The ICTS has supported a variety of funding programs during our history to meet the timely needs of our membership.

ICTS former funding programs that are currently inactive:

Child Health Challenge (Ch2)

Note: This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time.

The Research Forum – Child Health, a joint initiative of the Children’s Discovery Institute and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, is sponsoring a novel funding program called the Child Health Challenge (CH2)*. The goal of the CH2 program is to move child health-related research projects along the translational spectrum from preclinical (T0/T1) studies to placing pragmatic solutions into patient practice (T3/T4). Funding (up to $25,000 direct costs; 12 month award) is available to support investigators needing to obtain essential preliminary, proof-of-concept or final data leading to a significant publication or an extramural grant application.

*The CH2 Funding Program was modeled after the Pitt Innovation Challenge at the University of Pittsburgh CTSI.

Child Health Challenge (CH2) Competition

Contact Information

If you have questions, send an email to or call Dr. Betsy Keath at  314-747-8155.


View a listing of all CH2 awards to date (pdf).

Opioid Epidemic Research Funding Program

Note: This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time.

The Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and Institute for Public Health announce a new pilot funding program focused on strategies to address the opioid epidemic. Three or more grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded with a start date of March 1, 2018.

Proposals should describe a clear link to future funding opportunities, such as specific NIH program announcements or other federal or private funding opportunities. Applications should address one or more of the broad themes described in the July 17 report on a National Strategy to Reduce the Opioid Epidemic published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Proposals addressing early and late state translational research will be considered for this new pilot program. Examples of appropriate early stage translational research questions include research to:

  • improve understanding of the neurobiology of pain
  • promote discovery and evaluation of innovative treatment modalities, including non-addictive analgesics and non-pharmacologic approach
  • improve understanding of the intersection between pain and opiate use disorder

Later stage translational research that tests the efficacy or effectiveness of strategies to address the opioid epidemic are also sought, including strategies to restrict supply of opiates, influence prescribing practices, reduce demand, and reduce harm. Examples of appropriate later stage translational studies include research to:

  • promote more judicious prescribing of opioids
  • expand access to inpatient and outpatient treatment for opioid use disorder, including in hospitals
  • prevent overdose deaths
  • measure societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions
  • test innovative models of chronic pain management


2018 Cohort (pdf)

Contact Information

Send us an email at if you have questions or call Jaimee Stagner at 314-362-6325.

Call for Proposals

Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Research Grant Program (PSQI)

Note: This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time.

The Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) Faculty Practice Plan (FPP) announced the Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Research Grant Program in 2014. The ICTS Administrative Core executed the management of the program.

This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time. For patient safety and quality improvement projects in FY16, consider the following funding mechanisms.


Six awards were funded starting 4/1/2015.

2015 Cohort (pdf)

Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation (SPIRiT)

Note: This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time.

The SPIRiT (Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation) Consortium is a partnership between Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs including the following:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Yale University

This group was assembled in support of a primary focus of the CTSA program which is to foster collaborations across the member institutions to develop high impact research.

The investigator(s) from each of the participating sites must have a significant, defined role in the research project. Although the participating investigators may have collaborated in the past, the research project proposed must be novel and not part of an ongoing project. The proposed research may address any aspect of clinical and translational science and must represent:

  • a new collaboration between investigators from at least two (2) SPIRiT sites OR
  • a new project conducted by existing collaborators from at least two (2) SPIRiT sites.


All Principal Investigators from the WU SPIRiT site must be members of the ICTS. Member eligibility information and registration are available here.

Available Funding

The principal investigator from each individual SPIRiT institution may request up to $25,000 direct costs from her/his institution for research efforts to be conducted at that institution over a one (1) year period. For example, a project that is being proposed by a team of investigators from three (3) SPIRiT sites can request up to $25,000 from each participating site for a total of $75,000 direct costs. Monies will not be transferred from one institution to another. Additional budgetary restrictions may apply, as determined by policies and procedures at the individual participating SPIRiT institutions.

Jaimee Stagner – 314-362-6325

Submission Information

Current and Past Awards

Congratulations to the 2019 SPIRiT Awardees

The SPIRiT (Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation) consortium is a partnership between Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites including: Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University. SPIRiT awardees must submit projects where they collaborate with an investigator from a participating CTSA institution. The program awarded four projects in 2019, two of which had investigators from Washington University.

Longitudinal Lysosome and Complement Expression in Bacterial Sepsis Outcomes

Lead PI: Charles S. Dela Cruz, MD, PhD (Yale University)
PI: Hrishikesh Kulkarni, MD, MSCI (Washington University)

Sepsis is a complex clinical syndrome with high mortality; however, the pathophysiology of sepsis remains incompletely understood. Understanding the mechanisms driving the pathophysiology of sepsis is likely to yield better biomarkers and newer therapeutic targets. Here, we investigate two evolutionarily conserved pathways (lysosomal pathway and the complement system) which are interrelated and ordinarily protect the host from infection, but in the setting of a dysregulated inflammatory response (sepsis), may contribute to worse outcomes. Our hypothesis is that non-survivors of sepsis have increased complement activation and an upregulation of certain lysosomal pathways which results in uncontrolled inflammation, multiorgan dysfunction and death. This proposal focuses on establishing a collaboration between Yale and Washington University to understand how a dysregulated immune response affects the clinical course of sepsis by: (1) validating if lysosomal gene expression pathways associate with mortality, and (2) evaluating whether locally active complement in the lung associates with worse outcomes.

This project is funded in part by WU Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.

