Network of Forecasting Centers to Improve Forecast Accuracy and Communication for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza

Funding Agency:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to establish a network of Influenza Forecasting Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to support applied research that will improve the accuracy and communication of real-time probabilistic forecasts for seasonal and pandemic influenza activity at the national, regional, and state levels. Accurate and timely forecasts should improve public health responses and inform policy development for pandemic and seasonal influenza.

CDC has hosted real-time, unfunded, collaborative forecasting challenges, since the 2013-2014 influenza season, through an activity that has come to be known as FluSight. FluSight is a set of CDC-facilitated activities to engage decision-makers and researchers in real-world influenza forecasting scenarios. These include a web application for the real-time submission and visualization of weekly forecasts for the timing, intensity, and short-term trajectory of influenza activity; the development of guidance for forecasting targets and evaluation; and forecast communication.

The FluSight activity has generated significant progress in bringing together multiple forecast models and researchers, making real-time forecasts available in one central location, and providing structured and standardized assessments of accuracy. However, further improvements in the accuracy and communication of forecasting are needed before CDC is confident that the forecasts submitted through FluSight can be routinely used to inform public health responses and policy development at the national, regional, and state level. The specific aims of the CoEs will be to: (1) Review and revise existing FluSight forecasting guidance, targets, and accuracy evaluation at the national, regional, and state levels; (2) Refine methods to create forecast ensembles; (3) Identify methodologies and data sources that increase forecast accuracy for start and peak week forecasts, peak intensity, and short term forecasts at the national, regional, and state level; (4) Develop communication products and methods to describe forecast results and uncertainty for federal and state public health officials and the public; and (5) Develop and adapt successful seasonal methodologies, data sources, and communication approaches for forecasting the timing, intensity, and short-term trajectory of an emerging influenza pandemic.

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number) is allowed.


  • Duke Internal: Feb. 21, 2019
  • (Optional ) Letter of Intent: Mar. 4, 2019
  • Application: Apr. 4, 2019


If the internal deadline has passed and you are interested in this opportunity, please email Anastasia Maddox at to find out if it is still open.

Agency Website



Amount Description

Award Ceiling: $700,000 Per Budget Period

Award Floor: $400,000 Per Budget Period

Total Period of Performance Length: 5 year(s)

Funding Type





Medical - Basic Science
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
NIH Biosketch of project leader
Draft of the following:
    Project Summary – 30 lines of text
    Specific Aims – 1 page

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for both creating an account (if you don't already have one) and submitting your materials can be found here:

Internal Deadline

February 21, 2019

External Deadline

April 4, 2019