University of Southern California


RFA-HD-20-015: Population Dynamics Research Infrastructure Program

Slots:                                                     1. Institutions may not hold more than one NICHD Population Dynamics Centers Research Infrastructure Program P2C or R24 award at a time. For example, institutions with awards from RFA-HD-16-017RFA-HD-17-007RFA-HD-18-013, or RFA-HD-19-014 are not eligible to apply. This prohibition precludes the submission of applications to this program from institutions with existing awards that will not complete their current competitive period within this fiscal year. Applications from such institutions will not be accepted for review.

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        30 days prior to application due date

External Deadline:                          August 30, 2019

Award Information:                        Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 4

Anticipated Amount: $1,600,000 in FY 2020 to fund 4 awards.

Budgetary Requirements:            For new applications, requested annual direct costs may not exceed $200,000 or the amount of annual support (direct costs) the center receives from outside the applicant institution for population dynamics research and training, whichever is lower.

For renewal applications, requested annual direct costs may not exceed $500,000 or the amount of annual support (direct costs) the center receives from outside the applicant institution for population dynamics research and training, whichever is lower. In addition, the requested annual increase may not exceed $125,000 of the prior competitive award.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    Standard NIH eligibility requirements.

Other Eligibility Criteria:

Established Research Center. The applicant institution must have an established administrative unit (for example, a center or an institute) that administers or coordinates population dynamics research across the applicant institution, hereafter referred to as the “population research center.” Funds from this FOA must be for this population research center and may not be used to establish a new population research center at the applicant institution. The PD/PI must be the director of the center when the application is submitted and/or the award is issued. As used in this FOA, an “established unit” has the following characteristics: the applicant institution has formally created the administrative unit; the unit has an administrative position and reporting structure within the applicant institution; the unit has dedicated space; the unit has a governance and organizational structure; the unit’s director has defined responsibilities and authority; and the unit has rules or guidelines for selecting or recruiting members/affiliates.

Active Scientists. Applicants must have at least five active scientists working in population dynamics research, that is, research within the scientific mission of NICHD Population Dynamics Branch. Active population scientists must hold their primary affiliation with the applicant institution and this position (tenured or non-tenured) must be permanent; trainees, post-doctoral fellows, visiting professors, and scientists with primary appointments at other institutions are excluded. Active population dynamics scientists must meet both of the following criteria:

    • Externally-funded population dynamics research grants or contracts within the three most recently completed Federal fiscal years, 2016, 2017, and 2018; grants awarded in FY 2019 may also be included. Federal fiscal years run from October 1 to September 30; for example, Federal fiscal year 2018 runs from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. The active scientist must be the PD/PI, a Multiple Program/Director/Principal Investigator (MPD/MPI), or Key/Senior Personnel on the qualifying grant or contract and must have received the grant or contract from a source outside the applicant institution. The Project Leads of subprojects on P01 grants also qualify.
    • Population dynamics research publications in peer-reviewed journals during the three most recently completed Federal fiscal years, including FY 2019.

Funding by the NICHD Population Dynamics Branch. Applicants must have at least one active scientist, as defined above, who has received a research grant or other significant funding from the Population Dynamics Branch within the three most recently completed Federal fiscal years. The mechanisms that qualify are research project grants (e.g., R01, R03, R15, R21, R37, R00, U01, UH2/UH3); research program projects (P01); resource-related research project grants (R24, U24), excluding R24 grants funded through the Population Dynamics Centers program; individual career development awards for faculty (K01, K08, K23); institutional training grants (T32); education project grants (R25); and research contracts (N01, N02, N03, N44, Y01, Y02, Y03) that were funded or administered by the Population Dynamics Branch. Mechanisms that do not qualify are individual pre-doctoral and/or post-doctoral fellowships (e.g., F31, F32, K99), conference grants (e.g., R13, U13) and R24 or P2C grants funded through the Population Dynamics Centers program. Grants considered to be funded or administered by the Population Dynamics Branch have a grant number that includes the Institute/Center designation of “HD” and a program official who is a member of the Population Dynamics Branch staff.


The objectives of this initiative are to:

This initiative will provide funding for population dynamics infrastructure cores at already productive population research centers. Applicant centers are expected to have a recent record of high impact, innovative scientific publications and competitiveness for peer-reviewed external funding for research within the scientific mission of the NICHD Population Dynamics Branch (PDB).

Applications must include a minimum of two research infrastructure cores, a mandatory Administrative Core plus a Development Core and/or one or more Scientific/Technical Cores. The Development Core is meant to develop junior scientists and advance new scientific research within the center. A Scientific/Technical Core is meant to provide scientific and/or technical services and/or resources to center researchers in order to enhance their research capabilities.

With the exception of the Development Core, which should focus on new projects, the cores should provide support for both existing projects and the development of new projects. The proposed cores should be effective in promoting scientific impact, innovation, productivity, and competitiveness, but need not be innovative themselves. This FOA encourages core activities promoting interdisciplinary collaborations and collaborations within and across institutions.

This initiative invites applications from both recently- and long-established population dynamics research centers. This initiative is not limited to population dynamics research centers that have received previous funding from the NICHD Population Dynamics Research Infrastructure Program. Funds issued through this initiative are meant to foster scientific impact, innovation, productivity, and competitiveness for peer-reviewed external funding for research within the scientific mission of PDB in the next five-year project period, not to simply reward past performance. Competitiveness for external funding includes external funding for research within the PDB scientific mission from all sources, not solely funding from PDB. This initiative invites applications from population research centers of any size, from small to large. A center’s productivity, impact, and innovation will be assessed relative to the number of center scientists; a highly productive small center may have greater impact than a moderately productive medium-sized center, even if the latter has numerically more grants and publications. Because this initiative is expected to enhance competitiveness for funding from NIH and other external sources, the applicant institution is expected to show a strong commitment to the center by providing support to the center.

Resources provided through this initiative are meant to augment existing administrative, scientific, and technical services and resources that are already available to the centers; these resources may not be used to offset or replace research infrastructure already provided by the applicant institution. Access to research infrastructure supported by this FOA may not be limited to a single research project or research team. Resources provided through this initiative are not meant to be a substitute for research projects, training, or conference grant funding; centers wishing to conduct those types of activities should submit separate applications for support through the appropriate mechanism.

Specific Areas of Research Interest

To be responsive to this initiative, the Primary Research Areas (PRAs) identified must be within the scientific mission of NICHD Population Dynamics Branch (PDB). The PDB scientific mission is to support research, research training, and data collection in three areas:

    • Demography: The scientific study of human populations, including fertility, mortality and morbidity, migration, population distribution, nuptiality, family demography, population growth and decline, and the causes and consequences of demographic change.
    • Population health: Research on human health, productivity, behavior, and development at the population level, using population representative samples or policy or natural experiments.
    • Reproductive health: Behavioral and social science research on family planning, infertility, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

Research focusing primarily on elderly populations and individuals is not responsive to this initiative.

For the purposes of this initiative, “population dynamics research” and “population research” refer to research within the three areas described above. “Population” is defined as the aggregate collection of individuals in a defined geographic area, social, economic, and/or demographic group. Examples include the residents of New York City, married people in the United States, and African American children under age five. Aggregates defined by their participation in a study, program, or service or by having a diagnosis of a specific medical condition are not considered populations under this definition.

For the purposes of this announcement, the “NICHD Population Dynamics Research Infrastructure Program” refers to all grants and activities supported by RFA-HD-12-186RFA-HD-13-007RFA-HD-15-009RFA-HD-16-017RFA-HD-17-007RFA-HD-18-013RFA-HD-19-014, and predecessor announcements.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.