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Center for NeuroScience Pilot Program (CNS-Pilot)

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most important thing you can do to have a competitive application?

Thoroughly review the Request for Applications (RFA) and the Application Resources, and participate in the Informational Calls.

Can you apply for, or participate in, more than one proposal or program?

In general, no. An individual may be included as a Principal or Co-Investigator on only one application in an award year between the CO-Pilot, CMH-Pilot, CNS-Pilot and CE-Pilot Joint programs. The only exception between these programs is that an individual may be a Mentor on one application between programs, and a PI or Co-Investigator on one other application between programs.  This restriction is not applicable to NM-Pilot or CE-Pilot Partnership Development Programs.

Can you apply if you previously applied for, or received, a CCTSI Pilot award?

  • An unfunded application from a prior cycle may be resubmitted as new application.
  • Renewals or follow-on funding to any prior funded CCTSI Pilot awards are NOT allowed.
  • PIs with an award in the most recent cycle are ineligible to apply for the current cycle - CNS Program further restricts to 3 years.

Can multiple Principal Investigators be on an application?

Multiple PI roles are only supported under CO-Pilot CSU/CU Collaboration, CNS-Pilot Translational Team and CNS-Pilot Translational Basic Research categories. A detailed Multiple PI Plan is required with these proposals.

Can you change or withdraw your Intent to Apply?

As the information collected for Intent to Apply is minimal and not binding, you will not be able to change or withdraw Intent to Apply once submitted.  If you have major changes to your Intent to Apply - you wish to apply to a different program or change the Primary PI - please submit a new Intent to Apply prior to the Intent deadline.       

Can you change or withdraw your Application?

The application system will allow you to review and revise your Application Form and Proposal PDF document as often as you wish using the “Save and Return Later”  function.  You may withdraw any unsubmitted application using the "Login to Withdraw Unsubmitted Application" function from the appropriate Program homepage. 

Once your application is actively submitted using the “Submit Final Application” function, you will not be able to make any modifications to your Application.  If you wish to withdraw your application after formal submission, please email  Sandy Chalmers with your full name and application number. 

Do you need to complete sponsored program office review prior to application or award?

  • Applicants from CU Denver are not required to obtain approval from the Office of Grants and Contracts prior to application or award.
  • Applicants from affiliate organizations may be required to complete internal review processes at their organization prior to application (notably CSU) or award (notably CU-Boulder). Affiliate PIs should check with their sponsored projects office for requirements related to non-federal internally funded seed grant programs. Any proposal selected for award that has not met affiliate review requirements must meet these requirements prior to receiving award.

Can you work with a non-affiliate collaborator?

  • Investigators from CCTSI non-affiliate institutions are ineligible to be Principal Investigators on Pilot​ awards, but are encouraged to collaborate with an eligible investigator from a CCTSI affiliate who could serve as PI on an application.
  • Applications may include collaborators from CCTSI non-affiliate organizations. If such an application includes budget requirements for the non-affiliate organization, please pay special attention to the budget caps and cost share requirements in the RFA that will necessitate pre-application Cost Share Budget Review.

Do you need to complete Cost Share Budget Review prior to application?

All applications to CO-Pilot, CMH-Pilot and CNS-Pilot Programs which include a non-affiliate collaborator with budget requirements must complete a pre-application Cost Share Budget Review with Sandy Chalmers in the CCTSI Pilot Program Office by the due date in the RFA. 

Do you need regulatory approvals prior to application?

Regulatory approvals are not required at the time of application. Applications selected for award must obtain all project-specific regulatory approvals prior to implementation of the award. Approval may include COMIRB, IACUC, SARC, IBC, CHRI or other regulatory groups relevant to the proposal and applicant's institution. Applications selected for award that include Human Subjects Research may require review and approval of full HSR documentation prior to start of award by the CCTSI funding agency, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate capacity to obtain regulatory approvals as soon as possible upon notification of selection for award.

If an application selected for award has Human Subjects Research, what documentation may be required for review by the CCTSI funding agency, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)?

