Ignition Funds


The CTSI is seeking proposals for Ignition Funds to accelerate progress for clinical and translational research projects. Ignition Funds are intended to be small, rapid-access awards to: 1) help investigative teams maintain momentum on feasibility projects with high probability of traversing a translational gap, 2) obtain pilot data that will allow for the submission of a subsequent, larger extramural grant application, or 3) provide internal funding for new research projects that have been peer reviewed and scored to help move grants to a fundable range.


Funds will be awarded for up to $5,000 to be spent within a maximum of 3 months of the award. Funding needs in excess of $5,000 can be requested with strong justification. Note: Applicants requesting additional resources must clearly demonstrate that the project is an exceptional use of institutional resources and will likely lead to extramural funding (e.g. direct response to summary statement recommendations). Projects requiring an award period greater than 3 months can also be requested with strong justification.


These awards are open to all faculty with a rank of Instructor or higher from Wake Forest (Health Sciences & University) and all CTSI-affiliated institutions with a Wake Forest co-investigator. Recipients are eligible to receive one Ignition Fund per year based on the time of award start date. Therefore, year of eligibility status is effective one year after the date of an awarded Ignition Fund.

Application Process

Submit Ignition Fund applications through the ePilot Ignition Fund Application, which includes:

  • What research question are you trying to answer with these funds? (250 word max)
  • Project Description (500 word max)
  • What will you do with the answer when you have it? (250 word max)
  • Details about how these funds will be spent and a justification of the expenses.
  • Projected timeline for use of the funds.
  • NIH style Biosketch
  • Grant proposal summary statement (if requesting funds as a response to a peer reviewed and scored project)

Submission Deadlines

This application process will be rolling, with investigators invited to apply at any time that is convenient to them. The CTSI will initiate review of all Ignition Fund submissions immediately following the first Tuesday of each month at 11:59 PM EST, so this will function as the “deadline” for each month’s applications.

Please note due to the review process, it may take up to 6 weeks after the deadline to receive the funding decision notification.

Review Criteria

CTSI Leadership will review proposals with the following items being considered during review:

  • The quality of the science and potential for further project development.
  • Research feasibility and innovation.
  • Demonstrated need.
  • Likelihood that funding will result in traversing a translational gap and/or obtaining pilot data that will result in the submission of a subsequent, larger extramural grant.
  • Likelihood that use of the pilot funds will result in a substantially more competitive application when resubmitted for funding.
  • Appropriateness of budget and project period request

Award Requirements

  1. As a condition if this Ignition Fund Award, you are required to acknowledge the Wake Forest CTSI as: “The project described was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences."