Our vision is to build an effective system and infrastructure to transform and advance clinical and translational research (CTR) across Nebraska and neighboring IDeA states.


Our primary objective is to develop a robust, networked research infrastructure to nurture, develop, and guide our clinical and translational research investigators, as well as build collaborations among them and with community members across the northern Great Plains. We plan to foster partnerships with other IDeA-CTR entities in order to share best practices on developing CTR undertakings. Such efforts will  position us to become more competitive for research awards as we strive to better understand the development of disease and the means for its prevention—particularly as it pertains to rural and urban underserved populations in our IDeA-CTR network.


To realize our primary objective and vision, the Great Plains IDeA-CTR will link the resources of UNMC to those of its partners that stretch from Nebraska to its neighboring IDeA states, South Dakota and North Dakota, and will collaborate with the University of Kansas, to achieve four overall goals:

  1. Create and sustain the infrastructure, services, resources, and community relationships needed to expand funded CTR across the Great Plains.
  2. Develop a cadre of successful CTR investigators with a comprehensive professional development program, pilot grants, key component activities (KCAs), and expertise, who are prepared to develop and implement innovative tools and approaches and lead CTR teams.
  3. Build upon existing partnerships with regional Great Plains IDeA states of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Kansas to expand CTR teams, disseminate existing resources to enhance their utilization and reduce duplication, collaborate to build new programs and resources, and improve health outcomes.
  4. Implement a comprehensive internal evaluation program to assess and strengthen Great Plains IDeA-CTR leadership, measure the impact of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR programs in the region, track Great Plains IDeA-CTR progress on goals and performance milestones, and assess effectiveness of resources and dissemination across the region.


Together, accomplishing these goals will expand the infrastructure and grow the number of CTR investigators prepared to design and conduct collaborative and innovative approaches needed to reach medically underserved populations, all to transform health delivery and outcomes in the region. This initiative will advance the NIH mission to improve the health of Americans across the lifespan through innovative research,  the highest quality patient care, outreach to underserved populations, and premier educational programs in the areas of mind, brain, and body health.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program in 1993 to enhance biomedical research activities in states that have had historically low NIH grant funding success rates. The IDeA program currently supports competitive research in three major programs: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE); IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE); and IDeA Clinical and Translational Research (CTR).

The COBRE and INBRE initiatives foster the development of infrastructure that allows investigators in IDeA states to compete successfully for more traditional NIH funding, particularly in areas of basic biomedical research.

The IDeA CTR initiative fosters new partnerships between basic and clinical scientists in IDeA states and supports the development of infrastructure that enables them to compete successfully for clinical and translational research funding.