Pilot Grants Defines the Spectrum of Translational Research as -
- T1 - the process of applying discoveries generated in preclinical laboratory research to experimental studies in primates and human participants
- T2 - research allows investigators to extend limited clinical observations into controlled environments (eg, phase III clinical trials) to establish evidence-based efficacy under optimal settings
- T3 - investigators establish how specific prevention and treatment strategies work in real-world community settings (eg, phase IV trials), assessing effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and the influence on health practice. Important health agenda in the community needs to be translated back to the clinic and bench, respectively, to inform the processes of relevant application and basic discovery; these studies are considered as reverse T3 projects.
- T4 - research involves the application of validated, health practices from communities to their impact on human populations. The latter is the ultimate pay-off for national and institutional investments into the translational research platform.
The Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) Pilot Grants is a catalyst and vehicle for the transformation of clinical and translational science in Atlanta. Pilot Grants promotes new networks of multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research teams to re-engineer the health sciences enterprise of the city. The program enhances currently available resources from each ACTSI partner by investing in new clinical and translational research paradigms, to encourage young faculty to develop cutting-edge science, and to become the glue that cements investigators and projects across the research consortium. Funding is used to support one to two year pilot projects consonant with the broad aims and objectives of ACTSI.
Pilot projects are intuitively understood to represent preliminary, preparatory, or feasibility studies designed to assess the applicability of new technologies, protocols, data collection instruments, or subject recruitment strategies as stepping-stones toward a full, hypothesis-testing investigation. The three academic institutional partners of the ACTSI collectively recognize the critical need for start-up, feasibility, or proof-of-concept resources. Several pilot grant programs operate across each of the three academic institutions, providing resources to generate preliminary data and to demonstrate the feasibility of novel experimental tools and concepts. New investigators, more established scientists transitioning beyond their traditional pedagogic disciplines, and new collaborative teams of trans-disciplinary investigators are particularly dependent upon these sources of financial support.