Request for Information (RFI): Enhancing the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program

Notice Number: NOT-TR-19-027

Key Dates
Release Date: September 9, 2019
Response Date: October 25, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)


The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks comments from all key stakeholder communities on how it can strengthen the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program to meet its broad scientific mission to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research and translational science. Key stakeholders include academic health centers, scientific research organizations, healthcare delivery organizations, and healthcare providers; individuals involved in the translational pipeline to improve health in the community including those public and private partners who fund such research and services; those who provide education and training in the translational science process; and members of the public who are advocates, clinicians, patients, and community leaders seeking better diagnostics, treatments, preventions, cures, and overall general good health.


The mission of NCATS is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and dissemination of effective diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. The CTSA Program supports a consortium of CTSA Program hubs located at medical research institutions that foster high-quality, collaborative translational science, essential in meeting the NCATS mission.

The CTSA Program hubs provide an integrated research and training environment for development of innovative methods and technologies to enhance efficiency and quality across the translational science spectrum (see In fiscal year 2019, NCATS invested $560M in the current CTSA sites, all of which are academic medical institutions that share the common vision of improving human health by transforming clinical and translational science.

Information Requested

This RFI seeks input from the stakeholder communities described above on how the CTSA Program might be strengthened to deliver on its promise to develop, demonstrate and disseminate innovative approaches, methodologies and interventions that translate into improved human health.

Possible areas for comment include, but are not limited to:

  • Barriers and solutions to improve use of basic research findings to inform clinical care
    • Identifying critical infrastructure investments essential to strengthening the process of translational science
    • Developing successful models of multidisciplinary collaboration and team science with effective dissemination to the community
    • Encouraging shared investments with public and private funders, both non-profit and for-profit
    • Utilizing an NCATS-provided cloud collaboration environment
  • Workforce Development
    • Developing and assessing training efforts to strengthen clinical and translational science
    • Establishing programs for workforce development for clinical and translational science, including optimal mentoring approaches for junior investigators
    • Encouraging experiential training in the translational science enterprise in non-academic settings
  • Community Engagement, Health Disparities, and Dissemination
    • Fostering the role of the CTSAs in bringing research leading to better health to local communities through implementation and delivery research, including approaches for bringing greater inclusivity into research and training
    • Improving the protection of human subjects in ways that simultaneously improve oversight and minimize burden and delays (e.g., central or reciprocal IRB reviews, model consent processes)
  • Additional Considerations
    • Establishing priorities for shared activities across the CTSA Program hubs as well as methods to incorporate newly-emerging, high-priority activities into the Program
    • Developing and assessing the structure and impact of pilot project programs
    • Measuring impact of the CTSA Program
    • Programmatic goals
  • Other

Submitting a Response

All comments must be submitted online at

Responses must be received no later than October 25, 2019. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response but will not receive individualized feedback. Respondents are free to address any or all of the items listed above; responders should not feel compelled to address all items. Please note that the text box for each topic has a maximum limit of 250 words.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. All responses will be reviewed by NIH staff. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries, in any possible resultant funding opportunities or awards.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, and/or NCATS. NCATS does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

Updates and links will be posted at

We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
6701 Democracy Blvd, Room 9113, MSC 4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874