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Department of Health and Human Services: Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (R21)

Deadline: February 16, 2017

The Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children initiative is designed to stimulate research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children (0-18 years of age). The term “health disparities” applies to children who have limited access to resources and privileges that impact their health. The initiative includes a focus on ethnic and racial minority children and populations of underserved children to include: children from low literacy, rural and low-income populations, geographically isolated children, hearing and visually impaired children, physically or mentally disabled children, children of migrant workers, children from immigrant and refugee families, and language minority children.

The primary purpose of the initiative is to encourage intervention studies targeting one of the aforementioned groups. Interventions using a multilevel approach (individual, health system, community, societal) are encouraged. In addition, basic studies designed to further delineate mechanisms/pathways of disparities that lead to the development of interventions are also encouraged. Specific targeted areas of research include bio-behavioral studies that incorporate multiple factors that influence child health disparities such as biological (e.g., genetics, cellular, organ systems), lifestyle factors, environmental (physical and family environments) social (e.g. peers), economic, institutional, and cultural and family influences; studies that target the specific health promotion needs of children with a known illness and/or disability; and studies that test and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of health promotion interventions conducted in traditional and nontraditional settings.

Specific research areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Studies that incorporate multiple factors (two or more of the following factors): genetic/epigenetic, physiological, social, psychological, economic and demographic, environmental, technological, and cultural and family factors believed to influence child health disparities
  • Development of sensitive biological and or behavioral markers to predict risk, disease course, and progression of disease
  • Interventions designed to reduce risk factors and exposures that lead to development of one or more poor health outcomes
  • Interventions that promote increased physical activity, fitness, healthier nutrition, and food choices or other health enhancing child health behaviors (e.g., asthma control behaviors, cumulative effects of sedentary)
  • Studies that employ social media strategies promoting wellness, delayed onset of debilitating disease, and/or disease management
  • Energy balance interventions using a multilevel approach addressing overweight or obesity among minority and underserved children and adolescents
  • Intervention studies targeting well-child care, preventive care, or developmental (early interventional or rehabilitative) care
  • Intervention studies to prevent, delay, treat, or manage risk for disease or progression of disease due to altered physiological, behavioral, or physical status secondary to complications of pregnancy and or intrauterine exposures
  • Development of language- and culturally-appropriate assessment tools for identification of developmental delays in children who are non-English speaking or have English as a second language
  • Studies on intervention services for children with hearing loss from minority and low income families, such as access to hearing healthcare services, including hearing aids and habilitation/rehabilitation programs
  • Studies of the effectiveness of the different treatments (e.g., assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, habilitation and rehabilitation methods) for hearing loss in children from diverse cultural, language, medical, and developmental backgrounds
  • Studies that evaluate how gender and LGBTQ, health literacy, urban/rural and immigrant status (including legal and visa status) affect children’s health
  • Studies of socialization, children’s emerging ethnic identity, and gender roles and their impact on health behaviors and health outcomes
  • Intervention studies that target children’s and parent’s health beliefs, health literacy, and the influence of peers and culture on health behaviors, health care utilization, and health outcomes
  • Culturally sensitive intervention studies targeting patient-provider respect, communication, interactions, and trust in relationships, health care utilization, adherence with treatment plans, and health outcomes
The R21 activity code is intended to encourage new exploratory and developmental research projects. For example, such projects could assess the feasibility of a novel area of investigation or a new experimental system that has the potential to enhance health-related research. Another example could include the unique and innovative use of an existing methodology to explore a new scientific area. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or to the development of novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or applications that could have a major impact on a field of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research. Applications for R21 awards should describe projects distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 activity code. For example, long-term projects, or projects designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area, will not be considered for R21 awards.

Amount: The total amount available is not published. Direct costs are limited to $275,000 over a two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year. The total project period may not exceed two years.

Eligibility: Higher education institutions; nonprofit organizations; for-profit organizations; governments; and others, such as independent school districts, public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities, Native American tribal organizations; faith-based or community-based organizations, regional organizations, or non-domestic entities (foreign institutions).

Link: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-17-117.html

Note: There is a second deadline in May for AIDS-focused applications. Additional cycles will be held in June and October.

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