The overall goal of the Mentored Career Development Program: Innovative Team-based Transdisciplinary Approach to Research Education and Training is to provide training opportunities for junior faculty working in clinical and translational research to become independent investigators who are capable of developing and executing collaborative research on the platform of team science.
This new 3-year program includes a focus on team science, with a primary objective of assembling an Integrated Clinical and Research Ensemble. As shown in Figure 1, members of an “Ensemble” should reflect a broad spectrum of expertise, including stakeholders that are rarely part of research design. Unlike a traditional research team, which often forms around a principal investigator for a specific grant submission, an Ensemble forms to address an unmet medical need. The Ensemble uses the principles of team science to engage in discussions, similar to think tanks, leading to team goals to deliver products such as a device, drug, procedure, intervention, extramural award, or scholarly publication, etc.
As shown in Figure 2, patient-focused hypotheses, problems and observations may emanate from the clinic, community or the laboratory (including novel drugs and devices, intervention and prevention efforts in population health, etc.), and will subsequently be developed into novel, innovative research proposals across the translational spectrum (T1-T4) by the KL2 trainees with the help and guidance of their mentors. This program is based on the tri-lateral ecosystem that involves community members, patients, and organizations, the translational research enterprise, and health care systems.
Curriculum design for each trainee is a joint undertaking involving the trainee, his/her mentors, and the program director. The individually tailored curriculum will be based on an assessment of the unique needs and the articulated learning goals and objectives of the scholar, and a performance and evaluation plan for the scholar. Training activities may involve participation in CTSI’s Clinical Scholars’ Program, coursework, structured interactions with the Translational Research Units and with the leadership of the institutions’ multidisciplinary centers, and the opportunity to participate in a multidisciplinary research project under the guidance of a mentor. Additional training opportunities are listed below.
Early in the program, scholars will be expected to focus on participating in training and establishing an ensemble group with diverse research teams and community partners. They will work collaboratively with this group to develop a research project addressing an unmet need, and once approved will complete the project in this new team science “ensemble”.
The candidate must name a primary sponsor/mentor, who, together with the applicant is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of the program. The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area and have a track record of success in training independent investigators in clinical and translational research. The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project more than the allowable costs of this award. Candidates may also nominate co-mentors as appropriate to the goals of the program. The candidate and mentor must describe a career development program with an emphasis on clinical and translational research that maximizes the use of relevant research, and educational resources, and qualified faculty as mentors in clinical and translational research.
Additional Proposal Considerations
This AHW Call for Sub-Award Applications aims to provide training opportunities for junior faculty working in clinical and translational research to become independent investigators who are capable of developing and executing collaborative research on the platform of team science. This 3-year program includes a focus on team science, with a primary objective of assembling an Integrated Clinical and Research Ensemble comprised of diverse research teams and community partners to address an unmet medical need. This opportunity is open to full-time or full professional effort MCW School of Medicine faculty for sub-award projects up to $537,380 to be carried out over a three-year project period.
All sub-award projects must be led by an eligible MCW principal investigator (PI). The PI must be a full-time or full professional effort MCW faculty member with a primary appointment in the School of Medicine. The PI will be responsible for compliance with fiduciary and reporting requirements, maintaining regular communication with the parent award contact and AHW, and ensuring that all project collaborators receive communications, notifications, and instructions from the parent award and AHW.
The KL2 award is designed for researchers who are early in their professional careers. It is not meant to serve as support for applicants already established in their field, nor is it meant to aid in a career change.
The candidate for the CTSI Mentored Career Development Program must meet the above criteria and should be listed as the MCW PI on the application. The candidate is required to contribute 60% FTE (50% AHW support, 10% department support) to the project in Year 1 and 75% FTE (60% AHW support, 15% department support) to the project in Years 2 and 3.
Inclusion of co-investigators (Co-Is) is optional but encouraged. Co-Is may be faculty at MCW or at institutions outside of MCW and are not held to minimum FTE requirements.
The mentor for the candidate for the CTSI Mentored Career Development Program should be listed as the first Co-I on the project.
