Boost and Propel Awards

The goal of the Boost and Propel awards is to accelerate meritorious protocols to produce efficient, high quality, safe research and to disseminate the results.

Boost & Propel awards are 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.

Boost awards are 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 awards are intended 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.

Request for applications will be quarterly beginning November 2019.


All investigators must submit an application to a Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board (IRB) before beginning their ICTR Clinical Research Units (CRUs) application.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine IRB

For investigators who apply to the School of Medicine IRB through eIRB.

  1. Begin by submitting an IRB application via the eIRB. When completing your application, you MUST answer “Yes” to Section 9, question #9- “Will you apply to the Bayview CRU or JHH CRU (includes NBRU) for funding or use of facilities? You must also complete Section 10- (Study Location), indicating ALL ICTR-CRU sites you plan to use.
  2. After you have submitted your eIRB application, please wait until you receive an eIRB confirmation that the request has been processed.
  3. Once you have received eIRB notification, please log on to CRUOnline. You will find your new application under the “My Protocols” menu option. NOTE: If your CRU application is not listed under the ‘My Protocols’ menu, please recheck your eIRB application to be sure Section 9 has been completed.
  4. Complete the following documents and upload by selecting protocol documents under the “Supporting Documentation” menu. NOTE: It is not necessary to complete the information in the other menu items, i.e. ‘General Information’, ‘Need for CRU Support’, ‘References for Reviewers’, etc. However, you will need to enter ‘n/a’ into any required fields noted by an asterisk in order to complete your submission.


ºStudy Schedule

ºMilestone Project Template

ºProjected Budget (to be completed by ICTR Staff)

      • Abstract (250 words)
      • Research Plan
        (5 page limit, Times New Roman font 12, 1 inch margins) must include:


ºSpecific Aims

ºBackground and Significance

ºPreliminary Data (if any)

ºResearch Design/methods

ºStatistical Design/Analysis

ºData and Safety Monitoring Plan (DSMP)

      • Reference List
      • Biographical Sketch Information (NIH format 5 page limit)
      • Award Budget/Itemized Budget (if applicable, i.e., if it went through peer review)
      • Summary Statement from Peer Review (if applicable)
      • eIRB Documents (Consent Form/Assent Form if Applicable, eIRB Application, FDA Documents)

NOTE: If your CRU application is not listed under the “My Protocols” menu, please recheck your eIRB application to be sure Section 9 has been completed.

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and/or Other IRB

For investigators who submit applications to other Johns Hopkins IRBs (Bloomberg School of Public Health, for example).

Please contact Shernice Madison in the ICTR CRU Administrative Office to start the process for generating a new application.

How to Access CRUOnline

If you have a JHED ID,login to CRUOnline using your JHED ID and JHED password, go to:

If you do not have a JHED ID or never established a CRUOnline account, you must register using your email address, go to:

For questions regarding the CRU application process, please feel free to contact us at 410-550-7033 or by email at

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. To receive the Boost and Propel resources, the PI must agree to:
    • Agree to have milestones monitored
    • Adhere to reporting requirements
    • Understand that if the PI fails to meet milestone objectives or reporting requirements, the study support will be termed in the program.
  2. Resources: It may be determined by TREC to send the PI or study team to other ICTR resources, including but not limited to, nutrition, recruitment consultation, navigator consultation and biostatistician hours.
  3. An Award letter enumerating resources awarded will be sent to PI. (Renewal of resources will be determined annually up to 5 years).

Not Approved: The protocol has a serious design flaw or insufficient material to judge it fairly.

To check on the approval status, contact us at 410-550-7033 or by email at