The Trial Innovation Network: Connecting Investigators to Collaborate on Research Programs

Aug 3, 2019 | Clinical Translation Science Award, CTSA, TIN, Trial Innovation Network

The Trial Innovation Network Connecting Investigators to Collaborate on Research Programs

The Trial Innovation Network (TIN) represents a collaborative effort within the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program created to accelerate the translation of new breakthroughs and interventions for life-saving strategies used in clinical settings.

This national collaborative network is on the move. For proposal submissions, TIN-participating institutions have submitted 64 collaborative proposals, covering 48 therapeutic areas. 45 TIN studies have gone through the SIRB process. 73 Sites representing nine studies have adopted the TIN Standard Agreement.

TIN Introduction

TIN is a collaborative initiative within the CTSA Program and is made up of three key partners including:1) the CTSA Program Hubs, 2) the Trial Innovation Centers (TICs), and 3) the Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC).

The TIN vision is to address critical roadblocks in clinical research and accelerate the translation of novel interventions into life-saving therapies. By centering all activity on collaboration, TIN focuses on operational innovation; operational excellence and collaboration; and leverages the expertise and resources of the CTSA program.

TIN features:

  • Single IRB system
  • Master contracting agreements
  • Quality by design approaches
  • Evidence-based strategies for patient recruitment and engagement

TIN seeks to be a national laboratory for its members to study, understand, and innovate the overall clinical trial process.

CTSA Program Hubs

TIN’s program hubs represent an integral element of this collaborative system. The hubs can be thought of as high-impact “feeders” of intelligence, ideas, and knowledge. They are set up so that TIN can encourage faculty and investigators at their specific institutions to produce ideas for clinical trials and studies. Moreover, the HUBS can be creative and intelligent contributors of protocols—not to mention the facilitation and nurturing of local teams and research culture.

Hubs include multi-disciplinary Trial Innovation Network Liaison Teams that lead scientific, training and implementation aspects of the Trial Innovation Network (TIN).

Trial Innovation Centers (TICs)

Trial Innovation Centers (TICs) have been established for focus on operational excellence, operational innovation and quality by design. TICs are charged with coordinating and offering innovative, high-quality, operational support for TIN clinical trials.

Three (3) TICs are listed by the TIN website and TrialSite News summarizes below:

  • Duke University/Vanderbilt TIC

o   Study design team led by DCRI

o   Study start up team led by Dr. Gordon Bernard 

o   Study conduct team led by Dr. Danny Benjamin 

o   Innovations team led by Dr. Paul Harris and Mr. Brian McCourt

o   Administrative Support team led by Dr. Gordon Bernard

  • University of Utah TIC

o   We include their website 

o   Contact is Dixie D. Thompson

  • Johns Hopkins/Tufts TIC

o   We include a linked to the Tufts website

Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC)

RIC represents an evidence-based center in innovative trial recruitment and retention methods, tools, and strategies. This working group seeks to work with clinical investigators to improve participant recruitment and retention while improving health outcomes. By seeking to promote national awareness about clinical trials—and their importance—they seeks ways to engage and involve the public. They recruit and involve experts in patient engagement from their partners, such as Columbia University, Ohio State, Rockefeller University, The Regenstrief Institute, and the University of Utah.

RIC works in partnership with study teams to offer tailored support and advance. Investigators and study teams can approach RIC with requests for consultation. They offer four core resources including:

  • Community engagement studio
  • Recruitment planning and feasibility assessment
  • Recruitment materials
  • EHR-based cohort assessment

By taking a tailored approach, RIC can package consultative offerings for high-impact, high-value outcomes.

Liaison Teams                  

The CTSA Program hubs are at the front line of the Trial Innovation Network. By leveraging their experience, knowledge, contacts, and familiarity with local environment, they can add value by collaborating with TIN in developing and disseminating clinical trial innovations and excellence.  TrialSite News includes a link to the Liaison Teams list.


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