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The COHA supported Pilot Grant Program enables innovative cross-CTSA collaboration, with the goal of overcoming system-wide barriers to translational effectiveness. These collaborative grants leverage existing strengths and resources at each CTSA, while building veterinary/medical partnerships for the benefit of both human and animal patients.

THE COHA PILOT GRANT PROGRAM IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS WITH A DUE DATE OF OCTOBER 30, 2023. 

CTSA One Health Alliance (COHA)

2023 Call for Pilot Grant Proposals

Scope of requested proposals

COHA is calling for pilot project proposals that will:

  • Enhance translational science to the benefit of human and animal patients.
  • AND Prioritize areas of emphasis as embodied in the four COHA subcommittees:
    • Clinical studies
    • Tissue and DNA banking
    • Clinician scientist training
    • Communication and collaboration
  • AND Include cross-CTSA collaboration among no fewer than 3 COHA institutions.

Proposals may address activities such as collaborative infrastructure for multi-center data collection and sample storage, research training workshops or modules, or developing innovative methods of communication across health professionals.  The targeted time frame should be 1-2 years.

Note: Supporting individual hypothesis-driven research is NOT within the scope of these pilot grants.

Award Information

One COHA veterinary school per proposal must be designated as the lead for purposes of grant management. Principal/co-principal investigator must hold a faculty position at a COHA member institution. Additional eligible academic partners must be affiliated with COHA member institutions or be justified as invited industry, government or foundation partners. Proposals addressing COHA subcommittee priorities and with subcommittee support are preferred. All NIH guidelines regarding use of animals, human subjects or biohazards must be met.

Application and submission information

Applications will include:

1) Research Plan (maximum length 3 pages):

    • Abstract: Summary of key features of the proposal including concise listing of partners, aims and rationale, methodology, metrics/outcomes assessment and impact. Maximum length 400 words.
    • Specific Aims: Indicate how the project will contribute to advancing translational science and build on COHA subcommittee initiatives.
    • Research Strategy:
      • Statement of problem and its significance to translational research.
      • Rationale for the proposed activity. If successful, how would the proposed activity address the problem, enhance some aspect of translational science, or strengthen the role of veterinary/medical translational partnerships.
      • Methodology used to accomplish specific aims. The description should include each institution’s role and responsibilities. Each partner must consent to inclusion in the proposal.
      • Potential obstacles and solutions. Address concerns such as possible delays or poor enrollment/engagement.
      • Outcomes assessment.  Describe how will project success be evaluated or defined.

2) Itemized budget and justification: Maximum award: $25,000

    • The itemized budget should include expenses and brief justification (e.g., personnel, supplies, equipment/facilities, travel and other) over 1-2 years.
    • Institutional cost-sharing is encouraged but is not mandatory.
    • No indirect cost return is allowed as funding for this program comes directly from grantee institutions.
    • No-cost extensions may be requested by the PI no later than one month prior to termination of grant. Requests should be sent to Lauren Trepanier (lauren.trepanier@wisc.edu) and should include justification, balance to be carried forward, and anticipated completion date for proposed activities.

3) List of key personnel and their roles

4) NIH style biosketches (2- 5 pp) for each PI and Co-PI.

Submission:

  • All materials should be submitted as a single pdf to Dr. Rowan Milner, Chair of COHA Pilot Working Group milnerr@ufl.edu by  October 30, 2023

Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by the COHA Pilot Grant Working Group. Proposals will be assigned overall scores based on all 3 criteria described under Scope, as well as the quality of presentation and potential for substantial impact on translational research. A ranked list of proposals will be provided to the deans of COHA schools for review and final approval.

Funds will be accounted and dispersed through the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).

The targeted start date for funding is March 1, 2024.

Communication and Final Report: Results must be communicated to COHA and CTSA partners, including submission of a final report (max 2 pages) within 3 months of completion of the project.

