Grants & Funding

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Implementation Science Design Grant

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Implementation Science Design Grant


For additional information about the grant, please utilize the below resources from a Q&A panel hosted by CARRA President, Emily von Scheven.

Implementation Science Design Grant Q&A Recording

Implementation Science Design Grant Q&A PowerPoint Slides

The Letter of Intent submission deadline has passed.

Applications Due: December 1 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Project Period: March 1, 2021-August 31, 2021

Background. There remains a gap between what is known from research to optimize health and what is actually implemented in everyday practice.  Today, the clinical and research communities look at Quality Improvement and Implementation Science as ways to bridge this gap.  Quality Improvement typically begins with a specific problem in a specific health care system which then leads to developing strategies to improve the problem in that system. Implementation Science is defined as the scientific study of methods that promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services. Integration of QI and Implementation approaches can support improved health outcomes and continuous learning.

This funding opportunity is intended to support investigator teams at multiple (2-3) sites to conduct Implementation Science Design projects.  The overall goal of the Implementation Science RFA program is to support research projects that test a strategy (or strategies) designed to lead to systematic implementation of evidence-based practice(s) for the care of patients with pediatric rheumatic conditions in clinical settings. This opportunity will leverage the expertise of PR-COIN as a Quality Improvement Collaborative and further develop CARRA-PR-COIN collaboration. All projects should utilize a multi-PI model with representation from PR-COIN and CARRA with involvement of all PIs in all phases of the project (design, implementation and analysis). Research teams must all be CARRA sites*, and must include at least one PR-COIN site and one non-PR-COIN site.  

A CARRA site is defined as a site with a current CARRA member. Not all “CARRA sites” are CARRA Registry sites. Your site does not need to be a Registry site to be eligible to apply. 

This Design Grant mechanism supports the planning stages* of an implementation science project.  In general, the planning stage involves assembling a multi-site team, assessing and building on the team’s knowledge of quality improvement and implementation science principles, and developing a multi-site project.  

*For investigators who have already designed an implementation science project and are interested in seeking funding to expand testing to > 3 sites, there will be a separate Implementation Science Small Testing Grant opportunity coming in the near future.  

Each grantee team will receive 6 months of team support from the Anderson Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (which supports the Pediatric Rheumatology Care and Outcome Investigator Network {PR-COIN]), costs of which will be covered by this grant mechanism. Training in quality improvement and implementation science and project coaching will be provided by a Quality Improvement Consultant and Project manager at the Anderson Center.  Each grantee team will focus on their individual project, and together with other grantee teams, will form a cohort of investigators who will learn together about quality improvement and implementation science, and share ideas. In addition to the support from the Anderson Center, each grantee will receive up to $25,000 for additional expenses. Grantees will be required to participate in the following activities under the direction of the Anderson Center/PR-COIN:

  • Kick-off meeting
  • Monthly 2 hour webinars
  • Complete monthly assignments focused on milestones described below

During the grant period, grantees will be expected to achieve the following milestones:

  • Assess sites capacities and needs
  • Define the patient population
  • Identify the key players (roles): Who are the individuals (actors) who are important to the implementation? What exactly do they need to DO? What influences their performance (i.e., determinants)?
  • Conduct a barriers assessment to identify barriers and facilitators of implementation for each role
  • Construct a key driver diagram (KDD) to describe what “drives,” or contributes to implementation of the intervention or program
  • Select measures (both QI [process, outcome, balancing] and Implementation Science [acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, cost, penetration, sustainability]). For each define and determine how to measure.  Define numerator and denominator. 
  • Select an Implementation Science framework to guide the work
  • Determine if hybrid design is indicated 
  • Identify tools or approaches that could be shared across sites in a tool-kit (change package) 
  • Identify 1-2 additional potential testing centers for the next phase of project
  • Develop approach for data collection during future implementation and identify potential platforms



Important Information for Implementation Science Research Grant Applicants

Project Period and Dates: Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in late February 2021. The project period is 6 months March 1 – August 31, 2021.


  • All projects should utilize a multi-PI model with representation of at least one investigator with experience in quality improvement and one investigator with strong clinical research experience.
  • Research teams may include investigators from 2-3 CARRA sites, and must include at least one PR-COIN site and one non-PR-COIN site.  
  • A CARRA site is defined as a site with a current CARRA member. Not all “CARRA sites” are CARRA Registry sites. Your site does not need to be a Registry site to be eligible to apply. 
  • All PIs must be involved in all phases of the project (design, implementation and analysis). 
  • The co-PIs must be current CARRA members who are up to date on membership dues; membership information (location, contact information, and membership status) must be up-to-date.
  • Applicants must not have any other open CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants at the time of submission, with the exception of Publication Support grants. 
    • Awardees from previous grant cycles who wish to submit grant applications for the upcoming deadline must have all active CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grant projects completed and have submitted a final progress report (template available on the CARRA website).
  • MD applicants must be at a faculty level to be eligible to submit proposals.
  • Voting Members, Emeritus Members, Research Professional Member - Investigators, Research Professional Member - Research Coordinator Members, Associate Physician Members, and Trainee Members are eligible to submit proposals.
  • Priority will be given to new and/or early investigators.
  • All grants must be submitted by or have a pediatric rheumatologist named as a Co-Investigator.
  • The following CARRA member types are not eligible: Research Professional Member- Other, Health Care Professional Member, Fellow Member. 
  • Members of the CARRA Executive Committee and Board of Directors members are not eligible.

