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UTSW CTSA Pilot Award Program

The Translational Pilot Program, part of the NIH-funded CTSA grant, is an established funding mechanism for investigators to provide support for emerging advances in the biomedical sciences.

The intent of the Pilot Program is to attract strong applications from new investigators with novel scientific studies to established investigators that are in pursuit of a new research direction that involves inter-institutional and interdisciplinary concepts.

These grants are designed to support preliminary data and provide investigators with the opportunity to engage in scientifically rigorous study design with enhanced focus on using the application process to submit stronger proposals for extramural funding.

May 2023 Projects Awarded Funding

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Prior Projects Awarded Funding

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The CTSA Program at UT Southwestern will provide financial support for investigators to conduct innovative clinical and translational research projects. It is anticipated that this funding mechanism will achieve the following:

  • Promote and support the development and testing of novel research ideas
  • Promote and support novel translational ideas of developing investigators
  • Promote and encourage inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Assess the feasibility of new approaches to translational research that lead to extramural funding


The Translational Pilot Program is targeted to the following individuals who display the talent and personal traits associated with career success and who have identified the environmental resources and interdisciplinary collaborations that will make this success more likely:

  • Early career faculty at the Instructor or Assistant Professor level
  • Associate Professor proposing a new direction in their research. This must be a substantial shift in their research direction (e.g., not just using a different model system).
  • Formal participants in the CTSA Education Program (KL2 and Clinical Scholars)

The career path of the applicant and his or her ability to develop interdisciplinary collaborations will be considered in the selection process at par with the scientific merit of the proposed project. Applicants who are post-doctoral fellows or residents must have a mentor who will work with them on the proposed project.

Eligible Organizations

Applications from trainees or faculty members at the following institutions will be accepted:

  • Children’s Healthâ„ 
  • Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Moncrief Cancer Institute
  • Parkland Health and Hospital System
  • Southern Methodist University (SMU)
  • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC)
  • Texas Tech University Health Science Center
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth (UNTHSC)
  • University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)
  • University of Texas at Dallas (UTD)
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW)

Eligible Projects

Emphasis on the development and testing of new hypotheses in the following areas:

  • Translational Research

    Translational Research includes two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory and preclinical studies to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is an important part of translational science.

  • Clinical Research

    Clinical Research includes clinical trials with human subjects to test intervention safety and effectiveness, behavioral and observational studies, outcomes and health services research, and the testing and refinement of new technologies. The goal of many clinical trials is to obtain regulatory approval for an intervention.

  • Community-Based Research

    Community-Based Research is a collaborative effort between academic researchers and non-academic based community members that aims to generate social action and positive social change through multiple knowledge sources and research methods. Ideally, the research questions originate from off-campus communities and the process involves meaningful participation by all partners in every stage of the research.

  • Health Services Research

    Health Services Research examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what results from this care. The main goals of health services research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety.

  • Team Science

    Team Science is used to refer to a collaborative approach that draws concepts and technologies from multiple fields to develop a new perspective on answering research questions or solving complex problems. While traditional single investigator-driven approaches are ideal for many scientific endeavors, coordinated teams of investigators with diverse skills and knowledge may be especially helpful for studies of complex social problems with multiple causes.

Grant Cycle and Award Information

There is one cycle per year. Applications are typically elicited during the winter with a start date of May 1. The maximum project period is one year. The project budget should not exceed $50,000 in direct costs.

Questions about the CTSA Pilot Award Program?

For more information, contact the CTSA Program via