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SCTR Pilot promotes research development

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
Health professionals and scientists interested in human health research have more  opportunities to work with colleagues statewide to focus on new discoveries and translate advance-ments that improve patient care.
During March and April,  eligible scientists and clinical and translational investigators affiliated with the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) can apply for funding of up to $50,000 per year to support their research through the SCTR Pilot Project Program (PPP).
The program was designed to facilitate meaningful clinical and translational research with an emphasis on diseases demonstrating significant prevalence in South  Carolina. The major goal of the PPP is to ensure investigator-initiated, hypothesis-driven clinical and translational research pilot projects are supported so they can generate  preliminary data to validate the need for a larger study.
Since 2007, SCTR has funded close to 40 collaborative projects, involving investigators and scientists from different disciplines and institutions.
During this fourth grant cycle (2010-2011), SCTR  anticipates awarding about 15 grant proposals/applications.
“We recognize the investigator's desire is to collaborate with other researchers,” said Dayan Ranwala, Ph.D., SCTR Institute’s science program coordinator. “On the other hand, investigators recognize the importance of building collaborations across disciplines, departments and institutions to find success in research and submit extramural grant applications. SCTR can help investigators find collaborations and the PPP funding that would help them develop those new collaborations to accelerate new discoveries and innovations to improve health care.”
Last July, MUSC was awarded a $20 million Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) and joined 39 previously-funded academic medical research institutions focused on promoting clinical research efforts, advancing scientific discoveries and preparing the state’s next generation of medical researchers.
“This program allows basic and clinical scientists and investigators to work together within the CTSA national network to work collaboratively in collecting preliminary data that will eventually lead to  more extramurally-funded grants and fund novel and collaborative  research,” said  Perry V. Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., SCTR Pilot Project program director.
The program is open to investigators from any of SCTR's 11 participating institutions or affiliate partners including MUSC, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenville Hospital System, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Palmetto Health, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, S.C. Research Authority and Health Sciences South Carolina.
Three SCTR Pilot grant categories are based on  investigator's needs in multiple disciplines and levels.
  • Discovery—Address an unmet medical need such as a novel fundamental discovery that leads to further development through a multi-phase trial or large-scale dissemination or translation.
  • Early career investigator—Applicable to eligible faculty no more than four years past postdoctoral or specialty/subspecialty training.
  • Novel methodologies and technologies— Addresses details of the novelty of target methodology/technology and its potential application to clinical or translational research.
Required pre-applications are available at until April 30. Pre-applications will be screened by a preliminary scientific review committee.
Selected pre-applications from the pre-applications pool will be considered for full applications for PPP grant funding.
Request for application for the full PPP application will be available in May. Visit

Friday, April 16, 2010

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