2014 Multi-CTSI (UCLA and USC/CHLA) Healthy Aging in Los Angeles Team Science Award

Each research team will receive up to $50,000 for a period of up to one year.

August 12, 2014

In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS) and the Department of Public Health (LAC DPH), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) at the University of Southern California (USC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), announce the 2014 Multi-CTSI (UCLA; and USC/CHLA) Healthy Aging in Los Angeles Team Science Award to advance aging research and to promote healthy aging for older adults throughout Los Angeles County. 

The awards are designed to: (i) pursue the goal of healthy aging in Los Angeles County through collaborations with communities and community members; all appropriate levels of government; and practitioners of medicine, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health and mental health; and (ii) to advance the effort to develop, evaluate and disseminate a coordinated set of interventions intended to promote healthy aging in Los Angeles County.

Healthy aging is broadly conceived as relating to physical, emotional and social health. It involves diverse constructs such as physical activity and fitness, mobility, ability to age “in place,” ability to take care of basic needs, maintenance of meaningful social interaction with others, and health care interventions that prevent, slow or mitigate the impact of chronic conditions among older populations, including mental health and substance use.

The target population of successful proposals should not focus exclusively on elderly populations. Applicants are encouraged to consider accelerated aging in minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in selecting the target population. Populations aged 50 years and older should be the primary focus, recognizing that health benefits in the younger part of the continuum may not be immediately evident. Applicants are encouraged to consider multi-generational approaches to healthy aging, such as involving older individuals with school-age children or youth. While the primary focus is older populations, a life course orientation is encouraged within teams.

Examples of topical areas include but are not limited to: health behaviors, health literacy and self-management, and special/vulnerable populations. Proposals that focus exclusively on medical treatment for older adults without attention to other domains of health and well-being will not be considered responsive to this guidance. Multidisciplinary approaches are a requirement of team science funding.

Each research team will receive up to $50,000 for a period of up to one year.  These funds must be matched by an equal dollar amount or in-kind support from the home institution(s)/departments(s)/community partner.  NIH guidelines for annual and end-of-project reporting will apply. Carry forward of funds is not allowed.  Up to four awards will be funded.

Each application must include Co-PIs, with one from LAC DHS or DPH, and at least one associated from either the UCLA CTSI or SC CTSI at USC/CHLA.
Teams must include a partner from at least one community-based organization, including but not limited to health or service agencies and organizations, community clinics, health care or public health providers, policy makers and lay groups with health concerns.  It is expected that investigators and community partners will participate fully and equitably in the research process.  A CBO or FBO partner is eligible to serve as Co-PI.

As PI: Faculty associated with UCLA and UCLA CTSI institutional partners (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center), and UCLA affiliates (VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and RAND), in any series (including adjunct and professional research)
As Co-PI (with eligible faculty PI): All personnel who are eligible to serve as PI, community partners, and postdoctoral scholars. 

As PI: Faculty associated with USC in any series (tenured/non-tenured, including adjunct and professional research); and CHLA investigators with a faculty-equivalent appointment
As Co-PI (with eligible faculty PI): All personnel who are eligible to serve as PI, community partners, postdoctoral scholars, residents, and clinical fellows

Proposals that facilitate research across UCLA, USC, CHLA and partner institutions or national CTSA consortium institutions will receive the highest priority.

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All proposals must propose a new area of inquiry not currently supported by existing funding. This mechanism will not fund the continuation of an existing project unless the applicant can demonstrate how the proposed project is different from their current efforts.

Applicants should specify how the funding will strengthen the capacity of the CTSI program at their institution to undertake partnered research to pursue the goal of healthy aging in Los Angeles County. The intent is to prepare applicants for future research funding; applicants should specify the extramural funding mechanism being targeted. Acceptable funding mechanisms include but are not limited to NIH R01, R21, R03, PCORI, AHRQ, CDC, and CMS Center for Innovation.

Co-PIs must submit their NIH biographical sketches along with a one-page LOI by March 3, 2014. The online submission tool will be available on February 18, 2014. A link will be posted here.
The LOI must provide:


  1. Title of research proposal
  2. Names, institutions, telephone numbers and emails of the Co-PIs
  3. Rationale, significance, overall aims, innovation and impact
  4. Extramural multi-PI funding mechanism being targeted
  5. Statement of how the project meets the program intent
  6. CTSI program resources to be utilized at their institution. Examples include Health Services Research (HSR) consultation and biostatistical consultation.
  7. Total budget and source of institutional support (minimum 50% co-funding is required). LOIs will be scored using NIH criteria and local criteria (see Review Criteria). High-scoring LOIs will be invited to submit proposals.