Previously Awarded Pilot Grant Summaries:

2020 AWARDS

DEVELOPMENT OF ILEARN TRAINING MODULES TO SUPPORT TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Tufts University

Partners: Colorado State University, The Ohio State, North Carolina State University

Building on the veterinary Good Clinical Practice (vGCP) training and certification module through the Tufts Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) iLEARN platform, accessed through the newly designed CTSA One Health Alliance web site (CTSAonehealthalliance.org), this project will develop and implement three additional training modules using the updated iLEARN 2.0 platform that will provide guidance for work in client owned animals centered on the following topics:

1) Understanding regulatory and compliance requirements in clinical research

2) Risk assessment in clinical research studies

3) Client consent

Once completed, links to these trainings will be co-located with that for the vGCP module under the “Training” menu. Updates to these modules will be performed every 3-5 years to accommodate changes in the regulatory landscape and the progressive alignment of veterinary clinical research practices with those in place for human clinical research. The overall impact of this work will be the creation of a curated set of guidelines and trainings for undertaking studies in client owned animals that facilitates accurate translation of findings to human patients.


AN ONLINE POST-GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN VETERINARY CLINICAL RESEARCH

Clinical Studies Subcommittee

Lead: Ohio State University

Partners: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tufts University

This project aims to develop a first of its kind online certificate program for veterinary post-graduate professionals. The program focuses on research design, conduct, and data analysis in veterinary clinical research and will be specifically designed for junior veterinary academic faculty members in positions to conduct veterinary clinical research. First, a digital learning platform, with a focus on flexibility, sustainability, and ongoing cost-revenue relationship will be selected. Two graduate-level, semester-long courses will be developed and beta testing with key stakeholders will be conducted. The outcome of this initiative will be a fully functional online multi-semester, post-graduate certificate program designed to produce well-trained veterinary clinician scientists excited to contribute to translational efforts by conducting high-quality veterinary clinical research.


COHA WEBSITE CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Colorado State University

Partners: Tufts University, Purdue University, North Carolina State University, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania

Providing the necessary supported and focused time for website improvement is one of the most significant ways COHA can contribute to “advancing our understanding of diseases shared by humans and animals”. This project will provide dedicated time to enhance website content on the new platform.

The aims of this project include expanding the animal disease models section to be a unique, searchable database for sharing of knowledge, and encouraging translational research collaborations; sustainably expanding the success and news story content to showcase contemporary translational research by COHA members; and using social media and website monitoring tools to extend reach of COHA website content and determine most relevant and engaging resources for maximal impact.

COHA BIOETHICS WORKSHOP

Clinical Studies Subcommittee

Lead: The Ohio State University

Partners: Tufts University, University of Missouri, North Carolina State University

This project addressed important opportunities for advancement in bioethical principles in veterinary clinical research: subject selection and enrollment, study protocol review and approval, and owner/patient engagement. They surveyed the COHA community to document the current landscape and convened a two-day meeting with working groups formed around each key area. Outcomes of the meeting included a gap analysis focusing on these three areas in the context of NIH’s 8 guiding ethical principles A guidance document addressing identified needs and a proposed framework to address them was distributed across the COHA network for feedback and then published. This guidance document will serve as a blueprint for a planned administrative supplement application [NIH Administrative Supplement for Research on Bioethical Issues (PA-19-217)] addressing needs identified from gap analysis and network feedback.


ADVANCING ONE HEALTH THROUGH INTERPROFESSIONAL EDUCATION IN VETERINARY PROFESSIONAL CURRICULA

Clinician Scientist Education Subcommittee

Lead: University of Florida

Partners: University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota

Funding for this project supports the networking and collaboration of a working group focused on advancing One Health through interprofessional education (IPE) in veterinary professional curricula. This project seeks to facilitate implementation of IPE through the development of One Health focused IPE core competencies. Utilizing a collaborative meeting space and agenda, the working group brought together IPE and One Health champions from multiple institutions to network and compose the project deliverables.

Three aims include:

  1. Establish a shared working definition of One Health in the interprofessional educational context, specifically in the relationship between veterinary medical education and other health professions education
  2. Create an action plan for the development and integration of One Health focused IPE core competencies.

Develop a set of talking points for IPE champions, in all health professions, to use in proposing and implementing One Health focused IPE initiatives at their university. The talking points will allow consistent messaging to be disseminated to colleagues (veterinary and non-veterinary) across professions in order to facilitate change management strategies.


