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2019 CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Shark Tank Award


The purpose of this award is to give CARRA members a unique opportunity to compete for funds to support research that furthers the CARRA mission in front of a live audience at the CARRA Annual Meeting.  Eligible CARRA members can apply for up to $35,000 in funding. New or early investigators are encouraged to apply and will be afforded special consideration. Complete applications are due on Monday, February 25, 2019.  Finalists will be selected to compete in a live one-hour session at the CARRA 2019 Annual Meeting, taking place from April 10-14, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky. Finalists will present their project to a panel of “Sharks” who will select, with audience input, one proposal to fund. This award is made possible through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation.

Review the detailed application checklist and instructions prior to submission.
Use of the templates provided on the CARRA website is REQUIRED.

The application deadline has passed.


  • The project PI(s) must be a current CARRA member in good standing (i.e. up-to-date on both membership dues and membership information including location, contact information, and membership status) who is attending the 2019 Annual Meeting.
  • Voting Members, Associate Physician Members, Associate Health Care Members, Research Coordinator Members, and Pediatric Rheumatology Fellow Members in their final year of fellowship are eligible to apply.
  • Fellow Members not in their final year of fellowship, Trainee Members, and members of the CARRA Executive Committee and Board of Directors are NOT eligible.
  • Investigators with active CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants are eligible to apply.
  • Investigators submitting small grant applications due 2/15/19 are eligible to apply; however, investigators are only eligible to receive ONE award.  By applying to the CARRA Shark Tank Award, each investigator is agreeing to forfeit his/her small grant application if he/she is selected to receive the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Shark Tank Award.

Finalist Details

  • Applications will undergo an initial review by CARRA’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and Annual Meeting Planning Committee, after which finalists will be selected for presentations at the Annual Meeting.
  • Applicants will be notified during the week of March 18 as to whether or not they were selected as finalists.
  • All finalists will have their annual meeting travel costs (including airfare and the cost of a single room) covered in full.

Shark Tank Presentation Details

  • Finalists will be provided 5 minutes to present and 10 minutes to answer questions from the Sharks.
  • The audience will participate in providing scores regarding presentation, innovation, and the quality of science.
  • Creativity in your presentation is highly encouraged!
  • Final presentation slides must be provided to CARRA staff 24 hours prior to presentation.

Award Details

  • CARRA will fund one Shark Tank Award up to $35,000. 
  • Awards are total costs. Up to 8% F&A (indirect) costs are allowed, but costs must be incorporated into the project budget and not exceed the advertised award amount.
  • This award is for a one-year period, with funding beginning July 1, 2019.


Applicants will use the same CARRA application materials and templates that are utilized for CARRA-Arthritis Foundation small grant submissions.  Each applicants must also submit a photo.

CARRA would like to thank PeDRA for the inspiration behind this creative new annual meeting program.

Use of the CARRA templates available on the CARRA website is REQUIRED. All applications MUST include the following items:

  • Project Summary/Abstract (300 word limit)
  • Lay Summary (150 word limit)
  • Specific Aims (limit 1 page) (Download template: WORD)
  • Research Plan (limit 3 pages) (Download template: WORD)
  • Research Proposal (3 page limit) – Critical elements of the proposal should include: Background, Significance, Methods/Activities, Analysis and Statistical Plan, Environment, Dissemination & Data Sharing Plan, Sustainability Plan. Projects do not need to include preliminary data.
  • References (no page limit) (Download template: WORD)
  • Budget Table (limit 1 page) (Download template: WORD)
  • Budget Justification (no page limit)  (Download template: WORD)
    • Total costs of salary support for PI(s) and Co-I(s) must not exceed 50% of total project costs.
    • CARRA will allow up to 8% F&A (indirect) costs which must be incorporated into the project budget. Total costs for this project must not exceed $35,000.
    • Poster printing and publication costs are not allowed.
    • Travel expense costs are not allowed unless required for the conduct of research. Travel expenses to attend meetings to present this work, for example, are not allowed.
  • NIH formatted Biosketch for PI(s) and Co-I(s) (limit 5 pages)
  • Letter of Support (LOS), if applicable
    • LOS is required if PI(s) salary support is included in the proposed budget. Provide a letter from the division chief documenting that % effort is available and confirming investigator salary. If the applicant is a division chief, the required letter should be from a Department Chairman. LOS from collaborators, mentors, and institutions are highly recommended.
  • Research Assurances, if applicable (provide IRB approval letter or limit 1 page of text)
  • Appendix, if applicable (no page limit)


Review Criteria

All ideas will be considered. CARRA encourages investigators to submit proposals considered high risk/high reward. All applications will be administratively reviewed to check for applicant eligibility and compliance with provided instructions. Finalist will be selected for live presentations after an initial review by the CARRA Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, who will take into consideration the following during review:

  • Innovation of the proposed project.
  • Significance, originality, scientific merit and translational nature of the proposed project.
  • Feasibility to perform the research within the allotted time frame.
  • Likelihood this research will lead to additional funding or operational success within CARRA.
  • The impact this project will have on CARRA.
  • Budget Justification.

Following the live presentations at the Annual Meeting, the final award winner will be chosen by a combination of Shark and audience scoring in the areas of presentation, innovation, and quality of science. Creativity in your presentation is highly encouraged! Investigators who are not selected are encouraged to revise their proposals and budgets and submit as a CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Small or Large Grant application in the fall. All finalists selected to present will have travel costs to the CARRA annual meeting covered in full.

Reporting/Awardee Expectations

  • Awardees must sign and obtain an institutional signature and return the Award Acceptance Acknowledgement form to CARRA in order for project funds to be released.
  • Awardees must provide an institutional W-9 in order for funds to be released.
  • Awardees must provide completed IRB certifications in order for funds to be released. Pending or out-of-date approvals are not acceptable. Awards will be relinquished if IRB approval is not received by 6 months after the project period start date. Delayed IRB approval will not change the project start date.
  • Funds will be provided to the awardee’s institution as an unrestricted grant provided as a lump sum to a sundry account used by the PI according to the approved project budget.
  • Awardees are expected to submit an abstract to CARRA and present their findings at the CARRA Annual Scientific Meeting(s) until funding is complete and final results are presented.
  • All awardees of CARRA funding must abide by the procedures outlined in the CARRA Publications Policy when presenting/publishing findings from their projects, including acknowledgement of CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation. Refer to the current Publications Policy on the CARRA website for complete details.
  • Final Progress Reports are due no later than 45 days after the project period end date. (Timely provision of progress reports is taken into consideration for future eligibility for CARRA-Arthritis Foundation funding.)
  • If a project cannot be completed within the original project period, awardees are allowed to request a no-cost extension (NCE) for up to an additional 12 months of funding.  NCE’s must be requested no more than 90 days prior, but no less than 30 days prior, to the project period end date. To submit the NCE request, complete the required request form and interim project report and submit to CARRA.
  • Awardees must provide a photo to CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation for publication and communication purposes.

Contact the Grants Manager at with any questions about this program.