COVID-19 Update: June 25

CCTS will continue virtual support as research restarts on campus. We are also supporting OPRS as human subject studies resume. Know what this means for your protocol.

COVID-19 Rapid Response RFA

The Center for Clinical and Translational Science announces the availability of rapid response pilot grant funding for research projects addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These pilot grant awards will be for one year, up to $30,000, with funding starting June 2020.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Goals

The goals of the CCTS COVID-19 Pilot Grant Program are:

  • To foster outstanding new clinical and translational research at UIC that directly addresses issues relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting rapid response research questions that can either help address urgent questions or lead to the development of preliminary data that can be used to launch new NIH or other externally-funded research proposals;
  • To encourage interdisciplinary teams of investigators that span across Colleges and campus to develop collaborations or new research avenues;
  • To promote interactions between basic (including engineering) and clinical scientists; and
  • To support research collaborations with community partners and organizations.

We will consider a range of potential research ideas across the full translational spectrum. Potential research foci include:

  • Host or individual factors (including existing conditions) that predispose individuals to acquire SARS-CoV-2 or to develop severe COVID-19 disease or that confer resistance to severe disease
  • Factors that help understand health disparities in the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 disease
  • Informatics solutions to identify, diagnosis or help treat cases
  • Healthcare system responses and strategies to address barriers and facilitators in the treatment of high-risk populations
  • Research on how potential overcrowding of emergency departments and health services may impact the treatment of other disorders and diseases (e.g., opioid overdoses; stroke; heart disease)
  • Research to understand the broad impacts of COVID-19 (e.g., school closures, food insecurity, anxiety, social isolation) on development; substance use; other mental and physical health concerns
  • Research to understand system- or organizational-level responses to identify, prevent, or mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in settings that serve vulnerable populations
  • Research on impacts of COVID-19 and system responses on health care workforce
  • Innovative engineering solutions to device, protective gear development
  • Research on effective training programs for healthcare workforce
  • Impact of health care delivery service changes (e.g., telehealth) on patient reported outcomes and providers; quality of care
  • Drug development and repurposing of existing therapeutics and identifying promising targets
  • Research on preventive practice interventions to increase adherence to recommendations
  • Research on how social distancing affects health care outcomes
  • Studies of predictive modeling of outcomes and processes
  • Studies of short-term effects on COVID-19 on other health conditions

Review Criteria

  • Urgency and significance – how will this project contribute to efforts to control COVID-19, and how immediate are the results
  • Feasibility – how well thought-out is the research strategy, approach, methodology, and feasibility of conducting study within one year time frame
  • Qualifications of research team
  • Applications that leverage existing studies, data sources, or data collection are desirable to enhance feasibility

Application Process

Because this is call for proposals is meant to facilitate rapid-start up, we will have an accelerated application time line.


  • Full application due Noon, May 1, 2020
  • Anticipated start June 2020

Grant applications must include:

  1. Abstract: No more than 250 words summarizing objective and methods
  2. Specific Aims
  3. Significance and statement of urgency and implication of results
  4. Research Strategy
  5. References
  6. Biosketch of all key personnel
  7. Budget
    • Faculty salaries are not allowable
  8. Appendices
    • Only allowable appendices are any needed letters of support (e.g. from clinical sites or community collaborators)

Total page length of required components (sections 1-4)  – no more than 4 single spaced typed pages with font size no smaller than Arial 11 font and margins no smaller than .5 inches.

Submit an Application