Centers of Research Translation (CORT) promote translational research through a multidisciplinary approach on a disease-specific theme.

These FAQs apply to RFA-AR-22-001 - Centers of Research Translation (CORT) (P50 Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

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Is a currently funded CORT with a Project End date of 8/31/22 eligible to submit a renewal application to RFA-AR-22-001?

Yes.

 

Can a CORT focus on more than one disease?

A CORT must focus on a single disease or a group of highly-related diseases (for example, various types of epidermolysis bullosa which share a common clinical phenotype of skin blisters), although the proposed research may be relevant to more than one disease and an additional disease(s) may be used as a control if scientifically justified. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contacts listed in the RFA before writing the application.

The FOA states "Research Cores: Optional; two or more required if a single collaborative Research Project is proposed." Would it be acceptable to submit a CORT application with an Administrative Core, three Research Projects, and zero Research Cores?

Yes.

The FOA states that “Projects solely involving experimentation in animal models” will not be supported. Would a project testing that validity of a clinical target in an animal model be responsive to this FOA.

It depends.  A Research Project that is testing feasibility or efficacy in an animal model would be allowed as long as in at least one aim there was validation of the animal experimentation using human tissues, specimens, or cells.  A Research Project in which all of the aims propose only experimentation in animal models would not be responsive.
 

Can a foreign investigator be the PI of a research project or core within a CORT application?

Yes, foreign components are allowed as part of the CORT, so a PI of a research project or core from a foreign institution would be allowed.  However, the need for the foreign component would need to be well justified.
 

Can a foreign investigator be awarded a Pilot and Feasibility award?

Yes, foreign components are allowed as part of the CORT, so a P&F could be awarded to a foreign institution.  However, the need for the foreign component would need to be well justified. 
 

If the PI of a research project within a CORT P50 is a new investigator, will the person lose new investigator status if the P50 is awarded?

According to the NIH early stage investigator (ESI) policy, if the lead of a project or core in a multi-component application is a new investigator, but not the PI/PD for the overall application, the individual will retain ESI status when the award is made.
 

Are Pilot and Feasibility Program(s) required in CORT applications?

Starting with the RFA-AR-22-001 reissue, Pilot and Feasibility Programs are no longer required, but are now an option within the Administrative Core. Applicants are provided the flexibility to determine whether Pilot and Feasibility Projects sufficiently contribute to the overall mission of the CORT such that they warrant inclusion.
 

The FOA states " Up to two Pilot and Feasibility Projects per year can be supported beginning in year two of the CORT funding. Pilot and Feasibility Projects may be 1-2 years in length." If a Pilot and Feasibility Program is proposed, is it required that a solicitation is done every year?

No. A CORT could solicit P&Fs as few or as many times as desired, but support will be provided only for a maximum of two new or continuing P&F projects per year, with no single P&F being more than two years.
 

If a Pilot and Feasibility Program is proposed, do solicitation and review of projects need to occur during a certain time of year?

Solicitation and review can occur at any time, however Pilot and Feasibility Projects that will be supported in a given project year must be submitted to NIAMS for approval in conjunction with the previous year’s Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  It is recommended that grantees time their proposed plans for soliciting, review, and selection to align with this requirement.
 

The FOA states that "The CORT Director is expected to make a commitment of at least 1.8 person months (PM) to the overall administration of the CORT plus 2.4 PM for research if the CORT director is also the lead of a CORT project. The CORT Associate Director is expected to commit at least 1.2 PM to administration." Is there an additional PM requirement for the Associate Director if he/she is also the leader of a Project or Core?

The following requirements are described in the FOA:

  • Admin Core: The CORT Director is expected to make a commitment of at least 1.8 PM to the overall administration of the CORT, and the CORT Associate Director to commit at least 1.2 PM to administration.
  • Research Projects: A director should be named for each Research Project. An associate director may also be proposed. The combined efforts should devote at least 2.4 PM to the project. This would be in addition to the administrative effort of the CORT Director or CORT Associate Director if either one is also a director or associate director of a project.
  • Research Cores: A director should be named for each Research Core. An associate director may also be proposed. The combined efforts should devote at least 1.8 PM to the research core. This would be in addition to the administrative effort of the CORT Director or CORT Associate Director if either one is also a director or associate director of a research core.
     

If a CORT incorporates investigators from outside institutions for leaders of Projects/Cores, how are they handled in the budget? If they are subcontractors, do their direct costs and indirect costs come out of the total direct cost cap of $1M?

A project or core from another institution requires a subcontract. However, consortium F&A costs are NOT included as part of the direct cost base when determining whether the application budget fits within the $1M direct cost per year limit.
 

If multi-PIs are proposed, does one need to be named as Director and the other as Associate Director, or can they be Co-Directors?

The NIAMS strongly encourages that one be named as a Director and the others as Associate Directors.
 

Can I include a progress report if I have/had a NIAMS CORT P50?

If the application is a renewal application, applicants are required to include additional information on any specifics of the progress during the last funding period. Applicants must also include results from the Pilot and Feasibility Projects from the prior funding period.
 

Can one institution submit multiple CORT P50 applications?

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
 

Last Updated: January 2021