Request for Proposals

Duke Children's Health & Discovery Initiative (CHDI) and Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Request for Applications

Application deadline: March 24, 2022

The Duke Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute is pleased to announce a request for applications for the Child Health Equity Program. The goal of this program is to support investigators and community organizations who are conducting research to advance child health equity. For the purposes of this program, we define promoting health equity as efforts to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities and the determinants that adversely affect or exclude marginalized groups from opportunities for positive health. The funds supplied by this award are intended to support research projects that have strong potential to inform or develop testable interventions to address child health disparities. Please note that at least one PI must have a primary appointment in a clinical department within the Duke School of Medicine or Duke School of Nursing. We plan to award 1-3 grants of up to $300,000 each in funding to carry out their proposed project over 24 months.

I. Purpose and Overview

The intent of this program is to support research aimed at promoting health equity in the pediatric population, encourage and facilitate genuine partnership and collaboration with community organizations and stakeholders, and develop new interventions and strategies to mitigate health disparities and improve child health equity.

Program Goals

  • Identify and evaluate predictors of child health disparities for specific health conditions or disorders. Priority will be given to studies that can directly inform actionable interventions to mitigate these disparities.
  • Develop pilot interventions to mitigate child health disparities.
  • Support community-engaged research studies.
  • Facilitate academic-community partnerships.
  • Develop externally funded research programs focused on child health equity.

The teams and project plans will be evaluated by established health equity-focused investigators and the CTSI Integrating Special Populations Core’s Child Health Equity Advisory Group.

Selected teams will receive:

  • Up to $300,000 (including any indirect costs) to carry out their proposed project over 24 months.
  • Project management support from CHDI and the CTSI Integrating Special Populations Core and assistance in identifying resources to track and measure health outcomes related to their project. Please note that other forms of support or resources, including statistical support should be included in the proposal budget.
  • Support for external funding applications, including funding opportunity identification and assistance with application preparation.

Selected project teams will be required to submit quarterly progress reports and be available for presentations to the Child Health Equity Advisory Group and other stakeholders throughout the project period.

Selection Criteria

  • A project plan with the strong potential to inform or develop testable interventions to address child health disparities.
  • Plans to translate findings into a testable pilot intervention (if applicable).
  • Research strategy, methods, and analysis plan for measuring and tracking outcomes.
  • Development of a meaningful community stakeholder – academic partnership to guide the proposed work.
  • A stakeholder engagement plan that includes relevant stakeholders.
  • A dissemination plan for sharing study plans and results with all stakeholder groups, including patients and community partners, in a timely manner.
  • A trainee inclusion plan to promote the development of health equity investigators and advocates.
  • A sustainability plan or plan for continued research support, including, but not limited to, government partnerships or applications for external funding from either the Duke investigators and/or a community partner. For example:
  • Potential partnerships with neighboring institutions and regional networks.

Please note that this program will support research projects focused on identifying and addressing specific, intervenable factors that contribute to health inequities among children. Funds from this program cannot be used solely for program evaluation or to support the delivery of existing services but may be used to develop and pilot new interventions or new methods for connecting individuals to existing services or expand existing services to address an area of child health inequity.


  • Project teams should consist of multiple investigators with complementary expertise.
  • At least one PI must have a primary appointment in a clinical department within the Duke School of Medicine or Duke School of Nursing; this individual will be responsible for the project’s fund code. Team members should include representatives from community organizations or relevant stakeholder groups.
  • Faculty members may only submit one application in which they serve as the PI; however, they may also be included on other projects in non-PI roles.
  • Please note that an LOI submission is NOT required to apply for this funding.

Proposals will include the following components:

  • Cover page that includes: The title of the proposal; the names and affiliations of the Principal Investigator(s), and any collaborators, including faculty members, centers/institutes, and community partners (1-2 pages).
  • Project abstract (250 words max).
  • Research proposal (4 pages max).
    • Describe the specific aspect of health equity that will be addressed by the proposal.
    • Provide a brief background section describing the current state of affairs and any preliminary data, if applicable.
    • Describe your study design.
    • Planned outcomes of the proposal, including next steps.
    • Milestones for each stage of the project, including an estimated timeline. Milestones should include specific activities with measurable progress.
    • References (this section does not count towards the page limit)
  • Community engagement plan, including community partner and stakeholders engagement plan (2 pages max).
    • Milestones for engagement and communication with community partners and stakeholder, including but not limited to regular stakeholder meetings, progress reports, feedback sessions.
    • Explanation of how the community partner will benefit from participation in and contribute to the proposed research project.
    • Description of which research activities will occur at Duke, and which will take place at a community location.
  • Trainee engagement plan describing how trainees, including undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, postdocs, residents, and/or fellows will contribute to the execution of the proposed work (1 page max).
  • Budget and budget justification using PHS 398 Form Pages 4 and 5 (no page limit).
  • Human Subjects Section: Institutional Review Board approval is not required prior to submission but will be required prior to funding. If human subjects are involved, provide a description of their involvement and characteristics, study procedures, materials used in the research, potential risks to subjects, the process for recruitment and informed consent, and protection against risks. Provide assurance that the project will be reviewed and approved by the Duke IRB and comply with HIPAA (no page limit).
  • Letters of support (no page limit or limit on the number of letters).
  • Biosketches or CVs for the key personnel of the team (no page limit).

