Implementation Lab Pilot Award (ILPA)


The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Pittsburgh’s Implementation Lab is now seeking applications for the Implementation Lab Pilot Awards (ILPA). The lab aims to facilitate connections between Pitt researchers and organizational Health Operations Partners (HOP) that enable them to conduct Dissemination and Implementation research aimed at getting priority evidence-based practices into clinics and communities.

Dissemination research is defined as “the scientific study of targeted distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience. The intent is to understand how best to communicate and integrate knowledge and the associated evidence-based interventions.” (National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2021)

Request for proposal

Click below for more instructions including eligibility, proposal examples, etc.

Implementation research is defined as "the scientific study of the use of strategies to adopt and integrate evidence-based health interventions into clinical and community settings to improve individual outcomes and benefit population health.” (NIH 2021)

The goal of dissemination and implementation (D&I) research is to shorten the often-stated 17-year evidence to practice gap. D&I research aims to translate evidence to positively impact individuals and communities, healthcare delivery and financing, or policy. D&I research engages essential partners with relevant experience such as patients, the public (e.g., families, informal caregivers), providers, payers, and policymakers. Inherent in D&I research is ensuring equitable dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices to all who would benefit.

A Health Operations Partner (or HOP) is defined here as a health system, provider network, payor, public health agency, health-focused community organization, etc. 


These pilot awards will support:

1) D&I research projects co-designed by researchers and around the HOP’s priorities that examine some aspect of disseminating, adopting, implementing, or maintaining an evidence-based practice or program.

2) Other types of research co-designed projects (e.g., hybrid effectiveness-implementation studies).

Investigators should consider their work in the context of health equity. This could include expanding healthcare access for vulnerable populations or addressing equity as an outcome.

Examples of projects that might fit this opportunity include:

  • Evaluating barriers to, and facilitators of, an evidence-based practice or program prioritized by the HOP
  •  Designing and testing strategies, tools, or resources tailored for dissemination or implementation in the HOP
  •  Engaging a HOP’s patients or clients to collaboratively develop and test/evaluate dissemination strategies for study findings
  • Testing strategies to support equitable implementation of evidence-based practices or programs throughout the HOP
  • Testing the use of an implementation team that is constructed in a novel way tailored to the HOP’s structure

Examples of projects not responsive to the RFA:

  • Efficacy trials
  • Early-stage intervention or product development studies
  • Exploratory studies

Key Dates

Letter of Intent Deadline:
Wednesday, July 31, 2024, by 11:59:59 p.m. EDT

Notification to Advancing Teams:
Tuesday, August 13, 2024

Round 2 Submission Deadline:
Monday, September 30, 2024, by 11:59:59 p.m. EDT

Notification to Awardees:
Friday, November 15, 2024

Anticipated Start Date:
January 1, 2025

Funding Information

Award funding of $50,000 is available to cover direct costs; no indirect support will be provided. The award period is 12 months. The ILPA pilots do not have any mechanism for no-cost extensions; any funds that are not spent during the award period will be forfeited.

Before the start of the award period, awardees must provide documentation of all necessary regulatory approvals. Once regulatory documentation is provided, awarded projects will undergo an administrative review from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) which is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institute that funds the University of Pittsburgh CTSI. Funding cannot begin until projects have been approved by NCATS. Because the NCATS review may take up to 30 days, applicants are strongly encouraged to have the necessary regulatory documents ready for submission.


Postdoctoral and clinical trainees are not eligible to serve as PI. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a University of Pittsburgh faculty member who specifies an HOP.  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 strongly encouraged to apply, but submissions from established investigators will be accepted if there is clear evidence that the pilot project represents a distinctly new direction from their previously funded work.  

Study teams that involve cross-disciplinary collaborations are also strongly encouraged. Co-investigators may be from other universities; however, CTSI’s primary mission is to promote research at the University of Pittsburgh, so applicants should justify extensive off-campus collaboration besides that with the HOP.