Inaugural SOM Translational Team Science Awards

The School of Medicine's Strategic Plan includes a new annual award cycle administered by the Office of Research--the Translational Team Science (TTS) Award. TTS awards will support the development of new interdisciplinary teams of basic science and clinical investigators.

A copy of the full RFP is available below, from your Chair or from the Office of Research website: see Funding under the Research tab.

I. Summary of Award

The School of Medicine’s new Strategic Plan includes a new annual award cycle administered by the Office of Research—the Translational Team Science (TTS) Award.  This award is aimed at capitalizing on the “culture of collaboration” at UNC Chapel Hill to foster new synergistic interdisciplinary teams of basic science and clinical investigators.  The award is not restricted to human subjects and tissues, and proposals may include research using cellular and animal model systems; however the project should translate across basic and clinical disciplines.

 There are multiple stages of TTS applications and awards (see application process, below).  After submission of an initial one page Concept paper, selected teams will be invited to submit a full Feasibility proposal for review.  If awarded, TTS Phase I Feasibility grants will provide a 6-month period to begin to fully engage team members in the development of a competitive continuation proposal for TTS Phase II (2 years). Advancement to the next award stage is contingent on the merit of the proposed plan and progress in the prior period. The expectation is that these awards will provide the planning time and initial funds to support early stage denovo research teams that would otherwise not be possible.  This would ultimately lead to submission of novel interdisciplinary program project grants and multiple PI R01s by UNC SOM investigators.

 II. Eligibility 

  • TTS awards will support the development of new research teams.  Project Teams should include both basic and clinical team members.  A new team is defined as investigators who have not previously submitted a grant proposal. 
  • Teams should consist of 2 or more faculty members, one of whom holds a primary appointment in the School of Medicine. 
  • CONCEPT Paper Stage: If you have a novel idea that requires translational expertise you can submit a Concept Paper application.  At this stage you do not need to have identified all of the team members.  The Office of Research can assist matching up basic and clinical team members prior to submission of or during review of Concept Papers.
  • The proposed research should represent a new avenue of research for the investigators.

There must be no prior funding for the project or funding overlap.  This award is not intended as supplementary or bridge funding.

  • Anyone may submit at the Concept Paper stage.  Review of the Concept Papers will select the teams eligible to submit for a Phase I – TTS Feasibility grant.  Only those teams that have completed a Phase I grant may submit for Phase II. 

 III. Application Process

  1. Submit a one-page Concept Paper description of the proposed research.  The Concept paper should include:
  • Hypothesis and specific aims,
  • How the idea is translational and its potential impact,
  • Names of the key players [if you have not identified everyone, describe the expertise needed],
  • Definition of how this is a ‘new’ team, and why a new team is needed for this project.    

Even if you need help finding a basic science or clinical partner, you may still submit the Concept paper.

  1. Upon review of the Concept papers, the most competitive teams will be selected to submit a Phase I - TTS Feasibility Grant application.  The Phase I - Feasibility Grant awards up to $60,000 for a six month period.  These funds can be used to obtain whatever data/approvals are needed for proof of concept and can be used to support trainees and/or for reagents and other costs.  Salary support for faculty is not an allowable cost. 
  2. At the end of the award period, the team can submit a proposal for a full Phase II TTS Grant. These proposals must include a final report of the Phase I period. Phase II awards provide up to $200,000 for a two year period.  A competitive review will be conducted.
  3. Teams that received a Feasibility Grant are not required to submit a proposal for Phase II funding, but they must submit a final report for the Feasibility Grant.  Investigators who do not submit a final report will be ineligible for future funding from this award mechanism
  4. Phase I and Phase II Application Components
  • Abstract, Specific Aims and Significance (1 page max)
  • For Phase II only—Final Report from Feasibility grant activities (2 page max)
  • Research Plan (2 pages for Phase I, 4 pages for Phase II)
    • Description of Research Team
    • Project Design and Methods
    • Timeline and goals for future funding
    • Detailed Budget and Justification
      • Funds may be allocated to support research staff, supplies, core facility fees, travel directly related to project goals, and small equipment.  Salary support for faculty is not an allowable cost.  Salary support for trainees, and technicians are permissible.  Funds will support direct costs only.
    • NIH Biosketches for Key Personnel   

 IV. Application/Grant Timeline for Inaugural TTS Grant Cycle

  • TTS Concept papers due October 11, 2013
  • Concept paper review October 21, 2013
  • Concept paper award notification October 22, 2013
  • TTS Phase I Feasibility grant applications due November 25, 2013
  • Feasibility grant applications Review- week of December 9th or 16th
  • TTS Phase I Feasibility grant award start date: January 1, 2014
  • TTS Phase II Grant applications due August 31, 2014
  • TTS Phase II grant award start date October 1, 2014

 Starting Spring of 2014 the annual cycle will be:

  • RFP for Concept Papers distributed early March
  • Concept Papers due April 1
  • Feasibility proposals due May 31
  • Feasibility awards start July 1
  • Phase II proposals [with Feasibility progress report] due January 31
  • Phase II awards start March 1


 If you have questions, please contact Dede Corvinus at the email address above or at 919-966-8089 or Jennifer Brennan at or 919-966-9366.