Collaborators are optional but encouraged, as applicable, and are not subject to the same eligibility requirements as the MCW PI. Collaborators may be MCW faculty, staff, students, or experts outside of MCW. Collaborators typically have a smaller role in the project than the PI and any Co-Is (e.g., technical expertise, provide clinical samples), and may or may not receive salary support through AHW funding.
AHW’s investment in this sub-award funding opportunity will total approximately $537,380 to support one (1) meritorious sub-award project, depending on the merit of sub-award proposals received. Successful sub-award projects will demonstrate an appropriate budget and timeframe for their proposed scope of work. Project budget requests are limited to $537,380 and project durations are limited to a three-year project period.
Applicants will provide a detailed budget with justification for all personnel and expenses.
For information on financial compliance requirements for funded projects, please see the Funded Project Compliance Overview section of this sub-award RFA.
AHW was established as the result of a generous financial gift made by Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin to the people of Wisconsin, giving AHW the extraordinary responsibility to steward this financial gift on behalf of Wisconsin residents. As such, AHW adheres to requirements as defined in a March 28, 2000 Order of the Commissioner of Insurance which requires that AHW funds (the Funds) “may not be used to supplant funds or resources otherwise available.” AHW, via MCW, must report annually on its determination that the Funds do not supplant other resources that may be available to accomplish the same purposes. Supplanting criteria can be found on the AHW website.
Prior to final funding recommendations and approval, AHW will assess whether other financial resources exist or are available for the project, including an assessment of whether the applicants have other financial resources available for the project. Applicants must certify that no financial resources will be supplanted and provide a complete listing of current funding sources for the project or similar other projects.
All applicants are highly encouraged to leverage additional funding support for their work. Leveraging additional support not only demonstrates additional commitment to a project, but also increases sustainability of efforts and can provide resources for activities that AHW cannot fund.
Leveraging can include departmental funds, cost-sharing of salary support, matching funding from other funders, business partners, or government (city, county, state, or federal) funds, as well as in-kind support.
Funds can only be used for direct project-specific expenses, which include salary and benefits for personnel directly involved in the project and direct expenses including supplies, equipment, travel, etc.
Funds may not be used for:
View a complete list of Allowable and Unallowable Costs on the AHW website.
AHW’s Call for Sub-Award Applications: Mentored Career Development Program uses a two-stage application and review process.
The sub-award Letter of Intent (LOI) must be completed using the AHW-provided forms, where applicable, and submitted using the online form accessible at: https://ahwendowment.tfaforms.net/f/CTSIMentoredCareerDevelopmentProgramLOI
No paper or emailed applications will be considered, and no attachments beyond those specifically requested in the proposal instructions below and the online form will be accepted. The deadline for sub-award LOI submissions through this sub-award RFA is August 30, 2021, by 5:00 pm CST. Late submissions will not be accepted, and incomplete or missing forms may result in rejection of the proposal.
Please use the instructions below to prepare and organize the sub-award LOI for final submission via the online form by the deadline. All required fields within the online form must be completed. When filling out the online form, you may save your progress and resume at a later time by checking ‘Save my progress and resume later’ in the upper right-hand corner of the form. If saving, please follow the system prompts to save and re-access the form. Only one applicant team member may begin and save the online form by creating a login (email address and password) that will allow that individual to return to saved work. We recommend you designate one individual to enter the completed application information online.
The sub-award LOI should contain the following materials:
Successful LOI applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal. The sub-award full proposal must be completed using the AHW-provided forms, where applicable, and submitted via the AHW Grant Management System.Upon invitation to the full proposal, applicants will be granted access to the system and receive instructions from AHW to setup their account. No paper or emailed applications will be considered, and no attachments beyond those specifically requested in the proposal instructions below and the online form will be accepted. The deadline for sub-award full proposal submissions through this sub-award RFA is October 11, 2021, by 5:00 pm CST. Late submissions will not be accepted, and incomplete or missing forms may result in rejection of the proposal.
Please use the instructions below to prepare and organize the sub-award proposal for final submission via the online form by the deadline. All required fields within the online form must be completed. When filling out the online form, you may save your progress and resume at a later time by checking ‘Save my progress and resume later’ in the upper right-hand corner of the form. If saving, please follow the system prompts to save and re-access the form. Only one applicant team member may begin and save the online form by creating a login (email address and password) that will allow that individual to return to saved work. We recommend you designate one individual to enter the completed application information online.
