CARRA Newsletter - December 2019 Issue 1


CARRA Activities at the ACR/ARP Meeting - Recap                 

CARRA had another strong showing at ACR this year, with CARRA investigators presenting over CARRA-related abstracts, including 7 oral presentation and 16 posters. Click here for the complete list. A number of our members were honored with prestigious awards by ACR/ARP. Congratulations to the following CARRA member awardees:

  • ARP Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award: Heather Benham
  • ARP Distinguished Clinician Award: Joni Dean
  • ACR Master Designation: Jim Jarvis, Ron Laxer and Linda Myers
  • ACR Distinguished Service Award: Polly Ferguson
  • ACR Distinguished Fellow Award:  Brian Nolan, Natalie Rosenwasser

CARRA-related events included a networking reception for Fellows, Early Investigators and Research Coordinators, the CARRA meeting at ACR where our Research is Hope video was unveiled, and the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation co-hosted reception.  Click here for photos from the events and presentations!

In this Issue...


Important Info for Grant Applicants

Transdisciplinary Research Grant Recipients

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program

Registry Associate RFA

Save the Date!


2020 Elections

Implementation Science Workgroup

Registry Update

Arthritis Foundation Updates

Important Dates & Deadlines


Important Information for Grant Applicants

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Grants Spring Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

If applicable: 

  • RROC LOS Request Deadline: December 31, 2019
  • Data/Sample Share Application Deadline: January 13, 2020

The Spring deadline for CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Small and Fellows Grant applications is February 15th. Please see below regarding important information and reminders for applicants:

  • Grant applications that intend to collect new data or biosamples via the CARRA Registry and/or via CARRA sites must include a letter of support (LOS) from CARRA's Research and Registry Oversight Committee (RROC). You must notify the RROC of your desire to submit no later than December 31, 2019.  Email [email protected] with a brief summary of your proposal and CARRA will work to schedule a call with you to discuss your application as soon as possible.
  • Grant applicants that intend to utilize the CARRA Registry or CARRA-related data and/or samples (including Legacy Registry and APPLE data/samples) must receive approval from the CARRA Data Sample Share Committee (DSSC) prior to submitting their grant applications.  For the Spring 2020 Grant cycle, February 15 deadline, it is recommended that you submit your data/sample request no later than January 13, 2020. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, email [email protected].

For more details on grant application requirements, visit

Transdisciplinary Research Grant Recipients

Congratulations to our Transdisciplinary Research Grant Awardees! The following projects have been funded from December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2021.


Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Natoshia Cunningham, PhD

Michigan State University

Measuring Post-Transfer Outcomes and Building a Framework to Implement Structured Transition Processes Across Rheumatic Diseases

Read the Lay Summary


A remotely delivered CBT intervention for youth with cSLE: A multi-site patient-engaged investigation

Read the Lay Summary


Thank you to all of the applicants.

These grants are made possible through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation. ‚ÄčVisit their website. 

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program

Application Deadline: January 15, 2020

In the United States, 300,000 children are afflicted with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions, yet there are only (~360) pediatric rheumatologists across the country available to care for these children and half of children with rheumatic disease are seen by adult providers. To address the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists and to expose pediatric residents to the field of pediatric rheumatology, CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation are offering the Pediatric Residents Program.

The goals of the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program are to:

  • Provide pediatric residents with access to the broad pediatric rheumatologic community through participation in CARRA’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Encourage interested pediatric residents to consider pediatric rheumatology as a subspecialty, thus improve patient access to pediatric rheumatologists.
  • Introduce Pediatric Residents to the resources of the Arthritis Foundation.

To help achieve these goals, CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation are providing funds to support pediatric residents’ attendance at the Annual CARRA Scientific Meeting at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, LA from April 26-29, 2020. Awardees will be teamed with a CARRA member from another state/institution who will help guide their experience at the meeting.

Application Requirements

To apply to the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program, including CARRA membership*, you will need to provide your contact information and a completed application. Your application must include the following items combined into one PDF document:

  1. Your CV 
  2. A personal statement: This should consist of less than one page describing yourself, your career goals, and reasons you would like to attend the CARRA meeting.
  3. Letter of support from your current program director. The letter needs to state that you will be allowed to attend the entire CARRA meeting (April 26-29, 2020).
  4. Letter of support from a current CARRA Member and/or a pediatric rheumatology mentor.

*Submitting your application to the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program includes applying for CARRA membership as a Trainee member. Membership is free for Trainees. Your Pediatric Residents Program application will serve as your membership application. You do not need to submit a separate membership application.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. 

All applicants will be notified regarding the outcome of their applications by Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Travel Support

Travel support is made possible for this program through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation ( If you are selected to participate in the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program, you will be eligible to receive reimbursement from CARRA for the following travel/meeting related costs as outlines below:

Eligible Expenses
Coach Airfare
(Shared) Hotel Room at the Conference Hotel, 4/26-4/29
Mileage and hotel parking (if driving to meeting location)
Taxi/shuttle to/from the New Orleans airport
Local Airport Parking Fees
Baggage Fees

Ineligible Expenses
Airfare upgrade, insurance or change fees
Rental cars
Mileage to/from your local airport
Passport or travel visa fees
Expenses submitted without the original receipt

We will pair you with another resident to share a hotel room.  You may stay in a private room; however, you will be responsible for the additional costs. CARRA will not charge a meeting registration fee and will provide group meals to conference attendees during the conference.


