Biomedical Modeling Pilot Awards

Each year, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Pittsburgh seeks applications for the Biomedical Modeling Pilot Awards. These awards support new research that combines experimental approaches with predictive mathematical or computational models to improve understanding of health, medicine, and disease. The goal of this program is to establish and strengthen the role of quantitative modeling in clinical and translational research. Projects funded by the program are expected to involve trans-disciplinary collaborations between translational investigators and quantitative modelers.

At A Glance...

Status: Closed 
Funding Level: $25,000

Download the 2018 Application Requirements

VIEW PDF

        

This Pilot Opportunity is Currently Closed

The application period for the 2018 cycle of the Biomedical Modeling Pilot Awards closed on Friday, June 15, 2018. Check back in Q2 of 2019 for the next cycle.


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Overview

Each year, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Pittsburgh seeks applications for the Biomedical Modeling Pilot Awards. These awards support new research that combines experimental approaches with predictive mathematical or computational models to improve understanding of health, medicine, and disease. The goal of this program is to establish and strengthen the role of quantitative modeling in clinical and translational research. Projects funded by the program are expected to involve trans-disciplinary collaborations between translational investigators and quantitative modelers.

Examples of projects that might fit this opportunity include

  • Predicting the economic impact of disease epidemics through simulation
  • Using mathematical approaches to identify disease-specific pathway components
  • Computationally modeling the mechanics of blood flow or tissue damage
  • Identifying drug-target interactions through molecular simulation

Projects that are not suitable include analysis of experimental datasets using common techniques and development of tools or algorithms without direct biological application.

Pilot awards may request up to $25,000 direct costs for six months. No indirect support will be provided.

General Timeline (exact dates may vary):

  June   Submissions Due
  July   Completion of Review Period
  September   Funding Begins

 

 

 

Funds stem from an institutional award made by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Federal policy requires that the project may not commence until a representative from NCATS has administratively approved the pilot projects selected by CTSI. The NCATS approval process cannot commence until required approvals (IRB, IACUC, hSCRO, IBC, CORID, etc.) are obtained. NCATS approval will likely take at least four weeks.


 

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Submission Information

All application materials should be submitted through the Powered by Pinch® competition platform. For assistance with this program, please contact the CTSI Pilot program at (412) 864-3484 or ctsipilots@pitt.edu

Eligibility:

The Principle Investigator (PI) must be a University of Pittsburgh faculty member. Faculty members on early-career training awards or clinical research scholars (i.e., recipients of K-series or similar career development grants) are eligible. New PIs are encouraged. Co-Investigators may be from any institution and may include community partners.

Application Process:

Applications should be combined into a single PDF file. The complete application should be loaded into the Powered by Pinch site before the application deadline. Additional materials or supplemental materials cannot be accepted after the deadline, and will not be reviewed. Use a font no smaller than Arial 11 and 0.5-inch page margins.

Final applications should have the following sections, and each section should begin on a new page.

A. Scientific Abstract (250-word limit): Provide a brief summary of your proposal.

B. Research Plan (five-page limit, including tables and figures): This section should include elements from a traditional NIH proposal (Specific Aims, Significance, Innovation, Approach) to best allow reviewers to address the review criteria (below).

C. References (no page limit): Literature cited does not count toward the five-page limit.

D. Budget with Budget Justification (no page limit): Use PHS 398 Forms Pages 4 and 5. The Budget Justification should include sufficient detail for reviewers to assess whether appropriate resources have been requested. Grant funds may not be budgeted for salary support for the PI or faculty collaborators, although effort is required of the principal investigator and must be reflected on the budget page. This effort should be cost shared by the department or other entity that will support such effort. Any salary support requested in a submitted budget should reflect federal fringe benefit rates. Any requested equipment, including computing devices, must be explicitly justified as critical to the execution of the proposed research. Please note that funds cannot be budgeted for publication fees or for travel, except as required to collect data.

If an award is made, a budget meeting will be held between principal investigators, their respective research administrators, and financial administrators from the CTSI. If necessary, adjustments to the requested budget will be made at that meeting. These pilots do not have mechanisms to allow for no-cost extensions.

E. NIH Biosketches (no page limit): Include biosketches for the Principal Investigator and key members of the research team. Please use the current NIH format (see examples and templates here).

F. Human and/or Animal Subjects (no page limit): NIH supported pilot awards must address Protection of Human Subjects, Adequacy of Protection Against Risks, Data and Safety Monitoring Plans, Inclusion of Women and Minorities, and Inclusion of Children.

Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) approval is not required prior to submission. However, HRPO approval is required for all projects involving human subjects before NCATS will approve project funding. Similarly, projects involving animal subjects do not need to have approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before applying, but awardees will need to receive approval prior to the start of funding.

In this section, applicants must describe any human and/or animal subject issues, as well as the sources of materials that will be obtained from human subjects. If human subjects are involved, provide a description of their involvement and characteristics, specific risks to subjects who participate, and protection against those risks. Reviewers may consider whether significant delays in approval are an anticipated barrier for project completion when selecting projects. Evidence of prior or ongoing HRPO / IACUC review is encouraged. Similarly, this section should discuss if other special regulatory approval is required prior to funding: Human Stem Cell Research (hSCRO), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Research Involving the Dead (CORID), Radiation Safety Office (RSO), etc.


 

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Review Criteria

It is a requirement that review of CTSI Pilot proposals should address the NIH review criteria. Reviewers will score final applications on an NIH scale (1-9) in the domains of Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment. Special emphasis will be given to a rating of the Overall Impact of the proposed project. Additional criteria specific to this program include:

  • Quantitative Nature (Does computational or mathematical modeling play a central role in the proposed work?)
  • Translational Nature (Does the proposed project have relevance to translational research bringing new therapies, devices, or diagnostics into applications for human disease?)
  • Growth Potential (Will the project provide a basis for future successful funding or for successful innovations within the CTSA framework?)
  • Collaboration (Does the proposal develop inter-disciplinary collaborations?)
  • New Direction (Does the project represent a new multidisciplinary team or significant change of research direction for an existing team?)