Targeted Research Grants

Deadline: October 1,2020
Sponsor: Division 54

The Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP) is pleased to announce the availability of a Targeted Research Grant program. This annual program was established to fund research projects that will contribute to priority and emerging areas in the field of pediatric psychology and allow investigators to collect pilot data to aid in securing additional major grant funding.

For the 2019 award cycle, the committee solicits proposals that address the Healthy People 2020 topics/objectives broadly defined. As a result, the focus of the proposal can target many populations, methods, and behaviors within pediatric psychology.

However, to maximize the likelihood that funded applications have the potential to inform research aligned with national-level priorities, special consideration will be given to proposals that also address one of the priority areas as defined by OBSSR (

  1. Improve the Synergy of Basic and Applied Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (e.g., research on gene-environment interactions, neuroscience and neuroimaging research).
  1. Enhance and Promote the Research Infrastructure, Methods, and Measures Needed to Support a More Cumulative and Integrated Approach to Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (e.g., technology – eHealth interventions and information/communication technologies, studies of novel measurement/assessment strategies).
  1. Facilitate the Adoption of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Findings in Health Research and in Practice (e.g., research on the economic impact of pediatric psychology interventions/services; diversity, healthcare disparities, and/or areas related to social justice).

SPP will award up to two grants in the amount of $20,000 each to cover one year of funding to those research proposals demonstrating the greatest merit and potential for success. This funding opportunity is for early career investigators (within 10 years of PhD) who do not have current or previous major research funding for which they serve as Principal Investigator (PI). In the United States individuals who have had NIH K-level (K23, K07, K08, K99/R00) or R-level (R21, R34, R01, R18) grants or a foundation grant >100K in direct costs per year as PI would be excluded (NIH R03 level funding as PI is allowed). Only sole PI  applications will be accepted. Grants will be peer reviewed using a study section/committee methodology by three reviewers. These reviews will be provided to applicants to aid them in future grant proposals. Previous Targeted Research Grant winners are not eligible to apply.


Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  1. Scientific merit and impact
  2. Degree of fit with at least one of the priority research areas listed above
  3. The PI and his/her research team’s (e.g., mentors, content experts) demonstrated competence and capability to execute the proposed work
  4. The potential for the funding to launch the applicant into further independent investigative work
  5. Lack of overlap between this proposal and other funding sources/grants/support

Requirements for Application:

  1. The PI must hold a doctoral degree and have a current faculty appointment at an accredited institution at the level of  instructor, assistant professor, etc. (or equivalent)
  2. The PI must be a member of SPP
  3. A letter of intent (LOI) must be submitted and the PI must subsequently be invited to submit an application based on approval of the LOI.
  4. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and documenting institutional approval for the LOI and for the full application as per their own institutional policy. Funding must be routed through the PI’s home institution.


Letter of Intent:

  1. Submissions of LOI’s should be no longer than 1.5 pages (for “a” and “b” below) and must be submitted electronically to the Chair of the Committee (Avani Modi; as a single .pdf, .doc, or .docx file by June 1, 2019 (single-spaced, 11 or 12 point font, 1 inch margins)
  1. Include the following sections:
    1. Description of Project. Briefly describe your proposed project (limit = 1 page). Include Aims, Significance, Innovation, Research Approach, and Fit with Program Priority Areas. Applicants proposing a novel research area outside of the identified priority areas should clearly demonstrate why the research area is novel or emerging.
    2. Future Plans. Briefly describe your future plans (limit = ½ page), i.e., how the pilot
      funding will be used to support future full-scale research and how this project overlaps with other grants/support and/or existing research.
    3. Biosketch of the PI (using new format:

Full Application format:

