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CIMIT Innovation Grants

Quick Facts

Objective: Seed grants that support early stage, collaborative research projects for improving patient care, with emphasis on devices, procedures, diagnosis, and the delivery of healthcare.

Eligibility: Open to principal investigators on faculty at an academic medical center or university in greater Boston.

Status: Not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

Overview

CIMIT awards grants to principal investigators on faculty at an academic medical center or university in greater Boston. However, most CIMIT grants are awarded to principal investigators within CIMIT Consortium institutions. Projects may include team members from other academic institutions and collaborators from industry.

Research Focus

Applications in the following two areas of strategic initiative are highly encouraged:

  • NeuroHealth, including Neurotechnology, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and pain.

  • Integrated Clinical Environments (ICE), including projects that create transformative innovations in the delivery of healthcare within or across care environments through the integration of medical devices, decision-support algorithms, electronic medical records, or patients and care providers. Projects that propose to simulate such integration are also encouraged.

Application Process

Applications are evaluated in two phases: a solicitation for two-page pre-proposals and a second phase for full proposals.

Based upon a review and selection of the most promising projects in phase one, invitations are extended to a limited number of applicants to submit full proposals during phase two.

Applicant Resources

All investigators (especially first-time applicants) are urged to contact the CIMIT Site Miner at your institution and the leaders of CIMIT Program(s) most relevant to your application. Site Miner(s) can answer questions and connect you with CIMIT leaders and staff. All can help you network with other CIMIT institutions, suggest potential collaborators, and advise on developing your pre-proposal application.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who can apply for CIMIT grants?
Anyone holding a faculty appointment at an academic medical center or university in Greater Boston may apply for a CIMIT Innovation Grant. However, CIMIT grants are generally awarded to principal investigators within CIMIT's Consortium Institutions.

2.  What are CIMIT's areas of interest?
CIMIT seeks multidisciplinary projects to improve patient care, including the unmet medical needs of the wounded warrior, related to the CIMIT Programs. Projects relevant to CIMIT Programs, as well as other health-related areas, are welcome.  Projects are particularly encouraged pertaining to 1) Neurotechnology, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and pain; and 2) Projects that create transformative innovations in the delivery of healthcare within or across care environments through the integration of medical devices, decision-support algorithms, electronic medical records, or patients and care providers. Projects that propose to simulate such integration are also eligible. View examples of projects CIMIT has previously funded in this area.

3.  When are applications due?
CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

4.  When will I be notified if my pre-proposal has been selected to submit a full proposal?
CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

5.  Is there anything "special" that applicants should know?
Key elements of a strong application are collaboration and innovation. CIMIT encourages work between investigators in different institutions, and among clinicians, scientists and engineers who might not normally work together. The Collaborators section of your proposal should make this explicit.

6.  Who should I list as collaborators?
List only individuals who are considered key personnel or significant contributors to the work that will be performed, and who have agreed to their role.

7.  Does CIMIT give multi-year grants?
CIMIT only accepts pre-proposals and full proposals for one year of funding.  This solicitation does not support multi-year awards.

8.  In preparing my proposal, may I use pieces of my recent NIH proposal?
Yes, but remember CIMIT has different goals and review criteria and will not fund budgetary overlap. CIMIT also does not require extensive bibliographies or preliminary studies. However, if there is related work done by another group, you should distinguish your approach from theirs.
   
9.  What support does CIMIT provide to applicants during proposal preparation?
CIMIT Program Leaders, Site Miners and staff are available to answer questions throughout the year as well as during the time when pre-proposals are being developed by applicants. 

10.  How is "novelty" characterized by CIMIT?
CIMIT rarely supports novel basic science or engineering as normally interpreted in those disciplines, because such projects typically require many years of development before they may be considered for use in medicine. More often CIMIT supports novelty in applying an existing technology to a particular medical problem.

