Place and Health: A North Carolina Public Health Approach
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Pilot Funding Opportunity

We are pleased to announce a School-wide pilot program to explore the role of place in influencing community and individual health. There are multiple place (geography)-based influences that can affect health, including physical, social, and economic factors. Place can include community, work, and personal residences over time, in relation to a broad range of factors such as the natural environment, built environment, population connectivity environment, social and behavioral environment, and health policy environment. The goal of this grant program is to assist investigators in developing pilot data that will lead to extramural funding for research projects.

Scope of the Funding Opportunity:

Applicants should propose research that includes one or more of these components: 1) methodologies for advancing analysis of place/geospatial determinants of health in North Carolina; 2) development of novel/significant North Carolina data resources for use in place/geospatial analyses; and 3) focused analysis of place/geospatial determinants of health and one or more health outcome in North Carolina.  The application should clearly indicate the potential short- and long-term impact of the proposed research, including the potential for future grant applications.


Important Dates:

  • RFP Release Date: February 3, 2023
  • Application Due Date: April 3, 2023
  • Anticipated Review: mid/end of April 2023
  • Notification of Award: mid-May 2023
  • Project Start Date: June 1, 2023



Lead PIs must hold a full-time faculty position with a primary appointment with a rank of assistant or associate professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.



Proposals may request up to $30,000 for 1 year. We anticipate awarding up to 6 projects.


Review Process:

Proposals will be reviewed by the Gillings Research Council (with ad hoc reviewers as needed). Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated public health need (specific to place/geospatial health outcome, etc.)
  • Innovation and/or impact as related to place/geospatial determinants of health
  • Feasibility (approach and budget)
  • Anticipated outcomes (i.e., how will the investigators leverage this research for additional funding, e.g., NIH, CDC, other grants)


Application Process:

Please submit a single PDF file with the following documents to by 5:00 PM EDT on April 3, 2023:

Title page (No more than 300 words) –Title, list of key personnel, abstract. Please use the provided template.

Project Description (No more than 3 pages, single spaced, 0.5-inch margins, no less than 11-point font) – This document should contain the following:

  • Description of the public health need being addressed by this proposed project and what role place has in this problem.
  • Description of how this project will provide innovation and address this need.
  • Description of the proposed methods/approach.
  • General timeline of project, including expected project outcomes and pursuit of additional funding.
  • Description of potential external funding opportunities that will be targeted for additional funding.

References Cited (Not included in the word count for the Project Description)

Biographical sketches – Please use a standard format, such as NIH or NSF.

Budget and Budget Justification – These funds can be used for activities that will support development of ideas to make the project more competitive for external funding. Examples of acceptable cost that could be supported by this funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Cost associated with the generation of preliminary data or methodologies;
  • Research scientist/GRA/Postdoc support; or
  • Up to 5% faculty salary support and associated fringe benefits for the PI.


Budget and budget justification should be provided in standard departmental formats. Please work with your grants manager to ensure that you are meeting standard University best practices for research budgets.

No food costs are allowed.

No F&A/indirect costs are allowed.


Terms of Award:

  • Award is for 1 year, but a one-time no-cost extension is allowable with proper justification and approval from the Senior Director of Research.
  • Requests for a no-cost extension must be made at least 30 days prior to the expiration of an award. No-cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months.
  • Unexpended funds will revert to the Gillings School.
  • A final report is due at the project’s conclusion.
  • After the project end date, the PIs are expected to provide updates to the Gillings Research Unit about progress in obtaining funding to sustain the project and subsequent publications.



For any questions about this funding program, please contact Alexia Kelley ( or Andy Olshan (