Pilot Grant Program

The Community Engagement and Research (CEAR) Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania is making pilot grant funding available for research with public and community health relevance. We are especially interested in proposals that address cancer risk and cancer prevention.

This call for proposals is open to faculty and postdocs with significant public and community health-related experience at Penn and is intended to:

  • Foster interdisciplinary research in public health at Penn that will have meaningful results at the community level.
  • Assist in garnering external support for large-scale studies in the field of public health.
  • Encourage additional faculty and staff at Penn to become involved in public health research.
  • Identify the innovative methodologies in the field of public health that have the potential of informing local, state, and national policy and programming.

Submissions for 2023 are closed.

Please check back in January 2024 for opportunities to apply.



Any questions should be directed to Krista Scheffey (krista.scheffey@pennmedicine.upenn.edu).

CEAR Core also awards pilot grant funds through Community Driven Research Day (CDRD). Community Driven Research Day is a collaboration between community groups and researchers at Penn, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Temple University, Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University. CDRD is an opportunity for members of community organizations and academic researchers to come together to meet and discuss potential collaborations and community-academic partnerships.


Other Pilot Grant Opportunities Available at Penn


Community Driven Research Day Pilot Grants

ITMAT Pilot Grants

CHIBE Pilot Grants

CEAR Core Pilot Grant Awards

Award Recipient

Awardee titles and affiliations
at the time of the award

Title of Project

Tamara Cadet, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Social Policy & Practice

“Screening for Nutrition in Oncology Settings for Underserved Rural Communities with Food Insecurity and Social Determinants of Health Challenges”

Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP

Associate Professor, Surgery

“Health Care Use Among Patients Newly Insured via Hospital-Based Insurance Linkage”


Kent D.W. Bream, MD

Associate Director, Predoctoral Education in Family Medicine

Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Community Health, Perelman School of Medicine

“African Immigrant Community Needs Assessment and burden of diabetes and trauma”

Lauren Eberly, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

“Improving Quality of Heart Failure Care Among American Indian Patients Receiving Care through the Indian Health Service”

Amanda Fultz, PhD, RDN

Postdoctoral Fellow, Perelman School of Medicine

“Nutrition Assistance Recipient and Stakeholder Perceptions on COVID-19 Policy Changes”

Steven Scherer, MD, PhD

Vice Chair for Academic Development, Department of Neurology

Ruth Wagner Van Meter and J. Ray Van Meter Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine

“TTR Amyloidosis Education and Outreach Program”

Sarah Schrauben, MD, MSCE

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine

“Pilot Study of Kidney Community Connect – Digital Tools for Kidney Research”


Joanna Hart, MD, MSHP

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division

“Caregiving youth: an invisible cause of inequity”

Nadav Schwartz, MD

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

“A telehealth solution to improve community access to fetal monitoring in high-risk pregnancies: a feasibility pilot study”


Kristen Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, FAAP

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine
Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“Evaluating the Impact of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Educational Videos on Parental Knowledge of Respiratory Virus Transmission and Etiquette”


Julia Alber, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Fellow, Perelman School of Medicine

Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, FAHA

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

“Increasing Hepatitis B Screening among Chinese and Vietnamese
Philadelphians: Exploring the Feasibility of a Community Liaison Social Media Program”

Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health
Director of Research, Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania

Anna Uma Morgan, MD, MSc
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program

“Building the Capacity of Libraries to Address the Social Determinants of Health”


Anu Asnaani, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

“Testing and Dissemination of a Screening Measure for PTSD in Youth”

Jeffrey Gerber, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Attending Physician, Division Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Keith W. Hamilton, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship
Associate Healthcare Epidemiologist, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Julia E. Szymczak, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Division of Infectious Diseases
Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness (CPCE), The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“Development of a Citywide Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative”

Community Driven Research Day Pilot Grant Awards


Caroline Watts, EdD, EdM
Senior Lecturer, Director of School and Community Engagement; Graduate School of Education

Aqueelah Brown
Know Your Worth Girls Inc.

“The Preparation and Pilot Implementation of HOPE-ish: A Mental Health Awareness Program”


Sara F. Jacoby, MPH, MSN, PhD
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Penn School of Nursing

Carly Maurer

“Evaluating the gun violence prevention potential of the 60th Street Strong Coalition”

Steven Paul Meanley, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Penn School of Nursing

Lee Carson

“Building capacity to address equity in sexual health and wellness among transgender and gender nonbinary communities in Philadelphia”


Terri Lipman, PhD, CRNP, FAAN
Professor of Nursing of Children, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Angela Huc
Learning Central Preschool

“Enhancing children’s readiness for school: Using goals of community parents”


M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Cory Long
Team Making A Change

“Examining A Partnership Between Youth and Community Stakeholders in Violence Intervention: A Qualitative Approach”

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Researcher readiness for participating in community-engaged dissemination and implementation research: a conceptual framework of core competencies

Shea et al., 2017 Translational Behavioral Medicine