Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health


Implementation Science to Improve Patient Care: Solicitation of Letters of Intent for FY2018


  • WhenMonday, October 23, 05:00 PM

Purpose: The UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS) are again partnering to develop and test interventions to enhance quality, efficiency and patient-centeredness of care provided by the LAC DHS. This solicitation requests letters of intent that describe ideas for such programs from which formal applications for funding will be selected.

Summary of Timeline

  • Planning Workshop: September 18, 2017
  • Receipt Deadline for Letters of Intent: October 23, 2017
  • Invitation for Full Proposals: November 6, 2017
  • Receipt Deadline for Full Proposals: December 5, 2017
  • Notification of Awardees: Early 2018

Description of Pilot Grant Program: The participating CTSIs and the DHS intend to issue two pilot grants of up to $75,000 each for up to one year to support the design and small scale implementation of interventions within DHS that will achieve the goals of quality, efficiency and patient centered care. The DHS will provide additional resources and operational support for the selected projects. When completed, successful pilot projects will serve as a base for sustaining extramural funding to implement and formally evaluate the intervention(s) on a larger scale and longer timeframe within DHS. Acceptable funding mechanisms include but are not limited to NIH R01, R21, R03; PCORI, AHRQ, CDC, and CMS Center for Innovation.

We encourage proposals related to productivity, implementation and improvement, and patient experience. The
program is designed to support projects that:

  • Test a solution for a bona fide problem within healthcare;
  • Test solution(s) that is/are aligned with the DHS’s specific infrastructure, business approach and operations;
  • Involve broad participation across sites and disciplines; and
  • Are focused on effectiveness (i.e., whether the intervention works in real-life), as opposed to efficacy.

This program does NOT support projects that:

  • Seek to only measure or understand a problem or solution.
  • Are proposed as a theoretically good idea.
  • Involve a single discipline or single hospital or clinic.
  • Focus on efficacy (whether the intervention works under the controlled conditions of a study).

Eligibility: Awards will be made to research teams consisting of investigators from UCLA and/or USC working closely with investigators and staff members from DHS to design and conduct the pilot project. Multisite collaboration is strongly encouraged. All USC and UCLA faculty members in any series (tenured/non-tenured) including adjunct and professional research series may apply. Participating CTSIs and DHS will work with applicants to help them assemble research teams to conduct their pilot projects (see below).

Workshop and Project Pitch Opportunity: We are pleased to offer a networking workshop for interested investigators to be held September 18, 2017 from 9am to 12pm on the USC Health Sciences Campus (Broad CIRM Center, 1425 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033). Interested parties are invited to attend the workshop and pitch project ideas for additional feedback and guidance by the funding partners. If you plan to pitch an idea, please indicate this when you RSVP OR email Research Development (rd@sc-ctsi.org) by September 8th with the topic of your proposed project. If you do not register for a pitch presentation in advance, there will be an opportunity to sign up for one at the beginning of the event on a first-come first-serve basis. Space will be limited; advance notice is strongly recommended. Note that workshop attendance and pitch presentations are not pre-requisites for LOI submission. The workshop agenda will also include remarks by the sponsors and an opportunity for networking with other investigators and DHS staff. RSVP here.

Letter of Intent (LOI): Applicants should submit a brief LOI that describes:

  1. The challenge in DHS health care that they propose to address [100 words max]
  2. The intervention or approach that they propose to develop and pilot-test [100 words max]
  3. The expertise proposed for the project, including the names and expertise of the PI and known coinvestigators as well as any additional areas of expertise that will be required [no limit]
  4. The expected impact of the intervention on quality, efficiency and patient centeredness of care within DHS [100 words max]

Submission: LOIs must be submitted by 5pm PST on October 23rd, 2017 through this website. Questions can be addressed to Research Development (rd@sc-ctsi.org) at USC or to Deborah Herman (dkherman@mednet.ucla.edu) at UCLA.

Review: LOIs will be reviewed by representatives of the participating CTSIs and the DHS for potential to improve quality, efficiency and patient centeredness of care within the LAC DHS delivery system. Applicants should describe how the proposed research contributes to DHS delivery system goals, and its potential for/relevance to large-scale implementation within DHS and dissemination of findings more broadly. Projects that adhere to the criteria outlined above will be most strongly considered to proceed with a full proposal.

Next Steps: LOIs will be chosen for further consideration within three weeks of LOI submission. At that time, selected applicants will receive instructions for submitting full proposals. Representatives from the participating CTSIs and the DHS will be available to work with applicants to assemble research teams and identify enabling resources (e.g., access to EHR) that will be needed for their proposed projects.