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UNC Department of Family Medicine (DFM) is interested in supporting the growth of the department’s behavioral health research through this special call for applications.  Projects funded under this call will facilitate future successful grant proposals focused on behavioral health.

This call uses the same submission and review mechanism as the UNC Family Medicine Innovation Awards, but is different in that it is focused on behavioral health.


The program will support up to three projects, each at $10,000 maximum. These funds can be used to support behavioral health pilot projects or provide partial temporary salary coverage to support the writing of a behavioral health grant or a behavioral health publication. Funds may be used for personnel (including faculty), consultants, travel, materials, printing, data collection, data analysis and dissemination. Priority for grant funding will be given to applications that include  faculty serving in the research section of the Department.

In addition to research funds, project mentorship in behavioral health research is available.

Note that faculty working on projects that involve learners may also apply to the department’s Medical Student Program for $2,000 stipends for medical students in the Student Research Fellowship in Family Medicine program and can apply to the Residency Program for funds for resident travel to STFM to present study findings.

Application contents

All DFM research faculty at UNC-CH are eligible. Faculty with clinical duties must still meet their clinical obligations for the fiscal year. A three-to-five-page double-spaced application is required, to include:

  1. Title of proposal
  2. Type of request (behavioral health pilot grant support, salary/effort coverage for writing a behavioral health grant, salary/effort coverage for writing behavioral health manuscripts).
  3. Statement of the project goal(s) or research question(s)
  4. Statement of your current experience in behavioral health research and interest in expanding your behavioral health research.
  5. Explanation of behavioral health mentorship sought (if applicable)
  6. Statement of the intended product(s), e.g., papers, presentations
  7. Overview of study design or scholarly project
  8. Explanation of how the proposed project will expand the researcher’s experience in behavioral health and explicitly how it may lead to additional behavioral health grant funding in the future.
  9. Description of the status of project, including IRB status (IRB approval/exemption letter must be submitted before dollars may be used for projects)
  10. Overview of project timeline and for subsequent behavioral research.
  11. Listing of the project PI and all other project personnel and roles
  12. Project budget and budget justification, including costs and other sources of funds. If requesting salary coverage, include FTE amount and length of time requested. If relevant, explain why current funding or potential external sources of funds will not cover these costs.

Applications should be directed to Katrina Donahue (DFM Vice Chair of Research). Potential applicants are encouraged to briefly discuss the project idea with Dr. Donahue before submitting to ensure it is an appropriate fit for this mechanism.

Application Dates

The proposal deadline is July 17, 2023. Reviews will be completed within four weeks and funding available immediately.

Application Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed for (1) how the project will allow the applicant and/or DFM to grow in behavioral health research, (2) project feasibility, including the demonstrated ability of project personnel to complete the work, (3) the importance of requested funds to the project’s success, and (4) potential for future funding based on this work.

Investigator/Faculty responsibilities.

PIs are responsible for completing projects within 12 months of the award date and applying funds only for approved uses. Brief status reports are expected halfway into the proposed timeline and at the conclusion of the timeline. Project PIs will also be asked to disseminate information on their project and its findings to the department, e.g., in the department’s newsletter or with a presentation.