EFFECTIVE BRANDING OF THE ONE HEALTH CAMPAIGN

Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Kansas State University

Partners: Colorado State University, Purdue University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, North Carolina State University, University of Pennsylvania

The team will engage organizations, industry, community members, and researchers to create a strong message and a compelling story campaign, including story trailers (short videos) and brand-style guides, that will enhance awareness, knowledge, and value of One Health to a broader audience. The result will be One Health storylines created and connected to a clear strategic plan that can be put into action across multidisciplinary teams and universities.

ENHANCING AWARENESS OF ONE HEALTH: AN INTER-PROFESSIONAL STUDENT COLLABORATION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING EFFORT

COHA Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Tufts University

Partners: Colorado State University, Purdue University, Kansas State University Olathe, University of Missouri, University of California Davis, North Carolina State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota

A strong One Health lecture program was created and presented at the AMSA Convention. The program was complemented by the COHA exhibit hall booth. In collaboration with SAVMA officers, promotional pieces were written and included in AMSA’s publications to generate interest in One Health and to drive attendance at the Convention lectures and booth. An ongoing relationship between AMSA and SAVMA will be fostered.

In addition, an in-person meeting of the Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee provided the opportunity for strategic planning which includes communication with others in the veterinary community, with our CTSA partners, with NIH, with the larger medical community, and with the general public through expansion of the COHA website, a listserv, and other means of communication and marketing.


ADVANCING TEAM SCIENCE 3.0: RESEARCH BOOT CAMPS FOR VETERINARY FACULTY

Clinical Scientist Education Subcommittee

Lead: University of Madison Wisconsin

Partners: University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, Cornell, Ohio State, North Carolina State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California Davis, Colorado State University, Tufts University

This grant funded a national workshop providing entry-level to intermediate-level training in clinical research techniques for veterinary clinical faculty. The goal of this “Boot Camp” was to increase confidence and competency in clinical research for young veterinary clinical faculty, some of which may have had minimal research training during their residencies. A second goal was to model successful collaborations of DVMs with MDs and PhDs, which have expanded funding opportunities and enabled larger research questions. The pilot Boot Camp was modeled on the successful biennial Clinician Scientist Training Workshop out of UW-Madison, with the goal of obtaining longer term funding through the NIH CTSA Innovation Award mechanism or through corporate and foundation sponsorship.


DEVELOPMENT OF FOUNDATIONAL GOVERNANCE AND TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURES FOR A TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH PLATFORM BASED ON MEDICAL RECORD DATA

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH SUMMITS 2.0: ADVANCING TEAM SCIENCE

COHA Clinician Scientist Education Subcommittee

Lead: University Wisconsin- Madison

Partners: University of Florida, University of California-Davis, North Carolina State University

This grant supported a second Translational Research Summit on Inherited Cardiomyopathies in Orlando FL in March 2018. The Summit was attended by 25 DVM and MD cardiologists and basic science researchers. Sessions covered existing phenotypes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (human and cat), non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (human and dog) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (human and dog); cardiac cachexia; regulatory requirements for human vs. veterinary clinical trials; advances in gene and stem cell therapies; and collaborative opportunities.


WORKSHOP FOR ADVANCING ONE HEALTH DATASETS

COHA Clinical Studies Subcommittee

Lead: Colorado State University

Partners: Tufts University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Missouri

This pilot supported the One Health Datasets Workshop in January 2018 at Colorado State University. The goal was to work toward harmonizing veterinary medical records so that case data can be shared across institutions for research recruitment and retrospective studies.


IMPROVING TRANSLATIONAL RESOURCES – ENHANCING VISIBILITY AND INTER-COLLEGE COOPERATION FOR INCREASED BIOSPECIMEN USE FROM VETERINARY ACADEMIC BIOBANKS

COHA Tissue and DNA Banking Subcommittee

Lead: Cornell University

Partners: University of California-Davis, Colorado State University, Texas A&M University

We propose to increase visibility of biobanking resources and optimize their use by translational researchers. The aims of this project were to define the landscape and enhance visibility of biospecimen resources and develop an awareness informational short video for public awareness about biobanking that can be used by all institutions. Both aims of this grant will initially be tested between the four partner institutions (College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, Colorado State University, Texas A&M, and UC Davis) and may be expanded later to include all COHA veterinary academic biobanks.


