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Pilot Funding for Think Tank Members

RFP Announcement


Pilot Funding for Think Tank Members

This initiative provides “seed” incentives to stimulate new or existing research collaborations that will ultimately result in external grant funding.

For more information, please read the request for proposal.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join a Think Tank?

Information on Think Tanks can be located on the Think Tank Overview page. Please reach out to a Think Tank leader to for more details on how to join.

What is meant by community involvement?

The goal of our think tanks is to “…bring together inter-disciplinary teams of researchers to build capacity for creating and evaluating efficient, effective, comprehensive, context-specific solutions for achieving health equity".   We want our teams to work in partnership with populations impacted by health disparities, not simply provide a service (which by the way is GREAT, don’t get me wrong), but not the focus of this unique award.

Addressing health disparities is very complex and to maximize research impact requires participation of those whose life or work is the subject of the research in the research process (e.g. formulation of the research question and goal, the development of a research design, the selection of appropriate methods for data collection and analysis, the implementation of the research, the interpretation of the results, and the dissemination of the findings).

We recognize that this level of community participation has not traditionally been the norm for health disparities research.  We also understand that persons applying for this award may be very new the idea of incorporating community partnerships into their research at this level of involvement.

Ultimately, we hope that as time progresses, more and more health disparities researchers will move towards a place where “Research is not done “on” people as passive subjects providing “data” but “with” them to provide relevant information for improving their lives.

Here are a few examples of the type of Community-based groups that are also working to address health disparities locally.  For Example, Fusion is a fiscal sponsor of many grass-root community organizations in Baltimore -

Also, UMB is working to collect a database of all community organizations that UMB faculty are partnering with.

Dr. Jones is happy to consult with those researchers who are interested in learning how maximize the impact of their health disparities research by working with community partners.   

Is basic / bench research supported?

Yes, we are interested in all levels of research from the basic/bench science to Health care systems as outlined by NIMHD (see

So, it's not the area that important and certainly bench research is allowable.  However, the question is the focus.  In the RFA we state that 

3. Significance and Health Impact
• Applications must clearly describe the health disparity being addressed by the application (both the disease and differential burden for a defined population)


Revised October 5, 2021