CTSI Annual Pilot Awards to Improve the Conduct of Research

An Open Proposal Opportunity

About CTSI Pilot Awards 2012


CTSI invites the UCSF Campus Community and CTSI Affiliate Organizations to submit your best ideas for improving the conduct of translational research. Pilot Awards will range from 10K to 100K each for a maximum of 350K disbursed in this cycle. We will use a novel "Open Proposal" Forum for submissions, allowing for collaboration and improvement of proposals prior to a final review deadline.

Projects might suggest improvements to infrastructure, new services to enable researchers, pragmatic studies that clarify competitive benchmarks for key research processes, etc. Projects should NOT substitute for core infrastructure for the campus, or simply extend an existing research project that doesn't fit the criteria for generalizability and scalability described below.

Fundable ideas will:

  1. Identify and address a clear challenge in the conduct of clinical and translational research.
  2. Describe
    • An innovative assessment project that clarifies the source of the problem and suggests the best route to address, OR
    • The implementation of a pilot project, the success or failure of which determines the best route to next steps.
  3. Explain how the project establishes a generalizable, scalable and sustainable model that improves the conduct of research.
  4. Be 'shovel-ready' – has appropriately experienced resources in place or planned that allow the project to be conducted efficiently.

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  • Anyone from the UCSF community, faculty, or staff who can demonstrate directly or through established collaborations that they are able to successfully complete the project.
  • Investigators from CTSI Affiliates:
    • Kaiser Permanente Division of Research (KP DOR)
    • Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
    • Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute (CHORI)
    • San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)
    • J. David Gladstone Institutes
    • Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center (Gallo Center)
    • California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)
    • Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI)
    • Jewish Home of San Francisco
    • San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Review Criteria

  1. Scope and priority of problem being addressed
  2. Extent of collaboration involved
  3. Generalizability/sustainability of model
  4. Talent and relevance of experience of team
  5. Ability to align project success metrics with CTSI's goals

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Proposal Format

  1. Submit a maximum, 1-page proposal that addresses:
    1. Rationale
    2. Plan
    3. Criteria and metrics for success
    4. Approximate cost and very brief justification ($10k-max $100k)
    5. Collaborators
  2. All submissions must be input through the online "Open Proposal" Forum, which will allow others at UCSF to review your proposal, comment on it, and if appropriate reach out to you to join the team. For your proposal to be considered you must provide constructive feedback through an online comment at least once.
  3. Final decisions will be made by March 27th, but see below for details on Open Forum process and timeline.


  • January 22 – February 27 OPEN DEVELOPMENT PHASE
    • Develop proposal offline and submit and/or
    • Propose idea online on Open Proposal to look for collaborators. CTSI board members and program directors will continually review the Open Proposal site and make connections where possible.
  • February 27: Proposal submission deadline.  Any proposal to be considered for funding must be submitted by this time.
  • February 28 - March 12: OPEN IMPROVEMENT PHASE
    • Browse proposals and comment to improve others proposals and/or indicate interest to collaborate and expand someone else's proposal.
    • Review comments (including CTSI board members' comments provided by March 2nd) on your own proposal and revise if necessary.
  • March 12: Updated proposal deadline (Optional – your proposal could remain unchanged as well)
  • March 27: Awards announced
  • April 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013: IMPLEMENTATION PHASE
    • Award must be utilized during this time period.

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View the "Open Proposal" Forum

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