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Clinical and Translational Research Bidirectional Sabbatical Program


Goals and Background

The ACCEL CTR Program seeks to strengthen the clinical and translational research abilities of investigators within the four ACCEL partnering institutions. To that end, we are pleased to announce a call for two different types of sabbatical opportunities, allowing ACCEL faculty to visit with other institutions and allowing ACCEL institutions to invite outside faculty to visit them.

1) Travel Sabbaticals: The ACCEL Program will provide funds for an ACCEL partnering institution faculty to spend time at another ACCEL or non-ACCEL institution to acquire either new skills in performing clinical and translational research or to explore or strengthen research opportunities.

2) Visitor Sabbaticals: The ACCEL Program will provide funds for an individual to collaborate with faculty at an ACCEL partner institution. Funds are designed to pay for people not affiliated with an ACCEL institution to visit that institution. The visitor should not be in an institution that is part of the ACCEL program, but should be willing to collaborate with ACCEL investigators.

For either type of sabbatical, no salary support is allowed. If the sabbatical is out of state, funds may be used for travel costs, housing and meals. The duration of the sabbatical leave will be a minimum of one week and a maximum of six months.

The technical scope of the research plan should be related to clinical and translational research (see Rubio et al., 2010). Areas of high importance to the DE-CTR ACCEL program include: Rehabilitation, Stroke, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity and Women's Health and Infant Mortality.

Other areas of clinical and translational research will be considered. Use of one or more of the research cores at the ACCEL institutions is encouraged, but not mandatory. Information about these cores can be found on the ACCEL website (


The proposal format (11 point, Arial) is similar to that for an NIH R03 proposal, except in terms of the length of the research description section. Proposals should be submitted using PHS 398 forms. Instructions can be found at Each proposal should include the following sections:

  1. NIH face page (download here)
  2. NIH Page 2&3: Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel (download here)
  3. Budget using NIH forms Page 4, including budget justification on Page 5 (download here and here)
  4. Biographical Sketch of PI and Key Personnel including the primary mentor, other members of the mentoring team, and collaborators who would play a significant role in accomplishing the goals of the proposal (use this new form)
  5. Research Strategy (see below—using NIH continuation forms—download here)
  6. Success from Prior IDeA Awards: PIs who have led a project supported by CTR, INBRE, COBRE or DHSA grants should include a short section (1 page maximum) outlining the progress on that prior work, including their success in leveraging that research into independent external support and explaining why further support is necessary. Use NIH continuation forms—download here.
  7. References (using NIH continuation forms—download here)
  8. Letters of Support from the Department Head/Chair of both departments (current and visiting).

The proposal need not be routed through the institutional research offices for institutional signatures, but upon submission may be forwarded to the PI’s appropriate institutional office for budget and effort verification.

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy part of the proposal (section E above) should describe the (1) Specific goals of the trip, (2) Collaborators at the institution that will be visited, (3) Justification for traveling to this particular venue, (4) How this will aid the ACCEL program. Together, these should all be two pages in length. The focus of the application should be on what would be done to form or strengthen collaborations between the institutions or to strengthen the ACCEL program in a broader sense.

Credentialing: Investigators who will be doing work at hospitals may need to obtain credentials. Such investigators are encouraged to begin that process well in advance of the start date of the award as the process can take several months. Similarly, if they will be participating in ongoing studies that involve animals or human subjects, CITI training and IRB or IACUC approval may be required and should also be obtained by the investigator prior to travel commencement.

Eligibility: Each proposal must be submitted by faculty from one of the ACCEL partner institutions: the University of Delaware, Nemours, Christiana Care Health System, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The PI should either be the investigator (in the case of type-1 above) or a representative from the host department, e.g., the department chair, (in the case of type-2 award ). The research plan should be coordinated between the investigator and the host department.

Investigators must hold a faculty appointment or equivalent at the time the award commences. These are individuals who can independently apply for Federal or non-Federal investigator-initiated peer-reviewed Research Project Grants (RPG). Individuals holding postdoctoral fellowships or other positions that lack independent status are not eligible.

Budget: Up to $12,500 per sabbatical (direct costs) may be requested.

Evaluation: The ACCEL Executive Committee will determine which grants to recommend for funding based on the ACCEL mission. Final approval for funding will be made by the ACCEL Executive Committee, albeit with NIH approval.

Preference will be given as follows:

•    The pool of sabbaticals should strengthen investigators and collaborations at institutions across the ACCEL program.

•    Senior faculty with unique skills are preferred to provide for the greatest information transfer.

•    Projects generated from ACCEL sponsored research collaborations will be given priority.

We anticipate funding up to four awards.


Awardees are required to submit a final progress report by the end of the funding period. Depending on the end date of the travel, they must also plan to attend the annual ACCEL Research Conference in March 6, 2017 at the University of Delaware (or 2018 meeting), and to present their work at the annual (national or regional) NIH IDeA Conference summer of 2017. They are also required to cite the ACCEL grant (NIH U54 GM104941) on all publications.

Contacts: For questions about the Pilot Grant program and review process contact:

Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD, ACCEL Program Coordinator or  Karen Hough, ACCEL Evaluation Coordinator

Funding will be available until the four slots are filled or August 31, 2017, whichever comes first.