Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) -- CTSI Population Health Improvement Awards Program

Funding Agency:
Duke University

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 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 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 a 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.


  • Mandatory Letter of Intent Deadline: Thursday, December 17, 2019
  • Invited Application Submission Deadline: Tuesday, March 19, 2020

*Rolling application deadline for $1,500 Seed Awards (Reviewed and awarded in February, June, September, December).

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Proposed research must include a team that is comprised of both Duke faculty and community partner(s). Although a Co-Principal Investigator structure is recommended to support co-led community-academic partnerships, the Duke faculty member must serve as the Principal Investigator of record as she/he will serve as the person with the fiduciary responsibility.
  • Applicants may be involved in more than one proposal, but can only serve as the project lead or lead investigator in one application during the funding cycle. Submissions can be made by either the Duke or the Community lead. However, only one application can be submitted by the team. As above, the lead Duke faculty partner will serve as the Principal Investigator of record.
  • Research must relate directly to health, and the objectives of the project should include an outcome that will benefit community health or patient care.
  • Nonprofits with & without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Community organizations (especially those with a focus on public health, social services, caregiving, and patient advocacy) and members of practice-based research networks
  • Eligible agencies of the federal, state, and local government
  • Permanent, full-time, Duke faculty, including professional and non-tenure track.
  • Rank of less than assistant professors such as post-doctoral trainees, medical instructors and/or fellows are not eligible to serve as a PI. However, they are eligible to serve as co-investigators and play a prominent role in conducting the research.



Amount Description

Seed awards of $1,500

Co-development awards of up to $25,000

Advanced partnership awards of up to $25,000

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Community Outreach and Engagement
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

December 17, 2019