Multi-site CTSA “Carolinas Collaborative” Translational Research Pilot Program -- Request for Applications on use of EHR for clinical research

Funding Agency:
Duke University

The CTSA hubs are the academic homes of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). North and South Carolina are home to 4 CTSA hubs: Duke University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. The four CTSAs have partnered with Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) to create the Carolinas Collaborative, a data resource that harmonizes the electronic health record data across the institutions to expedite clinical research and quality improvement activities.

In an effort to promote inter-institutional collaborations and to increase utilization of the Carolinas Collaborative available resources, the four CTSAs are soliciting applications for proposals that involve at least two of the Carolina CTSAs and utilize the data available from the Carolinas Collaborative to generate new knowledge and improve the quality of care delivered to patients in the Carolinas. This collaborative pilot Request for Application (RFA) is in line with the priorities of the NIH and other funders to use the electronic health records for clinical research within and across integrated delivery systems.

This pilot program is designed to encourage and facilitate novel clinical and translational research that applies or accelerates discovery into testing in clinical or population settings, including implementation of effective therapies into new settings. The proposed pilot work should collect preliminary data to lead to a competitive proposal submitted to an external funding agency (NIH, AHRQ, PCORI, foundation, etc.) within one year from onset of funding. Projects must demonstrate high translational potential with a clear path to subsequent grant support for a cohort study or clinical trial. Population health improvement projects should demonstrate significant stakeholder involvement to move it into broader practice patterns, clinical guidelines, and other applications.

Carolinas Collaborative has an existing harmonized dataset, called the Carolinas Collaborative Common Data Model (CDM). This means institutions store their electronic health record data in the same format, so that clinical data queries can be run across all member sites. The Carolinas Collaborative CDM includes several common types of data (e.g., diagnosis, procedures, labs, etc.) and is available for review here. Use of the Carolinas Collaborative CDM is a central component of this RFA (See Section III).

Deadline: Aug. 15, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposed projects must involve participation from at least two of the 4 constituent CTSA hubs. Proposals are encouraged from new teams of investigators from different disciplines. Applicants at each institution must have a full-time faculty appointment such that they could lead an external funding application.

The Carolinas Collaborative pilot grants are multi-PI grants with 2-4 PIs on each project. All site PIs share the responsibility for leading and directing the project and all communication about the grant will be sent to all the PIs. Similar to NIH multiple PI awards, each project must designate one of the PIs as the overall contact PI. That person’s name, institution and contact information should be entered where indicated on the application.

More than one proposal may be submitted per faculty member, but the faculty member is only eligible to receive one award as PI during a given funding cycle. Note that Duke faculty members may not serve as PI on more than one concurrently funded Duke CTSA Collaborative (including the Duke/UNC-Chapel Hill Collaborative) or Transformative pilot award. Currently funded Carolinas Collaborative award PIs may not apply as a PI in this round. 



Amount Description

 The research activities at each participating institution will be funded by that institution’s CTSA or through funding from the Duke Endowment, the initial funder of the Carolinas Collaborative. Each CTSA hub will fund up to $25,000 in direct costs per project. An equal amount should be requested from each CTSA hub. Funds will not be subcontracted from one institution to the other.. 

Each institution will allocate up to $75,000 for this RFA; the total number of grants funded may be greater or fewer than three depending on the number of CTSA hubs participating in each project, the project budgets, and the responsiveness and merit of the proposals.

Funding Type





Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

August 15, 2018