Duke CTSI Special Populations Pilot

Applications for this funding program are currently closed.

The purpose of the Special Populations Pilot program is to facilitate novel clinical and translational research that promotes health equity for groups who have traditionally been under-represented in health research or excluded altogether. Projects must have strong potential to inform subsequent grant applications for external funding.

Pilot awards will be $25,000 (direct costs only); applications that include a strong community stakeholder-academic partnered approach will be eligible for an additional $10,000 for a total of $35,000 in pilot funding for a team that includes a strong community stakeholder-academic partnered approach. (see Community-Engaged Approaches below). Proposals from early stage and new investigators and proposals with collaborations across Duke Departments or Schools are highly encouraged.


Submissions must focus on one of the following populations:

  • pediatric populations, adolescents, young adults, or older adults.

  • people with disabilities and/or rare disorders.

  • populations which have been underserved or underrepresented in clinical research (e.g., African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, rural populations or populations with low socioeconomic status).

Community-Engaged Approaches: CTSI’s Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERI) is collaborating with the Special Populations Core on this RFA to provide an additional $10,000 for a total of $35,000 in pilot funding for a team that includes a strong community stakeholder-academic partnered approach. The stakeholder-academic partnership can consist of either a new partnership that will establish and build relationships between a Duke researcher and a stakeholder partner co-applicant (e.g., organization, coalition) or expand the work of an existing stakeholder-academic partnership. Examples of projects with community-engaged approaches include but are not limited to:

  • Pilot testing community-based social support interventions to improve symptom management in young adults.

  • Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a community health worker intervention to improve early detection of a chronic disease in rural communities.

  • Developing cross-sectoral partnerships to improve the efficacy of interventions promoting aging in place.

  • Exploring social determinants of a specific health outcome using secondary data.

Key Dates

  • Mandatory Letter of Intent: January 6, 2020

  • Invitation to Submit Full Application: no later than January 24, 2020

  • Invited Application Submission Deadline: March 17, 2020

  • Selection of Awardees: May 2020

  • Notice of Awards: no later than June 1, 2020

  • Funding Period: July 1, 2020—June 30, 2021

Application Instructions

Applicants will use the MyResearchProposal system to access the Special Populations Core Pilot funding application.

View the RFA for complete application instructions.

Full proposal applicants are encouraged to arrange a consultation with the Duke CTSI Projects Office and/or the Special Populations Core Team to gather feedback prior to application submission. Applicants may also contact these groups with questions via Duke CTSI Project Office at ctsiconsultstudio@duke.edu or specialpopulations@duke.edu.