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ITHS Collaboration Innovation Awards

Engaging New Teams

ITHS Collaboration Innovation Awards – Engaging New Teams

ITHS is announcing Collaboration Innovation Awards to encourage the development of new interdisciplinary collaborations between investigators in projects addressing critical transitions in translational research. The goal is to encourage new collaborations that address significant translational problems in innovative ways, have the potential to become long-term collaborations, and show a deep commitment to a common goal. This pilot award will provide up to $50,000 in total costs for 1 year. No-cost extensions will not be allowed.

Application Period Closed

Application deadline: November 1, 2016
Awardees Notified: March 3, 2017
Period of Performance: June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018

In addition to pilot funding, recipient teams will be invited to participate in interactive, in-person or on-line Team Science training. This highly sought-after training includes the formation of customized team agreements to support teams in reaching transdisciplinary research goals and help manage sharing credit for publications and products. These applications may address research-based outreach activities, or the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding translational research.

Key Dates
Key Dates

The following key dates apply to this funding opportunity:

  • Application Deadline – November 1, 2016
  • Awardees Notified – March 1, 2017
  • Period of Performance – June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018


  • The pilot proposals should represent a new project or new research direction for the principal investigator that will provide preliminary data needed to seek outside funding. Applications should not be an extension of ongoing, well-established, or recently funded studies. Collaborations between established investigators and junior colleagues will be viewed favorably. We are particularly interested in projects that forge new collaborations between investigators in different disciplines, although this will be considered in balance with scientific merit when evaluating proposals. Interinstitutional collaborations are encouraged.
  • Successful applications will:
    • Describe how this work is a new collaboration for you and is highly innovative, yet technically feasible.
    • Demonstrate how this work reveals the intellectual and creative strengths of the team.
    • Describe how this work will address a critical transition anywhere along the path from basic laboratory research to a disseminated diagnostic or therapeutic use.
    • Represent unique intellectual perspectives coupled with cutting edge approaches.
    • Describe the pivotal data that could be gathered to position this work for an outstanding application for NIH support.
    • Indicate how this grant is a timely opportunity that might otherwise be lost if delayed by the NIH review cycle.
  • Period of Performance is 12 months only. Extensions will not be allowed.

Eligible Investigators
Eligible Investigators

Faculty members at ITHS Partner Institutions, including the University of Washington, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s, and other academic institutions affiliated with ITHS in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) are eligible to apply for this pilot award. Collaborations may extend outside the WWAMI region; however, funds may not be transferred outside the United States.

All Investigators on the research team must be ITHS Members to apply. To become a member, please complete the ITHS Membership Form.

Application Process
Application Process

The application must be submitted through the ITHS website.

Applications will follow National Institutes of Health (NIH) formatting guidelines (see FAQ) and include:

128 KB1) Cover Page – Collaboration Innovation Awards
2) Project Title and Abstract (250 word maximum)
3) Research Plan, 2-pages (references do not count toward page limit)
4) Leadership Plan, 1-page description of the collaboration including an explanation of the respective roles of the partners and the synergy brought about by the partnership
65 KB5) Project Timeline – 1-page 35 KB7) NIH format Biosketches for all investigators (senior/key personnel)

  • Application Deadline – November 1, 2016
  • Review – January – February 2017
  • Awardees Notified – March 1, 2017
  • Just-in-Time Process – March – May 2017
  • Period of Performance – June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018

ITHS is funded through a CTSA grant from NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS recently instituted a new policy requiring the review and approval of all pilot grants involving human subjects research prior to funds being released. Therefore, if your proposal is selected for funding and involves human subjects research, additional documentation is required to send to NCATS. The NCATS review can occur concurrently with the IRB review; however, final NCATS approval is contingent upon IRB approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions on indirect costs applied to these awards?

 Applicant institutions must use a rate no higher than the approved, federally recognized indirect cost rate negotiated between the applicant institution and the federal government. ITHS would like to maximize funds to directly support the investigator’s research and encourages investigators to work with their Office of Sponsored Programs to obtain a waiver to reduce indirect costs on the project.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s have agreed to consider requests for indirect cost waivers for ITHS pilot awards from their faculty.

  • ITHS members whose research program is based at Fred Hutch, who wish to apply for ITHS pilot awards are required to go through the standard institutional procedure for requesting a waiver of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, as described here: http://centernet.fhcrc.org/CN/depts/osr/policies/forgonefaa/
  • ITHS members whose research program is based at Seattle Children’s, who wish to apply for ITHS pilot awards are required to go through the standard institutional procedure for requesting a waiver of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, as described here: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/pdf/RIA-410.pdf


Do our suggested reviewers need to be a part of the University of Washington?