Review criteria specific to this funding announcement:

  • Readiness for implementation of the proposed intervention according the following domains: evidence, usability, support, need, fit and capacity
  • Potential for high impact on patient care and health outcomes
  • Applications that bring together researchers and individuals with an interest in quality improvement are preferred
  • Extent to which expertise of PR-COIN is leveraged
  • Strength of connection to CARRA scientific activities
  • Inclusion of at least one PR-COIN site and one non-PR-COIN CARRA site is required

Funding Details

  • The funding maximum limit awarded to each grantee team is $25,000 over 6 months. If indirects are requested, they must be inclusive of the maximum funding amount of $25,000 and must not exceed the maximum allowable indirect amount of 8%. Please review CARRA’s statement of direct and indirect support
  • Support for costs from the Anderson Center will be provided directly by CARRA to the Anderson Center (an amount separate from what is provided to awardees).  
  • Salary support for investigators is allowable. Salary support will be limited to a base-salary cap of $200,000 but can include payment of local fringe rates (on top of $200,000 salary cap). 
  • Publication, presentation, and travel costs should not be requested unless the travel is an essential part of performing the research. Other expenses should be discussed with CARRA personnel prior to application submission.
  • If the project is not completed within the project period, the award recipient may request a no-cost extension (NCE) for up to 6 months. An interim progress report must be submitted with the NCE Request Form, both of which are available on the CARRA website.
  • If the PI is unable to complete the project, any unexpended balance will be returned to CARRA.


Read all instructions. Be sure to comply with formatting instructions and page limits. You must use the document templates provided. Letters of Intent (LOIs) are required and are due November 1. Complete application submissions are due December 1. See below for details. 

Letters of Intent (LOIs). Each Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PI on the research team must submit a one-page Letter of Intent (LOI) on institutional letterhead. The submitting PI should combine all LOIs into one pdf document and submit by November 1. While the LOI is an administrative requirement, it is for informational purposes only. Approval from CARRA is not needed to proceed with the full application. Investigators will receive confirmation that their LOI has been received by the CARRA grants office.  LOIs should include:

  • A summary of the full proposal with a short description of aims of the project involved, with a clear indication of how the aims align with the intent of this application request
  • Name of the PI(s) and submitting institution
  • A list of key personnel and role(s), including names of all proposed participating institutions/sites
  • A description of how the project aligns with CARRA’s mission

Submit LOIs to [email protected].

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Implementation Science Design Grant Applications to Include:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Project Summary/Abstract (300 word max)
  • Lay Summary (150 word max)
  • Research Plan (5 page limit) (Download template: WORD)
    • Background
    • Impact and Significance
    • Methods/Activities
    • Analysis Plan
    • Environment
    • Dissemination and Data Sharing Plan
    • Sustainability and Spread Plan
  • References (no page limit) (Download template: WORD)
  • Budget Table (1 page limit) (Download template: WORD)
  • Budget Justification (Download template: WORD)
    • CARRA will allow up to 8% F&A (indirect) costs which must be incorporated into the project budget below. If indirect costs are requested, total costs for this project must not exceed $25,000.
    • Poster printing and publication costs are not allowed.
    • Travel expense requests are not permitted unless required for the conduct of research. Travel expenses to attend meetings to present this work, for example, are not allowed.
    • Other expenses should be discussed with CARRA personnel prior to application submission.
  • 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.)
  • Letters of support 
    • Required for budgets that include investigator effort (include letter from division chief documenting that % effort is available, and confirming investigator salary). Total costs salary support must not exceed 50% of total project costs.
    • Letters of support from collaborators, mentors and institution are highly recommended.
  • Appendix (limit 1 attachment)

Applicants must use the templates provided when submitting their final applications.  (Templates will be uploaded at a later date.) CARRA Staff is available to assist with the application process and to answer questions. Contact us by emailing [email protected].


Awardee Information

In the event your application should awarded, please familiarize yourself with CARRA’s Reporting and Presentation/Publication requirements for awardees below. 


  • Awardees must submit a final progress report no later than 45 days after the project period end date.  

Presentations and Publications

  • Awardees are required to submit abstracts to CARRA and present their findings annually at the CARRA Annual Scientific Meeting(s) until the project is complete/final.
  • Awardees are expected to submit a peer-reviewed abstract to another scientific meeting based on the funded project.
  • All awardees of CARRA-Arthritis Foundation funding must abide by the procedures outlined in the CARRA Publications Policy when presenting/publishing findings from their projects. This includes submitting all abstracts and manuscripts to the CARRA Publications Committee for approval prior to submission and acknowledging the support of CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation by including the following language: “The authors wish to acknowledge CARRA, and the ongoing Arthritis Foundation financial support of CARRA.” Refer to the current Publication and Presentation Guidelines for complete details.

Timely provision of progress reports and submission of abstracts to CARRA will be taken into consideration for future eligibility for CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants.