New RFA: Grants to support rare disease research

Published by CTSI on February 24, 2017

There’s a new funding opportunity for University of Minnesota researchers developing diagnostics and treatments for rare diseases, thanks to the recent release of an RFA from CTSI’s Translational Grant Program. 

CTSI anticipates funding up to two projects, with each project receiving as much as $50,000 in direct costs for one year.

View the request for applications 

By supporting promising rare disease research projects at the University, we’re working to make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from these conditions.

— Dr. Tucker LeBien

The grant program identifies and funds early-stage projects in which the primary goal is to eventually develop a new therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device, or treatment approach. The program’s latest grant cycle is exclusively focused on rare diseases.

“Scientists’ understanding of rare diseases is often extremely limited, and very few of these conditions have a treatment or cure,” says Tucker LeBien, PhD, who serves as the Academic Health Center’s Associate Vice President for Research and directs CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation. “By supporting promising rare disease research projects at the University, we’re working to make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from these conditions.”

Each funded project will receive the assistance of a project development team with the appropriate expertise to determine critical project milestones, identify key gaps, and strengthen the likelihood for progress toward eventual development into a new product or treatment approach.

The Translational Grant Program is managed by CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT), which provides funding and support to help University researchers put promising ideas and discoveries on the path toward improved human health.

Examples of eligible projects

The program supports projects specific to rare diseases, defined as a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time. Read more about rare diseases and view a list of conditions.

Eligible project types include but are not limited to:

  • Identification of a small molecule or biologic with potential for therapeutic effect.
  • Moving from concept to initial design of a new medical device.
  • Definition of differential expression of specific biomarkers for diagnosis or treatment purposes.
  • Development of new models of human disease that could be used in the testing of therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, or treatment approaches specific to rare diseases. 

Dates and deadlines

  • April 5 (by 5pm): Mandatory letters of intent (LOIs) due; submitted via REDCap
  • April 24 (or earlier): Invitations to submit full proposals issued.
  • May 31 (by 5pm): Full proposal due.
  • August: Awards announced.
  • Oct. 2: Anticipated award start date. 

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