No. A reviewer may come from any academic institution or industry leader. A general note about conflict of interest: A reviewer would have a conflict of interest if they are the applicant’s mentor, dept. chair, spouse, or close relative; or if they currently work together on manuscripts, grants, or business ventures. Simply being in the same department or Division is not, in and of itself, a conflict of interest.


University of Washington specific question: Does this award have to go through the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)? Is an eGC1 required?

No, this is an internal grant and does not need to be routed through OSP and does not require an eGC1.


Do figures and references count toward the 2-page Research Plan limit?

Figures DO count toward the 2-page limit but references can be in addition to the 2-page Research Plan.


Are there any formatting requirements?

Applications will follow National Institutes of Health (NIH) formatting guidelines (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide/format-and-write/format-attachments.htm), including the following:

Font (size, color, type density) and Line Spacing

  • Font size: must be 11 points or larger (smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%).
  • Type density: must be no more than 15 characters per linear inch (including characters and spaces)
  • Line spacing: must be no more than six lines per vertical inch.
  • Text color: must be black (color text in figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, footnotes and headings is acceptable).
  • We recommended the following fonts, although other fonts (both serif and non-serif) are acceptable if they meet the above requirements:
    • Arial
    • Garamond
    • Georgia
    • Helvetica
    • Palatino Linotype
    • Times New Roman
    • Verdana


  • We do not require a specific citation format.

Paper Size and Margins

  • Use paper size no larger than standard letter paper size (8 ½” x 11”).
  • Provide at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No applicant-supplied information can appear in the margins.


Can non-faculty apply as a Co-PI or Co-I?

Yes, however the main or Contact PI must be a faculty member at an academic institution.


What is a Contact PI?

ITHS requires the applicant to designate one of the PD/PI(s) as the Contact PD/PI. This person is responsible for communication between the PD/PIs and ITHS, but has no special authorities or responsibilities within the project team. In many ways, a contact PD/PI is analogous to a corresponding author on a publication. The Contact PD/PI must serve as a member of the PD/PI team and must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status. In those projects where there is an identified project coordinator, the coordinator could serve as Contact PD/PI or that role could be assigned to another PD/PI. It will be possible, and may even be desirable, for the grantee institution to periodically designate a change in Contact PD/PI. For example, it may be desirable to rotate the role of Contact PD/PI among the multiple PD/PIs on an annual basis at the time of grant renewal. Note that the Contact PD/PI must be associated with the applicant/awarde institution.


Can both PIs be from the same division or department?

Yes, both PIs can come from the same department. However, special attention to the spirit of the award will need to be addressed.


Are supplemental documents allowed?

No, supplemental documents are not allowed.


Do you expect the PI, Co-PI, or Senior/Key personnel to have a specific amount of effort committed in the form of salary?

ITHS will follow NIH Policy: Each PD/PI must have measurable effort (greater than zero), and the level of effort must be adequate to achieve the proposed goals. The PD/PI and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant. Typically these individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees, although individuals at the masters or baccalaureate level may be considered senior/key personnel if their involvement meets this definition. Consultants and those with a postdoctoral role also may be considered senior/key personnel if they meet this definition. Senior/key personnel must devote measurable effort to the project whether or not salaries or compensation are requested. “Zero percent” effort or “as needed” are not acceptable levels of involvement for those designated as Senior/Key Personnel.


Can there be more than 2 Co-PIs or Multiple PIs?

Yes, you may have more than 2 PIs, however 1 person will be identified as the Contact PI for administrative purposes.


Can a community or industry partner be my collaborator?

Yes, we as long as the main, or Contact PI must be a faculty member at an academic institution.


Could an investigator apply for this program with a pending faculty appointment?

Pilot recipients must be a faculty member at an academic institution by June 1, 2017.


I have previously been awarded funds by the ITHS. Am I still eligible to receive this award?

Yes, previous ITHS awardees are eligible to receive additional funding.


Does the NIH cap apply to this application?

Yes, these funds come from the NIH through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and so the NIH cap does apply.


Can the awards be dispersed prior to IRB/IACUC approval to aid the application process?

No, funds cannot be dispersed until IRB/IACUC approval is confirmed.


Contact Us
Contact Us

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Bonnie J. Berry, PhD, via the following form.

Cite ItThe Institute is supported by grants UL1 TR000423, KL2 TR000421, and TL1 TR000422 from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA). Please help us continue to support your research by citing our grant number(s) in publications we supported.