Image from the project 'Increasing Activity in the Community: Dance for Health,' Terri Lipman, PI

CPHI 2014 Pilot Grants

Deadline: March 1, 2014



Seeding Innovative New Directions in Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Research
on the Health of Populations

The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), and the Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) are jointly issuing this call for proposals for a symposium or retreat to seed a sustainable and thriving new line of research at Penn. A total of $25,000 is available in the first year for awards to support the development of an interdisciplinary research program aimed at improving the health of populations. We hope to fund up to 2 or 3 programs this year.

There is a wealth of talented faculty across Penn’s campus working to tackle the most complex health and healthcare issues of our day through improvements in health promotion, the treatment of disease, or the structure of the healthcare system. We seek to foster interdisciplinary collaborations that combine the strengths of each of our organizations in order to achieve greater impact on the health of the public. In articulating Penn’s commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research President Amy Gutmann notes that “the most challenging problems cannot be addressed by one discipline or profession.” We believe this call is consistent with this vision.

Note that these funds are not intended to replace extramural funding, but to position the research program optimally for extramural funding. In this spirit, in order to promote the sustained development of the new research program initiated by this first award, follow-up funds of up to $50,000 may be made available to awardees who successfully achieve the aims of their initial award. We hope to reissue this call annually in order to continually seed one or more new programs a year.


Proposal instructions (2-3 pages):

Significance: Describe the important health challenge that will be the focus of the application.

    • The proposal can address any among a broad array of clinical, public health, and health care system areas of relevance, but it should be clear that the issue is likely to have the attention of funding agencies currently or in the near future.
    • Describe the key outstanding questions in the field and how the team’s approach might address these questions.
    • What is the vision for a research program focused on this health challenge?  How would it be different from or complementary to what already exists at Penn?  How is the proposed program innovative?

Development Plan: Propose a plan for developing the team of investigators from across schools at Penn to address this important health challenge.

    • How will a combination of perspectives and interdisciplinary research methods be leveraged to advance our understanding of the health challenge?
    • How will the plan promote new or more effective collaborations including enhancing connections between junior and senior scientists?

Goal: Describe short-term goal and its relationship to long-term objectives

    • What is the specific goal or product that will come directly from the developmental effort described above? Examples might include a proposal for a pilot project or pilot program.
    • How will the achievement of this goal advance the research group towards a sustainable research program? What would come next and what would be the plan for achieving sustainability of a research program in this area?

Supporting materials:

A budget and one-page budget justification for the proposed activity (symposium, retreat, other). Funds may be used for staff assistance, facilities, to convene a symposium, honoraria for outside experts, travel, marketing materials, and other related expenses. No faculty effort may be included. Duration of award is one year.

NIH biosketch for each team member. To be eligible for funding, proposals must include at least one member of LDI, CCEB, or CPHI. National/international experts from outside Penn may be included.



Please submit online here.



Applications must be received by March 1, 2014.

Funding will be announced March 24, 2014.

Questions can be addressed to:
Daniel Polsky, PhD (

Harold Feldman, MD, MSCE (

Jennifer Pinto-Martin, PhD (

Karen Glanz, PhD (

Evaluation criteria checklist:

  • Membership in CPHI, LDI or CCEB (at least one member of the team)
  • Multiple disciplines represented
  • Innovative approach to improve health of the population
  • Specific goal or product that will come from this effort
  • Plan to achieve sustainability of research in this area