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University at Buffalo to Host INNOVATION LAB BUFFALO:  Radical Solutions to the Opioid Misuse Epidemic

The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions is seeking Early Career Scholars to join their upcoming Innovation Labs to Drive Early Career Grants, which is designed to foster new transdisciplinary, multi-CTSA teams that will pursue radical science on opioid misuse. The goal of this project is to facilitate the development of novel transdisciplinary collaborative grant proposals among early-career scholars. The application submission deadline is August 20. Additional information and application materials are available online.

Curbing opioid misuse is a major public health challenge, one that will require novel approaches and solutions involving diverse disciplines and perspectives. The Innovation Lab methodology is designed to counteract the myriad forces that push for monodisciplinary incremental science. Innovation Labs move quickly but deliberately to scope the problem and gather data, and then to generate novel combinatorial solutions, “stretch ideas”, and create and refine solutions/proposals with real-time peer-review. The idea is to develop sketches of impactful and novel proposals within 5 days. Throughout the process, there is a deliberate focus on both expertise identification and the creation of trust and shared understanding among participants. Teams and ideas are developed through real-time peer review. Ideas rapidly iterate, in public, with the benefit of constant commentary. A small team of scientific experts or “mentors” play dual roles of coaches and reviewers, reinforcing novel ideas while balancing them with the realities of funding and scientific politics. (Mentors are not eligible to be part of the teams/proposals developed in the Lab).

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants should be early stage investigators (NIH-defined as “within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent)”) who are emerging as independent scholars. Applicants should be faculty at a CTSA hub institution or regional partner. The Innovation Lab is an intensive, residential workshop. By submitting an application, you are committing to complete all five days of the workshop. Travel and lodging will be provided in accordance with NIH policy.


 August 20 Application submission deadline

 August 21 Receive baseline assessment

 September 3 Baseline assessment submission deadline

 By September 10 Applicants notified of outcome

 November 6-10 Innovation Lab Buffalo, Buffalo, NY


This Innovation Lab is being directed by Dr. R Lorraine Collins, Associate Dean for Research in University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.  It is the product of a partnership between the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute (UB CTSI) and Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), with funding from the National Center for the Advancement of Translational Science (NCATS).