Grants & Funding

Advancing Biosample Collection in the CARRA Network

Not currently accepting applications

The Spring 2022 grant cycle is now closed:

  • Requests for required Letter of Support from TRTC: February 1, 2022
  • Application portal opens: February 14, 2022
  • Application portal closes: March 14, 2022, 11:59 PM (CST)

This funding opportunity supports biosample collection within the CARRA network to advance CARRA translational research. The goal is to collect biosamples from patients enrolled in the CARRA Registry, to be used by CARRA investigators for future hypothesis-based research.

  • This mechanism funds the collection of biosamples at CARRA Registry sites utilizing the CARRA Registry biosample consent form. No additional consent form is required for collection of samples.
  • Biosamples may only be collected at CARRA Registry sites and from patients who are enrolled in the CARRA Registry.
  • Only CARRA standard collection kits are permitted. See “Biosample Collection Options” below.
  • Applications must include a hypothesis-based research plan for future use of the proposed biosample collection.
  • Funds will remain within CARRA to be used to pay biosample collection costs only. Funds will be used to pay for biosample collection tubes/kits and shipping, CARRA Biobank fees, CARRA Registry site payments for biosample collections, and the CARRA administrative support needed to manage internal budgets and make payments.
  • This funding mechanism does not support:
    • CARRA Registry data collection costs, including the enrollment of any patients that are not currently eligible for Registry enrollment
    • Investigator effort
    • Costs related to future analysis of the biosamples
  • The principal investigator(s) are expected to collaborate on an ongoing basis with the TRTC, RROC, and CARRA Biobank to ensure the biosample collection is successful.
  • Please note that investigator(s) must contact TRTC Chairs, Lauren Henderson and Grant Schulert, to review the proposed project and receive a Letter of Support signed by TRTC. See additional details below.

Standard Biosample Collection Within CARRA

Applicants must propose collections utilizing one of the two standard CARRA biosample collection kits (“Type I” and “Type II”). Non-standard collections will not be considered. If peripheral blood is obtained from patients in the CARRA Registry, CARRA’s Standard Biosample Collection kits are required for the following reasons:

  1. It ensures that multiple derivatives are obtained from each patient (plasma, serum, RNA, DNA, cells);
  2. Biosamples collected within CARRA using the same standard approach can be easily compared;
  3. CARRA research coordinators are familiar with the Standard Collection kits;
  4. Requests using the Standard CARRA Biosample Collection are relatively routine and easily expedited as there are established standard operating procedures (SOPs);
  5. CARRA has established budgetary costs to collect samples with type I and II kits.

The two CARRA Standard CARRA Biosample Collection kits are:  

  • Type I kit/spin collection (total cost per sample collected is $520)
    • Tempus (RNA)
    • SST (serum)
    • P100 (plasma and DNA)
    • CPT (peripheral blood mononuclear cells)
  • Type II kit/non-spin collection (total cost per sample collected is $297)
    • EDTA tube (DNA)
    • Tempus tube (RNA)

Additional Information

The CARRA Manual of Operations for Biosample Collection describes the standard operating procedures that are used to collect biosamples in the CARRA network. Please see here.


Collected samples will be shipped to, and stored in, the CARRA Biobanks in Cincinnati and Toronto. If your future research is approved by the CARRA Data and Sample Share Committee (DSSC), the designated portion of the biosamples will be reserved for the applicant’s research team for up to 2 years after completion of the biosample collection. The remaining portion of the biosamples will be available to other CARRA investigators to access through the Data Sample Share Process.

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation ABC Grant Required Submission Materials

Step 1: Prepare the forms below for TRTC review

  • Biosample Collection Form (Appendix A)
    • This form is used to describe the proposed cohort and biosample collection details (patient population, number of patients, sample types, and time points)
  • Future Research Plan Form (Appendix B)
    • This form is used to describe the research team’s future plan to use the samples in a research project. Applicants should articulate a clear plan of how the samples can be used to address scientific questions. Applicant must include a strategy to finance future research using the biosamples and describe the sample types/volumes needed to conduct his/her research.
  • Budget Table/Justification (Appendix C)
    • The budget should specify the costs of the biosample collection to be funded by the ABC grant.
    • Please contact Leslie Hanrahan, Sr. Director, Research Operations, for further budget support.

Step 2: Contact TRTC Chairs to discuss the proposed project and request a Letter of Support

  • A signed Letter of Support (LOS) is required from TRTC.
    • Investigator(s) should contact TRTC Chairs, Lauren Henderson and Grant Schulert, to review the proposed project before completing an application.
      • Please use the current LOS Request process located HERE.
      • A draft letter of support must be provided with your request.
      • The TRTC may take up to 6 weeks to process an LOS request. The recommended deadline to submit a request is February 1.

