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2023-2024 Seed Grant Program - Aging Call

Deadline : March 29, 2024

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Updated November 2023

The Maryland Population Research Center invites proposals for projects that will enhance research activity bearing directly on the demography and economics of aging (see end of document for a list of illustrative topics). It is anticipated that two grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded in response to this call, subject to a sufficient number of high-quality proposals being received. The principal aim of this program is to assist in the development of research ideas that have the potential to significantly enhance scientific knowledge in the demography and economics of aging and to garner external research support, particularly R01-level funding from the National Institute of Aging (NIA).


Both MPRC Faculty Associates and Faculty Affiliates are eligible to apply for grants under the Seed Grant Program. Applicants must have applied for MPRC Associate or Affiliate status prior to or together with submitting a seed grant application. 

Proposal Format

Proposals should be no more than three (3) single-spaced pages in length, exclusive of title page, abstract, timeline, references, budget pages, current CVs for all investigators, description of any human subjects (if applicable), and appendices. Proposals are to be written in Arial 11-point font with 0.5 inch margins all around. Proposals must include an Abstract and subsections for Specific Aims, Significance and Innovation, and Approach. The Approach section should combine an outline of the eventual, full-study data and method and a description of the activities funded by the Seed Grant and how they will lead to increased competitiveness in obtaining extramural funding. Seed Grant applications may be revised and resubmitted once if not funded on the first submission. Revised Seed Grant applications must include a description of up to one-half page that addresses comments received from the initial review. If also submitted elsewhere, please state. A human subjects statement should be included using NIH guidelines. If the project will only use publicly available secondary data, stating this is sufficient for the Human Subjects section. All seed grant research proposals that are approved for funding must obtain appropriate human subjects approval or exemption through the University’s Institutional Review Board before funds will be dispersed.

Budget Guidelines

Proposed projects will be for a one-year period, normally June 1, 2024 to May 31, 2025 for Seed Grants submitted by the March 29, 2024, deadline. Project budgets may request up to $20,000 in direct costs to support any activity that directly relates to the successful conduct of the project. There are no indirect costs paid on MPRC Seed Grants. Budget items may include support for data entry, interviews, data acquisition, access to restricted-use data, travel costs related to data collection or meetings with collaborators, release time during the academic year, summer salary support, and graduate research assistance. For more complex data processing tasks, proposals may also request in-kind programming support from MPRC in place of, or in addition to, graduate student research assistance. Summer salary is limited to 11% of a faculty member’s academic year salary. The Center will not pay for computer equipment when that computing can reasonably be accomplished with the existing equipment at the Center. Unspent funding at the end of the one-year project period will revert back to the MPRC Seed Grant pool unless a request for a time extension is requested and approved by the MPRC Director.

Review and Selection

The Associate Director will screen all submitted proposals to determine whether the proposals meet the program’s goals. Faculty whose proposals are deemed to be outside the scope of the Center’s mission will be removed from further consideration and the investigators will be notified. Proposals that pass this initial screening will undergo formal review by the Center’s Executive Committee. After reviewing the proposals, the Committee will rank them and forward their recommendation for funding to the Director. The Director will make final funding decisions, based on availability of funds. The following prioritized criteria will be used in evaluating the proposals:

  1. The overall quality of the proposed research;
  2. The potential of the proposed research to be expanded into an externally funded (e.g. NIA R01, R21, or R03) grant application, with priority given to plans to seek funding from the NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research *;
  3. A proposal has received a favorable review from the funding agency and needs additional resources for resubmission (please include Summary Statement with reviewer comments);
  4. Proposed research that crosses disciplines and solidifies ties between departments or other institutions, especially in the Washington, DC, area;
  5. Proposed research for which other sources of funds are not available;;
  6. Using the Maryland Federal Research Data Center.

Monitoring and Grantee Obligations

The Center’s Administrative Core will monitor progress on seed grant projects and will provide an expense report to each project principal investigator on request. Grantees will submit a final progress report including any grant proposals or papers submitted or in preparation within one month after the end date of their Seed Grant period and will notify MPRC of any proposals and papers subsequently submitted or awarded / accepted. It is expected that an external grant proposal will be submitted no later than six (6) months from the completion of the Seed Grant period and will be administered through MPRC. Grantees’ papers and publica¬tions will acknowledge the MPRC Seed Grant program, and grantees will submit published peer-reviewed articles to the PubMed Central system (see MPRC Information Services for assistance in doing this).

Proposal Deadlines

Highest priority will be given to proposals submitted by the deadline, March 29, 2024. Proposals submitted at another time during the year will be reviewed as received or deferred to a subsequent call. Please allow several weeks for the review process. The Development Core Director, **, welcomes contact about proposal ideas prior to submission. Submit completed proposals using the Seed Grant Proposal submission form*** on the MPRC website.

For those not reading this on a computer, here are the links from the text:


* * * * * * *

Illustrative Topic Areas for Demographics and Economics of Aging Research:

Examples of research themes include but are not limited to:

  • Determinants of population trends at older ages in physical and cognitive functioning (including AD / ADRD), disability, morbidity, mortality, health and well-being.
  • Life course pathways by which social, behavioral, environmental and structural risk and protective factors lead to disparities in health outcomes.
  • Mechanisms through which socioeconomic status, race / ethnicity, and other factors operate as risk factors for poor health and health disparities at older ages.
  • Interrelationships between work, family and health, and the consequences of work trajectories for health outcomes at older ages.
  • How environmental, social, economic, institutional, structural, and other factors affect health and well-being, including health-related behaviors, healthcare utilization, health disparities, and responses to public health interventions.
  • Influence on the aging process and aging outcomes of different social, economic, familial, environmental, geographic, cultural and institutional contexts.
  • Consequences of U.S. and global population aging / demographic change for the care and well-being of older people with disease and disability, including AD / ADRD*.
  • Integration of genetic approaches and data on biological risk into social science population research on aging. 
  • Effects of population-level interventions on health, health delivery, quality of care, and disparities.
  • Impact of health care services, the health care system, and long-term supports and services, including organizational influences, on the health and well-being of older persons with chronic disease, disability and AD / ADRD, and on their care providers.

Areas of focus that are especially encouraged are: a) socioeconomic status (SES) disparities at older ages, including geographic disparities; b) the reasons for poor U.S. performance in health and mortality in international comparisons; c) trends and dynamics in old-age disability; d) cohort trends in obesity and its sequelae; e) family demography including the demography of care and caregiving for chronic disease, disability and AD / ADRD, and; f) long-term supports and services for the disabled elderly population.


RFA-AG-20-001: Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging (P30 Clinical Trial Optional) (

*Note: Seed grant applications should not focus exclusively on AD / ADRD, but NIA does use a higher payline for studies with 50% or higher AD / ADRD content.

Go to the Proposal Submission form