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HPDP is accepting applications for one-year planning grants of up to $5,000 to help UNC faculty conduct pilot projects in health promotion/disease prevention research. UNC faculty who currently affiliate with the Center as Research Fellows as well as UNC faculty new to HPDP are encouraged to apply.

HPDP is interested in funding pilot projects that will lead to new applications for extramural research funding and welcomes the opportunity to assist with and administer future grant applications resulting from the pilots.

Application Process

Details about planning grants and the application process are listed below. The same information can also be downloaded as a PDF document: HPDP Planning Grants RFA (2021).

Applications are due at 5:00 p.m. EST on April 30, 2021. 

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to You will receive an email acknowledgment from HPDP within 24 hours of your application submission.


The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) is a multi-disciplinary prevention research center that conducts high-quality health promotion and disease prevention research in collaboration with communities. Established in 1985 with financial support from the five Health Affairs Schools, the Center was selected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1986 as one of three original Prevention Research Centers (PRC) in the country and has maintained continuous core infrastructure and research funding for 35 years.

Research Focus

HPDP conducts prevention research using a community engagement approach to address the major causes of disease, disability, injury, or death in populations experiencing health disparities. The Center seeks to bridge the gap between prevention research and practice by collaborating with community partners to translate and disseminate evidence-based interventions and strategies for health promotion and disease prevention in North Carolina and beyond.

HPDP Services

HPDP’s Cores and Units work together to provide comprehensive support for our research projects. When developing your application, you can freely access any of these services for an initial consultation.

  • Community Engagement: Dr. Alexandra Lightfoot directs the Community Engagement Core. The Center’s Community Engagement Core consults with investigators and community partners across the state, region and country and provides technical assistance and training to promote high quality research using community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles.
  • Training: Dr. Alexandra Lightfoot leads the Training Core, which trains students, faculty, community members and health practitioners to create and implement innovative ways to overcome public health challenges, collaborating with partner organizations to meet the needs of public health practitioners and community members.
  • Evaluation: Dr. Carmen Samuel-Hodge leads the Evaluation Core and provides evaluation expertise for Center research and training activities and for collaborations with external partners.
  • Translation & Dissemination: Drs. Alice Ammerman and Sam Cykert co-lead the Translation & Dissemination Core which supports HPDP researchers and collaborators with the translation and dissemination of evidence-based interventions and best practices/processes for clinical, public health, and community-based partners.
  • Communications: Ms. Julia Kimmel, HPDP Communications Specialist, works with Center staff to promote their research projects through social media, graphic design, and the HPDP website.
  • Data Capture: Ms. Shannon Hales, Data Services Manager, leads the Data Capture Unit. This unit has a wealth of experience with Teleform® software for designing and scanning paper-based data collection instruments. This technology allows HPDP to process large volumes of data with speed and accuracy. In addition to Teleform®, the Data Capture Unit has gained considerable experience with REDCap, which broadens our data collection tools to include electronic data capture. HPDP utilizes web-based applications to manage research data for its projects. These data are secured on an encrypted MS SQL database server which stores all HPDP research data.
  • Qualitative Research: Dr. Maihan Vu directs the Qualitative Research Unit at HPDP and provides support to investigators in the planning, training, conducting, analyzing, reporting and dissemination of qualitative research.
  • Budget planning: Ms. Christina Rodriguez manages all pre-award services for the Center and can address any budgetary questions you may have. She can also assist you with preparing the budget on the PHS Form 398.
  • Biostatistical assistance: HPDP will assist researchers in identifying statistical expertise as needed.
Applications will be accepted from full-time UNC faculty (fixed-term, tenured, or tenure-track) and from part-time faculty with at least a 0.75 FTE appointment. Research associates, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents are not eligible to apply.
HPDP expects to make two awards of up to $5,000 apiece. Awards must be spent within a 12-month period, which is anticipated to begin July 1, 2021 and end June 30, 2022.
Combine all pages into a single PDF document, in the order below. Use Arial 11, single-spaced, with
one-inch margins. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to

Cover Page:  Include the following:

  • Proposal title
  • Principal Investigator name
  • Faculty rank
  • Home department
  • Contact information

Abstract:  Limited to 250 words.

Research Plan:  The Research Plan narrative is limited to 4 pages, single-spaced. Follow the standard
NIH format:

  • Specific Aims
  • Significance
  • Innovation
  • Approach

Budget & Budget Justification: Each award will provide up to $5,000 in direct dollars. The budget should be itemized on the PHS Form 398 found at which is included as a separate document with this announcement.  A corresponding budget justification should be included.

Unallowable costs include:

  • Food or alcoholic beverages
  • Computers or computing hardware
  • Conference costs or meeting expenses
  • Non-essential office supplies
  • Indirect costs

Travel expenses may be budgeted; however, all travel is currently restricted at UNC-CH. Contact Christina Rodriguez, HPDP Associate Director of Grants & Finance, at, with any questions about your budget or completing the PHS Form 398.

Proposal Timeline:  Include in the Appendix.

Human Subjects:  If human subjects are involved, include a brief statement assuring that the project will be reviewed and approved by the UNC IRB and comply with HIPAA. Include the written assurance statement in the Appendix. Project funds will not be released until documentation of IRB approval is submitted to HPDP.

Appendix:  Include the following documents in the Appendix:

  • Principal Investigator’s NIH biosketch (
  • Budget & Budget Justification
  • Proposal Timeline
  • Supporting documents for your proposal, limited to 8 pages (e.g., example recruitment or intervention materials, manuscript in press, letters of support, etc.)
  • Human Subjects written assurance statement, if applicable
  • References

A committee will review the applications and make recommendations for funding to the HPDP Director. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: significance to health promotion/disease prevention research, investigator qualifications, innovation of research, feasibility/soundness of approach, and potential for pilot project to lead to extramural funding.

All applicants will be notified of funding decisions in May. Successful applicants can expect to start their pilot projects in July 2021.

A brief six-month interim report and final progress report are required.

Questions can be emailed to Beverly Garcia, HPDP Managing Director of Research & Operations, at