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ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award

ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award (Pilot Study Program)

The Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) and the Institute for Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) are pleased to sponsor the Ignition Award pilot study program, focusing on the use of nonhuman primate (NHP) models of human disease. The purpose of this award is to explore innovative areas of NHP research and generate preliminary data to serve as a basis for submission of new research grant applications (e.g., R01-type grant to NIH or other funding agency) and/or subsequent clinical studies. We anticipate funding two awards. Proposals should focus on translational applications or development or enhancement of the use of NHPs as animal models.

Application period closed

Offered once per year.

Letter of Intent due date: December 1, 2023
Application due date:
January 8, 2024
No applications time stamped after 5 p.m. Pacific time on January 8 will be considered.

All pilot research projects must be planned, conducted, and carried out under the supervision of at least one Core Scientist at WaNPRC. A list of scientific units, including Core Scientists and their expertise, can be found on the WaNPRC website here. Core Scientists must agree to take on this role. If assistance is needed identifying a Core Scientist, please contact as early as possible.

Key Dates

  • December 1, 2023: Letter of Intent due to the WaNPRC
  • January 8, 2024: Full application due to the WaNPRC.
    Email to No applications time stamped after 5 p.m. PST on January 8 will be considered.
  • February 9, 2024: Notice to awardees and other applicants
  • May 1, 2024: Budget initiation
  • April 30, 2025: End of budget period
    NOTE: There will no option for no-cost extensions or carry-forward.

The WaNPRC intends to award up to two separate awards of up to $75,000 each. The award will be administered by the Primate Center and must be used for Primate Center study costs, including animal costs, per diem, procedures, supplies and salaries. Although this award is not intended to support outgoing subcontracts, exceptions could be considered on a case-by-case basis with collaborating institutions.



This program is designed to support innovative studies utilizing resources within the WaNPRC. This award program will facilitate use of NHP models and services of the WaNPRC and the ITHS to provide information applicable to subsequent grant proposals and/or clinical studies. This program will provide an opportunity to advance research programs developing and expanding the use of NHPs in research of human diseases, also, by operating jointly with the ITHS, advance the translational process of development and use of therapeutics, diagnostics, or devices.

Examples of translational projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. The development of clinical tests/diagnostics/therapeutics that have the potential to
    1. accelerate translational research
    2. improve clinical treatments (i.e., new therapeutics or new indications for approved drugs)
  2. Studies that advance neuroscience applications or surgical techniques
  3. Development and/or validation of a new disease model using nonhuman primates
  4. Reproductive and/or developmental studies that may have direct clinical applications
Application Process Details

Application Process Details

The LOI should be submitted using the online form here. The application form can be requested by emailing or downloaded from the WaNPRC website.

Key Dates

  • December 1, 2023: Letter of Intent due to the WaNPRC
  • January 8, 2024: Full application due to the WaNPRC.
    (email to
    No applications time stamped after 5 p.m. Pacific on 01/8/2024 will be considered.
  • February 9, 2024: Notice to awardees and other applicants
  • May 1, 2024: Budget initiation
  • April 30, 2025: End of budget period
    NOTE: There will no option for no-cost extensions or carry-forward. This is an absolute end date.

Budget: Applicants are required to contact the WaNPRC ( to discuss the scientific components of their projects, WaNPRC resources that are available, and pricing of the services to be provided. Applicants are required to develop a complete and accurate budget for their applications in collaboration with the WaNPRC.

Applications with budget requests insufficient to complete the Specific Aims or budgets that were not developed with assistance from the WaNPRC will not be advanced to scientific review.

Budgets for the NHP studies will be administered by WaNPRC. All financial activity will be supervised by the WaNPRC Research Administration Division.

  1. 1. It is the PI’s responsibility to clearly demonstrate how the proposed research has the potential to positively impact the quality or the conduct of clinical and translational research or how the planned experiment impacts or expands the use of nonhuman primates as an animal model in the context of the proposal.
  2. The PI should clearly describe how the proposed evaluation methodology provides an innovative approach to conducting the proposed research.
  3. Up to $75,000 per selected applicant will be directly applied to the costs at WaNPRC.
  4. No additional funds are necessary for indirect costs.
  5. No UW eGC1 is required.

Application Process:

Step 1 – Submit a Letter of Intent to WaNPRC by December 1, 2023. Please include proposal title, abstract (250-word max), key personnel, WaNPRC Core or Affiliate Scientists involved, WaNPRC Core Scientist who serve as mentor, and at least 3 potential reviewers (one UW reviewer and 2 external to UW). Letters of Intent will be used to identify potential reviewers and competitiveness of projects. Only Letters of Intent with projects deemed to be competitive for funding will be invited to submit full proposals.

