CTSI Population Health Improvement Awards Program

Applications for this funding program are currently CLOSED.

The Duke Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI)’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative (CERI) is interested in promoting and supporting community-engaged research partnerships. Funds are available for eligible NEW and ADVANCED community-academic partner investigator teams. The CTSI-CERI provides awards of up to $50,000 to stimulate community-engaged research through community-academic research partnered projects to improve population health.

Download the 2022 PHI Award RFA

Program Description

Achieving significant transformation of community health outcomes requires an integrated approach that involves broad community and patient stakeholder engagement with the research enterprise to speed and optimize the uptake of new innovations. Yet, community stakeholders, including public health, social services, community-based organizations, caregivers, families, patient advocates, insurance companies, and payers have not been optimally involved in shaping research. Lack of engagement impacts integrated, interdisciplinary collaboration, slows innovation and may hamper the development of creative opportunities for translation of scientific innovations to broader populations.

While many recognize that patient and community stakeholder engagement is necessary and optimal to stimulate the generation of innovative solutions to improve health and reduce health inequities, there are limited funding mechanisms for this important activity. Consequently, the Duke Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) funds the Population Health Improvement Awards program to stimulate and foster community-research partnerships that advance solutions to improve local health and health care delivery. The awards also can be leveraged to provide the necessary funding to generate pilot data for future funding opportunities involving community-research collaborations.


This Awards program aims to engage community and academic partners in collaborative research that promotes novel ideas to improve community and population health. Duke CTSI, home of the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award at Duke, will provide approximately $100,000 annually to support pilot awards that can be used to either a) develop new community-research partnerships or b) foment already existing community and research partnerships that aim to develop and test effective solutions to improve community and population health. These partnerships and innovations can originate from community stakeholders or from Duke research partners but they must involve both community and research collaborators.  

The CTSI Population Health Improvement Awards program has several funding opportunities designed to identify and promote the most promising community-research collaborations. These collaborations will work together to develop solutions designed to address population health issues identified as priorities by the Durham community and provide support for community-partnered studies to generate pilot data needed to develop larger-scale proposals, awards, and projects.

Key Dates for 2022

Mandatory Letter of Intent Deadline: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Invited Application Submission Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2022

New and Advanced Partnership Awards: $50,000

Two $50,000 awards to stimulate new and advanced community-engaged partnerships that are initiated either by community organizations or Duke researchers. Applications must contain both community and Duke research collaborators and show strong evidence of collaboration and partnership in all aspects of the proposal.

  • New community-research partnership teams will aim to co-develop solutions designed to improve the community and population health and address Durham County's health priorities. Competitive applications will develop and pilot approaches to translate evidence-based discoveries into community settings or develop pilot data for a larger implementation program or award. 

  • Advanced partnered research teams of community organizations/groups and Duke researchers will have already developed innovations to health problems and are ready to advance testing these solutions through broader community-engaged implementation. Preference will be given to proposals that have an explicit plan for integration of evidence-based practices into community settings with a plan for sustainability, and a plan to mobilize community assets and strengths to test the feasibility of implementation strategies for population health improvement 

Download the 2022 PHI Award RFA

Important Deadlines

Mandatory Letter of Intent: January 26, 2022
Application (by invitation only): April 1, 2022

Additional Questions?

Contact Kiah Gaskin (kiah.gaskin@duke.edu).