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

Building Literacy for Adolescents’ Self-Management during Transitions (BLAST)

The ACR seeks one or more members to help develop a project to support the transition from pediatric to adult medical care. The ACR’s Collaborative Initiatives department (COIN) regularly collaborates with KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC) on projects to promote rheumatology education and awareness. KDHRC, with support of ACR members, has written a project plan to develop and evaluate a mobile app for teens and young adults with pediatric rheumatic diseases.

COIN and KDHRC now seek to refine the existing project plan, secure funding and implement the project, and COIN is seeking a member to serve as lead collaborator on its behalf.

Additional information is below.

Please submit a one-page letter of interest by email to the contact below by May 10, 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: (


The ACR Collaborative Initiatives department (COIN) provides members with the opportunity to leverage its extensive network of collaborators to develop and test innovative solutions to complex rheumatology care problems in order to achieve health equity and improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases.

KDHRC conducts rigorous research to explore complex social problems and constructs powerful programs that improve the health and well-being of youth, families and communities.

Since 2010, KDHRC has worked with COIN on several projects, such as The Lupus Initiative (TLI) ( TLI is a national education program designed to reduce health disparities experienced by people with lupus.

The ACR and KDHRC seek to support and evaluate the self-management needs of teens and young adults with pediatric rheumatic diseases as they transition from pediatric to adult medical care. Minority teens and young adults with pediatric rheumatic disease are more likely to have worse disease outcomes and, in general, are less prepared to transition. Through this project, the 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, KDH Research and Communication, Inc. (KDHRC) and the selected member(s) will work collaboratively to identify a funding opportunity, prepare the application for funding and implement the project once funded. The anticipated timeline is as follows:

  • Mid-May 2018: The selected member(s) will participate in a series of calls to discuss and focus the proposed project and review existing version of the project plan
  • Mid-May – Late-May 2018: The team will prepare the initial draft of the funding application
  • June 2018: Application submission
  • TBD: Project implementation


Preparation of the grant application is a volunteer role.

If the ACR and KDHRC are successful in securing funding, they 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 funding award and the scope of participation of the member(s). The ACR will provide resources as agreed upon and appropriate.

The Letter of Interest

The one-page letter of interest should:

  • Demonstrate the reason for your interest in this project and in pediatric-adult 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., app development, self-management skills, evaluation) 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 this project, including for the period May 2018 – June 2018
  • 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.

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