The University of Iowa Prevention Research Center for Rural Health

Pilot Grant Program

Request for Proposals

January 2011


Center Objectives.  The mission of the UI Prevention Research Center for Rural Health (PRC-RH) is to improve community health by enhancing community capacity for health promotion in rural Iowa and the rural Midwest.  We will accomplish this by establishing community partnerships and conducting research on community health.


Pilot Project Program Objectives.  The primary objectives of the pilot grant program are to encourage the development of new research projects consistent with the mission of the PRC-RH and to attract new research partners to collaborate with us. The PRC-RH is particularly interested in pilot projects which concern rural contexts and that in some way engage community members.  Priority is given to pilot proposals that hold great potential for leading to a larger, externally funded research proposal.


Eligibility.  Any faculty member, research scientist, doctoral candidate or post-doctoral trainee at the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, or Iowa State University with an interest in conducting research on health promotion in rural settings is encouraged to apply. Proposals submitted by a student or fellow must have a faculty sponsor and a letter confirming that support.  Study proposals involving animals, basic bench science, or evaluation of existing programs or services will not be considered responsive to this RFP.


Application Procedures.  Applications will follow the general NIH guidelines for research proposals.  The proposal should be organized as follows:

Proposal Section                                                                                 Page Limit

Cover Page and Executive Summary (150 words)                              1

Research Plan                                                                                   (5 pages total for plan)

  Specific Aims

  Background and Significance

  Preliminary Studies (if any)

  Design and Methods, Human Subjects issues

Potential for Future Grant                                                                  1

Support Budget and Justification                                                        1-2

Schedule and Milestones                                                                   1-2

Biographical Sketch (NIH form)

   for each Investigator                                                                       4 page max. for each



Proposals should be sent via e-mail as a single document attachment to Dr. Faryle Nothwehr, PRC-RH Director, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa (


Application and Award Dates.  Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2011.  Projects will begin August 1, 2011 and run for 12 months. Investigators are strongly encouraged to initiate the appropriate human subjects review processes as soon as possible. No funds will be distributed until this approval has been obtained.  All investigators involved in the conduct of human subject research must have received University-approved education offered by the UI’s Human Subjects Office, or similar training at their home institution. 


Peer Review Process.  The PRC-RH Executive Committee, with additional referees as needed, will evaluate each proposal using the following criteria: relevance to Center goals, significance, approach and originality, validity and reliability of methods, qualifications of investigator(s), and the likelihood of future extramural funding. Members of the Committee will not participate in the evaluation of applications submitted by them or when they are collaborators with another investigator.


Appeal Process.  Investigators that believe an unfair or inaccurate peer evaluation process has occurred may submit a written appeal letter to the Center Director outlining specific concerns about the process.  At the discretion of the Center Director, the appeal may be referred to outside consultants for an additional peer review. 


Funding Available.  Pilot project grants will be generally limited to one year in length and a maximum cost of $20,000 (direct) for each project. The PRC-RH expects to fund up to four proposals per year.  Funding is available for the usual categories of cost in an NIH grant, such as salary and fringe for research assistants, supplies, equipment, data analysis cost, participant remuneration, travel associated with research (but not to attend professional meetings), and office expenses.  Faculty salary support is not eligible under this pilot project program.  The funding limitation is based on direct costs.  No funds shall be included for indirect costs.


Reporting Requirements.   Each funded pilot project is required to submit a brief mid-year progress report and a final report.  The mid-year and final reports shall be submitted according to instructions provided by the Center. Investigators are also asked to acknowledge PRC-RH funding sources in all publications and presentations, and to notify Dr. Faryle Nothwehr, Director, of all publications, presentations, and subsequent grants related to the pilot work. Funded investigators will be invited to present their findings through a Community and Behavioral Health seminar or poster presentation.


Contact Information.  Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Faryle Nothwehr (384-5391; regarding scientific questions about the pilot grant program and Mr. Rob Svetly (384-5387; regarding budgetary and administrative procedures.