11.  Does CIMIT support software development?
CIMIT distinguishes between routine software engineering, which it does not typically support (data processing, interfacing, simple signal processing), and research software in which new algorithmic approaches are required to solve a clinical problem. Like any other task, software engineering may be supported when it is necessary to meet project objectives. Research software projects must be approached in the context of a clinical procedure or care pathway, and the project must involve direct collaboration with a physician in the appropriate specialty.

CIMIT does not support classic Information Technology projects (electronic patient record, data mining for decision support, etc.), because CIMIT member institutions and industry groups are already investing significant resources in these areas.

In general, CIMIT does not support the development of public domain data repositories that can be used to further medical research. However, CIMIT has supported projects that use such repositories for algorithm validation. For Clinical Systems Innovation projects, the best gauge of the suitability of a software project for CIMIT funding is whether it is more appropriate for a hospital IT department, using their much more substantial research resources.  Collaboration with hospital IT groups should be an option that is pursued on a case-by-case basis.

12.  Why does CIMIT not support pharmaceutical development?
CIMIT recognizes that the development of new pharmaceutical agents is generally well supported by major industrial labs, while the underlying basic research is supported by the NIH, both at much larger scales than CIMIT can fund. This is also true of the general fields of surface chemistry and coatings. CIMIT has, however, actively supported the development and demonstration of devices for the local delivery of pharmaceutical agents and, on occasion, agents to improve the contrast of imaging systems when the project is multidisciplinary. Also, CIMIT has supported multidisciplinary teams seeking new approaches to tissue engineering and wound healing.

13.  Why doesn't CIMIT fund development and testing of new MR pulse sequences?
MR pulse sequence development and similar large multidisciplinary fields are well supported by industry and NIH.

14.  Does CIMIT fund clinical trials?
No, based on the definition of a clinical trial as patient-oriented research in which the data is gathered for possible presentation to the FDA. We do support earlier stage feasibility or proof-of-principle efforts that involve human subjects.

15.  Does CIMIT support projects outside the Boston region?
While CIMIT frequently supports local effort as a part of national collaborations, CIMIT grants are generally awarded to Consortium Member Institutions. However, collaborators outside of Boston can be included in the proposal with sufficient justification.

16.  Does CIMIT accept applications for funding from companies?
No. Principal Investigators of CIMIT-supported collaborations have faculty appointments, usually at one of the CIMIT consortium institutions.

17.  Who reviews the applications?
The CIMIT Review Panels are made up of practicing clinical specialists, engineers and scientists with broad experience in medical innovation. All full applications are also reviewed by an outside panel of leading physicians and engineers convened by the US Army.

18.  What does it mean that Full Proposals are evaluated “as written?”
The reviewers will not suggest modifications to your proposal, nor will they assume that gaps that they identify in the work plan will be filled. CIMIT Site Miners and Program Leaders can provide helpful feedback on your proposal before you submit it. Please seek them out for their input.

19.  Does CIMIT have oral presentations given by some PIs during the full proposal review session?
Yes. Most often these presentations occur during the outside panel review of the full proposals.

20.  How are oral presentations selected?
Presenters are selected based primarily on their availability for the time slots with the outside panel.

21.  Does giving an oral presentation give the applicant an advantage?
Data from the past five years show that it usually doesn't make a difference. Sometimes, though, the PI succeeds in significantly raising his or her score with the outside panel. However, sometimes the PI exposes a significant shortcoming of the proposed work, and lowers the score. The outside panel rankings are factored into the final CIMIT funding decision.

22.  Is my proposal treated confidentially?  
All proposals are managed with all reasonable efforts to ensure that intellectual property (IP) rights and confidential plans are protected. CIMIT reporting does not constitute a public disclosure of an idea. However, investigators should take all the normal steps to protect valuable IP within their own institution prior to submitting their pre-proposal, and should exercise discretion in sharing sensitive materials in public environments such as the CIMIT Forum. Furthermore, investigators should be aware that the reports that CIMIT sends to the Department of Defense or other federal agencies may become public at some point, in response to requests from private parties, and redaction of information thought to be confidential cannot be guaranteed.

