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 partnering to develop and test interventions to enhance quality, efficiency and patient-centeredness of care provided by the LAC DHS. Learn more. This solicitation requests letters of intent that describe ideas for such programs from which formal applications for funding will be selected.

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 controlled conditions).



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.

Workshop Opportunity

We are pleased to offer an invitation-only networking workshop and feedback session, which will be open only to select investigators who have submitted an LOI. This planning workshop will be held on October 4, 2018 from 9am to 12pm on the UCLA campus (exact meeting location to follow). Content experts from the funding partners at UCLA CTSI, SC CTSI and LAC DHS will be available to provide additional guidance and consultations on project ideas, and assessment of each proposed project’s adherence to the Implementation Science program’s aims. The workshop agenda will also include brief remarks by the sponsors and an opportunity for networking with other investigators and DHS staff. All project team members and collaborators are encouraged to attend.  While attendance at the planning workshop is strongly encouraged, attendance is not a prerequisite to proceeding with submitting a full application, if invited. 

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 co- investigators 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]


Applications must be submitted by 5pm PST on December 21st, 2018 through this website. Questions can be addressed to Research Development ( at USC or to Deborah Herman ( at UCLA.


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 one week of LOI submission. At that time, selected applicants will receive information on the October 4th planning workshop. 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.

Summary of Timeline

  • USC workshop with DHS representatives: September 18, 2018
    Recorded Webinar on Implementation Science and Effectiveness Research
  • Receipt Deadline for Letters of Intent: September 25, 2018
  • Planning Workshop: October 4, 2018
  • Invitation for Full Proposals: November 9, 2018
  • Receipt Deadline for Full Proposals: December 21, 2018
  • Notification of Awardees: Early 2019


USC workshop with DHS representatives

Receipt Deadline for Letters of Intent

Planning Workshop

Invitation for Full Proposals

Receipt for Deadline for Full Proposals

Notification of Awardess

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.