Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research (RC4)


NIH solicits applications from domestic (United States) institutions/organizations proposing to support the development, expansion, or reconfiguration of infrastructures needed to facilitate collaboration between academic health centers and community-based organizations for health science research. Such collaboration should transform the way in which health science research is conducted in communities, and accelerate the pace, productivity, dissemination, and implementation of health research. 

This initiative is one of several being offered by the NIH to help fulfill the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research.

This program will support the development, expansion, or reconfiguration of bi-directional relationships between academic health centers and community entities in the pursuit of improved public health through research. Projects could involve the development of public-private partnerships; connections between academic health centers and their constituent institutions and community entities; the development of practice-based research; the creation of needed information technology to support research, etc. The Academic Health Center (AHC), in order to facilitate this bi-directionality, may need to plan significant training of the community entities in the rationale and skills necessary to achieve equity in these partnerships. To maximize their potential, community infrastructure projects will ideally span scientific disciplines, diseases, and conditions, and will offer the potential for sustained collaboration and future research. 

Applications must include a plan that describes how the infrastructure and services expect to be maintained and supported beyond the initial NIH funded period. The plan should include potential sources of support other than NIH.

Building on Existing Infrastructures

To ensure efficient use of Recovery Act funds as well as maximize the likelihood of sustainability beyond the funding period, projects should build upon existing infrastructure and resources wherever feasible. Of particular interest are collaborative projects that build on activities currently supported by NIH or other HHS resources and networks.  For reference, we provide some examples of partner agencies and their existing infrastructures.

Eligibility and Other Considerations

  • Applications are invited from domestic (United States) institutions/organizations proposing to develop or expand needed infrastructures that will fundamentally transform collaboration and communication between academic health centers and local communities.
  • Foreign organizations/ institutions are not permitted as the applicant organization.
  • NIH intends that academic health centers will be the applicant organizations for this RFA. Please see "Section III. Eligibility Information" of the RFA for more information.
  • Applicants must designate a Community Research Associate, who will be a community representative and serve as a primary liaison facilitating communication and collaboration between the academic health center and the community.
  • Because this RFA is supported by ARRA (Recovery Act) funds, there are specific reporting requirements for which grantee institutions will be responsible.  These reporting requirements are above and beyond normal grant progress reports.
Funding Information
  • NIH has designated up to $30 million in FY 2009-2010 to fund 30 or more grants, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications.
  • Budget requests should be commensurate with project needs.  However, the requested duration should not exceed 3 years. The total cost for individual awards is expected to vary depending on the scope of the project, but is limited to a maximum of $1 million total costs for the full project period.
  • If selected for award, multi-year projects will be funded up-front as a single project period.

Key Dates

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:
Application Due Date:
Peer Review Date(s):
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:
November 12, 2009
December 11, 2009
February/March 2010
July 2010

Resources for Applicants

Comments or Questions?

Questions about the Community Infrastructure RFA that are not addressed in the materials linked above may be directed to the program staff at the Institute whose mission is most closely related to the proposed application. Section VII of the RFA includes a complete list of scientific contacts in the participating Institutes and Centers and partnering agencies. 

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