II. Details and Proposal Preparation

Application submission deadline: March 24, 2022, via MyResearchProposal (see below).

  • Proposals must conform to the page limits and formatting requirements indicated. All components listed are required.
  • Funding: Each award will consist of up to $300,000 (direct costs, inclusive of G&A) with an expected start date of July 1, 2022 and ending on June 30, 2024.

III. Selection Process and Review Criteria

  • Application Review: The review process will have two phases. The initial review will be performed by CTSI and CHDI leadership in consultation with health equity experts. The second review phase will be performed by the Child Health Equity Advisory group. Selected applicants will present their proposals to the Child Health Equity Advisory group, which will ask questions and provide additional feedback. Presentations will be scheduled for mid-May 2022.
  • Proposed work promotes health equity by aiming to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities and their determinants that adversely affect or exclude marginalized groups.
  • A study plan to evaluate mechanisms and factors associated with a selected child health disparity/inequity and initial plans to translate findings into testable pilot interventions and a stakeholder engagement plan that includes families, patients, providers, policy makers, and community partners.
  • Although not contributing to funding decisions, all IRB, animal use, and institutional approvals must be obtained (as applicable) prior to release of funds for awarded projects.

IV. Application Procedure

CHDI uses the MyResearchProposal online application software to submit applications.

  • To apply visit, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted to the system by only one of the Principal Investigators.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available--please review the guide here.
  • Enter Access Code ‘CHDI’ and follow the instructions.
  • You will be prompted to enter the proposal title (80 characters max) and the name and email address of the Principal Investigator.

Proposal sections will be uploaded as a single PDF file consisting of the following documents:

  • Cover page, including title of the proposal; the names and affiliations of the Principal Investigator(s), and any collaborators, including faculty members, centers/institutes, and community partners (1-2 pages)
  • Project abstract (250 words max on a single page)
  • Research proposal (4 pages max; references do not count towards the page limit)
  • Community engagement plan (2 pages max)
  • Trainee engagement plan (1 page max)
  • Budget and budget justification with a breakdown of expenses (no page limit)
  • Human subject section (no page limit)
  • Letters of support (no page limit)
  • Biosketches or CVs for all key personnel (no page limit)

V. Budget Guidelines

Please note the following during budget preparation:

  • Total budget must not exceed $300,000.
  • All funds are subject to G&A of 15% - this should be included in the budget. Please consult with your grants and contract manager regarding G&A rates.
  • The main fund code must be held within a clinical department in the Duke School of Medicine or Duke School of Nursing; sub-awards may be made to other Duke departments and/or community partners.
  • Grant funds may be budgeted for:
    • Salary support for the PI(s) and Duke faculty members is allowable, but may not exceed 10% university effort.
    • Salary support for students (including prorated tuition remission), post-docs, and research support personnel. Salary for research staff and students must reflect actual institutional rates supplied to you by your grants managers or business office.
    • Travel necessary to perform the research (please note that approval for travel is subject to institutional criteria).
    • Subcontracts for community partners (may include salary support, supplies, use of space provided by the community partner, and any G&A expenses for the community partner).
    • Small equipment, subcontracts, research supplies and core lab costs, or
    • Other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project.

NB: Through partnership with the Duke Global Health Institute, information about future supplementary small pilot funding can be requested by teams thinking about next steps in sustainable relations with local partners, equity in benefits and information dissemination, or in connecting project goals to global locations and partners with similar questions and needs.

We welcome the opportunity to answer questions related to supplementary funding. Please submit inquiries to: 

Sumi Gupta Ariely, Duke Global Health Institute,

Jillian Hurst, Duke CHDI,

  • Grant funds may NOT be budgeted for:
    • Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
    • Effort for post-doctoral trainees or fellows that are already on training grant equivalents.
    • Capital equipment.
    • Computers or audiovisual equipment.

VI. Terms of the Award

Investigators are expected to utilize the funding and support services provided by the CHDI to develop a pilot intervention during the 24 months of program support. Investigators will be required to hold a kick-off meeting prior to release of funds to develop a proposal development plan and will then be required to check-in with the CHDI program director on a monthly basis. Additionally, awardees will be required to provide quarterly updates to the Child Health Equity Advisory Board. Failure to participate in required components of the program may result in cancellation of funding.

VII. Post-Award Reporting

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:

  • Funding applications and awards
  • Abstracts/presentations, manuscripts, published guidelines
  • Regulatory meetings and filings
  • Initiation of clinical studies
  • Implementation in clinical practice and community
  • Translation of models to other geographic areas
  • Translation of models to other therapeutic areas
  • Clinical outcomes in practice and communities
  • Agreements with partners and strategic collaborators to translate the research
  • Commercialization (e.g., new intellectual property, license, commercial partnerships, or start-up company)
  • Direct-to-consumer interactions (e.g., mobile applications) 

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