2017.09.22 CTSA Program Update


September 22, 2017




Meeting Date: October 26, 2017, from approximately 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. For questions or concerns regarding hotel registration, please contact Colleen Lawrence. For more information and to register, click here!

The overarching goal of the meeting is to enhance bi-directional communication between NCATS and the CTSA Program Consortium members.  There will be a session in the morning for UL1, KL2 and TL1 Principal Investigators (PIs) to work together with NCATS on collaboratively solving challenges and identifying opportunities.

The afternoon will feature a breakout session for administrators and concurrent sessions on topics chosen by you! The draft agenda has been updated and can be downloaded by clicking here or by visiting ctsacentral.org.

Questions? Contact Redonna Chandler.



In conjunction with the Tufts Common Metrics Implementation program, an evaluation team is assessing the program’s effectiveness for facilitating metric-based strategic management across the CTSA Program consortium. Previously, hubs taking part in the three implementation cohorts were asked to complete a survey on strategic management activities for one metric. During the week of September 25, the evaluation team will launch a follow-up survey on strategic management activities for the first three metrics: IRB Review Duration, Pilot Funding Publications and Subsequent Funding, and Careers in CTR. Beginning in late October, the team will conduct qualitative interviews with a sample of hubs to understand contextual factors, barriers, and facilitators to implementation. Data collection on hub implementation team structure, time, and effort is planned for January 2018.

The Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC) will seek volunteer hubs to join the informatics common metric pilot. Please stay tuned as an email will be circulated to the CTSA Program community in the coming days!

Questions? Contact Samantha Jonson.




Beginning October 1st, CLIC will be taking over DTF coordination with C4 assistance in the background. CLIC would like to thank the C4 Team for sharing their knowledge and guiding us through the processes and best practices they have refined over the past few years.


DTF members will receive emails about the new teleconference numbers for DTF calls the transition of the DTF ROCKET documents to the new CLIC website.  CLIC will be using ZOOM Video Conferencing services to facilitate the DTF meetings which will replace GoToTraining.  Zoom’s features are similar to GoToTraining and CLIC expects a smooth transition.


What DTF members should expect before the end of September:

  • You will receive a Zoom meeting invitation
  • Please register for the meeting via the link
    • Note you will receive one Zoom teleconference invitation per DTF and working group for which you are a member. Please register for each one.
  • You will receive a confirmation message which will include the link to the meeting itself, dates of upcoming meetings, and a telephone number should you opt to call in instead of going through your computer (VOIP)
  • You will be able to add the recurring meetings to your calendar via the confirmation message



The Career Sustainability Workgroup is working with CLIC to finalize a TL1 pre-survey.  The pre-survey will identify various TL1 programs in the consortium and key contacts.  A second TL1 survey is being developed to follow the pre-survey as a way to assess trainee career sustainability and independence.  The TL1 survey is modeled after the KL2 survey.  The SC reviewed and approved the workgroup’s summary of deliverables, milestones, and timelines for the TL1 pre-survey and follow-up survey on the September SC call.


The Harmonizing Competencies/Personalized Pathways Workgroup is processing their survey data in an effort to collapse down the list of competencies to develop a “Clinical Researcher Phenotype” with the skills necessary to “master” that phenotype.



The Informatics Common Metrics Initiative development team continues to make progress with the creation of several scripts (thank you to volunteers) in addition to a survey to assess the technical feasibility of the scripts.  The pilot for the informatics metric is tentatively planned to begin in the middle of October and is estimated to take about 4 months.  If you have any questions about the informatics common metrics, please contact Erica Rosemond.


The Sustainable Informatics Workgroup and the EHR Based Research Recruitment Workgroup continue to work on publications.



The Single Disease Workgroup continues to work on their manuscript and plans to have a first/rough draft prepared by September 29th and a near final document by October 30th.



No updates at this time.



No updates at this time.


Questions? For more information on the DTFs (including points-of-contact), click here.




Pfizer’s CTI program pairs NIH researchers with Pfizer resources to pursue scientific and medical advances through joint therapeutic development. The CTI model is the first NIH-wide biologics initiative with a pharmaceutical partner that NCATS coordinates on behalf of all NIH intramural researchers. Goals include identifying biologic compounds with activity in a pathway or target of interest to both an NIH intramural researcher and to Pfizer, and moving the compounds into the clinic to test them.