Step 3: Finalize required submission materials

  • Appendix A, B, and C (noted above)
  • References (no page limit)
  • NIH-formatted Biosketches for all Principal Investigator(s), Co-Principal Investigator(s), and all Co-Investigator(s) (limit 5 pages per biosketch; please combine all biosketches into one PDF with the PI(s) biosketch listed first.)
  • Additional letters of support
    • Grant applicants must include a letter of support from the appropriate CARRA disease-specific research committee chair.
    • Letters of support from collaborators, mentors, and institution are highly recommended.
  • Research Assurances
    • Grant applicants do not need IRB approval for biosamples to be collected at sites and shipped to CARRA Biobank. All biosample collection is covered under the CARRA Registry protocol IRB.
    • Before biosamples and any related data are released/sent to the research team, as per CARRA policies he/she must have
      • approval from the CARRA Data Sample Share committee for the research,
      • documentation of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, or waiver of IRB review
    • CARRA will handle the execution of a materials transfer agreement (MTA).


Applicants must use the templates provided when submitting their final applications. CARRA Staff is available to assist with the application process and to answer questions. Contact us by emailing [email protected].


Important Information for ABC Grant Submissions

Read the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation ABC Grant instructions carefully. Be sure to be compliant with formatting instructions and page limits. Use of the document templates provided above is REQUIRED. Submit your completed CARRA-Arthritis Foundation ABC Grant application via the online grant submission system.

Application deadline for the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation ABC Grant:

Fall Cycle: October 1

Spring Cycle: March 14

  • A maximum of 4 grants will be awarded per year.
  • Up to $50,000 per award for Biosamples to be collected within a two-year period. Requests above this amount will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All requests must be justified in detail.
If your application is funded:
  • Interim progress reports describing the status of the biosamples collected are required every 6 months. Awardees must submit a final progress report no later than 45 days after the project period end date.
  • If the biosample collection is not completed within 2 years, the award recipient may request a no-cost extension (NCE) for up to 12 months. Requests for NCEs can be made up to 90 days prior, but no less than 30 days prior, to the project period end date. NCE requests will be considered by the review committee but are not guaranteed.
  • Biosample distribution and publications resulting from analyses of these biosamples are subject to CARRA’s Data and Sample Sharing Policy and Authorship, Publication, and Presentation Guidelines available on the CARRA website at
  • All awardees must acknowledge support from this funding mechanism in all presentations and publications related to this project by including the following language: “The authors wish to acknowledge CARRA, and the ongoing Arthritis Foundation financial support of CARRA for this work.”


  • Applicants must hold an advanced degree (MD [or equivalent], PhD, or MD/PhD) and must have a faculty or equivalent government appointment.
  • All applications must be submitted by or have a pediatric rheumatologist as a Co-Investigator.
  • Applicants must be CARRA members in good standing.
  • Applicants do not need to reside at a CARRA Registry site, nor do they need to be CARRA Registry investigators.
  • Investigators with active CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants may apply for an ABC grant. However, investigators may not apply for both an ABC grant and a related grant of another type during the same cycle.

Review Process

Applications will be submitted via an online submission form and administratively reviewed upon receipt. Applications that pass the administrative review round will be reviewed by the CARRA Scientific Review Committee (SRC), a representative from the Arthritis Foundation, parent/patient reviewers, and a member of the Registry and Research Oversight Committee (RROC). A primary, secondary and tertiary reviewer will be assigned by the SRC Chair to each application. Scoring will be based on the potential impact of the biosample collection, the ability of the proposed biosample collection to help build translational research infrastructure within CARRA, and the scientific merit of the proposed research. The review committee will take into account any overlapping biosample collections and may recommend that investigators collaborate. After discussion with the SRC, the SRC Chair will further discuss/review applications with the CARRA Internally Funded Research Oversight Committee (IROC). The IROC makes the final decision regarding funding based on SRC recommendations, scientific merit, relevance to the CARRA mission, and the proposal budget. Applicants will be notified via email and must return a signed award acknowledgement and other appropriate documentation as needed before biosample collection at sites can begin.

CARRA will ensure that your initial request for future use of samples is reviewed by the Data and Sample Share Committee (DSSC)--you do not need to submit a separate application. Reviews will be conducted in accordance with the CARRA Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Ethics. If reviewers have COI, or what may be reasonably perceived by others as a COI, alternate reviewers are required.