Appalachian Community-Academic Partner Program

This grant will not have a funding cycle during FY20.


The CCTST and CTSA-funded Centers at the University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, and Pennsylvania State University are soliciting applications from faculty for pilot projects of the Appalachian Community-Academic Partner Program. This program promotes and stimulates innovative and long term collaborations that help develop sustainable partnerships between academic researchers and community stakeholders to enhance the mission of the Appalachian Translational Research Network and promote research translation into effective practice and public policy.

The Program will award a total of up to $100,000 direct costs, as a 2-year pilot grant (s) to strengthen or support development of sustainable partnerships between academic researchers and community stakeholders for translational research. Grants will support either: (1) joint pilot projects proposed by established community based settings-academic partnerships; or (2) development of new community-academic partnerships.  Proposals should address health disparities for underserved populations in Appalachia including but not limited to outcomes measured by the following Appalachian Regional Commission Report. They should promote participation, discovery, application, and dissemination of science that reduces Appalachians' health disparities.

Research activities may include, but are not limited to: conducting community assessments, analyzing existing data, pilot testing data collection instruments or procedures, conducting formative research on intervention strategies or messages, and testing intervention feasibility.


  • Investigator(s) from the University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, West Virginia University, and the Pennsylvania State University.
  • Investigator(s) affiliated with universities in the Appalachian Translational Research Network (ATRN):Marshall University, Wake Forest University, Pennsylvania, Ohio University and Ohio State University are eligible to act as the Co-Investigator(s) for the proposed research.


  • Investigator(s) formally affiliated with a community-based organization with recognized status as a 501(c)3, LLC, or fully incorporated entity. The organization must have a documented (e.g., mission statement) interest in improving the health of the relevant community, and a history (3 years or more) of serving the health needs and interests of the relevant community.

Please note that this program requires a researcher from a community-based organization to serve as the Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator or Co-investigator.

Priorities for Funding

Applications will be reviewed and ranked for funding priority. The main priorities for funding are: (1) the scientific rigor and technical merit of the proposed approach, (2) clear clinical and translational relevance, (3) and the likelihood that the project will promote meaningful, sustained collaboration between community-based and academic investigators.   Where appropriate, priority will be awarded based upon the strength of the research team.  Other funding priorities include:

  • Significance of the clinical and/or translational work in terms of potential health impact.
  • Scientific rigor and novelty of the proposed approach.
  • Experience and productivity of the investigators.
  • Significance of the work in terms of impact on health knowledge, practice, or policy.
  • Does research employ novel approaches or methods to fulfill its purpose?
  • Does the proposed research employ novel community partnership approaches or methods to fulfill the program’s purpose?
  • Capacity for overall impact on health of the Appalachian Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Funding information

The research activities at each participating research site will be funded by that institution’s CTSA. Because each institution participating in this program determines how much funding will be devoted to the program, the amount of funding available will vary depending on the institutions of the investigators involved in a proposal. It is anticipated that funds up to $100,000 in total direct costs may be available over a 24-month period for these collaborative projects. Proposed costs should be commensurate with the work.

Letter of intent

Letters of intent including a two page summary of the project are due August 23, 2017.  Faculty biosketches in NIH format and resume(s) of community partners must be included in the appendix. Additional details are required.  The LOIs will be reviewed and subject to a standard NIH-type study section assessment by a committee composed of faculty from the funding institutions. A subset of meritorious LOIs will be selected and applicants will be invited to submit Full Applications by October 27, 2017.  Funding decisions will be made by January 2018.

More information

Download the Request for Applications

View University of Kentucky CTSI article about the program


Email Elodie Elayi at the University of Kentucky or call 859-323-7939.