Submission Deadline: 5:00 p.m. September 6, 2019

Purpose and Overview

UNC IPRC is one of nine CDC-funded Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) that blend outreach, training, education, and research into a single seamless program aimed at reducing the prevalence, risk, and public health impact of injury and violence in the United States. The UNC IPRC is one of two centers that has been continuously funded by the CDC since the ICRC Program’s inception in 1987.

The IPRC’s Exploratory Research Project Program (ERPP) will provide funding for a series of small and/or pilot research projects across the UNC campus. The purpose of the ERPP is to support research that will lead to an external funding request and/or a peer-reviewed manuscript. Emphasis will be placed on projects that address emerging issues in injury and violence prevention (IVP) and/or address research needs articulated by the IVP practitioner community. The IPRC seeks to support the development of junior researchers with interests in injury/violence prevention and encourages them to apply.

A total of up to four small and/or pilot projects, each with a short (<12 months) performance period and a budget between $4,000 and $16,000, will be selected over a five-year period. This Call for Proposals is for the first exploratory research project, which should be completed within 9-12 months. Proposed budgets should be between $4,000 and $16,000.

Exploratory Research Project Focus Areas

The IPRC will prioritize exploratory research project proposals that align with the IPRC’s five injury and violence prevention focus areas: gender-based violence, opioid drug overdose, child abuse and neglect, traumatic brain injury, and road traffic injury. Exploratory research projects that include the collection of pilot or other feasibility data with the goal of supporting the submission of a future funding application are strongly encouraged. In addition, the IPRC will prioritize projects that attract investigators, particularly junior investigators, to the IVP field, and projects that advance the career of junior IVP faculty.

Some examples of exploratory research studies that align with the IPRC’s goals include:

  • Adapting existing research or intervention methodologies from another health issue to an IVP topic;
  • Conducting formative work (e.g., validation study) to add an IVP outcome to a pre-existing project;
  • Extending the scientific scope of prior injury or violence research, for example, by developing, testing, or studying how best to disseminate a policy or practice intervention;
  • Repeating a prior survey in order to track progress over time against pre-existing data, using one or more measures relevant to injury and violence prevention.

Proposals may focus on any issue relevant to either violence or unintentional injury in human populations.

Within each of the five focus areas, the IPRC prioritizes a) engaged scholarship, b) systems science and systems perspectives, c) translational research, and d) policy research.

  • Engaged Scholarship: Many of the IPRC’s research projects involve partnerships with leaders in the practice community. These bidirectional research-practice partnerships facilitate public health relevance in many ways, including collaborative development of research questions and agendas, access to key data resources and data collection opportunities, interpretation of findings, and co-publication, and relevance of work to practice and policy issues. A key partnership for IPRC is our close working relationship with the Injury and Violence Branch in the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health.
  • Systems Science and Systems Perspectives: Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that examines the nature of systems from a holistic perspective. Of particular interest are models of complex dynamic systems to inform or evaluate policy decisions relevant to injury/violence science, or that generally advances injury/violence research through the use of systems perspectives and concepts.
  • Translational Research: Many effective injury prevention interventions have been identified but too few have gained wide community acceptance, and little is known about the best ways to encourage their broader use. Translational research includes: (a) translating an efficacious intervention into a practical prevention program; (b) building capacity to promote dissemination and use; (c) understanding strategies to support successful adoption and implementation; and (d) disseminating an effective intervention widely, based on known properties of the delivery channels and the intervention users or intended recipients.
  • Policy Research: Policy provides an organizing structure for collective and individual behavior changes to improve public health. It may be defined as a legislative or regulatory action taken by federal, state, city, or local governments, government agencies, or non-governmental organizations such as schools or corporations. Policy research includes those studies that focus on identifying relevant policies, the determinants of establishing policy, the process of developing and implementing policy, and the outcomes of policies once they are implemented.

Proposal Format and Submission

Proposals should be between 3 and 5 single-spaced pages in length, and should follow the format below:

Component Description Suggested Length
Title Name of project 1 sentence
Summary Thumbnail overview 2-5 sentences
PI & Research Team Names, Departments As needed
Area of Focus and Significance What is the injury problem you are addressing; why is it important? ½ page
Brief Specific Aims What the project will do ½ page
Prior Research How this project builds on prior work (if applicable) ½ page
Overview of Strategy & Approach Overview of key methodologic elements. Be upfront about project limitations. ½ to 1.5 pages
Public Health Impact Relationship of the project to Engaged Scholarship ¼ to ½ page

In addition, include a Biosketch for the PI.  You can also include Biosketches for other key members of the research team. Biosketch(es) can be in any format.

There is no particular budget format required.

Guidance Calls Prior to Proposal Submission

Investigators are strongly encouraged to communicate with Drs. Marshall and Moracco prior to developing their proposals to ensure that the proposed research is a good fit. Please contact either:

Steve Marshall, PhD
Director, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, CB #: 7505
Professor, Department of Epidemiology,


Beth Moracco, PhD MPH
Associate Director, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, CB #: 7505
Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior

Review Process
The IPRC will use peer-review mechanisms to determine the quality and significance of submitted proposals. A team of external reviewers will anonymously score each proposal based on significance, investigators, innovation, design, and impact. Reviewers will also provide anonymous comments. Scores and comments will be summarized and distributed to all investigators who submit proposals. UNC IPRC leadership (Marshall, Moracco, and Dixon) will confer and establish a priority order for funding. They will then confer with the IPRC External Advisory Committee of the Advisory Board, via in-person meeting, phone call, or video conference, before making final decision of the project to be funded.

How to Submit a Proposal

Submit proposals to by September 6, 2019.  The subject line of the email must be “IPRC Exploratory Research Project Proposal.”