ICTS Biomedical and Health Informatics Pilot Award

Section 1

ICTS Pilot Project: Biomedical and Health Informatics

Purpose: To encourage early exploration of high-risk translational research ideas utilizing biomedical and health informatics.

Rationale: The ICTS Translational Science Pilot Grant Program is inspired by the Common Fund's NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award initiative (formerly known as the Transformative Research Project (TR01]). The ICTS Translational Science Pilot Grants are designed specifically to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms. This call is an invitation to propose a translational science pilot grant that will leverage biomedical informatics tools and/or technologies.

Available Funds:  Funds are available to support one, one-year award in the amount of *$25,000 for an innovative, translational informatics project. The funding period is April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020.

Eligible Projects

A translational project is defined as any project aimed at accelerating the transition from discoveries arising from laboratory, clinical, or population studies into clinical applications. Potential topics for this pilot on Biomedical and Health Informatics include, but not limited to:

  • Novel ways for secondary use of structured or unstructured healthcare data, such as predictive modeling, data/text mining, and natural language processing
  • Informatics innovations designed to facilitate the conduct of clinical and translational research, such as applications for enhancing standardization and reusability of patient care data, and applications for improving the efficacy of patient screening, recruitment, and engagement and retention
  • Consumer/personal health informatics and community health informatics
  • Security and privacy and confidentiality protection


Submissions in the following areas will not be considered:

  • Biomedical engineering projects solely focused on device development and evaluation
  • Computational biology projects


Principal Investigators (PIs) must be full time UCI faculty from any school or discipline; junior faculty are especially encouraged to apply, but established investigators pursuing novel research lines are also welcome. Faculty from the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and the Long Beach VA* are also encouraged to apply. If CHOC and VA applicants do not have a joint UCI faculty appointment, their proposals must have a UCI CO-PI.

*All awards to CHOC and VA will occur via a subcontract; no overhead costs will be provided.

* Please note that before funds can be released to an awarded application, all required IRB and/or IACUC approval documents must be in place (as well as all other internal regulatory approvals)and an administrative approval by the NIH (that will be requested directly by the ICTS office) is also required.

To apply, please use this link 2019 ICTS Pilot: Biomedical and Health Informatics

All material must include the investigator’s name at the top right corner, and use a font no smaller than 11 pts, with margins no narrower than 0.5 inches.

  • The application must include:
  • Abstract (1page)
  • Project Plan (click link to download form)
  • Keywords and Reviewers (click on link to download form)
  • Research Plan (5 pages max, plus references) must include:
    • Specific Aims
    • Significance (be sure to address the translational potential of the project)
    • Innovation
    • Approach
    • Plans for applying for extramural funding
  • Home department letter of support
  • Budget (itemized, 1 page maximum) 
  • Budget Justification
    • Funds cannot be used to support the PI’s salary, computer purchases, or travel. Other personnel salaries are allowable.
    • No overhead will be provided for outside institutions
  • Pilot Project Financial Disclosure Form - (click link to download form)
  • For junior faculty only (assistant professor or lower): Please name senior faculty sponsor 

For junior faculty (assistant professor or equivalent and lower): before funds are released, a senior faculty mentor from the awardee's home department must agree to act as a mentor (including general project supervision, participation in an initial milestone-setting meeting, and periodic progress report meetings).

Regulatory Approval: Please note that while having regulatory approval (IRB, IACUC) is not necessary at the time of submission, awarded funds will not be released, by NIH mandate, until such approval has been received. Projects requiring IND or IDE regulatory approvals, approval must have been received at the time of submission. Because NIH does not allow carry-forward on these one-year awards, if all regulatory approvals have not been received 6 months after award date, the ICTS may withdraw the award.

Resubmissions: Applications that were not funded during a prior call for ICTS pilot awards may be resubmitted a second time by checking the appropriate box during the application process. Resubmissions will have the opportunity to address the criticisms raised during the review process; however, no additional space will be allowed for the rebuttal, which will have to be included in the 5-page limit of the research plan. A maximum on ONE resubmission will be allowed for each previously unfunded project.

Milestones and Monitoring: Before funds are released, a meeting will be held with the awardee, a department financial analyst, and ICTS staff at which the team will review specific milestones to gauge project progression. Continuation of support throughout the entire award period will be contingent upon sufficient progress.

Review Process: Review criteria will include:

  • Significance and impact of the proposed research
  • Qualifications of the PI and research team
  • Innovation
  • Approach; Scientific strength of the research design
  • Scientific environment
  • Translational nature of the project
  • Project feasibility within the proposed time frame
  • Likelihood of generating extramural funding

Scoring Guideline (click link to download criteria)

The UCI ICTS participates in a national CTSA External Reviewer Exchange Consortium (CEREC) to improve fairness in the scientific review process and better match applicants with feedback from experts in their respective fields.

For more information, please contact Dr. Margaret Schneider at margaret.schneider@uci.edu or April Bagaporo at abagapor@uci.edu