• Proposal: 09/27/2019


  • Amount: $30,000-$60,000
  • Duration: 1 year


Informational webinars will be held on Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Studies Program seeks proposals for innovative, high-impact, translational science projects with a focus on building interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research teams including investigators from the basic, clinical, and/or applied sciences. The program aims to improve population health by funding new projects that will allow investigators to develop and disseminate novel tools or methods and/or to generate sufficient preliminary data for a larger follow-on study. Successful pilot projects should address a research question that provides generalizable insights to help advance cutting-edge prevention practices, support translation of new treatments and cures for disease into clinical care, and increase the overall effectiveness and quality of health care and public health interventions – thereby improving the health and well-being of the public.

All applicants should have a preliminary hypothesis underlying the research and a defined plan and timeline for the publication and dissemination of all research results and for seeking future extramural funding. In support of collective action for health improvement, they should also have an integrated strategy for engaging stakeholders relevant to their proposed projects. Stakeholder engagement should be broadly-conceived to support inclusion in one or more parts of the research process.

Program Priorities: 

Tufts CTSI is committed to supporting investigators from Tufts CTSI collaborator or partner institutions in the development of novel research methods and approaches that address translational roadblocks and projects that can answer important scientific questions. Consistent with the NCATS mission and local priorities, the Pilot Studies Program funds translational and clinical research across the full T.5 to T4 spectrum rather than basic discovery research. In alignment with both NCATS research priorities and Tufts CTSI strengths, the program also prioritizes translational research projects in one or more areas of:

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER): compares the benefits and harms of alternative interventions, including improving health care delivery to prevent, diagnose, monitor, or treat a clinical condition.
  • Methods Development: supports the development of new, generalizable, and broadly-applicable procedures, techniques, and tools for approaching and solving translational research questions, problems, or barriers.
  • One Health: promotes integrative solutions for medical issues by incorporating expertise from diverse fields that study the health of humans, animals, and the environment.

Informational Webinars: Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday August 8

If interested, please register for either webinar by sending an email to The team will also be available to answer questions and offer guidance virtually on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00PM July 30 through September 27.

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

Eligible applicants include members of Tufts CTSI partner or collaborator institutions, which span academic partners, affiliated hospitals, industry, and not-for-profit and community-based organizations. Proposals must designate a Principal Investigator (PI) with a primary appointment or position at a Tufts CTSI-affiliated institution. Research teams may include other key personnel members who contribute to the scientific development and execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way. Please refer to the list of Tufts CTSI  partner or collaborators. Northeastern University is a CTSI partner.

Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to work with the Tufts CTSI Navigators, the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Center, the Stakeholder and Community Engagement Team, the Recruitment and Retention Support Unit, the Informatics Team and other Tufts CTSI service providers to enhance proposal development by advancing study design, fostering collaboration, and identifying infrastructure support. Tufts CTSI can provide methodological and technical support, recommend additional project team members, assist teams with project planning and development of recruitment plans, and help identify and involve relevant stakeholders and community representatives. In addition, Tufts CTSI can assist applicants with meeting all eligibility, multi-site team, and funding requirements, and respond to Tufts CTSI funding priority areas. If you would like to speak to a member of Tufts CTSI prior to or during the proposal development phase, please request an in-person or virtual consultation here or email the Pilot Studies Program team at

Past Tufts CTSI pilot award recipients are welcome to re-apply to obtain funding for a new research project, but will not be considered for additional funding for a project previously awarded through the program. Lead PIs or Co-PIs who have received two Tufts CTSI pilot awards are not eligible to apply as key personnel for another award until five years from the end date of their last award. To be considered for new funding, returning applicants must comply with all prior award reporting requirements. Failure to report study outcomes may preclude the PI, Co-PI, or Co-I from being eligible for new Tufts CTSI funding.

Contact Information

The CTSI program team will be available to answer questions and offer guidance virtually on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00PM July 30 through September 27.

To attend a virtual drop-in session, please click here to log into WebEx and enter meeting number 852 300 353 and password: CTSI.

To join by phone, please call 617-627-6767 and enter access code: 852 300 353.

No prior registration is required.