Applicants should refrain from identifying close collaborators as potential reviewers. It is strongly recommended that applicants identify at least two (2) reviewers who are external to UW/WaNPRC.

Step 2 – Submit the application to WaNPRC by January 8, 2024.
Email to No applications time stamped after 01/08/2024, 5:00 PM Pacific will be considered

Step 3 – Review of Applications

The Review Committee will score the applications and applicants will be notified of their status by February 9, 2024. All applicants will receive reviewers’ comments. Scoring is not provided. Detailed review criteria are listed below.

NOTE: The PIs receiving awards are responsible for securing approval from the UW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before a new project can begin.

Step 4 – 2024 Award recipients
Budget period is anticipated to begin May 1, 2024 and must be obligated by April 30, 2025. No-cost extensions or carry-forward are not allowed.

Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit their applications up to a total of two (2) times. The Review Committee may deny the opportunity to resubmit an application if the reviewers determine that the application does not meet the intent of the program. Resubmitted applications should include a 1-page Introduction to address previous reviewers’ comments and outline changes since the last submission. Letters of Intent will be required for resubmission as well as new applications.



Research faculty and early-stage investigators, including post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty who are eligible to apply for independent external funding or career transition award (e.g. R01, K01 or similar) from NIH or similar funding agencies. Applicants affiliated within an academic or nonprofit institute can apply except for those who have received a WaNPRC/ITHS Ignition Award within the previous three (3) years.

The Center particularly encourages applications from new and early-stage investigators, including post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. The Center also encourages applications from faculty or senior scientists from external institutes and/or collaborations with external investigators. Applications from established investigators pursuing a new area or direction in their research or those who have not worked with NHPs before are also encouraged. This is an opportunity to pursue innovative research projects or collect preliminary data that can provide proof of concept and lead to future funding. Please see for more information.

Review Criteria & Committee Details

Review Criteria & Committee Details

The combined review committee for the Ignition Award applications will consist of members of the WaNPRC Research Advisory Committee, the ITHS Drug and Device Advisory Committee (DDAC), and/or others as identified by the WaNPRC Associate Director for Research or designee as appropriate. Members of the committee are selected to provide interdisciplinary insight into the proposed research. The committee is composed of Core and Affiliate Scientists along with reviewers external to the WaNPRC. As needed, WaNPRC will also invite representation from CoMotion for guidance on innovation represented by the technology.

Reviews are performed according to the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit
  2. Status of applicant as an Early-Stage Investigator or as established investigator entering a new field or proposing new work in NHPs
  3. Innovation
  4. Potential impact on human health and/or the use of nonhuman primate models
  5. Probability of future grant funding and/or clinical studies

Proposals that use existing NHP samples or that utilize animals already assigned to projects are also encouraged.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting Requirements

The WaNPRC requires an interim and annual report from all award recipients. The dates and specifications for these reports will be stated in the WaNPRC Notice of Award.

Quarterly in-person meetings with a WaNPRC representative may be requested to track the progress of funded activities.



The WaNPRC reserves the right to publicly disclose information about its granting activities. WaNPRC communications to the public may include lists of funded applications, the names of principal investigators and applicant institutions and departments, titles of proposed activities and reports about progress and outcomes.

Please note that records produced at the University of Washington are subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.

Contact Information

Contact Information

Any questions on the application award process can be directed to


Definitions of Clinical and Translational Research

Clinical Research

NIH defines human clinical research as research with human subjects that is: (1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. Patient-oriented research includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies. (2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies. (3) Outcomes research and health services research. Note: Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Source: NIH PHS 398 Instructions on Human Subjects Research

Translational Research

Translation: The process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

Translational Science: The field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process.

Source: Definitions provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Translational research includes:

  • the process of making discoveries in the research laboratory or in preclinical studies that will have an impact on human health and may lead to the development of studies in humans,
  • the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans and
  • research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science.