At time of selection for award, the CCTSI will request information regarding your Human Subjects Research to ascertain specific required documentation for your project to submit for NCATS review. 
 
Documents may include exempt certification, PI biosketch, complete clinical research protocol, informed consent and assent forms, information on portion of any parent protocol supporting pilot or KL2 funding with explanation of exactly what aspects of that parent protocol are related to the pilot or KL2 project, IND or IDE documentation, an NIH-style “Protection of Human Subjects” section, Inclusion Plan for Women, Children and Minorities, Targeted Enrollment Table or Inclusion Data Record, Data and Safety Monitoring Plan, Education Certification for Protection of Human Subjects, and IRB approval of the clinical study (may be under review concurrently with IRB and NCATS). 

Are there unallowable expenses (budget restrictions) for Pilot projects?

Unallowable expenses include (but are not limited to): indirect costs (F&A), international entities, computers, telecommunications, food, furniture, administrative support, non-project specific office expenses, and professional society dues/fees. Indirect costs (F&A) are not supported. While salary support commensurate with percent effort is allowed for PI and personnel, this is subject to NIH salary cap restrictions.

Are Biosketches and Letters of Support required?

Each Program has different requirements, please refer to the Application Process section in the RFA.

Can you work with a non-affiliate collaborator?

  • Investigators from CCTSI non-affiliate institutions are ineligible to be Principal Investigators on Pilot​ awards, but are encouraged to collaborate with an eligible investigator from a CCTSI affiliate who could serve as PI on an application.
  • Applications may include collaborators from CCTSI non-affiliate organizations. If such an application includes budget requirements for the non-affiliate organization, please pay special attention to pre-application budget review requirements and non-affiliate organization cost-share requirements, as detailed in the General Considerations section in the RFA.

How do you apply or check for CCTSI or CNS Membership?

Are you required to use CCTSI Resources, and where do you find them?

You are encouraged to use CCTSI Resources, but not required to do so if not applicable to your project OR you can justify use of alternate resources.

When do awards start and how long do they last?

Selected applications are notified in February, and awards start between February and June - depending on when pre-award regulatory approvals are completed and funding accounts are established. Awards are made for one year from the award start date. 

Can you review the applications from previous awards?

The CCTSI cannot distribute applications from previous awardees. However, applicants may contact past awardees directly to ask for advice or sharing of information. Past awardees are listed on the main page of each Pilot Program.

Are residents and other post-graduate trainees eligible to apply?

Residents and other post-graduate trainees, who hold a terminal degree in their field (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., D.D.S, D.V.M) may apply for Mentored Faculty Awards as post-doctoral fellows.  All applicants must demonstrate they will have sufficient effort on the project for the duration of the project (most of the year, not just nights and weekends), and have the necessary prior research experience and commitment to a research-focused academic career in the future. 

How do you decide to apply for a Mentored or Junior application?

  • Mentored projects are oriented towards investigators in the beginning stage of their career, and the application is stronger with the PI performing the work under the guidance of a mentor.
  • Junior applications are oriented towards investigators still at the beginning of their career but with sufficient experience to manage a project.

How do you decide if you should apply to the CMH-Pilot or CO-Pilot Program?

Applicants may contact CMH-Pilot or CO-Pilot Program leadership to discuss specific research ideas and get advice on which program may best fit the project scope and objectives.

How many awards will be made in each category?

The number of awards in each category vary each year depending on the merit of applications in each category. Typically, there are:

  • 4-8 CO-Pilot Mentored Awards
  • 4-8 CO-Pilot Junior Awards
  • 1-2 CO-Pilot CSU/CU Collaboration Award
  • 5    CMH-Pilot Awards distributed between Mentored and Junior categories
  • 2-3 CNS-Pilot Team awards distributed between Translational and Basic Research categories
  • 5-6 CNS-Independent awards distributed between Translational, Basic, and Movement Disorders/Neuro-Palliative Care categories

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