CTSI-Pilot Awards FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am a K scholar; can I apply?

    If your K does not overlap the funding period, you may be able to apply. CTSI-Pilot Awards cannot fund salary support for any current K awardee. We are funded by the NIH, and our award will not allow us to give dual salary support. You can still apply for a mechanism supported by CTSI Pilot Awards if you don't include salary support for yourself and submit a statement clarifying how your CTSI Pilot Awards project is different than your K project.

  2. Does my project have to be submitted to NIH for prior approval?
    If your project involves animal subjects or human subjects, it must receive prior approval from NIH before you can receive your award. In order to submit for prior approval, you will need to provide your IRB/IACUC approval letter, proof of required training for key personnel and other required documentation. NIH Prior Approval can take up to six weeks to obtain; you will need to factor this into your study timeline to avoid delays.
  3. Do I qualify as a URM?

    CTSI Pilot Awards cannot answer this question. Please refer to the guidelines and be sure to include the half-page summary explaining your background. Also note, your Department Chair, Division Chief, Unit Director, or designee is required to affirm that you are an Under-represented Minority, as defined in the RFA, in the Letter of Support.

  4. What is a senior postdoc/fellow?

    First years are not eligible. Second and third years may apply, and the review committee will take into consideration the experience of the applicant. Please refer to the RFA for detailed eligibility criteria.

  5. To which mechanism should I apply?

    This is something you should discuss with your mentor. CTSI Pilot Awards suggests you review the eligibility criteria and budget guidelines carefully for any mechanism you are considering.

  6. What qualifies as "significant family caregiving responsibilities" in the Family Support Award mechanism?

    CTSI Pilot Awards cannot answer what does or does not qualify as significant family caregiving responsibilities. All applicants are asked to explain the caregiving burden and resulting hardship. Applications are reviewed for both science and need.

    Historically, awards have given to PIs who (in addition to having a good scientific score) have had more exigent circumstances beyond standard childcare. That being said, our eligibility criteria does not exclude standard childcare – it depends on the level of need demonstrated in your statement of hardship.

  7. I currently have an award through CTSI Pilot Awards/RAP. Can I apply for the award under a different mechanism this time?

    Funded PIs must take a cycle break before applying again, with the exception of those who received a Family Support Award (the cycle break rule does NOT apply to the FSA mechanism). See the RAP Submission Rules

  8. I see that the RFA says no international expenses. But, can I include an international expense that is justified?

    CTSI Pilot Awards cannot fund any international projects nor expenses, and no exceptions can be made. CTSI Pilot Awards also cannot fund projects where there may be foreign co-authorship (if the tool/research becomes the basis for a paper that will be co-authored by someone external to the US). The only exception is if the project already has DHHS funding, in which case we would need to ask the sponsor for approval to fund the project.

  9. I am resubmitting and want to know about addressing reviewer concerns.

    RAP asks resubmissions to use up to one page to address reviewer concerns and changes to the original proposal. Reviewers for resubmissions have access to the original reviews. CTSI Pilot Awards cannot provide any guidance on how to do this. See the RAP Submission Rules

  10. I have a question about letter(s) of support.

    Letters of recommendation are only good for one year (i.e., resubmitting the following cycle). If you are not resubmitting the cycle after your original submission, you will need to have updated versions. CTSI Pilot Awards suggests updating the letters for all involved. A letter of support is required for anyone listed as PI.

  11. I am submitting to a mechanism as the PI this cycle. Can I also submit to another mechanism?

    An investigator cannot be listed as PI on two proposals, but is it ok for him/her to be a PI on one and a Co-I not receiving any salary support on another proposal to a separate mechanism.

  12. Does the total award amount include indirect costs?

    Please only budget for direct costs. Award amounts are based on direct costs only. CTSI Pilot Awards will add indirects on top of the award amount, if awarded and applicable.

  13. What is the award period?

    CTSI participates in the Spring RAP cycles. For awards issued prior to 2021, the award period is June 1 – May 31. Starting in 2021, the award period is July 1-June 30.  Please note, no carry-forwards are allowed.