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Pilot Projects RFA: Southeast Collaborative for Innovative and Equitable Solutions to Chronic Disease Disparities

Jan. 20, 2023, 3:14 PM


REMINDER: Submit your proposal as a single pdf file via the REDCap link:


Please follow the guidelines outlined in the RFA with respect to lay and professional abstracts, budget, CV, community engagement, etc. and please submit early to avoid last minute hiccups on the  deadline of Monday April 17, 2023 by 5 pm Central/6 pm EST.



The Center (NIH Grant 1P50MD017347-01) was established in 2021 as a regional partnership to enable research to improve chronic disease disparities in African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos in the Southeastern US, led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Meharry Medical College (MMC), and the University of Miami (UM).  The Center Investigator Development core (IDC) will support career development of post-doctoral fellows, early-career faculty, and other early-stage investigators (ESI) in behavioral, clinical, and translational research focused on chronic disease health disparities in that disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos and other populations experiencing health disparities. Central to this mission is the pilot project awards program, designed to allow ESI to generate preliminary data for extramural grant proposals focused on disease prevention, treatment, and management to characterize the root causes of health disparities and to address disparities in the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of chronic diseases. The IDC will assure that ESI are linked to outstanding local career development opportunities to increase the participation, advancement, and leadership capabilities.



African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos continue to experience disproportionately higher chronic disease burdens compared to non-Hispanic whites. The primary drivers of these racial/ethnic health disparities include a complex interplay of social, behavioral, environmental and biological factors.  There is an urgent need to identify evidence-based interventions that can reduce and ultimately eliminate chronic disease health disparities.  We will apply innovative strategies to provide robust research career development resources, leveraging technology and data science to address disparities in chronic diseases, and mentoring of junior faculty and post-doctoral fellows and create a holistic, individualized, and rigorous track for each Center participant. Each supported Center investigator will commit to a development plan and work with a mentorship committee and collaborators.



RFA Release Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Informational Webinar Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 (3 pm EST/ 2 pm Central) *The link and call information will be sent to all who request pre-application consultation.

Deadline to Request Pre-Application Consultation (for guidance on preparing your application): Friday, March 3, 2023

eLOI due: Deadline Friday, March 17, 2023

Applications Due: Monday, April 17, 2023 (6PM EST/5PM Central)

Scientific Merit Review Completion Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2023

NIMHD Administrative Review: May – June 2023

Project Start Date: July 1, 2023

Project Completion Date: June 30, 2024


AVAILABLE FUNDING: The Center IDC will award three pilot awards for up to $50,000 direct costs each for a 12-month period. Each site (VUMC, MMC, UM) will be awarded with one pilot project per year.


Principal Investigators:

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD MSCI, Senior Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence. Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Nancy J. Cox, PhD, Director, Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Stephania Miller-Hughes, PhD, MS, MSCI, Professor, Department of Surgery, Meharry Medical College

Roy E. Weiss, MD, PhD, Chair of Medicine, The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


CONTACT INFORMATION: For any questions, inquires, or additional information please contact:  Program Managers Denise Holland (, Dr. Alecia Fair (, and Maria Freeman (


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