The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute is seeking applications for team building activities for up to $10,000 each. This mechanism is intended to provide rapid funding for activities that promote the SC CTSI goal of assembling new multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and/or multi-sector teams focused on clinical and/or community-engaged research, that are grounded in team science principles (  

What are “Team Building Activities”?

This mechanism is not intended to fund pilot research projects. Rather, the intent is to fund team building activities that will enable new multidisciplinary and/or multisector research teams to generate ideas, plans, and new projects, and enhance their research activities. Examples of team building activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Hosting a Conference/Workshop/Seminar to bring together researchers interested in a new multidisciplinary research project or program
  • Engagement of a consultant or facilitator to brainstorm and formalize new multidisciplinary research directions
  • Landscape analysis of a new research area
  • Conducting focus groups of diverse stakeholders to guide new project development
  • Engagement of specialized personnel, e.g., project manager to facilitate submission of a large multidisciplinary grant proposal
  • Crowdsourcing information/data (Citizen Science) to inform new research projects
  • Communications software enhancing multidisciplinary team function or formation, e.g., a USC Slack channel for artificial intelligence in medicine
  • Other activities that support new multidisciplinary and/or multisector collaborations and incorporate team science principles

Watch our recent Info Session on the Team Building Voucher Award:


Priority will be given to proposals that (a) demonstrate a clear path for new engagement of individuals from diverse research backgrounds and disciplines in addressing challenges in clinical and community research and (b) provide specific plans and a timeline to move forward to application for extramural funding to support the research.


  • Full-time faculty members at USC and CHLA as of the date of the award are eligible to apply as PI.
  • Postdocs, residents, fellows, students, and community members can serve as co-PIs or co-Investigators.
  • An eligible PI may have only one active Team Building Voucher proposal or funded award at any one time.
    • A PI on a currently active proposal or funded award can serve as co-investigator on additional proposals or awards.
    • A PI and team who have demonstrated significant progress during an initial Team Building Voucher award is eligible to apply for one additional award to reach additional goal(s) beyond those of the initial award.

Award Conditions

Funding will be made available within 4-6 weeks of application.  The project is expected to be completed within 6 months.

By accepting an award, all funded team members will be required to:

  • Participate in a 2-hour online CTSI team science training that covers principles and practical tools
  • SC CTSI is interested in understanding best practices of team building in biomedical research. SC CTSI program staff may request to be present as observers in team building activities to better understand the effectiveness of the team building activities.
  • Awardees will be asked to complete a final report about their project outcomes.



Applications will be accepted for two annual deadlines: July 1, 2024 or January 8, 2025.

Prior to submitting your application:

  • It is highly encouraged that you attend our Team Building Voucher Information Session. We will provide more information about the types of projects we are looking to fund, and successful past examples. The upcoming Information Session details are:
    • Wednesday May 29th, 12-1PM
    • Register for the session HERE
  • The PI(s) are required to participate in a Pre-submission Consultation with the SC CTSI Research Development team (key personnel are also encouraged to attend). This consultation will help the applicants develop project proposals that meet the mission of the mechanism. If requested, the SC CTSI Research Development team will work with you to develop a complete activity plan to achieve your team building goals.
    Please email to schedule your pre-submission consultation.

Application form: There is an application form HERE that will request the following:

  • General Applicant Information
  • Project Information
    • Project Title
    • Five key words
    • Budget Requested
    • Co-PI/ Co-I Information
    • Post Award Administrator Information
      • Name
      • Email
      • Phone (optional)
  • Your Project Proposal (to be uploaded as one PDF, instructions below)

Project Proposal components and instructions:

General Format

  • Arial font, 11pt
  • Margins: minimum 0.5 inch
  • No appendices
  • Include page numbers and table of contents

Your Project Proposal needs to include the following information, compiled in one PDF file:

  • Team Building Proposal (maximum 3 pages including any literature references) including:
    • Objectives, including a rationale for how the project will enhance the development of the new multidisciplinary team
    • Description of the role of all participants and how they contribute to the multidisciplinarity and diversity of the team
    • Detail of Team Building Activities—be as specific as possible
    • Future Directions of the proposed work including plans and a timeline for external grant submission
  • Budget
    • $10,000 maximum over 6 months
    • Use the Required PHS 398 Budget Form, Page 4 or download the budget form HERE. Award expenditures must comply with the NIH Grants Policy Statement and the Uniform Guidance OMB A-81. 
    • Indirect costs are not allowed, including sub-contracts funded by SC CTSI pilot awards. Cost sharing and attempts to raise funds from other sources are encouraged.
    • Salary for project PIs/Co-PIs are not allowed. Salary for other personnel (e.g., Research Assistant) is allowed.
  • Budget Justification
    • Justify all costs fully. Provide detailed information for all requested items.
  • NIH Biosketch of Principal Investigators (4-page max for each individual)
    • Template can be found HERE
  • Letters of Support(s). Include if needed to confirm access to other resources or matching funds, or the support/engagement of external partners.

Meal Guidelines

If meals are necessary to conduct your project aims, please use the SC CTSI meal guidelines below in your proposed TBV budgets:

SC CTSI Meal Guidelines
SC CTSI Meal Guidelines

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.