  • Awardees are required to attend the full CARRA meeting and complete a meeting evaluation.
  • Travel reimbursement will be provided by CARRA following completion of the meeting.
  • Scanned copies of all receipts are required for reimbursement.
  • All reimbursement will be provided after the meeting.


The American College of Rheumatology’s Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium (PRSYM) will take place April 29-May 2, also at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. We encourage all residents to attend PRSYM, as well. Additional travel support is available for residents who are able to stay for both CARRA and PRSYM as outlined below:

1. Residents who have abstracts accepted by PRSYM are eligible to receive up to $1000 in travel expenses (including airfare, hotel, and meals) plus complimentary meeting registration to attend PRSYM. This award is through the Rheumatology Research Foundation Abstract Award.  All CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Residents Program applicants who wish to stay for PRSYM are encouraged to submit abstracts for this award, however please know that this option is open to any/all residents (regardless of participation in our program).  For more information on abstract submissions, see

You must submit your abstract(s) to PRSYM by 5pm ET on January 15. Submissions open November 20.

2. Participants in the CARRA Pediatric Residents program who attend the full CARRA conference and do not have an abstract accepted by PRSYM will be eligible to receive additional lodging support (1/2 of double occupancy charges). No additional expenses (meals, meeting registration) will be covered.

3. If you receive a travel award from ACR, the support from this program will be supplemental, e.g., you will be expected to use the ACR travel award for your airfare and lodging during the PRSYM meeting.


For any questions about the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program or application, please contact CARRA’s Director of Administration, Brian Mondragón Jones ([email protected]). 

Registry Associate RFA

Application Deadline: January 15, 2020

CARRA is offering two CARRA Registry Associate positions for the 2020 cycle. The CARRA Registry Associate requires 25% effort for one year. The position may be eligible for a one year renewal, depending on availability of funds and/or productivity. This opportunity is supported through funds received via our partnership with the Arthritis Foundation.

The CARRA Registry is a multicenter observational registry that supports data collection on patients with pediatric-onset rheumatic diseases. It is utilized to answer pressing questions regarding pediatric rheumatic diseases, including drug safety. The Associate position is designed to immerse the applicant in the operational, scientific and leadership aspects of the CARRA Registry.  This is a unique opportunity for Associates to interact intensively with the CARRA Registry leadership team, other Associates and early investigators, and to learn skills and gain knowledge that will enrich pediatric rheumatology research and practice.

Requirements and Responsibilities

The CARRA Registry Associate will:

  • Be mentored primarily by the CARRA Registry Scientific Director (Tim Beukelman) and secondarily by the Registry PI’s (Yuki Kimura and Laura Schanberg),
  • Work directly with the Director and Assistant Director of the CARRA Registry Associate program (Mary Beth Son and  Marinka Twilt),
  • Work with Registry directors and mentors to develop goals and timeline for Year One of this position, and provide a final Year One plan by 8/1/2020,
  • Work with the CARRA Registry team to learn site management and registry finances,
  • Actively participate in bimonthly Registry Operations team calls (2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 11:00 am ET), and occasional colloquia or program workshops,
  • Provide updates regarding projects twice a month via email and participation in monthly Registry Associate conference calls,
  • Attend the CARRA Annual Meeting, the annual CARRA Registry Site Retreat, and the annual Registry Operations Team Retreat, as well as any additional meetings regarding the CARRA Registry,
  • Be responsible for preparing manuscripts, abstracts, and delivering presentations in support of the CARRA Registry as directed by the Registry team and based on the Associate’s own interests,
  • Engage in service projects assigned by Registry leadership and associate-directed projects approved by leadership,
  • Provide written quarterly progress reports,
  • Work with Registry directors and mentors to develop a plan for Year Two; provide a written plan for Year Two by April 30, 2021,
  • Be required to acknowledge their position in any publications that result from work related to the registry done during their tenure.


Applicants must be current CARRA members, have completed a pediatric rheumatology fellowship and be employed as a pediatric rheumatologist in the United States or Canada. Graduating Fellows and Early Investigators are encouraged to apply.


The CARRA Registry and Research Oversight Committee (RROC) will review all applications and interview the top candidates. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process.


This is a one-year position that follows the academic cycle. The position may be eligible for a one year renewal, depending on availability of funds and/or productivity. Associates who wish to renew for a second must submit a renewal request accompanied by a progress report and written plan for Year Two by April 30, 2021.


The chosen associate(s) will receive 25% salary support plus associated fringe and 8% indirects for one year. Percent effort for a second year will be determined during the renewal process. Maximum salary is capped at $200,000.

