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Frequently Asked Questions

LA CaTS Center Roadmap Scholar Program

Once per year there is an RFA for each of the LACaTS funded scholars.

You can visit the LA CaTS Center website home page and look at the Funding and Training Opportunities heading for new announcements; you can also subscribe (in the top left corner) to receive email notifications of all new opportunities OR email

The LA CaTS PD Core awards three Roadmap Scholarships (one from each institution: Tulane University, Pennington Biomedical and LSU Health New Orleans) each year. Please refer to the instructions on the specific RFA for eligibility and requirements.

Roadmap Scholars - applicant should hold an MD, PhD, DDS or PharmD and should be a junior faculty in one of the three institutions: Pennington Biomedical, LSU Health New Orleans, and Tulane University. Scholars from other institutions are welcome to apply to the Master of Science in Clinical Research program at Tulane University.

No, all Roadmap scholarship applications should be submitted by a candidate from one of the following three partner institutions: Pennington Biomedical, LSU Health New Orleans, and Tulane University. However, you are allowed to have mentors/collaborators outside of the LA CaTS institutions on the project. Scholars from other partner institutions are welcome to apply to the Master of Science in Clinical Research and the Certificate in Clinical Research programs offered through Tulane University, but are not eligible for LA CaTS support..

Yes, a Roadmap Scholar should be in a faculty position at the time of application. Applicants who do not have a faculty position but have a letter from the institution pledging that the applicant will be appointed in a faculty position by the start date of the award will be considered.

Members of an Internal Advisory Board (IAB) review the applications. The IAB is comprised of senior faculty and center directors from Tulane University, Pennington Biomedical and LSU Health New Orleans.

The Roadmap award decisions will be announced typically two months following grant submission deadline. An email will be sent directly to each applicant notifying them of the decision.

Yes, all applicants will receive a summary of reviewer comments by email after the awarded applications have been announced.

Unless stated otherwise in the RFA, the start date for a Roadmap Scholarship would be July 1st. The Roadmap Scholar funding is for a period of two years.

Unless stated in the RFA instructions, appendices are typically allowed for documents such as manuscript reprints, letters, IRB/IACUC approvals, questionnaires, etc. Appendices do not count toward the allotted page limit for the Research Plan.

No, references are not to be counted in the specified page limit.

Yes, NIH style biosketches are required for the applicant as well as each mentor. Biosketches should be submitted on the NIH template.

Yes, eligible scholars who are not supported by LA CaTS are welcome to apply to the Master of Science in Clinical Research and the Certificate in Clinical Research programs offered through Tulane University. Please visit or contact Oriyan Ceaser at for further information.


All applications should be directly submitted via to

No, only direct costs are allowed for Roadmap scholarships.

Yes, each mentor and Roadmap Scholarship applicant should complete a separate Mentorship agreement form. Consultants listed in the Roadmap Scholarship application do not need to complete a Mentorship agreement form.

No, there is no limit on the number of mentors who can be listed on the project. Some applicants make a distinction between a mentor and a collaborator. Mentors will be required to provide their biosketches and a letter of support for the application, as well as meet regularly with the applicant during the 2-year program. Collaborators will assist with the project in some degree but will not meet/advise the applicant on a regular schedule.

Mentors are not required to be within the state of Louisiana. Typically, the primary mentor is at the same institution as the applicant, but other mentors can be from other institutions both in and outside of Louisiana. The applicant should include a clear description of the communication plan with each mentor, including details for how frequently they will meet with each mentor.

Applicants typically list 3 mentors that serve to advise their research and career goals. Again though, there is no limit to the number of mentors.

There are no restrictions on the number of years an investigator has been a faculty member, but it is expected that the faculty member is considered junior. Years out of school does not impact eligibility but it may be a consideration for what future funding mechanisms are available to the applicant. The types of funding available is important because one of the goals of the Roadmap Scholar program is to submit a Research Career Development (K) award application by the end of the 2-year program. Applicants who have aged out of the K award eligibility will have to submit a grant application to another type of funding mechanism.

If you are being considered for a faculty position that would commence by July 1, of the following year, yes, you are eligible to apply to the Roadmap Scholarship program. We would request you include a letter from the Chair of the Department in which you would be employed affirming that as of July 1, you would be a faculty member in that Department. If your Department Chair, as of July 1, wants to include a paragraph or a few sentences explaining how you will be a faculty member as of July 1, 2021 in their support letter, that will work for our purposes. Usually the letter is included with the other support letters.


It would be fine for Dr. XXX’s letter to include language describing their commitment to you and your project, as your Mentor, as well as their support of you and your project, as your Department Chair. From the perspective of your Mentor, the letter should include descriptions of your current working relationship, and how Dr. XXX will serve as an advisor and expert to your project. From the perspective of your Department Chair, the letter should include a commitment to support 75% protected time for your research and participation in the Roadmap Scholar program at minimum. There are a few example letters on the LA CaTS website.


If necessary, tables and figures embedded within the proposal could be 10 pt font. All other text should be 11 pt font. 

The 3-page limit encourages you to include a 1-page Specific Aims page, and 2 pages for Significance, Innovation, and Research Approach. Your list of references can be as long as needed and does not count towards the total page count.

Yes, preliminary data is allowed.

Yes, if included in one’s application, it is supposed to be included as part of the 3 pages for the Research proposal, which includes 1 page (or less) for your Specific Aims and 2 pages (or less) for Significance, Innovation, and Research Approach. The references can be as long as needed and do not count towards the overall page count.