23.  If I present at an Army review, is that a "Public Disclosure"?
No. Army reviews such as the CIMIT proposal peer review are confidential. However, items presented at an open Army Meeting such as ATACCC or at a CIMIT Forum would likely be considered public disclosure.

24.  I am writing a pre-proposal.  May I include lots of references?
You can use as many references as you want, but the reviewers, who are likely to be sophisticated in your field, may wonder why you are using that space when you could be explaining the clinical impact or novelty of your work. Your mastery of the literature will be apparent from what you say, not how you footnote it.

25.  Where do I submit my pre-proposal?
CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

26.  My pre-proposal was accepted and I have been invited to submit a full proposal.  Now what?
CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

27.  Where and how do I submit my full proposal?
CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

28.  Should I submit copies of relevant publications?
No. Standard citation of publications is acceptable.

29.  Will you accept a video showing how my system works?
No.

30.  What is the "institutional sign off page?"
It is the official sheet from your research administration office indicating that your full proposal is approved by your institution. If you are at MGH, approval from your Department Chief is needed in lieu of central Grants and Contracts approval. Be sure to ask your research administration office how much lead time they need to process this form in the event you are invited to submit a full proposal so that you can submit all your documents before the deadline.

31.  Are there any budget restrictions or limitations?
Foreign travel, subcontracts, patient care, and equipment require prior approval. If you know your project will involve these costs, please include them in your proposal budget. 

32.  How do we compute indirect costs or overhead? 
CIMIT provides for a 40% indirect cost rate on a modified total direct cost base.

33.  Why does the Army require secondary reviews of animal and human use?
Due to the nature of military service, the regulations governing the experimentation on animals and humans by the armed forces have explicit extra protections for research subjects. CIMIT is supported by the Army and these regulations apply to all funded CIMIT projects supported with Army funds.

34.  What should I do if my project requires work to be completed before an IRB application can be written? 
Awards can be released in two stages. To submit a proposal with a design that requires separate pre-human and human use stages, your proposal must clearly state which aims will be completed in each of the two stages. Separate budgets must also be submitted to clearly delineate funds used for non-human use work from those funds that would support work that involves human use.

35.  When will I receive my funding? 
Federal funds provide the majority of support for CIMIT awards and must be received by CIMIT prior to your award release. The timeliness of your revisions to administrative materials, should they be needed, and any necessary protocol approvals will also affect when you receive your award.

CIMIT is not accepting grant applications for FY13 funding at this time. Information will be posted as soon as the details have been determined.

36.  When is funding activated?
If your work involves human subjects, data or tissue derived from humans, or live animals, the necessary IRB, IACUC and DoD OHRP approvals must be in place prior to the activation of your award. 

37.  What are my reporting responsibilities if I receive a CIMIT Innovation Grant?
CIMIT requires investigators to submit quarterly or semi-annual progress reports. The frequency of reporting depends on the terms and conditions of the parent award that is used to support your individual project. You will be notified of further details with the Notice of Award if your full proposal is selected for funding. 

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CONTACT INFORMATION

For questions and assistance, contact the CIMIT Site Miner at your institution and the leaders of CIMIT Program(s) most relevant to your application.

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QUICK LINKS

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

8.16.11
CIMIT Announces $2.5 Million in Medical Research Grants
FY12 awards will support projects targeting brain injuries, trauma, and innovations in healthcare delivery systems

6.22.10
CIMIT Announces $3 Million in Medical Research Grants
FY11 awards will support projects targeting brain injuries, pain management, and innovations in healthcare delivery systems

5.14.09
CIMIT Announces $4 Million in Medical Research Grants
FY10 awards will support projects targeting brain injuries and inhalation therapiesivery systems

5.2.08
CIMIT Announces $5 Million in Medical Research Grants
FY09 awards will support projects targeting sepsis and breast cancer

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