Application Process

Applications must consist of the following materials as individual PDF documents:

  1. NIH Biosketch (maximum limit of 5 pages).
  2. Research Statement: One page (single-spaced, 11 point Arial font, 1 inch margins) statement describing what you hope to contribute and to gain from this experience, as well as how it would fit into your long-term career goals.
  3. Institutional Letter of Support: Letter signed by division chief or chair stating that there will be 25% protected effort for these activities.
  4. Letter of Recommendation: Signed letter of recommendation from a CARRA member other than the division chief supporting your candidacy.
  5. References: Provide the names and contact information for two references to call. At least one reference must be a CARRA member outside their institution who has worked with the candidate on CARRA activities.


Email [email protected] if you have questions about the application process. Email Assistant Director of the CARRA Registry Associate Program, Marinka Twilt ([email protected]), with questions about the program and potential Registry projects.

2020 CARRA Annual Scientific Meeting

Please donate to CARRA's Virtual Jingle Bell Run Team today!

“We know that our patients who get involved with the Arthritis Foundation do better. The Arthritis Foundation offers our patients and families valuable resources to help them along their journey and provides many opportunities to connect with other families who are just like them. Please join me in giving back to the Arthritis Foundation--for all they do for our patients and for CARRA-- by participating in your local Jingle Bell Run.”

--Rob Fuhlbrigge, CARRA President


CARRA is excited to be participating again in the Jingle Bell Run to support our partner, the Arthritis Foundation. The Arthritis Foundation has supported CARRA since it was founded in 2002 and has enabled CARRA to continue to grow and prosper.  In 2015, CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation became major partners in support of expanded research efforts in pediatric rheumatic diseases. The CARRA - Arthritis Foundation partnership supports the CARRA Registry, provides important research development grants to our community, and facilitates our patient engagement programs. We are grateful for their partnership and generous financial support. By supporting our Jingle Bell Run team, you can help us give back and support the efforts of the Arthritis Foundation on behalf of our patients!

If you don’t have a local team, you can participate by donating to the CARRA Jingle Bell Run Virtual Team!

For more information about CARRA’s National Team for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run and Walk to Cure Arthritis Events, click here. For more information about CARRA's National Team for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run and Walk to Cure Arthritis Events, click here.

To connect your local team to the CARRA National Team, please contact Vincent Del Gaizo at [email protected].

Thank you for your support of CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation!!!

Round 2 Election Nominations

Round 2 Nominations will be open until December 20th for the following Steering Committee Positions:

1Position receives 5% salary support

  Vice Chair Elections
Nominations Due (by 8pm ET)   December 20
Nominee Applications Due (by 8pm ET) January 10
Voting Opens January 17
Voting Closes January 27
Elected candidates announced to the membership January 31

Additional Committee Positions

The Ethics Committee and Publications Committee Chair elections will take place in the near future. More information regarding those opportunities will be available soon.

The Implementation Science Workgroup is seeking new members!

The Implementation Science Workgroup was launched at the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting. They formed to provide guidance on CARRA’s Implementation science strategy and facilitate implementation of CARRA research findings. Their goals are to develop a CARRA implementation science research agenda, advance implementation of CTPs and other research findings, and collaborate with PR-COIN.

They are currently seeking new members and YOU are invited to join! For questions, please contact Cagri Toruner ([email protected]), Veronica Mruk ([email protected]), Rajdeep Pooni ([email protected]), Rosemary Peterson ([email protected]), or Emily von Scheven ([email protected]).

To join this workgroup email Brian Mondragon-Jones at [email protected].

CARRA Registry Update

As of November 29, CARRA has enrolled 9,820 patients in the CARRA Registry, including:

  • 8,683 patients with JIA
  • 670 patients with SLE and related conditions
  • 153 patients with JDM or JPM
  • 25 patients with scleroderma

Other highlights include:

  • 354 biosamples have been collected!
  • 72 of 100 patients are now enrolled in the FROST study!

Thank you to all of our CARRA Registry sites for all of your hard work!

Save the Date!

CARRA is holding its second annual CARRA Registry Retreat for principal investigators, sub-investigators, and site coordinators on February 23-24, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. More details will be sent to sites in the coming weeks!

Arthritis Foundation Updates


2020 Fellowship Request for Applications

Application Deadline: Monday, December 16, 2019; 5:00 PM EST

The Arthritis Foundation is seeking applications from institutional program directors. The RFA is particularly interested in novel approaches in training to prepare the next generation of rheumatologists to meet the evolving needs of the community. For adult programs the focus is on creation of new ACGME accredited positions. A major change this year is that this RFA does not require new slots to be generated for pediatric and combined pediatric-adult programs. Application and instructions are available at After reviewing the criteria, those who intend to apply should email [email protected] to give the Arthritis Foundation a heads up, with the subject line: Fellowship – Yes.


Champion of Yes

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. We exist to conquer arthritis and other childhood rheumatic diseases. We’ve been meeting the unique and urgent needs of families for 70 years. Working closely with such great research partners as the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) (, we’re investing millions of dollars in outreach and collaborative research that advances prevention, care and a cure for kids and teens with rheumatic diseases. Our tools and resources help more children say “Yes” to making life better.

Important Upcoming Dates