Source: Based on Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) RFA-RM-07-007 CTSA RFA

Using this definition in our review and funding programs, the translational potential of research is rated as:

  • High: Research that will be an important step towards the eventual goal of impacting human health, and the pathway to this impact is clear
  • Moderate: Research that will be a moderately important step towards the eventual goal of impacting human health, and/or the pathway to this impact is only partially defined
  • Low: Research that will have little effect on the eventual goal of impacting human health or research for which the pathway to potential impact is unclear

Previous Awardees

Awardees - ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award

Hybiske, KevinIdentification of the immune correlates leading to clearance of a genetically attenuated Chlamydia trachomatis strain in the cervix of pig-tailed macaquesAllergy and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2022
Settles, ErikIdentification of Valley Fever epitopes and TCR clones in naturally exposed pig-tailed macaques for future vaccination and diagnostic studiesNorthern Arizona UniversityApril, 2022
Erasmus, JesseOvercoming bottlenecks in mRNA-mediated antibody expression in nonhuman primatesMicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2021
Orsborn, AmyDeveloping and validating a new behavioral assay to quantify feedforward and feedbackElectrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2021
Gambrill, Abigail & Jon Rueckemann (MPI)Cellular mechanisms of primate hippocampal theta oscillationsPhysiology & Biophysics (both PIs)University of WashingtonApril, 2020
Wood, GwendolynOptimizing a model of M. genitalium reproductive tract infection in female pig-tailed macaquesAllergy and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2020
Dembrow, NikolaiDeveloping a primate culture platform for the treatment of degenerative disorders.Physiology & BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2019
Ting, JonathanA comprehensive viral genetic toolbox optimized for primate brain cell types and translational neuroscience.Allen Institute for Brain SciencesApril, 2019
O'Connor, MeganEvaluation of SIV Co-Infection on ZIKV Pathogenesis in Pigtail Macaques.MicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2018
McGuire, AndrewProof of Concept for an Epstein Barr Virus Vaccine.Vaccine and Infectious Disease DivisionFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2018
Gale, Michael Using the Pigtail Macaque Model to Evaluate Novel Vaccines for Prevention of Zika InfectionImmunology
University of WashingtonApril, 2017
Patton, DorothyMn model development: GC infection and URT imaging by PETObstetrics & GynecologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2017
Curnow, ElizaA nonhuman primate model of Fragile X syndromeWashington National Primate Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2017
Chin, MichaelPharmacokinetics, organ toxicity and immunogenicity of recombinant tafazzin in
non human primates
CardiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Horwitz, GregCell-type specific promoter sequences for targeting NHP neuronsPhysiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Kean, LeslieCreating a Novel Model for the Treatment of Graft-versus-Host-Disease in Rhesus MacaquesPediatricsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Isoherranen, NinaMaternal phthalate kinetics in a nonhuman primate modelPharmaceuticsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Perlmutter, SteveNHP Model for cervical myelopathy and therapeutic use of electrical stimulationPhysiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Smith, JasonA Rhesus model to uncover the role of α-defensins in rotaviral infectionMicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Clark, EdwardTesting CD180-based Hepatitis B virus vaccine in macaquesMicrobiology/ImmunologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Neitz, MaureenIn vivo directed evolution of AAV vectors that transduce photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium when injected into the vitreousOphthalmologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Adams-Waldorf, KristinaSurfactant Protein A to prevent pre-term birthObstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Kiem, Hans-PeterDevelopment of an in vivo model of Hepatitis C virus infection, replication and pathogenesisClinical ResearchFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Riddell, StanleyEvaluating the safety of T-cells engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors for ROR1 and a tumor-specific epitope of EGFRClinical ResearchFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Moshiri, MariamFetal lung maturity assessment with MRI using fetal lung to liver signal intensity ratio and MR spectroscopyRadiologyFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Horwitz, GregTargeted Genetic Manipulation of NHP Neurons in Vivo.Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonFebruary, 2012
Robinson, FarrelDissolution of perineuronal nets to aid adaptation to a vestibular prosthesis.Biological StructureUniversity of WashingtonFebruary, 2012
Curnow, ElizaM. fascicularis model for cancer-oocyte target SAS1B.Reproductive Biology and Stem Cell Core, Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Division, Washington National Primate Research CenterN/AFebruary, 2012
Murray, CharlesTransplantation of M. nemestrina induced pluripotent stem cell (MniPSC) u2013 derived cardiomyocytes into nonhuman primates after myocardial infarctionPathology and BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Lieber, AndreSafety studies with a high affinity companion therapeutic for monoclonal antibodies to treat cancerMedicineUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Phillips, JamesVestibular prosthesis for bilateral and uncompensated unilateral lossOtolaryngologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Juul, SandraA Novel Non-Human Primate Model of Neonatal Stress and Sedative Drug UsePediatricsUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2010
Zhang, GlennIdentification of Molecular Signature of Successful Influenza VaccinationsAnimal SciencesOklahoma State UniversityMarch, 2010
Ho, RodneyNeuro-Imaging of a Novel CNS Targeted Drug Delivery Device in PrimatesPharmaceuticsUniversity of WashingtonJanuary, 2010