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2021-2022 Request for Applications

ITHS Collaboration Innovation Awards

ITHS Collaboration Innovation Awards

2021-2022 RFA

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 project should address significant translational problems in innovative ways, have the potential to become long-term collaborations, and show a deep commitment to a common goal.

Reviewers will focus on 3 primary questions. 1) Is this collaboration new? 2) Is this collaboration interdisciplinary? 3) Is it likely that this collaboration will develop into a durable partnership between investigators who have equivalent commitment to the success of the project?

Application Period Closed

Key Dates

The following key dates apply to this funding opportunity:

  • Letter of Intent Deadline
    July 13, 2020
  • Notice of Invitation to Apply
    July 27, 2020
  • Application Deadline
    August 31, 2020
  • Awardees Notified
    December 7, 2020
  • Period of Performance
    March 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022

This pilot award will provide up to $50,000 in total costs for 1 year. No-cost extensions will not be allowed. 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.

  1. 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. ITHS faculty or staff may be listed as active research contributors on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with ITHS prior to application submission if your proposal includes ITHS faculty or staff.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. ITHS- funded faculty (those who receive salary or stipends from ITHS) and staff members are ineligible to apply. An acting faculty member or instructor is eligible to apply only if the Department head provides a letter supporting the applicant’s eligibility to serve as a PI.

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

Application Process
Application Process
A. Letter of Intent

The letter of intent form must be submitted through the ITHS website before submission of the application. The form includes information on the applicant and any Co-Investigators or Community Partners, project title, and abstract (250 word maximum). Investigators who are invited to submit a full application will receive notice within two weeks.

B. Application

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
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
57 KB5) Project Timeline – 1-page
6) Budget and Budget Justification 29 KB6a) Budget 37 KB6b) Budget Justification
7) Letter(s) of Support Letters of Support are not required unless you are an instructor or acting faculty member. If you are an instructor or acting faculty member, you will need to include a letter supporting your eligibility to serve as PI from your Department head (or equivalent).
35 KB8) NIH format Biosketches for all investigators (senior/key personnel)
Not included in the above document:

Suggested Reviewers – You will also be asked to provide five suggested reviewers, including the following information for each: 1) Name, 2) Title, 3) Institution/Organization, and  4) Email Address.
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.

C. Timeline

  • Letter of Intent Deadline – July 13, 2020
  • Notice of Invitation to Apply – July 27, 2020
  • Application Deadline – August 31, 2020
  • Awardees Notified – December 7, 2020
  • Period of Performance – March 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022

ITHS is funded through a CTSA grant from NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS requires the review and approval of all pilot grants involving human subjects research before funds are released. Therefore, if your proposal is awarded funding and involves human subjects research, additional documentation will be required. NCATS review and IRB review can be concurrent, but 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:
  • 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:


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 (, 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, but 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 July 1, before the period of performance. For example, if the period of performance is March 2022-February 2023, the appointment must be by July 1, 2021.


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.


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Page last modified: Jun 17, 2021 @ 9:38 am (PST)