Share on:

CCaTS Early Stage Investigator Award

The CCaTS Early Stage Investigator Award (ESIA) supports investigator-initiated, patient-oriented pilot/feasibility studies that utilize CCaTS facilities and resources. The program aims to fund studies — particularly those led by junior faculty — that have a high likelihood of generating preliminary data for successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications in the future.

The overall goal of the program is to encourage junior investigators to pursue careers in patient-oriented research and expand the scope of research performed in CCaTS. Awardees have access to all CCaTS facilities, including the Clinical Research and Trials Unit (CRTU) and core laboratories.

Application deadline

For awards starting in July 2015:

  • Letters of intent are due no later than Monday, March 2, at 8 a.m. Central time.
  • Full applications (invitations will be extended following review of letters of intent) are due on Monday, May 11, 2015, at 8 a.m. Central time.


  • Associate consultants or senior associate consultants from any Mayo Clinic location are eligible for this award. Consultants are generally ineligible unless it has been less than five years since they finished postgraduate training or they are changing their research career path.
  • Fellows who have a confirmed faculty appointment (associate consultant or senior associate consultant) as of Jan. 1 of the application year.
  • Junior faculty members (typically associate consultants or senior associate consultants) with less than five years of postgraduate training (less than five years post-residency or post-fellowship).
  • Senior faculty members who are changing their research career path.

Note: Investigators with more than 20 percent Category I research time are not eligible.


  • Up to $40,000 in direct costs for each award (no indirects).
  • Funds must be spent within two years of award; no extensions will be granted.
  • Funding may be utilized for up to 20 percent effort for the principal investigator. It is not required that individuals use funds for principal investigator effort.
  • Applicants should have existing support or commitment of support from their department or division chair.
  • CCaTS Stimulus Awards are not available for CCaTS Early Stage Investigator Award recipients.

Letter of intent requirements

Letters of intent are due no later than Monday, March 2, at 8 a.m. Central time and should be submitted as a single PDF attachment via email

The letter should include:

  • Title and summary page (one-page limit)
    • Name of principal investigator
    • Principal investigator's department or division and Mayo site
    • Names of all other participating investigators as well as their department or division and Mayo site
    • Project title
    • Project summary (200 words)
  • Statement on how project meets program intent and specific deliverables (one-page limit)
  • NIH-formatted biosketch, including personal statement and current research support from extramural and internal sources

Application requirements

A submission checklist will guide you through the application process. This checklist details the components of a complete application, and it includes instructions and downloadable templates for your protocol and budget. Please follow the budget instructions closely.

Related document templates:

Applicants are encouraged to utilize the courses available online from CCaTS to help them in putting forward a well-developed proposal. Courses are available on a range of topics, including "Developing a Research Question," "Avoiding Statistical Pitfalls" and "Designing Effective Pilot Studies," as well as many others. All online courses are offered free of charge to Mayo staff and can be found on the CCaTS Professional Development page.

Review procedure

Applications will be reviewed and scored by the CCaTS Research Resources Executive Committee. Review criteria will include:

  • Alignment with goals of the ESIA to encourage early-stage investigators to pursue careers in patient-oriented research
  • Potential for the study findings to lead to future NIH support and publications
  • Innovation of the proposed study
  • Scientific rigor of the research design and methods
  • Education, training and prior research experience of the principal investigator
  • Feasibility within time and budget proposed
  • Qualifications and scientific environment of the investigators
  • Environment in which the study will be conducted, including use of CCaTS resources and facilities

The CCaTS Research Resources Executive Committee will select the awardees based on NIH-type scores.


A final report will be required at the end of the funding period. It should include a description of the arrangements made for implementing the improvement in Mayo's practice or the impact the work has on the field. The NIH requires that results be tracked according to:

  1. Documented effect on clinical practice and educational programs.
  2. Career development milestones.
  3. Number and quality of resulting publications, grant submissions and grants awarded. The impact may be tracked for up to three years after the funding period is complete. Please note that no-cost extensions cannot be granted by Research Services.


The NIH Public Access Policy requires that all publications resulting from NIH funding be uploaded to PubMed Central. CCaTS awards, including intramural awards, must follow this policy. More information about the Public Access Policy can be found on the Public Access site from NIH, including instructions to guide awardees through the process of uploading publications.

Please remember to cite the Mayo Clinic CTSA grant in your publication:

This publication was made possible by CTSA grant number UL1TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

  • Feb 2, 2015
  • ART434465