2021 Pilot RFA Coming Soon!

The Request for Applications will be announced in early September 2021. Come back regularly for Pilot-related updates. If you have questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Through the CCTS Pilot Program, we seek to (a) ameliorate disparities in diseases that disproportionately affect minority and special populations across the CCTS Partner Network and (b) develop the future translational research workforce by fostering collaboration, team science and innovative discovery.

Mission alignment

Projects should be set in the context of health disparities that disproportionately affect our region, including but not limited to, cardiometabolic, vascular and cancer-related diseases. Please note that the CCTS defines health disparities as differences in health and health outcomes by considering multiple dimensions, including biology, ancestry, geography & environment, social and economic issues, and age. Investigators with proposals at any stage of research along the path from the biological basis of health and disease to interventions (e.g. medication, behavioral, medical device) that improve the health of individuals or the public are welcome to apply.

Special Considerations

Special consideration will be given to projects that:

  • Include community-engaged research

  • Propose innovative approaches to promote efficiency in participant recruitment to clinical studies

  • Bring together investigators across two or more partner network institutions

Program Information

This program utilizes a two-phase application process. Pre-applications will be scored using a NIH 1-9 scale by CCTS members from across the partner network. If invited to submit a full application, the CCTS will help applicants coordinate a CCTS PDQ Panel and BERD consult to help sharpen full proposals before they are submitted. Full applications will then be reviewed internally and externally (e.g. via the CTSA External Reviewer Exchange Consortium (CEREC)). After review, selected proposals will be subject to NIH prior approval before an award can be made.

Applicants may request up to $60,000 in Direct Costs with the CCTS Hub committing up to half (see more on co-sponsorship below). Indirect costs will be factored into awards made to partner institutions. Allowable costs include personnel (PIs salary support must be less than 15%), inpatient/outpatient care, core services, supplies and consultant and equipment costs (with pre-approval by CCTS pilot program leadership). Unallowable costs include renovations, alterations, publication and travel expenses. The maximum project period is 12 months.

Applicants are expected to identify at least one non-CCTS co-sponsor to provide a 1:1 match for funds provided by the CCTS Hub. A co-sponsor may include an institution, school, department, division, a University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Center or a combination thereof, based at the PI’s home institution. When submitting a pre-application, applicants acknowledge this program requires co-sponsorship. The source of co-sponsorship only needs to be formalized when submitting a full application by way of a Letter of Support from each co-sponsor outlining their financial pledge.


Early stage investigators and those with previous and/or active K-awards are strongly encouraged to apply. PIs must be full-time faculty located at a partner network institution. Projects already supported by extramural funding cannot be considered. More established PIs may comment on how the proposed aims represent a major shift from his/her scientific portfolio to date by providing an Eligibility Statement as part of the pre-application.

Applicants from the following partner network institutes are welcome to apply: Auburn University, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Southern Research, Tuskegee University, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), University of Alabama at Birmingham (Hub), University of Mississippi and University of South Alabama.

Application Instructions


Pre-applications are accepted via RED-ASSIST (https://redcap.dom.uab.edu/surveys/?s=XKRYLHKE34). This online submission form requests applicants to provide contact information, affiliations, demographic information, project title, a lay summary, regulatory information, and a proposal uploaded as a single PDF containing the following information:
  • A declaration of the Principal Investigator’s (PI) eligibility – 2-3 sentences
  • A statement of CCTS Vision/Mission alignment – Up to 20 lines
  • A Pre-Application Research Plan – 2 pages containing the following sections:
      • Significance
      • Innovation
      • Approach
      • References (excluded from page limit)
  • NIH biosketch (PI only)
Full Applications

If invited to submit a full application, applicants will be asked to supply a statement on mission alignment, a research strategy (4-pages), authentication of key resources, NIH biosketches, Budget, Budget Justification, Co-sponsorship Letter(s) of Support, Project Timeline and a CCTS Consultation Summary. Detailed application instructions, templates (budget, project timeline and CCTS consultation summary) and information regarding the NIH prior approval process, award responsibilities and reporting requirements will be made available when applicants are invited to submit a full application.

Key Dates

Pre-Application Due Date: October 25, 2020
Full Application Invitations: November 12, 2020
Full Application Due Date: December 21, 2020
Scientific Merit Review: January 2021
Advisory Council and NIH Review: April 2021
Earliest Start Date: May 1, 2021
Expiration Date: April 30, 2022


Anne Russell, PhD
Program Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Richard Hines
Financial Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                           Current Pilot Awardees           Previous Pilot Awardees