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CTSI is now accepting applications for the following initiatives:

Clinical Research Services Pilot Funding Program

  • Supports full-time University of Minnesota faculty by providing them with up to $5,000 toward planning for a clinical interventional pilot study.
  • Eligible pilot study plans will be considered for $25,000-75,000 in additional funding for study implementation.
  • It is expected that the data gathered through this funding mechanism will inform the study design of a larger clinical trial.
  • Mandatory LOIs due March 16.
View RFA | Learn more

Community Research Van

  • This new mobile health lab is designed to help University research teams conduct health studies in the five-state area.
  • Features a laptop, space for private interviews, and equipment for measuring height, weight, cholesterol, heart rates, body composition, and blood sugar.
  • Researchers who wish to conduct studies that address human health issues can request to use the van at no cost to the research team.
  • Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis.
View the RFA | Learn more

Informatics Seed Grants Program

  • Supports University junior faculty that pursue innovative health informatics research that lays the groundwork for successful extramural grant funding.
  • Research must be interdisciplinary and could cover a wide range of topics, such as clinical information systems, clinical research informatics, consumer health informatics, dental informatics, human factors, human-computer interaction, knowledge discovery, and data mining.
  • Will award five projects with up to $20,000 each.
  • Mandatory LOIs due March 16.
View the RFA | Learn more

For questions or more information, please contact or 612-625-CTSI (2874).

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is now accepting applications for the Community Health Collaborative Grants Program.

This funding program supports community-university pilot research projects that address important health issues identified by Minnesota communities. Awards are designed to stimulate high-impact research, while building and sustaining long-term partnerships between University of Minnesota researchers and community representatives.

CTSI can help interested applicants identify potential research partners, and anticipates awarding a total of approximately $325,000 to 5-6 proposals.

Mandatory letters of interest are due by Feb. 19, 2015, with full applications (by invitation) due April 15, 2015.

For questions or more information, please visit the program's webpage or contact CTSI's Research Navigator at or 612.625.2874.

Thumbnail image for 002-umf_RShafler_8-30-2013.jpgA community-University research team successfully influenced public policy earlier this month, when Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill that helps care for pregnant, incarcerated women and their babies. Dr. Rebecca Shlafer, an assistant professor in the U of M's Department of Pediatrics, and Erica Gerrity of the local nonprofit Everyday Miracles both testified about how the bill could improve health outcomes.

The two have been actively researching the issue together ever since receiving nearly $25,000 from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Community Collaborative Grants Program.

This initial funding enabled the team to analyze and evaluate Everyday Miracle's Isis Rising project, which has been providing expectant inmates at the Shakopee Women's Prison with doulas who offer support, education, and training.

Their early results indicate that a doula care program may be a promising approach to improving health outcomes such as birth weights and maternal mental health. The program has already helped vastly decrease cesarean delivery rates, an outcome that could reduce the risk of complications and save taxpayer dollars.

A recent University News Service story about the Isis Rising project noted:

Statistics show that in the year before Isis Rising systematically provided doula care at Shakopee, seven of 11 (63 percent) babies born to inmates were by costly cesarean section. The number dropped to one in 29 (three percent) among babies born with doula support (October 2011-October 2013). Also, no doula babies were preterm or low birth weight.

Shlafer (shown; photo credit: Brady Willette) knew more could be done to help the research reach the people who could benefit most. As the bill was making its way through the legislative process, she told the University News Service:

"I think Isis Rising is making great progress in its community-University partnership with the Department of Corrections to work together and support this population of women who need it. This problem is bigger than any one agency. It has to be a multisystem approach."

The collaborative research project helped lead to new legislation that has key provisions for pregnancy testing, postpartum support, doula care, and an advisory committee to study this topic. After making the jump from pilot funding to policy change in just a few years, Shlafer noted:

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be where we are now in such a short period of time. We are truly thankful for the initial community-university pilot grant from CTSI that made this partnership a reality."

In addition to being an awardee of CTSI's Community Collaborative Grants Program, Shlafer has received support from two CTSI research career development programs and an inter-CTSA grant. Specifically, she's been an awardee of the New Investigator Pre-K Career Development Program, the KL2 Scholars Career Development Program, and the Wisconsin-Minnesota CTSA Collaborative Health Equity Award Program.

Five faculty investigators will be conducting health research at this year's Minnesota State Fair, thanks to grants from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). CTSI awarded a combined $29,908 to U of M researchers through its new Driven to Discover Community Health and Research Grants Program, which supports pilot research and evaluation projects that address health issues facing Minnesotans.

Grant recipients will enroll and collect data from State Fair attendees at the U of M's new Driven to Discover building. This dedicated research facility, a joint effort of the Office of the Vice President for Research, the School of Public Health, and the Medical School, offers university and community researchers access to approximately 1.7 million potential participants each year, and will be a unique resource for carrying out population-based research.

The grants program is managed by the Office of Community Engagement for Health, a CTSI function focused on building relationships with communities to conduct, disseminate, and apply health research.

Congratulations to the inaugural awardees:

Sarah Beehler, PhD, Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences (Duluth), in partnership with the Medical School Department of Psychiatry and the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center
Project Title: Assessing Supportive Resources of Veterans and Their Families in Greater Minnesota

Jayne Fulkerson, PhD, School of Nursing, in partnership with the Extension Center for Family Development
Project Title: Childhood Obesity Prevention in Rural Minnesota Communities

Traci Mann, PhD, Department of Psychology
Project Title: Self-Regulation of Eating in an Unstructured Eating Environment

Sarah Schellinger, Department of Speech Language and Hearing Science, in partnership with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
Project Title: The Role of Education on Public Perceptions of Traumatic Brain Injury

Karl Self, MBA, DDS, School of Dentistry, in partnership with the Minnesota Dental Therapy Association
Project Title: Minnesotans' Awareness and Attitudes about Dental Therapists as a Function of Health Literacy and Caries Risk

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has released a new video in which two U of M faculty researchers - Drs. Bhargava and Shlafer - talk about how CTSI has helped them be more successful.

Maneesh Bhargava, MD, is an assistant professor with the U of M's Department of Medicine and a CTSI K to RO1 Scholar who's studying biomarkers that can predict outcomes in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). "CTSI has had a huge impact on my career," says Dr. Bhargava, citing how CTSI helped him protect his time so he can devote most of his time to research. He also notes benefiting from CTSI's support on study design and statistics, as well as the weekly seminars he attends as a CTSI scholar.

The video also features Rebecca Shlafer, PhD, an assistant professor at the U of M's Department of Pediatrics and a CTSI KL2 Scholar. Dr. Shlafer's research focuses on incarcerated parents in Minnesota and their minor children. In the video, she describes how she benefits from CTSI's "intentional link with community partners," as well as mentors who have helped her with everything from survey development to distilling her research for a conference at the White House.

Drs. Bhargava and Shlafer are part of CTSI career development programs that provide support via mentorship, training, and funds.