AN INTER-PROFESSIONAL STUDENT COLLABORATION TO ENHANCE AWARENESS OF ONE HEALTH

COHA Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Tufts University

Partners: University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Missouri, North Carolina State University, University Pennsylvania

This pilot developed a One Health program for the March 2018 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Convention in collaboration with AMSA and veterinary students from the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA). The group presented 12 One Health posters by veterinary students, selected from 69 entries across COHA schools, gave two One Health talks, and educated the medical and premedical students about One Health in the COHA booth in the exhibit hall (complete with therapy dogs as conversation starters).

ADVANCING TEAM SCIENCE THROUGH TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH SUMMITS

COHA Clinician Scientist Education Subcommittee

Lead: University Wisconsin-Madison

Partners: Cornell University, Colorado State University, and University of California- Davis

This pilot grant supported a first-of-its-kind Translational Research Summit, with the goal of networking among veterinarians, human health professionals, and basic scientists working on the same disease. The first Summit, on Calcium Oxalate urolithiasis, was held in Madison WI in April 2017. There were 36 attendees, including 14 DVMs, 8 MDs, 12 PhD or MS scientists, and 2 MD/PhD students. Sessions included human and veterinary phenotypes of calcium oxalate stones; genetic risk factors in humans, dogs, and cats; nutritional factors; pathogenesis of mineralization; and endoscopic and histopathologic features across species. The Summit also included abstracts and breakout groups to discuss shared research objectives and potential collaborations.


DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARD PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCTING TRANSLATIONAL CLINICAL TRIALS IN CLIENT OWNED ANIMALS

COHA Clinical Studies Subcommittee

Lead: The Ohio State University

Partners: University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, University of California-Davis, Tufts University

This pilot developed a specific set of practices and procedures for the conduct of translational and comparative clinical trials, with the ultimate goal of ensuring accurate and reproducible data. The group completed a survey of practices and procedures, and published a white paper and generated a veterinary GCP training module. A workshop that brought together faculty and staff from 13 academic veterinary centers, industry sponsors and relevant stakeholders from human medicine, held in Columbus OH in October 2017, also trained staff and faculty in the use of REDCap, and created a template for a veterinary IRB process, including a standardized consent form.


ONE HEALTH IN A MINUTE

COHA Communication and Collaboration Subcommittee

Lead: Tufts University

Partners: University of Florida, North Carolina State University, University of Pennsylvania

This pilot grant supported identification of One Health stories from interdisciplinary teams at COHA institutions, and development into COHA-branded One Health videos on chronic pain, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the Knight’s Landing One Health Clinic that provides care to both pets and their owners by teams of veterinary, nursing, and medical students. The group also developed the COHA logo, and established a dedicated COHA website (https://ctsaonehealthalliance.org), which also hosts the videos.


DEVELOPING A NATIONAL VETERINARY BIOREPOSITORY REGISTRY AS A RESOURCE FOR TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

COHA Tissue and DNA Banking Subcommittee

Lead: Colorado State University

Partners: Cornell University, University of California Davis

This pilot grant supported a working group meeting in June 2016 to define the state of biorepository registries that currently exist, and develop a plan moving forward. The meeting was successful in enhancing an understanding of different approaches to biobanking at the COHA veterinary institutions present and reinforced the idea that a physical biobank was not an appropriate goal for COHA.

Grant Resources:

Grant opportunities and funded awards inline with COHA’s mission can be shared by the COHA community. These resources can be found below.

CTSA One Health Alliance (COHA) 2021 Pilot Grant Program

Applications are currently being accepted for the COHA 2020 Pilot Grant Program.

DEADLINE

Proposal Submission Extended: August 15, 2021 Notification of Awardees: No later than September 30, 2021

LINKS

AUTHORS

Submissions will be electronic and according to the timeline listed. All materials should be submitted to Lori Muhr (lori.muhr@tufts.edu).