Strategic Pharma-Academic Research Consortium Funding Program (SPARC)

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 tehnological 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 at

Current and Past Awards

View a listing of all SPARC awards 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

August 2016

Project Start Date
September 1, 2016

Application Material

Program Overview and Instructions for WU

Application forms can be obtained from the ICTSI site (see Instructions, page 6)