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Inaugural Translating Duke Health Pilot Project Grants in Children's Health & Discovery

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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The Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative (CHDI) is pleased to announce an inaugural call for proposals for pilot studies focused on the identification of early life influences in life-long health and disease. Prenatal, childhood and adolescent development influences health and disease risk for the entirety of an individual’s lifespan. This RFP is designed to support truly innovative approaches related to the Translating Duke Health’s focus on “Children’s Health and Discovery.”

Translating Duke Health is one of the signature programs animating Advancing Health Together, our Duke Health Strategic Planning Framework. Translating Duke Health is a multiyear, multidisciplinary program to capitalize on our collective strengths in research, clinical care and population health to address major health challenges. Additional information about Translating Duke Health is available at

The intent of this RFP is to support pilot studies that investigate early life factors that impact long-term health and well-being. Health research questions should pertain to at least one of the CHDI’s primary research focus areas: (1) genes and biology, (2) physical environment, (3) health and behavior needs, or (4) social and economic factors.

We are particularly interested in proposals that would build new collaborations and/or new teams and might lead to extended productive and externally funded collaborations.  

Please note that preference will be given to projects that utilize or build unique data resources, or link databases, such as:

  • Electronic health records
  • Environmental data such as historical water and air quality
  • School records
  • Data describing the built environment
  • Samples from biorepositories
  • Census data

Proposals should describe:

  • A research question centered on early life influences in health and disease
  • The study population of interest
  • Data required to answer the research question
  • Unique data resources that will be used or built by the study
  • A plan for statistical/data science support, including collaborators (CHDI can provide statistical support if a proposal does not identify a specific collaborator. Any applicant requiring statistical support must contact CHDI ( no later than 4 weeks prior to the submission deadline in order to arrange a consultation with a CHDI-affiliated biostatistician)
  • A plan for follow-on funding applications

We plan to award up to four grants, each with a total budget of up to $100,000 (direct costs only) and a project duration of 1-2 years, based on the following criteria:

  • Overall impact
  • Significance & Innovation
  • Approach
  • Feasibility
  • Plan for statistical support
  • Potential for future funding –The proposed pilot work should collect preliminary data or develop tools that will lead to a competitive proposal submitted to an external funding agency. All proposals must specify how data and/or resources generated by the pilot study will contribute to submission of a grant application, including specific funding opportunities. 

Please include the following in your proposal, which should be submitted as one PDF document:

  • Title page and contact information
  • Abstract of 150 words or less describing the project
  • Project summary in 4 pages or less (11 point Arial font, half-inch margins, inclusive of figures but not including citations), addressing the selection criteria listed above.
  • Biographical sketches for participating faculty, including current and pending sources of support. Please use the new “NIH Biosketch Form” as outlined in
  • Budget with Budget Justification using PHS 398 Form Pages 4 and 5 (Page 5 is for the Budget Justification section only and you may use more pages as needed. Combine all pages into a single PDF with no page limit).
  • References

Deadline: Proposals must be received by 5 PM EST, February 2, 2018.

Selection Process for New Awards – Proposals will be peer-reviewed, and awards announced by March 15, 2018.   Applications will be reviewed by the CHDI Scientific Leadership, who will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Medicine. Awardees will be required to submit year-end progress reports and will be expected to present their accomplishments at various meetings as the term of the grant proceeds. TDH prefers not to pay faculty salaries but recognizes that some departments require salary coverage in proportion to effort. If you are requesting faculty salary, justify the request in relation to departmental expectations and actual effort on the project.

Post-Award Reporting – Awardees will be required to provide annual progress reports for the duration of the grant. Progress reports must detail research progress, as well as progress made towards applying for external funding.  CHDI tracks significant events resulting from the funding. Any significant events should be included in the final project report, and CHDI will contact investigators annually to determine if any significant events have been achieved as a result of this award. Examples include:

  • Abstracts/presentations, manuscripts, published guidelines
  • Follow-on funding (e.g., grants from government or foundation sources, SBIR/STTR, angel and venture capital investment)
  • Other significant output

When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates of publications and other successes that originated from the award. 

Questions and completed applications should be submitted to