Funding Opportunities

Request for Proposals for Pilot Projects: Development, Testing, and Implementation of Behavioral Interventions in Aging Research



The Duke Roybal Center (NIA P30AG064201) aims to catalyze researchers across disciplines to develop, refine, test and implement innovative behavioral interventions grounded in behavioral or social science principles to promote independent living of older adults and adults at risk for disability. The theme of the Duke Roybal Center is to accelerate translational behavioral intervention research on aging and functional independence. Our Pilot Core provides project awardees with direct, frequent, and intensive guidance and training across all phases and stages of the behavioral intervention development process from theory through implementation. We are seeking projects at all points on the treatment development continuum. Awardees will be mentored on team science and how to work with stakeholders to develop, refine, test, and/or implement an intervention. Funding and staff support (please see below) are available for one year, and subsequent engagement post one-year with the Center is highly encouraged for continued guidance on research progression and translation.


We are seeking proposals for theory-driven intervention research at any point in the intervention development and implementation process that aims to promote functional independence of older adults or adults at increased risk for disability by targeting patient/caregiver behavior change. Faculty investigators should propose high quality small-scale behavioral intervention or implementation feasibility or pilot studies that can be completed in one year. The proposed research could be in any of the NIH stages of intervention development (0, I, II, III, IV) and must have a plan for progression within the levels of the NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development. The intent of funding is to generate preliminary data that can lead to high-impact externally funded studies. Study types of interest include: pilot studies of novel interventions leading toward a subsequent clinical efficacy study; adaptations of effective interventions for a new population or clinical problem; and piloting implementation methodologies for spread of effective interventions or models of care.  Both healthcare system-based and community-based interventions are relevant for this RFA. The proposed study could involve one or more levels of inquiry, but must incorporate the development, refinement, testing or implementation of a behavioral intervention.

Studies of Interest

We are interested in studies that relate to our focus on “Accelerating Translational Behavioral Intervention Research on Aging and Functional Independence.” We define function using the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). The primary intervention outcome is expected to be in the domain of physical function (e.g., disability, mobility, self-care, physical activity) and can be measured by a person’s capacity (what the person can do), perceived capacity, or performance (what is actually done) in executing a specific task or being involved in a life situation.

We are especially interested in studies that reflect our Center’s Commitment to Equity and Diversity: The Duke Roybal Center aims to advance behavioral intervention development and implementation to optimize mobility for older adults. Integral to behavioral and social science research are intentional efforts to acknowledge the intersectionality of age with all dimensions of diversity, including but not limited to sex, race, ethnicity, gender identity, and expression, sexual orientation, disability, health, socioeconomic status, and social class. As a Center, there is an equal commitment to actively engage underrepresented investigators, study teams, community stakeholders, and study participants to understand these nuances and address health disparities among older adults.

Duration and Funding

Funding is available for one year, June 1 – May 31. The budget request for proposals is $20,000 – $70,000 in direct costs for the year. In addition to, and separate from, the direct costs of the research, an experienced behavioral interventionist will be available to support each funded project and administrative support is available to support translation and applications for future funding.

Awarded investigators are expected to utilize Roybal Center expertise and participate in Center training activities during the award year. Training activities include quarterly intensive workshops and state of the science lectures, monthly Novel Intervention Development Incubator (NIDI) meetings, and an eight-week grant writing course scheduled for September-October 2022. Project awardees will also participate in quarterly reviews to demonstrate progression towards relevant milestones and address any areas of intervention development requiring additional support.

Timeline (updated 10/17/22)

  • 9/15/22, 5 pm: Informational Webinar
  • 10/3 – 11/4/22: Required Study Consult Meeting
  • 11/11/22: Required Letter of Intent (LOI) Due
  • 11/18/22: Invitations to Submit Full Applications
  • 12/16/22: Application Due
  • 1/17/23: NOA – Funding Decisions announced
  • 3/15/23: Human Subjects Documents Due to NIH
  • 6/1/23: Earliest Start Date

Letter of Intent (LOI) and Application Details

The LOI is required by October 28, 2022. It must include the following items sent as a single PDF package to Timothy Strauman ( :

  1. Title Page:
  2. Proposed Title of the Project
  3. Name of the Principal Investigator
  4. Key Co-Investigators
  5. Stage of Research (NIH Stage Model)
  6. Specific Aims Page: (Maximum of 1 page, Arial 11 point font, 0.5 inch margins)

Brief, high-level summary of summary of:

  1. Significance/Problem
  2. Approach
  3. Study Aims
  4. Innovation
  5. Plan for translation
  6. Relevance to the Duke Roybal Center theme of aging, mobility, and functional independence
  7. Future directions: how the project will lead to future funding applications

Please note: Proposals aiming to address populations younger than 65 years must provide justification for how outcomes will promote healthy aging and prevent functional decline or disability)

The LOI and biosketch are to help organize the selection of reviewers and allow time to provide any final guidance prior to submitting a proposal.

Full Application

We hope to invite 6-8 applicants to submit a full proposal and to fund 2-3 proposals each year. The full proposal is due December 9, 2022. Please send as a single PDF package to Timothy Strauman (

  1. Research Strategy: (Maximum of 3 pages, Arial 11 point font, 0.5 inch margins)
    1. Study Aims
    2. Significance
    3. Innovation
    4. Study Design & Methods (specifying stage of research)
    5. Analysis Plan
    6. Plans for dissemination and leveraging findings toward future external funding
    7. Stated commitment to participate in Roybal Center training activities
    8. Description of how the Roybal Center’s expertise will be utilized to accomplish the proposed work and any other resources available to the investigator to ensure the success of the project (environment).
  2. References
  3. NIH Biosketch for all key personnel
  4. Detailed Budget (please work with your grants administrator to meet NIH guidelines)
  5. Detailed Budget Justification

Please contact Timothy Strauman ( with any questions.