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Community Health Scholars Pilot Grant Program

The UAB Center for the Study of Community Health (CSCH) invites applications for its 2020 Community Health Scholars pilot project opportunities intended to use community based participatory research (CBPR) to address community health, especially the social determinants of health.

CSCH – one of 25 University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers and one of 25 Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) designated nationally by CDC – plays a leading role in the development of CBPR at UAB. Since it began offering pilot research funding in 2009, CSCH has invested almost $1 million in 45 projects awarded to UAB faculty representing 23 divisions/departments within 9 Schools/CAS and over 56 community partner organizations. These projects have leveraged their results for over $17 million in additional grants and other support.

One-year pilot grants are available to UAB faculty, with preference given to teams that include junior faculty. Pilot funding is intended to provide initial support for new innovative projects to benefit our local communities. Proposals from any discipline on campus are encouraged but must meet the following criteria:

     1.  The proposed project can be completed within one (1) year;

     2.  The project demonstrates significant potential for future extramural funding; and

     3. An established community partner actively participates in the development, design,   
         implementation, and evaluation of the project.

Pilot projects are expected to lead to publications related to the project and ultimately to an R01 or similar application for extramural funding.

A brief Letter of Intent (LOI) is due May 12, 2020: 

  • 2 pages (single spaced, Arial 11 point or larger with .5” margins ) maximum, plus Principal Investigator’s NIH Biosketch

    • Title and purpose of project

    • Names of PI and other investigators/key personnel

    • Brief project description highlighting background and significance, research question/s, specific aims, research/evaluation design, and procedures for the project including relevant statistical analyses

A committee will review all submissions and select the most competitive for development of a full application; specific instructions will be provided to those selected.


Support from individuals experienced in CBPR and community health research is available, and CSCH can help identify a potential community partner.


Types of proposals solicited. CSCH will consider LOIs regarding preliminary CBPR prevention research projects, especially those related to youth, families, socioemotional development, risk factors (i.e., sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and violence), protective factors (skills training, tutoring/mentoring, stress/conflict management),  adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), education, and community. The preferred geographic area is the City of Birmingham.

Proposed projects may be one of the following types:

  • Demonstration projects (typical awards of $20,000 to $35,000): Ready-to-execute CBPR projects that address an important health or public health issue directly relevant to local Birmingham communities, including social determinants of health.

  • Dissemination / Translation (typical awards of $20,000 - $35,000): Dissemination of a previous Community Health Scholars project or translation of another CBPR project to a Birmingham neighborhood.

  • Preliminary Data (typical awards of $5,000 - $10,000): Collection and analysis of quantitative or qualitative data. [Can apply for additional funding the following year for a resulting ready-to-execute project]

  • Program Evaluation (typical awards of $5,000 - $10,000): Evaluation of community-based programs (with special consideration for projects that have received Community Health Innovation Awards (CHIA))

  • Training Program Development (typical awards of $5,000 - $10,000)


Available funds:  Multiple awards, with a total of up to $120,000

Number of awards: TBD based on individual award amounts

Award Period: 1 year

Pilot announcement date March 20, 2020.

LOI deadline is May 12, 2020. The LOI packet must be submitted in a single PDF file to Mary Evans at

Invitations for full application will be sent by May 29, 2020.

Deadline for full applications (4 pages plus attachments) is July 10, 2020, at 11:59PM Central.

Awarded projects have an estimated start date of October 1, 2020.

Applicants are encouraged to review and apply information about the principles and methods of CBPR.  We recommend “Developing and Sustaining Community- Based Participatory Research Partnerships: A Skill-Building Curriculum” at


Grantees will provide a brief progress report every six months. A final report, including budget report showing expenditures, is required.

Grantees will be asked to present their findings at the annual Public Health Research Day, the annual Community Engagement Institute, and other campus research symposia, and are encouraged to submit their research findings for presentation at the annual PRC meeting in Atlanta and other national scientific conferences.

For questions about application procedures, please contact Dr. Susan Davies, Director, at 975-8049 or or Mary B Evans, Deputy Director, at 975-8387 or



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