Call for Letters of Interest

Call for Letters of Interest

The ACR Collaborative Initiatives (COIN) Department invites letters of interest from members who wish to collaborate with the ACR on the following funding opportunity:

The Funding Opportunity
The ACR intends to apply for the funding opportunity FY18 The National Lupus Training, Outreach, and Clinical Trial Education Program (Lupus Program). The Office of Minority Health (OMH), located within the Office of the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has posted the availability of funds for the Lupus Program.

The ACR seeks one or more members to collaborate with the ACR to develop a proposal and assist in project implementation should the application be successful. The project period is anticipated to be July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020. The ACR has a successful track-record obtaining OMH grants for lupus disparities and educational initiatives.

The ACR’s COIN seeks to further develop and expand existing projects through this funding opportunity in the areas of:

  1. developing public-private and community partnerships and evaluating minority clinical trial education and participation programs; or
  2. designing a research plan and developing effective clinical trial education models in lupus for minority populations and education models for health care providers and healthparaprofessionals.

Additional information is below.

Please submit a one page letter of interest by email to the contact below by January 30, 2018.

ACR Collaborative Initiatives (COIN) Working Group
c/o Sheryl McCalla
Senior Director, Collaborative Initiatives
American College of Rheumatology
2200 Lake Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30319

If you have questions please contact Sheryl McCalla (

In 2009, the ACR began The Lupus Initiative (TLI). TLI is a national education program designed to reduce health disparities experienced by people with lupus. Through TLI, the ACR has developed and disseminated lupus-specific educational products to assist providers, patients, and caregivers in diagnosing, and managing lupus. Among the products developed are training programs for health care providers and community health workers and a model designed to increase participation of African American individuals in lupus clinical trials.

ACR will seek additional funding to build on this existing work, and to complement it with additional innovative projects. Through this project ACR also aims to support an energized exchange of ideas and the professional development of members.

Who Should Consider Submitting a Letter of Interest?
All ACR and ARHP members with relevant expertise and interest are eligible to submit a letter.

Members with significant interest in the development of projects of this type are encouraged to apply. Junior investigators with expertise but limited experience are encouraged to apply. The scope and depth of the collaboration will be tailored to the level of experience of participating member(s). The ACR may pair new researchers, clinicians or educators with more senior members.

Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Role in Preparation of Grant Application
The ACR Collaborative Initiative’s (COIN) Department and the selected member(s) will work collaboratively to prepare the grant application. The anticipated timeline is as follows:

  • February 2018: The selected member(s) will participate in a series of calls to discuss and focus the proposed project
  • February 2018-Early March 2018: The selected member(s) with significant support from the ACR’s COIN Department will prepare the initial draft of the grant application
  • Mid-March 2018: Substantive review and editing of the draft application
  • Late March 2018: The COIN team will submit the application

Preparation of the grant application is a volunteer role.

If the ACR is successful in securing grant funding it will enter into a contract with the selected member(s) or with the institution(s) with which the member(s) is affiliated. The contract will provide for compensation to be paid to the member(s) or institution(s) for their effort commensurate with selected member(s) role. The level and structure of compensation will depend on the level of the grant award and the scope of participation of the member(s). It is anticipated that the level of expected effort will not be less than 10%. The ACR will provide resources as agreed upon and appropriate during the grant development process.

Additional volunteer roles may be available during project implementation

The Letter of Interest
The one page letter of interest should:

  • demonstrate the reason for your interest in this project and in lupus-related work, and highlight your commitment to reduction of health disparities
  • identify the elements of the project in which you are most interested (e.g., evaluation, curriculum development, clinical trials recruitment) and describe your level of experience in the areas you have identified – a lower level of experience will not necessarily preclude participation
  • affirm your availability for the grant development period (February 2018 – March 2018) and the full duration of the anticipated project period (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020)
  • outline your current professional role and anything else that you believe would be helpful for the COIN Working Group to know

In addition, please also provide an updated biosketch in the NIH format.