Frequently Asked Questions

What are Clinical and Translational Science Awards?

CTSAs are granted to academic health centers to revolutionize how clinical and translational research is conducted. Together, these institutions constitute a national consortium. Working together, they share a common vision to improve human health by transforming the research and training environment to enhance the efficiency and quality of clinical and translational research.

What is the ultimate goal of the CTSA consortium?

To enable researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients.

Who leads the CTSA program?

The National Center for Research Resources, or NCRR, of the National Institutes of Health.

Have any other academic institutions in Florida ever received a CTSA?

The University of Florida is the only one.

How many institutions across of the country have received a CTSA?

55 universities have received CTSAs, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The NIH says it is on track to fund 60 sites, at a total of $500 million per year, by 2012. When fully implemented, the NIH believes it will have reached the critical mass necessary to transform clinical and translational research. Diversity in the size, scope and geographic location of participating institutions will not only strengthen the CTSA Consortium, it will enhance its national and regional collaborations, according to the NIH. For more see www.ctsaweb.org.

Who is involved in this effort at UF?

The effort involves 13 of the university’s 16 colleges, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and its extension offices in Florida’s 67 counties, the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Affairs Health System, Florida State University, Shands HealthCare and other community partners around the state.

Will there be economic impacts?

By attracting external funding, whether from federal agencies such as the NIH or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or from foundations or industry, we anticipate new dollars will flow into Florida from outside the state, leading to new jobs and a ripple effect in the local economy. In addition, the impact of the resulting discoveries will extend beyond academia to industry, government and the nation.

How were CTSA selections made?

The applications for these awards undergo two sequential levels of review, according to the NCRR. The first level involved convening panels of experts from diverse scientific disciplines to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of the grant applications. The second level of review is by the NCRR Advisory Council. The scores and evaluations from this process then were reviewed by the National Advisory Research Resources Council, an advisory group to the National Center for Research Resources. These individuals served as the second level of review. The membership includes leaders in scientific disciplines related to the activities of the NCRR — including clinical and translational science, as well as members of the general public who are leaders in the fields of public health policies, law, economics and management.

Academic health centers need to commit significant resources to earn a CTSA. What was UF’s commitment?

The UF CTSI’s funding includes $23 million from the UF Office of Research and $70 million in commitments from the College of Medicine.

As an investigator at UF, what services are available to me through the CTSI?

The UF CTSI provides many services to investigators including clinical research services, laboratory services, training programs, consulting services and more. See the Research section of this web site for more information.

What are the broad goals of the CTSA program, according to the NCRR?

  • Establish clinical research infrastructure, including specialized research staff, informatics support and laboratories that enable studies of the full range of human disorders.
  • Fund career development programs that attract talented medical students, physicians and dentists to the challenge of clinical research careers
  • Enhance development programs for underserved states and institutions, focusing on health disparities that negatively impact racial and ethnic minority populations
  • Stimulate basic research to develop versatile new technologies and methods that help researchers to study virtually every human disease
  • Provide access to state-of-the art technologies and instruments that enable both basic biomedical research and clinical investigations of a multitude of health issues, from cancer to infectious diseases.
  • Develop and provide access to critical animal models, which offer essential clues to a broad range of human disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and AIDS
  • Train veterinarians in translational research in order to respond to deadly human diseases, such SARS, influenza and hepatitis
  • Provide funding to expand, remodel and renovate or alter existing research facilities or construct new research facilities
  • Improve the public understanding of medical research and provide adults and children with information about healthy living and science career opportunities

Is more information available regarding the national CTSA program?

For more information on the national CTSA program, see the CTSA fact sheet on line at https://www.ctsacentral.org/ctsa-consortium

How are decisions regarding CTSI programs and investments made?

The UF CTSI has an open governance process for receiving input from its constituents and making programmatic and investment decisions. See Governance on this portal for more information.

How can I participate in the CTSI?

There are many opportunities to participate in the CTSI. We are always interesting in hearing about how the CTSI might help foster clinical and translational science, its advances and the translational of those practices into better practice and better health. Please give us a call at 352-273-8700.