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BOOST and PROPEL awards accelerates meritorious protocols to produce efficient, high quality, safe research and to disseminate the results.

At this time, we are not accepting applications.

BOOST and PROPEL awards are quarterly clinical research grants that award Clinical Research Unit (CRU) resources such as research space, specialized research nursing, imaging assistance (i.e. DXA,CV core), and research nutrition resources to ICTR investigators, based on merit and willingness to be actively monitored by the Translational Research Evaluation Committee (TREC) for study-specific milestones. All projects are monitored on a quarterly basis for attainment of milestones.

The goal of these awards is designed to accelerate meritorious protocols to produce efficient, high quality, safe and disseminatable research. They are unique within the ICTR in that awards are for CRU resources and applicants undergo a rigorous, NIH-style, multidisciplinary review process via the TREC review committee.

BOOST- For junior investigators, first-time R01 awardees, K awardees, and KL2 scholars to generate pilot data for a larger grant submission or to supplement research funds for the K project.

PROPEL- For established investigators who are performing early stage clinical trials, deep phenotyping studies, or studies that address Maryland health priorities. Propel can augment resources of a funded project or provide resources for small pilot and feasibility studies.


All investigators must submit an application to a Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board (IRB) before beginning their BOOST/PROPEL application. The CRU must be selected as a study site by completing Section 9, questions and 10 on the eIRB application.
Frequently Asked Questions

The BOOST and PROPEL submission is comprised of the application components described below. These documents may be in Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF or Word format:

  • Instructions- Checklist, Milestone Project Instructions, and CRU price lists (for informational purposes ONLY.)
  • Study Schedule – Please complete the table listing each visit on your study and resources required.
  • Project Milestones- There are two required milestones prescribed by the ICTR, study start up and full study enrollment. The applicant is required to select at least two additional milestones.
  • Abstract- 250 words
  • Research Plan- 5 page limit using Times New Roman, font size 12 with 1 inch margins and must include:

– Hypothesis

– Specific Aims

– Background and Significance

– Preliminary Data (if any)

– Research Design/methods

– Statistical Design/Analysis

– Data and Safety Monitoring Plan (DSMP)

  • Reference List – up to 30 references
  • Biographical Sketch Information- NIH format, 5 page limit
  • Award Budget/Itemized Budget – pilot awards exempted
  • Summary Statement from Peer Review- if applicable
  • eIRB Documents- Consent Form/Assent Form if Applicable, eIRB Application, FDA Documents

Questions about the application process should be directed to Nicole Cooper at [email protected] or [email protected].

The Review Process

  1. Application is submitted to the CRU prior to the deadline and will be reviewed by the Translational Evaluation Committee (TREC)
  2. Application is placed on the agenda for the next committee meeting and primary, secondary, biostatistical, and human subjects reviewers are assigned.
  3. Application is discussed at the committee meeting, culminating in a vote.
  4. Committee chair sends letter to the investigator informing of the committee’s decision, and includes any relevant comments.

Possible Outcomes

Approved: The protocol is fully approved by the committee to proceed with the use of CRU resources.

Once a study is scientifically approved by TREC, the following will occur:

  1. Letter of Agreement. The PI must:
    • Agree to have prescribed study milestones monitored
    • Adhere to reporting requirements
    • Understand that failure to meet milestone objectives or reporting requirements may result in termination of support.
  2. Resources: In addition to CRU resources that are requested, the TREC may suggest that the PI or study team access other ICTR resources to help successfully complete the project, including but not limited to, special populations consultation, nutrition consultation, recruitment consultation, navigator consultation or biostatistical consultation.
  3. An Award letter enumerating CRU resources awarded will be sent to the PI. (Renewal of resources will be determined annually).

Not Approved: The protocol has been determined to have a serious design flaw or insufficient material to judge it fairly. An investigator may apply again in future award rounds.

To check on the approval status, call us at 410-550-7033 or email [email protected].