  1. Applications must be submitted in English
  2. An application cannot be submitted unless an LOI has been submitted and approved by the Targeted Research Grant Committee.
  3. The following items must be submitted electronically to Avani Modi ( as a single .pdf, .doc, or .docx file by October 1, 2019 (single-spaced, 11 point font, 1 inch margins)
    1. Project Summary /Abstract (30 lines), beginning with Project Title, Name of PI, and Institution
    2. Research Proposal: 7 pages
      1. Specific Aims, Hypotheses, and Fit with Program Priority Areas (1 page max)
      2. Significance/Innovation
      3. Preliminary studies
      4. Approach (Design, Methods, and Data Analysis)
    3. References (limit to 2 pages)
    4. A detailed research timeline for the one-year grant period
    5. Biosketch of the PI (using new format:
    6. Biosketches of all key senior personnel (funded or unfunded), including mentors if applicable
    7. One year budget and budget justification (3 pages; indirect and student tuition costs cannot be covered by the grant), including a description of all key personnel and their roles. Salary support can be included and is encouraged if it is necessary to ensure completion of the project.
    8. Description of research environment (1 page)
    9. Letters of support (optional)
  4. Do not submit appendices or reprints. Tables and figures must be incorporated within the page limits noted above.
  5. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and documenting institutional approval as per their own institutional policy.
  6. IRB applications should be either approved or in preparation for submission at the time of the application (October 1, 2019).  Funds will be released upon IRB approval, with proof of approval provided to Dr. Modi. Grantees should make every effort to expend the research funds and complete their projects within one year of funding – that is, upon receipt of IRB approval and release of funds. If funded projects are not progressing, it is the responsibility of the grantee to notify Dr. Modi about problems related to not being able to complete the activity within 12 months. In this case, the Targeted Research Grant committee will review progress and discuss the status of the funding, including possibilities such as a “no-cost extension” of funds or requesting return of funds.
  7. Awardees will be expected to submit a mid-year progress report (6 months after release of funds) and a year-end final report that must also include a financial report (one year after release of funds).

Key Dates:

    RFA Released: March 1, 2019.
    Letter of Intent deadline: June 1, 2019
    Invitations to Submit Applications will be sent by: July 15, 2019
    Application deadline:  October 1, 2019
    Award announcement:  December 1, 2019
    Award start date:  January 1, 2020 (although see #6 above)

Please contact Avani Modi, PhD ( with any questions.


Award Year: 2020

  • Rachel Wasserman, PhD Diabetes-specific risk-taking in young adults with Type 1 Diabetes: A measure validation study

Award Year: 2019

  • Matthew Hocking, PhD Genetic polymorhpisms and neurocognitive outcomes in pediatric brain tumor survivors

Award Year: 2018

  • Rachelle Ramsey, PhD Using Technology-Assisted Stepped Care Intervention to Improve Adherence in Adolescents with Asthma
  • Jessica Pierce, PhD Validation of the Healthcare Transition Outcomes Inventory for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Award Year: 2017

  • Diane Chen, PhD Development of a Fertility-Related Decision Aid for Transgender Youth and Their Parents
  • Melanie Noel, PhD - The Roles of Mother- and Father-Child Narratives in CHildren's Pain Memory Development

Award Year: 2016

  • Jason Van Allen, PhD A Pilot Parent-Focused Telemedicine Intervention for Obesity among Preschoolers in Rural West Texas
  • Meghan E. McGrady, PhDAssessment of Adherence-Related Motivation among Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with Cancer

Award Year: 2015

  • Christopher C. Cushing, PhDEcological Momentary Assessment of Affect and Health Behavior
  • Kristoffer S. Berlin, PhD - Developing a Culturally Talored Acceptance-Based Behavioral Intervention to Improve Glycemic Control and Quality of Life among Low Income Adolescents with Type-1 Diabetes and their Families
  • Elizabeth K. Towner, PhDDevelopment of a Smartphone Intervention Targeting Healthy Food-Related Budgeting, Purchasing, and Routines to Address Obesity in Early Childhood

Award Year: 2014

  • Robin S. Everhart, PhDUsing Ecological Momentary Assessment to Examine Caregiver Burden related to Pediatric Asthma in Urban Families


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