CTSI Awards Grants to Help Shape Next NIH Proposal

Janet Coffman (center), MA, MPP, PhD, proposed an 'Adminstrative Data Concierge Service.'

With a focus on developing ideas and proposals to help shape its next National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant proposal due for submission in 2015, UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) tapped into the diversity of the UCSF community through a grant opportunity known as The Big Tent: CTSI 2016 NIH Renewal Proposal Launchpad.

The Big Tent allowed us to take advantage of the big ideas and diverse perspectives on campus.
Mini Kahlon, PhD, CTSI Deputy Director and CIO

As part of “The Big Tent,” more than 200 UCSF leaders, faculty, staff and partners in attendance at the 2013 CTSI Retreat took part in group discussions and collaborative idea development involving a selection of the 23 proposals submitted for this Open Proposal opportunity. Additionally, 68 comments also helped to inform the proposal development and selection process (view summary).

“The Big Tent allowed us to take advantage of the big ideas and diverse perspectives on campus,” said Mini Kahlon, PhD, CTSI Deputy Director and CIO. “These are the kinds of initiatives that will help to bridge gaps, as well as ensure that CTSI’s next NIH proposal is our strongest yet.”

From the 23 proposals submitted to “The Big Tent” by faculty, staff and affiliates, two proposals have been awarded planning grants:

    • Exchange Data Marketplace for Drug Discovery and Development Resources (proposed by: Irina Gitlin, PhD): A proposed framework allowing a university to offer its unique capabilities and core resources in drug development in exchange for those that are not readily available on that particular campus. This proposal will utilize the UC BRAID network and the Drug and Device Discovery and Development (D4) workgroup within BRAID to engage the five participating UC campuses of BRAID into the Marketplace.
    • Administrative Data Concierge Service (proposed by Janet Coffman, MA, MPP, PhD): Leverage collaborations within and beyond UCSF to establish a concierge service that would assist UCSF researchers in accessing large administrative datasets.

Proposal reviewers also selected three other proposals for Honorable Mention and further development with support from CTSI leaders:

    • Open Data Initiative (proposed by Kevin Grumbach, MD): A proposal to bring together under one umbrella projects currently underway at UCSF and other UC campuses along with their government and community partners to explore opportunities and best practices for maximizing the applicability and interoperability of public datasets. 
    • Grants Program for Collaborative, Multidisciplinary, Translational Research (proposed by William Seaman, MD): A proposal designed to directly counter the barriers to collaborative translational research by supporting research that promotes synergy among investigators across highly disparate areas of research.
    • National Repository for Stem Cell Derived Neurons (proposed by Bruce Miller, MD): A proposal to create a national core of neurons from patients with both sporadic and genetic forms of Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other rare forms of dementia.

“The Big Tent” was managed using UCSF Open Proposals, an online crowdsourcing tool developed by CTSI to enable open, collaborative proposal and team development. 

UCSF's CTSI is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant Number UL1 TR000004) at the National Institutes of Health. Under the banner of "Accelerating Research to Improve Health," CTSI provides a wide range of resources and services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles.