Call for Planning Grants

Section 1

Translational Science Research Proposals to Accompany the UCI CTSA Application in May 2023

Call For Planning Grants

The ICTS will commence year 4 of our 5-year Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) funding cycle beginning in June 2022. We are actively preparing for our next competitive submission, due in May 2023. NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) has substantially revised the CTSA program. The funding period has been lengthened from five to seven years. There will be three substantial funding opportunities (each ~$300-500k annually, direct costs for 3-5 years) to support translational science research that highlights our institutional (and partners’) strengths and that advances the CTSA vision as outlined by NCATS.

This call is for planning grant proposals that will be judged competitively and selected by the ICTS to be part of the suite of applications for the May 2023 due date.

  • In anticipation of the May 2023 submission, we will select three planning proposals as part of the ICTS CTSA application planning process
  • Each will receive a $50K stipend to develop evidence of team collaboration and/or essential preliminary data and to complete a competitive application to accompany the UCI ICTS CTSA proposal in May of 2023
  • Each selected project team will be expected to work closely with ICTS faculty and staff to ensure strong articulation with existing ICTS resources and aims

Successful applicants will demonstrate alignment with the NCATS mission, especially as it relates to the following concepts:

  • Translation: Defined by NCATS as the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and communities – from diagnostics, preventions, and treatments to medical procedures and behavioral changes.
  • Clinical Translational Research (CTR): The endeavor to traverse a particular step of the translational process for a particular target or disease.
  • Clinical Translational Science (CTS): The field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process. This is best understood as research to investigate the translational research process itself.

Opportunity #1

Clinical and Translational Science Research Program
- Up to $500K direct costs per year for 3-5 years

This project will be included as a required component of the parent CTSA grant application and will be designed to address a truly significant roadblock in CTS. Research should not only address a CTR question in a particular disease or intervention development-dissemination context, but also provide generalizable CTS innovations or insights that can be applied to other translational research projects and thereby increase the overall efficiency or effectiveness of translation.
Additional information for parent Hub activitives in UM1 (under Element E) Clinical and Translational Science Award (UM1 Clinical Trial Optional)

Opportunities #2 and #3 (2 separate accompanying applications):

RC2 Funding Mechanism–High Impact Specialized Innovation Programs (SIP) in Clinical and Translational Science
- Up to $500K direct costs per year for 3-5 years

The purpose of SIPs is to support unique activities, resources, capabilities and/or expertise at awarded CTSA UM1 hubs to help advance one or more of the NCATS CTSA Program goals (https://ncats.nih.gov/ctsa/action). The SIPs support novel approaches in areas that address specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies/platforms, data generation, or novel research methods that will advance CTR and CTS. Resources, activities, and expertise supported through the RC2 mechanism must be well integrated into the parent Hub activities.
Additional information on RC2 Limited Competition: High Impact Specialized Innovation Programs in Clinical and Translational Science for UM1 CTSA Hub Awards (RC2 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)

Required Webinar
Prior to application, prospective PIs must attend one of the ICTS Special Translational Science Research Projects Webinars that will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 11-12pm or on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, from 10-11am. Additional Key Personnel are encouraged to attend as there will be an opportunity to clarify the proposal review criteria. To register for the webinars, click here.


  • Webinars – February 23, 2022 at 11:00 am and March 2, 2022 at 10:00 am
  • Application submission date – Deadline extended to April 18, 2022 by 5:00 pm PT
  • Announcement of the three awardees – June 1, 2022
  • Final draft of full proposal to ICTS – April 1, 2023

Application Requirements
Planning Application must include:

  • Abstract (500 words)
    • Include 3-5 key words pertaining to your project
  • Research Planning Description (5 pages max, plus references)
    • Specific Aims of the Proposed CTR and CTS
    • Significance (be sure to address the translational potential of the project)
    • Innovation
    • Planning and Team Building Approach (e.g., team building, preliminary data, production of summary or review manuscript, etc.)
    • Alignment with ICTS and NCATS vision and goals
    • Evidence that the research team can complete the proposed study within 3-5 years and within the annual ~$300-500k budget
  • Home department/center/ORU letter of support
  • Biosketch (NIH format) for PI and all other key personnel
  • Planning Budget (~06/22 through 04/01/23) up to $50k, itemized, 1 page maximum)
    • No subcontracts will be allowed in the planning grant
  • Budget justification

Please note, a unique application link will be shared with those that attended the required webinar.

Selection Process
Proposals will undergo both external and internal review, which will assess (in addition to the usual NIH criteria (investigators, innovation, significance, approach, environment):

  • Potential for transformative impact on health
  • Potential for synergy with ongoing ICTS units and activities
  • Relevance to current NCATS vision for the CTSA program
  • Evidence for integration with the ICTS Mission and Vision including: novel science, community engagement and outreach, training, and inclusive excellence
  • Likelihood of project completion within the 3-5 year budget period
  • Clear pathways to implementation and dissemination of research findings
  • Clear willingness on the part of the applicants to become active participants of ICTS activities such as participating in protocol review, community outreach, and other special projects

Final selections will be made by ICTS leadership.

Dr. Tahseen Mozaffar will serve as the faculty liaison and April Bagaporo as the administrative contact for the application process. Please reach out to April (abagapor@hs.uci.edu) if you have any additional questions regarding this effort.