Please do not enter your proposal into eBridge. Due to changes in the eBridge system, that step is no longer needed at this application stage. The eBridge process will be initiated by the parent award AFTER funding determinations have been made.
The sub-award full proposal should contain the following materials:
Sub-award applications at both the LOI and full proposal stage will undergo technical review by AHW staff for eligibility, content, and submission requirements, including:
Applications that pass technical review will advance to the merit review. Merit reviews during the LOI phase will be conducted internally to identify applicants who will be invited to submit full applications.
Full proposal application merit reviews will be conducted by a review committee comprised of individuals with a mix of scientific and ensemble-specific review expertise. Three reviewers will be assigned to each full proposal application, with at least two having content expertise. Ad hoc reviewers may be brought on to fill any gaps in scientific expertise if needed. The applications will be scored in a committee meeting, and one scholar will be identified for recommendation to be approved by CTSI leadership.
All sub-award full proposal applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:
The scoring system uses a nine-point scale based on the rating scale used by the National Institutes of Health. The nine-point rating scale is anchored according to the following descriptions:
Following merit review, CTSI will review the recommendations from the merit reviewers and approve the chosen scholar.
AHW and/or the parent award may request that applicants adjust their scope, budget, or timeline based on the outcome of the review process. If necessary, these applicants will be notified and asked to resubmit their adjusted application materials for further review. No negotiations or appeals will be accommodated.
Conflict of Interest
Each review process follows a Conflict of Interest policy. A conflict of interest is apparent whenever a reviewer’s objectivity may be perceived as compromised by the nature of a personal or professional relationship or obligation to an applicant. Reviewers with a conflict of interest pertaining to a proposal’s review and/or funding are self-identified and recused from review of that proposal.
Notification emails of award determination are anticipated to be sent to the sub-award applicant MCW PI in November 2021, following completion of the sub-award application review process.
AHW funding is competitive. Our goal is to support applicants through the application process to the best of our abilities, and we encourage applicants to contact the parent award contact and/or AHW staff with questions.
Pre-Application Questions and Consultations
Please contact the following parent award contact for questions regarding the scope of the RFA, your project idea, or aspects of the sub-award proposal application or review process:
Please contact AHW directly with questions regarding the application form and attachments, allowable and unallowable costs, or other logistical aspects of your application:
Tracy Wilson, MPH
AHW Program Manager
The following information briefly highlights the processes and requirements for projects that are successfully awarded funding through AHW’s Call for Sub-Award Applications.
Pilot and seed sub-awards funded by AHW do not need to submit individual annual progress reports to AHW; pilot and seed sub-awards ONLY complete a final report.
Faculty recruitment and mentored scholar sub-awards funded by AHW are required to complete an annual progress report. The Annual Progress Report Form for Faculty Recruitment and Mentored Scholar sub-awards will be available in the Libraries section of the AHW Grant Management System for funded sub-award projects.
Sub-awards should submit completed progress report materials via the AHW Grant Management System for review and approval by AHW and the parent award.
All sub-awards, including seed or pilot, mentored scholar, and faculty recruitment sub-awards, should complete and submit a sub-award final report via the AHW Grant Management System within two months of the sub-award’s end date for review and approval by AHW and the parent award. The Final Progress Report Form for Sub-Awards will be available within the Libraries section of the AHW Grant Management System for funded sub-award projects.
If for any reason sub-awards are unable to complete the progress and/or final report by the deadline, the sub-award PI should contact AHW and the parent award to request an extension. Failure to provide progress and/or final progress reports, as required, may result in ineligibility for future AHW funding.
Funded investigators may also be asked to contribute to the social return on investment of AHW by participating in supplementary engagement activities, which may include participation on AHW review panels, programs and initiatives, public presentations, networking events, peer-to-peer feedback sessions, trainings, dissemination events, among others.
Parent awards may have additional reporting requirements for their funded sub-award projects. Please connect with the parent award contact to learn about any additional reporting requirements.
The MCW sub-award PI is solely responsible for ensuring compliance with fiduciary requirements throughout the life of the award. Upon funding approval, the sub-award PI and any additional faculty and staff with administrative responsibility on the award should attend an orientation session with AHW staff and the parent award to discuss financial compliance requirements.
