The UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Strategic Opportunities Support (SOS) Center recently awarded more than $1 million in funds to 23 team projects aimed at stimulating research and career development activities in clinical and translational sciences.
Awards were granted to investigator-initiated pilot projects, multidisciplinary, multicenter project planning programs, novel methods catalyst programs, translational technology programs, flexible mini-sabbatical leave programs and underrepresented faculty programs.
The award for each grant is $40,000 in all areas except translational technology research, in which case $75,000 is awarded instead. The main source of these awards funds is the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Deans from the UCSF School of Pharmacy and UCSF School of Nursing also contributed funds to SOS for awards for faculty members in their schools.
UCSF was awarded a large grant from the NIH in October 2006 to enhance and facilitate the process of clinical and translational research on campus.
In one of its first moves to reach this goal, the CTSI established the SOS Center, a program that is co-directed by Kathy Giacomini, PhD, chair of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy, and by Paul Volberding, MD, vice chair of the Department of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine. Both co-chair the SOS Steering Committee.
The goal of the program is to provide pilot grants and other forms of support to faculty involved in clinical and translational research.
The recent grant award announcement culminates a two-month open invitation that SOS initiated in early February. A multidisciplinary, Universitywide committee reviewed more than 250 submitted letters of intent. The successful awardees represent all four schools and the Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology.
Preference was given to young investigators and junior faculty, who comprised 38 percent of submissions and 47 percent of invited applications.
The SOS Center received praise and thanks for the unprecedented speed of its grant award system through a streamlined electronic grant application process. The process "allowed the applicants to concentrate on the scientific focus of the proposal instead of spending precious research time scrambling for signatures and additional paperwork," according to one applicant.
Mike McCune, MD, PhD, who serves as the principal investigator of the CTSI, is pleased with the progress. "With the success of the first call, SOS has taken a tremendous first step in the CTSI mandate to have the entire University readjust its focus in the crucial initial phase of grant funding," he said.
Giacomini and Volberding confirmed that SOS mechanisms will continue to develop and improve.
For information on the upcoming second round of SOS awards, please visit the website
Strategic Opportunities Support Center
Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF
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