The Research Design and Biostatistics (RDB) Core of the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC), in collaboration with Hispanics in Research Capability (HiREC) program at the University of Puerto Rico, is announcing a funding opportunity for small grants to leverage analysis of pre-existing large databases in Health Disparities among Hispanics.

The overall goal of the RDB Core of PRCTRC is to enhance and consolidate the existing research infrastructure to increase research productivity, particularly in the areas of health disparities and to facilitate intra-institutional and multi- or inter-disciplinary collaborations. The current funding program is in consonance with HiREC main objectives: to support critical research infrastructure and capacity building activities. This program serves the mission of HiREC as to expand and sustain high quality clinical and translational research training program and research infrastructure that will enhance minority health and increase health disparities research in our institution. This goal directly serves the mission and vision of the PRCTRC and HiREC to address health disparities in Hispanic populations and support the development of minority researchers in clinical and translational research.

Eligibility criteria:

  1. At least one of the Principal Investigators (PIs) must be an investigator at one of the PRCTRC institutions (University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe-Bayamon, Ponce Health Sciences University).
  2. Proposals must indicate: 1) the use of structured or unstructured big secondary datasets in order to achieve the study aims and 2) the future impact on public policy and/or health care.
  3. Preference will be given to proposals that address topics of health disparities in a thematic area stressed by the PRCTRC and HiREC in its research goals (Neuroscience, Cancer, Cardiovascular and Metabolic, HIV/AIDS, Respiratory Diseases, Mental Health).
  4. Preference will be given to proposals involving multiple investigators working across consortium institutions.

Application/Submission Specifications:

Small grants ($2,000-$4,000 each) will be awarded to help the principal investigator(s): a) to conduct preliminary analysis using a large database to support new competitive proposals for external funding, or b) to disseminate the results of large database analysis, covering publication or travel costs to present findings in scientific meetings. The number of grants will depend on the availability of funds and the number of successful applications. Proposals should emphasize the development of a protocol or data analysis for clinical and translational research to examine the determinants of Health Disparities among Hispanics, preferably in one of the PRCTRC and HiREC research priority areas: 1) cancer, 2) HIV/AIDS, 3) neuroscience, 4) cardiovascular/metabolic diseases, 5) respiratory diseases, and 6) mental health. However, other Health Disparities topics related to our Hispanic population can be submitted. All proposed activities should be completed by December 2018.

Applications for this funding opportunity should include the following documents (numbered on the top left corner and in the same order as listed below):

1) Cover page — must include title of study, author’s name, academic degree, and affiliations, and a conflict of interest/disclosure statement.

2) Abstract— unstructured with no more than 300 words.

3) Budget and detailed budget justification (2 pages). Researcher should use the following budget form:, followed by the budget justification. Only direct funds can be budgeted. There are no funds for indirect costs (F&A), honorariums, & cost sharing. Consultant fees, publication costs and conference registration fees are allowed. Travel expenses with the purpose of presenting an abstract at a scientific meeting are allowed, but limited to domestic travel. Supplies directly related to the proposed study are allowed.

4) Biographical sketch(es). All key personnel and collaborators must complete and follow the current NIH format (OMB No. 0925-0001 and 0925-0002, available at

5) Research plan (max 4 pages). Following NIH structure. Including Specific Aims, Significance and Innovation, Approach (including brief description of the dataset and data collection methods, Analysis Plan, Strengths and Limitations).

6) Research Timetable (1 page).

7) Resource Sharing Plans, including data sharing, model organism sharing, and genome-wide association study (GWAS) if applicable.

8) If applicable, a paragraph describing how this project will lead the investigator to independent funding must be included.

9) Consultants – letters of support and Biographical sketch must be included (no page limits).

Commitments between the PI and the PRCTRC/HiREC:

  • Commit to meet with the assigned advisory panel (2-3 members), as per request, to evaluate the project’s progress
  • Fulfill the proposed research project plan
  • Submit at least one manuscript using the big dataset and/or a proposal for external funding
  • Submit an abstract using the big dataset in order to present the study at a regional/national scientific meeting (optional).In case of a travel award to a regional/national scientific meeting, provide a brief summary of the meeting and include a copy of the meeting’s agenda.
  • Submit a copy of the poster or oral presentation and/or published manuscript.
  • Comply with the PRCTRC-NIH mid-year and final progress report
  • Provide the proper acknowledgements to the PRCTRC (2U54MD007587) and HiREC (S21MD001830) funding awards.

Application Deadline November 292017


Submit applications electronically to:

Lorena González-Sepúlveda

787-759-0306 ext.239