Consists of a 250-word statement on how the project meets the program intent; one page of specific aims; and a research plan of three to five pages. There is no page limit for references.

  1. The Research Plan will be scored based on the following criteria:
  2. Significance
  3. Innovation and impact
  4. Approach to be taken, including, but not confined to, study design; milestones to be achieved during the course of the project (a timeline is strongly recommended)
  5. Community engaged research aims addressed.
    • Promote and sustain bidirectional knowledge-sharing between community and academia.
    • Strengthen community infrastructure for sustainable, partnered research.
    • Drive innovation in community engagement that accelerates the volume and impact of partnered research in diverse communities.
    • Buil d health services research (HSR) methods into partnerships to accelerate design, production and wide adoption of evidence-based practice and behavior.
  6.  Likely impact on the capacity of the CTSI and its partners to develop coordinated activities to implement, assess and disseminate interventions that will promote healthy aging in Los Angeles County
  7.  UCLA CTSI and SC CTSI at USC/CHLA resources to be utilized
  8.  Targeted, extramural multi-PI grant application with estimated submission and award dates
  9.  Investigators and collaborative environment (this section must specifically address interactions between the teams and metrics to be employed to measure the success of the interaction).


Budget and budget justification including personnel costs and other costs in NIH format are required. 50% matching is required. In-kind operational support is considered co-funding.  Faculty from all partner institutions who receive salary support from the UCLA CTSI or SC CTSI at USC/CHLA should not request any additional salary support in the budget. No indirect costs are allowed.

Biographical Sketches
Compile all biographical sketches after the budget, starting with the Co-PIs followed by additional investigators in alphabetical order (limit 3 pages per biographical sketch).

LOIs and proposals will be reviewed by a study section comprised of faculty and representatives from all sponsors (LAC DHS and DPH, UCLA CTSI, and SC CTSI at USC/CHLA), using NIH review criteria and the following additional criteria: likelihood of obtaining extramural funding, project sustainability, and alignment with program goals.

Allocation of funds will be based on scientific and technical merit, availability of funds, and relevance of the proposed project to program priorities as delineated above.

RFA release: February 3, 2014
Letter of Intent due: March 3, 2014
Letter of Intent acceptance notification: March 17, 2014
Proposal due:  May 1, 2014
Awards announced:  June 2, 2014
Start date: July 1, 2014

Awardees must provide their field of specialization, their NIH Commons ID and their IRB and/or IACUC numbers, if applicable, before funds are released.  Recipients must credit NCATS and cite grant number UL1TR000124 (UCLA CTSI) and UL1TR000130 (SC CTSI at USC/CHLA) in publications that result from this funding.

Contact Brittney lee bnlee@mednet.ucla.edu. The CTSI Community Engagement Program will support linkage between LAC DHS and CTSI investigators who are seeking partners.

Please contact the SC CTSI Pilot Funding program team (rd@sc-ctsi.org)

About the Sponsors
The Department of Health Services provides acute and rehabilitative patient care, trains physicians and other health care clinicians, and conducts patient care-related research.  It provides health services to over 700,000 residents in the Los Angeles County and operates four hospitals, including some of the nation's premiere academic medical centers through their affiliations with the University of Southern California School Of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. In addition, DHS operates six comprehensive health centers and multiple health centers throughout Los Angeles County, many in partnership with private, community-based providers.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health protects health, prevents disease, and promotes health and well being for all persons in Los Angeles County. Our focus is on the Los Angeles County population as a whole, and we conduct our activities through a network of public health professionals throughout the community. Every day, the population of Los Angeles is protected by hundreds of public health measures.

UCLA CTSI www.ctsi.ucla.edu
UCLA CTSI is an academic-clinical partnership of UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. Its mission is to translate scientific discoveries into health interventions that improve the well-being of Los Angeles residents. To achieve this mission, UCLA CTSI supports pilot studies, trains young researchers, and engages schools and communities in health improvement. It belongs to a national, NIH-supported network of 61 CTSIs.

SC CTSI AT USC/CHLA www.sc-ctsi.org
SC CTSI is part of the 61 member Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) national network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institute of Health (NIH).  Under the mandate of “Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health,” SC CTSI provides a wide range of services, funding, and education for researchers and the community, and promotes online collaboration tools such as USC Profiles.

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.