Pre-proposals are due to the investigator’s NIH Institute or Center’s technology transfer office by Oct. 13, 2017. Technology transfer staff must submit the pre-proposals by Oct. 20, 2017 via the Pfizer CTI submission portal.



The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program advances a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research. Currently, awardees in the SOBC Research Network are developing, adapting, and testing experimental manipulations meant to engage specific health-behavior-related targets, developing assays intended to verify target engagement, showing that these putative targets can be influenced by a manipulation, and that thus changing target activity leads to behavior change. To encourage the adaptation, validation, and translation of these assays in a broader range of ongoing studies and populations, the NIH is now inviting applications to four available Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that involve using one or more of the SOBC Research Network assays.


Available measures, assays, and experimental manipulations can be found in the SOBC Measures Repository at www.scienceofbehaviorchange.org/measures and via the SOBC Program page on the Open Science Framework.


The revision application funding opportunities are open to those conducting active NIH-supported clinical trials awarded as an R01, U01, or R34. Applicants need to propose to use at least one SOBC Research Network assay to measure engagement of a putative target identified to be relevant to the parent clinical trial. The R21 funding opportunity is designed to support new awards using at least one SOBC assay to measure engagement of a relevant health behavior target or mechanism of action. Applications are due on December 5, 2017.


Pre-application technical assistance webinars will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at 1 p.m. ET and Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 at 12 p.m. ET. The same information will be covered at both webinars. Visit https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange under “Announcements” for more information and a link to register.



The Mixed Methods Research Training Program for the Health Sciences is funded by the National Institutes of Health through the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR), and is the only program of its kind in the United States.


The program fulfills a national need for training in mixed methods and is a natural next step following the publication of the OBSSR “Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research in the Health Sciences.”  Selected scholars have access to webinars, resources, come to an in-person retreat to discuss their research project, and are matched with mixed methods expert consultants.  Our program has reported results in 3 peer-reviewed publications.


Mixed methods research is defined as the collection, analysis, and integration of both quantitative (e.g., RCT outcome) data and qualitative (e.g., observations, interviews) data to provide a more comprehensive understanding of a research problem than might be obtained through quantitative or qualitative research alone. Typical applications of mixed methods in the health sciences involve adding qualitative interviews to follow up on the outcomes of intervention trials, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data to assess patient reactions to a program implemented in a community health setting, or using qualitative data to explain the mechanism of a study correlating behavioral and social factors to specific health outcomes.


The mixed methods retreat is planned for June, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Applications for the 2018 scholar cohort are due December 15, 2017. 


For more information visit their website.




CTSA Program hubs can upload information about important meetings they host on the C4 Coordinating Center website, CTSA Central, in order to spread the word about sponsored conferences, activities, and/or items relevant to the CTSA Program and the advancement of translational science. Hubs can upload conference or meeting information here.

Recent additions are listed below. Please click the event name for more information!

Date Institution/Organization Event
September 27, 2017 University of Rochester Regulatory Science to Advance Precision Medicine Forum
October 2, 2017 University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute Modeling the Opioid Epidemic
October 4, 2017 University of Michigan Found in Translation – Moving Beyond Biomedical Research
October 26, 2017 University of Michigan Microbiology for the CTSA 2017


Questions? Contact Colleen Lawrence.


Upcoming NCATS Events

Event Date Location
CTSA Program Steering Committee Webinar 11/13, 12/11/2017

Second Monday of the month;

2:30 – 4 p.m. ET


*The 10/9 SC call is cancelled due to the 10/25 in-person SC meeting.

CTSA Program PI Webinar 9/27, 11/22, 12/27/2017

Fourth Wednesday of the month;

2 – 3 p.m. ET

CLOSED: CTSA Program Steering Committee In-Person Meeting 10/25/2017 Washington, D.C.
CTSA Program Meeting 10/26/2017 Washington, D.C.




NIH NCATS: Improving Health Through Smarter Science

Connect with us!: https://ncats.nih.gov/connect