the UC medical centers by enabling access to integrated clinical data from all five institutions.
  3. Clinical Trials Consortium
    A newly-formed public-private consortium that will include a number of academic institutions and industry partners focused on efficient implementation of clinical trials.
  4. San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP)
    Catalyzed by CTSI, now led by the San Francisco Mayor's office, with 19 members representing multiple hospital systems, city offices (San Francisco Unified School District, SF Department of Health, etc.) and community organizations.

Optimally, new initiatives will build on resources, services and training programs that CTSI has developed over the last 7 years. Find information on CTSI programs and progress.

Back to top