ENGAGE: Promoting Participation for People with Stroke-Related Disability and Low Income

Lead PI: Elizabeth R. Skidmore, PhD, OTR/L (University of Pittsburgh)
PI: M. Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L (Washington University)

Advancements in medical management have transitioned stroke from an acute condition with a high prevalence of mortality to a chronic condition with high prevalence of morbidity. This morbidity is manifested in low levels of participation in education; paid and volunteer work; civic, social, and religious activities; and leisure. These low levels of community participation contribute to significant health declines and secondary stroke. These consequences are even more prevalent among people with low income. Our new collaboration combines expertise among investigators at Washington University, the University of Pittsburgh, and community partners at each site to examine the feasibility, safety, and acceptability of a community-based intervention to promote self-management and community participation after stroke, with a particular focus on the needs of people with low income. We will also characterize variance in intervention response. These findings will provide the last remaining pilot data needed
to inform a multi-site randomized controlled clinical trial.

This project is funded in part by WU Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Implementation of HPV Vaccine for Mid-Adult Women

Lead PI: Sangini Sheth, MD, MPH (Yale University)
PI: Jenell Coleman, MD, MPH (Johns Hopkins University)

In 2012, there were 249,512 U.S. women with cervical cancer and 4,092 deaths. Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection, causes 91% of cervical cancers. For over 10 years, we have had the opportunity to prevent oncogenic HPV infection with a safe and highly effective vaccine. However, uptake in the U.S. is poor: only 43% of adolescents are fully immunized. Even among poor women or racial/ethnic minorities, who have disproportionately high rates of cervical cancer, immunization rates are low. In 2018, the FDA expanded the approved age range for a 9-valent HPV vaccine to mid-adult women (27-45 years old). Novel strategies for catch-up immunization are critical to protect adults against HPV. The objective of this pilot study is to identify facilitators and barriers to vaccination and characterize the immune response among mid-adult women. Data will inform a larger implementation science proposal to increase vaccination using a multi-level intervention.

Microbime and Cerebral Cavernous Malformation

Lead PI: Assam Iwad, MD (University of Chicago)
PI: Mark Kahn, MD (University of Pennsylvania)

Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is characterized by formation of dilated microvessels, primarily in the brain. Despite identifying three CCM causing genes, gene mutations cannot completely explain the variation of clinical course in CCM patients. We found that gut microbiome, specifically Gram-negative bacteria, and its product, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) impact CCM disease in mice. Furthermore, polymorphisms of the LPS receptors TLR4 and CD14 associate with different CCM lesion load in patients. These data suggest that the microbiome may participate in CCM disease. Our preliminary human microbiome study supports this hypothesis. We now aim to test this hypothesis by 1) determining microbiome compositions in CCM patient groups with different clinical parameters, 2) analyzing functional differences of microbiota associated with CCM patient groups. The proposed studies will help us to determine if the microbiome could be used as a biomarker for CCM disease severity, and identify causative pathogenic microbiome that influences CCM disease course/severity.

Strategic Pharma-Academic Research Consortium Funding Program (SPARC)

Note: This funding mechanism is not accepting applications at this time.

The Washington University (WU) Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and Indiana University (IU) Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSI) announce the Strategic Pharma-Academic Research Consortium (SPARC) Funding Program for clinical and translational research.

Applications to this program are limited to a total of $400,000 with a 2-year maximum duration for all collaborating institutions.

Consortium Members Include


  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. 

Academic Institutions:

  • Indiana Clinical Translational Science Institute (ICTSI)
  • Ohio State University Center for Translational Sciences (CCTS)
  • Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science (NUCATS)
  • Washington University in St. Louis Institute of Clinical and Translational Research (WU ICTS)
  • University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine (UC-ITM)


All full-time faculty, regardless of tenure status, having a primary appointment within the institutions of the consortium members as Assistant Professor or Assistant Scientist and above.


The SPARC Funding Program provides ICTS members with the opportunity to apply for funds to advance medical knowledge relating to autoimmune diseases and the understanding of autoimmune disease. This program intends to foster interactions between Academic and Industry Members enabling them to participate in and conduct pharmaceutical related research projects in the non-competitive intellectual property space, including but not limited to, early translational medicine and potential identification of therapeutic targets in the area of human Autoimmune Diseases.

To be considered, the proposed project must demonstrate the following:

  • Have at least two (2) Project Specific Personnel from different Academic Member institutions (see consortium list above) for which such institutions agree to contribute the requisite cost share funding for the research proposal.
  • Address the non-competitive space of mutual interest to the Members and scientific and technological research challenges confronting translational research.
  • Include the Research Plan and related budget for the study proposal.
  • Agrees to the maximum indirect cost rate for 20%.


The WU ICTS and the IU CTSI expect to issue an annual call for proposals with award types determined each year based on the SPARC program priorities.

WU-specific Information

Any WU investigator invited to submit a full application must receive Institutional approval for the reduced overhead rate, prior to submission.

Contact Information

For questions regarding:

Scope, contact Anne Nguyen at

Financial issues related to budgeting and grant submissions, contact Indiana CTSI Office at or 317-278-2874.

WU contact: Christina Gurnett –


View a listing of all SPARC awards (pdf) to date.

Call for Proposals

Deadlines for the last call were:
Letter of Intent Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2016
Full Application Deadline, for selected applicants only: Friday, June 17, 2016
Announcements/Recommendations: August 2016
Project Start Date: September 1, 2016

Application Material
Program Overview and Instructions for WU (pdf)
Application forms can be obtained from the ICTSI site (see Instructions, page 6)

NIH Funding Acknowledgment

  • UL1 TR002345
  • KL2 TR002346
  • TL1 TR002344

Acknowledgement Statement (pdf)

PMCID Instructions (pdf)

Contact or 314-362-9829 for assistance.