It is important to note that AHW funds may not be used to supplant funds or resources that are available from other sources. If a PI receiving AHW funding is awarded a new grant that is for the same or similar research, they should notify AHW staff so that a supplanting review can be conducted. If it is determined that supplanting exists, the affected portion of the AHW funding will either be rescinded or reallocated, in accordance with MCW Corporate Policy BF.SP.060.
The amount awarded is the maximum funding available from AHW for this project and the project start and end dates indicate the official project period, unless otherwise approved by AHW. MCW reserves the right to reduce unspent funding and/or funding duration, if needed, to comply with state and/or federal law (including but not limited to law governing endowment fund management), or to address MCW financial constraints which negatively impact AHW.
AHW funding is contingent upon institutional approvals for the use of human subjects or laboratory animals. Awards funded by AHW must ensure that human and animal participants are protected during the collection of information from award participants and/or the publication or dissemination of award results.
Following award announcements, MCW IRB and/or IACUC staff must review all successful proposals that involve human subjects or laboratory animals for any purpose. MCW investigators may not independently make the determination whether an activity involves research; the MCW Institutional Review Board (IRB) will make the independent determination regarding human research subject involvement. MCW investigators must submit to the IRB for review prior to initiating the research regardless of whether their activities involve human subjects. The MCW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) will make determinations regarding animal use in research. Documentation of this regulatory review and documentation of IRB approval or exemption and IACUC protocols, if applicable, must be linked to the eBridge funding proposal. This process can be time consuming, and appropriate timing to secure approvals should be taken into consideration when developing the scope of work and timeline.
The sub-award MCW PI must lead this process and is highly encouraged to work with the IRB and/or IACUC office to confirm regulatory approval processes, as needed.
The HIPAA privacy rules are federal regulations protecting the confidentiality of information used in clinical practice, research, and operations of health care facilities. The privacy rules apply to the use or disclosure of protected health information for research purposes and require a number of actions and documentation. Funded projects must comply with all HIPAA requirements.
AHW’s public oversight body, the MCW Consortium on Public and Community health (Consortium), operates in accordance with standards consistent with Wisconsin’s Open Meetings and Open Records Laws. Documents that are generally considered by the Consortium in open public meetings become public record that may be subject to release. Prior to funding decisions being made, information contained in your proposal will not be shared outside the established RFA review process and the governing body. If your project is funded, information contained in the proposal may be subject to release. An Intellectual Property Agreement may be required for inventions, discoveries, or copyrightable material developed as a result of a project.
AHW funds may not be used for lobbying efforts. Successful applicants will ensure that descriptions of the intended use of all AHW funds abide by the nonlobbying requirement.
Lobbying includes communication with a legislator or agency official regarding a specific piece of legislation and your view on it, including any attempt to influence local, state, or federal legislation or administrative action. Advocacy is allowable and includes taking part in efforts to create or effect change in policies or systems, and can take many forms including education, media, etc.
All announcements related to the award of AHW funds, including sub-awards, are embargoed (i.e. not for dissemination outside of project partners) until the date set by AHW. AHW will collaborate with the parent award to develop a timeline and funding announcement plan that may include announcement on the AHW website, electronic newsletter, and/or additional avenues such as social media alongside announcements through the parent awards’ preferred dissemination channels.
News releases regarding the receipt of your AHW funding award are embargoed until the date set by AHW (see Award Announcement details above). Subsequent news releases or announcements about your project’s activities do not need to adhere to an embargo or be reviewed by AHW. Exceptions to this guideline include announcements or press releases related to major events, information releases, or other announcements in which you seek AHW’s collaboration on the announcement. Please contact the assigned AHW Program Manager listed on this Sub-Award RFA with any questions.
If you are contacted by a reporter during the period of your award, AHW encourages you to share the news and impact of your work! If reporters have specific questions about AHW or why your project was funded, please direct those inquiries to AHW Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 955-4753.
In press releases, publications and/or other media opportunities, acknowledge AHW as the project funder with the following clause:
“This [project, program, conference, research, report, etc. (choose one)] is funded [in part or wholly (choose one)] by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.”