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2024 Seed Funding Award

2024 Call for Proposals Now Open

Download the Call for Proposals: 2024 Call for Proposals

Deadline: April 19th, 2024

View the information session:  Information Session 

Passcode: S4GQ$KkH

The Program in Health Equity and Population Health Seed Grant Program was established in 2017 and awarded its first of several planned awards in 2021.  The 2024 award marks the third round of funding under this initiative.  

In 2021, the Program in Health Equity and Population Health gave a $25,000 award to a proposal titled COVID-19 related disruptions in the diagnosis of new cancers: disparities in care utilization and patient outcomes (PIs: Dr. Brajesh Lal, Surgery, and Dr. Brian Englum, Surgery). Their project was selected, in part, because of their bidirectional partnership with their Community Advisor, Ms. Nancy McCormick. Ms. McCormick is long-time member of the Baltimore community and part of the PATIENTS program PCORI advisory board. She is engaged in cancer care as a survivor, and is contributing a community perspective on study design, data interpretation, and future directions with community focus groups, advisory boards, surveys, recommendations. She is working with Drs. Lal and Englum, and the rest of the research team to achieve the project aims: (1) Identify patient and community factors that impact the disruption in new cancer diagnoses in the COVID era; and (2) Quantify consequences of the disruption in new cancer diagnoses in the COVID era, and how patient and community factors impact these consequences. In July, Drs. Lal and Englum submitted a 6-month report on their findings and presented them to the program at the all-member meeting.

In Fall 2022, the Program in Health Equity and Population Health began incorporating Lightning Talks into their bi-monthly all-member meetings.  In a series of Lightning Talks presented by Health Equity Researchers, faculty delivered a 5-minute talk about a research idea with the objectives of engaging transdisciplinary partners and receiving brief and stimulating feedback for the project. The presentations were followed by Q&A and advice (e.g., ideas, suggestions for collaborators) from the audience to assist the presenter in moving forward.  Faculty who presented lightning talks were encouraged to incorporate the feedback they received and to apply for seed funding for their projects in 2023.  Consideration was given to those researchers who presented lightning talks, however, it was not a requirement for the application.   If you are interested in presenting a Lightning Talk in Spring 2024, please contact Program Director, Erin Walton, at

In May 2023, The Program in Health Equity and Population Health awarded $25,000 to Dr. Francesca Okolie and Dr. Jioni Lewis' proposal Achieving Health Equity, Empowerment and Improved Maternal Outcomes Through Collaborative Doula Care. Francesca Okolie, DO, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a Neonatologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).  She is also the Director of the NICU Multidisciplinary Patient Safety Reveiw Committee at UMMC.  Jioni Lewis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and the Co-director of Training in the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Their research aims to better understand what makes doula care so helpful to Black pregnant women and reveal the challenges that are faced in the hospital when it comes to using a doula.  The results of their study will play a role in the creation of a cultural compentency training to help Black pregnant women, doulas, and medical teams work better together.  

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming all-member meetings and opportunities to hear about HEPH seed-funded research.