2019 Request for Applications for Pilot Study Grant

Center for Aging in Diverse Communities Scientist Program

Background: The UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (CADC) was established in 1997 with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as part of the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR). CADC’s aims are to enhance aging research in minority populations and increase involvement of minority investigators in aging research. The ultimate goal of CADC is to understand and reduce persistent health disparities observed for race, ethnic and sexual-gender minorities, and by social class among older people. Although the emphasis of CADC is on later life, aging is a life-long process and many potentially modifiable factors bearing on aging processes are linked to early or mid-life. Therefore, we interpret aging research broadly. (https://cadc.ucsf.edu/)

CADC is now requesting applications for CADC Scientists who will conduct pilot studies to investigate research questions within the scope of CADC’s goals among older African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander populations, or sexual and gender minorities of any race/ethnicity. CADC will fund at least three Scientists with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2019 (pending CHR approval of the Scientist’s pilot study). We are committed to mentoring CADC Scientists during and following their one-year pilot study to support development of a successful research career. The main indicator of success will be the individual’s research career development as measured by publication of pilot study results, other publications related to aging and health disparities, and other grant applications and funding.

General Provisions: CADC Scientists will have the opportunity to interact with CADC faculty and enhance their skills and knowledge related to aging and disparities research among minority populations. CADC Scientists will receive training on issues pertaining to minority aging research and feedback on manuscripts, grant proposals, and other academic products through monthly works-in-progress sessions with CADC faculty and fellow CADC Scientists. They will be encouraged to participate in training opportunities offered by the National Institute on Aging.

Eligibility: The applicant must be a postdoctoral fellow or an assistant professor at the time of applying and must be from a racial/ethnic minority group or a member of a sexual and gender minority group (SGM) of any race/ethnicity as defined by self-identification, or from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background of any race/ethnicity as defined by NIH. If funded, the CADC Scientist will receive pilot funds and will be Principal Investigator (PI) of the pilot.  Applicants must not have received a previous independent research award of the R01 type from the NIH or similar funding agencies. Investigators who have received previous funding from faculty development awards (e.g., K awards) are eligible. Assistant professors or postdoctoral fellows located in any academic or research non-profit institution in the San Francisco Bay Area are eligible. We will consider applications from previously funded CADC Scientists but will give preference to new applicants. Proposed pilot studies may be analyses of secondary data sets or primary data collection. We will give preference to proposals in the following CADC priority areas:

(1) Health promotion and healthy aging topics;

(2) Research projects with older minorities that engage community-based organizations; 

(3) Development of measurement instruments or protocols applicable to minority groups;

(4) Cognitive function among minority older adults;

(5) Studies of aging and the arts (e.g., music, dance, art);

(6) Proposals using secondary data that include minority participants and are focused on aging;

(7) Studies on the health and well-being of ethnically diverse informal caregivers;

(8) Studies on the determinants, outcomes, and palliation of disability in older minority persons;

(9) Studies to improve the quality of health care delivery for older minority patients.

Application Procedures: An application (single-spaced, 0.5 margins, and in Arial 11 font) must include the following:

  1. Cover Page: Include name, current position, institution, main research mentor name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, and study title
  2. Research Plan: Using the following required format and page limits (5 pages maximum excluding references):

a) Specific Aims, Significance, and Innovation (1 page)

b) Preliminary Studies that pertain to the application and

c) Personal Statement and Career Goals Include a summary of your background, preparation for research, and career objectives. Please include your racial/ethnic, SGM, or socioeconomically disadvantaged background in the personal statement. (Preliminary Studies and Personal Statement should span 1 page, combined).

  1. Research Methods (3 pages): Include a discussion of research design and specific research questions, setting, participants and sources of participants, recruitment methods, measures/variables to be used, sample size calculation, and analytic plan. Include at least one paragraph on expected findings and implications of your study.
  2. NIH biosketch
  3. One-year budget not to exceed $30,000 and a budget justification using NIH forms. While most pilots will be funded in the $25-30,000 range, smaller budgets  will be accepted, and budgets exceeding $25,000 may be funded at a lower level, depending upon available funds and the number of proposals funded. These budgets will need to be approved by NIA if selected for funding. Expenses may include salary and fringe benefits for the PI and research staff, research supplies, and participant payments. If you are located outside UCSF, please note that we are not able to pay any institutional indirect costs on these pilot study grants; this is a condition of award. Please note that we will not enter into a subcontract with other institutions in order to fund pilot studies if this involves indirect costs.
  4. Letter of Support from your main research mentor.

The application deadline is 5 PM on Friday, March 15, 2019

Review Criteria: Pilot study proposals will receive priority scores based on the written reviews and a discussion by the CADC faculty. Selection of awards will be on the basis of the following criteria:

1) Potential for applicant to develop as an independent investigator and viability for the pilot study developing into an independent research proposal within two years after completion 

2) Relevance to minority aging research in epidemiological, clinical, social, behavioral, translational, or implementation topics 

3) Feasibility of conducting the study in one year with funds allocated  

4) Scientific strength of the design, methods, and analytic plans 

5) Diversity in representation of disciplines conducting aging research, topics, or background of candidate

Funding: Funding decisions will be made by April 17, 2019.

Inquiries: Applicants may email Dr. Leah Karliner with programmatic questions at [email protected]. For general information or questions regarding the application process or this RFA, contact: Liliana Chacón at [email protected] or Tel: (415) 514-3355.