Duke-NCCU Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Grants

Applications for this funding program are currently CLOSED.

Background and Purpose

Examples of Clinical and Translational Science Topics



Information Sessions and Key Dates

RFA and Application Instructions

Additional Resources

Background and Purpose

The Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is the academic home of the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU). This funding mechanism supports Pilot projects focused on advancing translational science.

As defined by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Translational Science is the field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process. Whereas translational research focuses on the specific case of a target or disease, translational science focuses on the general case that can be applied to research on any target or disease. See specific examples of Translational Research (TR) vs Translational Science (TS) projects.

Like any other science, translational science seeks to elucidate general operative principles to transform translation from an empirical, phenomenological process into a predictive science. The application of scientific and operational innovation and strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all research is at the heart of developing, demonstrating, and disseminating the science of translation.

Only projects that develop methodologies and/or generalizable solutions that address common challenges and roadblocks across the translational spectrum will be funded. The Duke-NCCU CTSA has a strong focus on healthy equity; projects that seek to elucidate mechanisms and solutions to overcome translational roadblocks to achieving health equity are strongly encouraged. Proposals should demonstrate community engagement to facilitate the exchange of knowledge with those who will implement findings.

Examples of Clinical and Translational Science Topics (See the RFA for more details):

  1. Projects that Overcome Roadblocks in Studies of Health
  • Quality Improvement (QI) Research: Research designed to improve and/or streamline clinical and translational research processes. This includes a broad range of topics focused on investigation and intervention on 1) institutional research infrastructure (e.g. IRB, IACUC, Grants and Contracts, Office of Regulatory Affairs); 2) investigator and staff perceived roadblocks to the efficient conduct of research; and/or 3) community and institutional partners perceptions of roadblocks in conducting research with Duke and NCCU investigators. Projects designed to improve and streamline partnered research between Duke, NCCU, and community partners are highly encouraged.

  • Mechanisms: Identify new, generalizable determinants of health and resilience (molecular, physiological, behavioral, social, and other) across the life course and in various contexts.

  • Layered Determinants: Develop or demonstrate new integrative and generalizable methods to study the molecular, physiological or metabolic, behavioral, social, and other factors to health and resilience.

  • Transdisciplinary Science: Identify new ways to integrate molecular or physiological discoveries with implementation science to accelerate translation.

  • Patient engagement:  Research on patient recruitment and retention. Research involving patient preferences including focus groups and surveys--including topics such as best practices for return of results, direct-to-patient enrollment, and/or informed consent.

  1. Projects that Overcome Roadblocks in Studies of Health Equity
  • Mechanisms: Identify new, generalizable mechanisms (e.g., social, environmental, other) for health inequities.

  • Measures: Develop and utilize novel and generalizable measures of social and environmental determinants of health inequity (e.g., structural and environmental racism).

  • Data: Use and integrate new sources of data (e.g., from non-health care societal sectors, wearables) to study health equity.

  • Populations: Develop new methods to engage disparity populations in research.

  • Transdisciplinary Team Science: Address health equity problems through new transdisciplinary scientific methods (e.g., social and/or environmental scientists, clinical researchers, policy scholars, others).


The program will award up to eight (8) awards of $25,000 to $50,000 each in direct cost only. The primary source of funding is the Duke-NCCU Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).


  • Application is open to investigators from Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Applicants at each institution must have a principal investigator status per the specific institution’s written policy (Duke policy; NCCU policy).

  • Duke and NCCU interinstitutional collaborations are strongly encouraged, with the understanding that both PIs will share equal responsibility for the conduct and direction of the project.

Information Sessions and Key Dates

Information Sessions:

  • January 19, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. [Completed]

  • February 8, 2023, 2:00-3:00 p.m. [Completed]

Mandatory Letter of Intent Deadline: February 28, 2023

Mandatory Consultations with Program Team: January 16-March 10, 2023

Full Application Deadline: April 3, 2023

Anticipated Funding Decisions: June 30, 2023

Funding Period: September 1, 2023-April 30, 2024

RFA and Application Instructions

LOIs and full applications will be submitted on the Duke MyResearchProposal (MRP) submission system. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a consultation with the Duke CTSI Accelerator Core for feedback prior to submitting the LOI.

Request a Consult

View the RFA for more details and application instructions.

Additional Resources

Information Session Slides

February 8, 2023 Info Session Recording

CTSI Translational Science Handout

Translational Science Examples, University of Miami CTSI

List of FAQs

Contact Information

For additional information on this funding opportunity, please contact Duke CTSI at CTSIfunding@duke.edu.