UNC Program in Nicaragua Research Pilot Grants

The UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases (IGHID) and the UNC Program in Nicaragua (UNC ProNica) are pleased to announce a Research Pilot Funding Program for collaborative health research conducted by UNC faculty in Nicaragua. Two $10,000 research grants will be awarded; research and travel should be completed by July 30, 2015.

nicaragua-newsletterSpecific Areas of Research Interest

This opportunity supports infectious diseases research and must include collaboration between UNC faculty and faculty from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, León (UNAN-Leon). UNAN-León has a well-established department of microbiology, with interests in the fields of childhood diarrhea (rotavirus, norovirus, diarrheagenic E.coli, parasitic infections), dengue, Chagas disease, water-borne illnesses, antibiotic resistance, hospital-acquired infections, HIV, HPV, among others). For questions about the appropriateness of the research topic, please inquire by email: sbd@email.unc.edu, Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, from UNC ProNica.


Eligible Applicants: Applicants must be employed faculty (tenure / non-tenure, clinical or research tracks) of UNC-Chapel Hill in any of the health affairs schools (medicine, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, social work) at the time of application.  Applicants from outside of Health Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill may partner with a faculty member in a Health Affairs School. Adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, or individuals with pending faculty appointment, post-docs, clinical fellows or students are not eligible to apply as the PI, but may assist with proposed research.

Project Information

The application must include a minimum of one week of travel to Nicaragua for the study’s PI.


The application must be received electronically by Monday, June 30, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  A

Applicants will be notified of the review panel’s decisions not later than Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Grant-funded travel and research activities will be authorized to begin on or after Monday, July 28, 2014, and must be completed within one year.

Budget Restrictions

The grant is intended to support pilot research expenses (laboratory supplies and analysis, field work, interviews, technical support, data analysis) and travel to Nicaragua. Although students, post-docs and clinical fellows may be included in these grants, it is not the purpose of the award to provide substantial support for these individuals. If salary support is essential to carry out the project, no more than 30% of the award can be used towards salary support. Awards are for 1 year of support; a maximum one year no-cost extension will be granted by written request and with justification from accompanying progress reports.

All travel and financial expenditures and reporting carried out under this pilot grant program must comply with UNC regulations and procedures (e.g., established UNC per diem rates). The award will be made as a single funds transfer to the applicant’s department(s).

Application Process

The application includes a 3-page summary of proposed research as outlined below. In addition to the 3-page summary, a budget and budget justification must be provided (including proposed dates of travel), and the PI and any key personnel must provide a NIH-style biosketch (maximum 4 pages). Completed applications should be sent as a single pdf file to Sylvia Becker-Dreps (sbd@email.unc.edu) with subject line: Nicaragua Pilot Grant Funding Submission. Please label the pdf file with the applicant’s last name as follows: Smith_Nica_2014.pdf.

Preference will be given to applications that foster collaborations that have a high likelihood of continuing and of generating successful external funding proposals in the future. Other review criteria include: 1) scientific rigor of proposed research, 2) innovation, 3) potential future benefit to global health, and 4) feasibility.

Application Format

The project proposal should consist of no more than three pages single-spaced, 11-point font, no smaller than 1/2-inch margins, and include the information listed below. Please use the bolded subtitles as below.

  • Name, position, school, department and contact information for PI and key personnel
  • Summary of proposed research: Limit to 3 sentences
  • Background and significance of proposed research
  • Approach (Include statement of aims, study population, experimental design, analysis)
  • Ethical considerations
  • Nature of partnership with Nicaraguan collaborators (describe new or existing collaborations) and relation to existing research
  • Plans for obtaining external funding: concise description of how data or outcomes from research will increase competiveness or lead to additional external funding in the future.

Applications that do not comply with the above instructions and eligibility criteria will not be reviewed.

More Information

Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD
Email: sbd@email.unc.edu

Requirements for Grant Recipients

  • Recipients will provide IGHID with a written report of results, outcomes and benefits produced by this funding award no later than October 1, 2015 or within thirty (30) days of the completion of their project. The report (no more than 2 pages single-spaced) should include a description of the research accomplished and travel highlights. All reports should include any manuscripts to be submitted or plans to secure additional funding to undertake future research and a budget reconciliation.
  • Recipients are encouraged to give a seminar or talk on their project work. (IGHID will assist with coordinating such a seminar). If an international colleague is brought to campus, that colleague must give a seminar at UNC at some point during her or his visit.
  • Recipients are encouraged to provide photos or other materials related to their work to assist IGHID with communications about this program.
  • Any abstract, publication or other product generated from research supported by this funding mechanism must acknowledge the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases by name or inclusion of the institute’s logo, where appropriate.