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Call for Rapid DIMS Project Proposals

HEAL HD2A Wake Forest DISC Rapid DIMS: Call for Rapid DIMS Project Proposals


The Wake Forest Data Infrastructure Support Center (WF DISC) is seeking proposals for data infrastructure modernization for the HEAL Data2Action (HD2A) Innovation and Acceleration Projects as part of its core mission. The Rapid DIMS programs supports data modernization at the interface of chronic pain and opioid use disorder to advance research in important areas of focus: data infrastructure, data acquisition, data visualization, data collaborations, or related data activities.

The WF DISC Rapid DIMS supports activities that address gaps in knowledge or other barriers to using data for action. Given the broad nature of data modernization across the HD2A network, applicants do not need to propose full studies, but could propose a variety of activities, acquisitions, or collaborations that support Innovation Project research. This call for proposals is intended to elicit proposals that advance strategies in one of the following focus areas:

Data infrastructure could include unexpected need for equipment or programming support discovered after grant submission (e.g., addition of community site that would need support, new data linkages to be established). This could involve investment in collection of data (e.g. social network analysis, economic, resource) or synergistic HD2A approach that was not previously identified across projects.

Data acquisition could include the expansion of the original data plan to include new sources that could require access fees or additional programming time (e.g., CMS data seats, support for additional data collection to assist in meeting innovative or synergistic research objectives identified post award, etc).

Data visualizations could include project plans that evolved and would benefit from dashboard presentation or materials for partners (people with lived experience/public or private partners).

Data collaborations could include activities that focus on making data improvements or collecting or harmonizing data across Innovation Projects or between Innovation Projects and Centers and enhance synergy across the HD2A program.

Scope would exclude supports and resources already identified for provision by the HD2A Support and Resource centers (DISC, MERC, and RASC).

The WF DISC will fund Rapid DIMS projects of variable funding levels; an average award might be expected to be ~ $50K to allow for distribution across the HD2A Program. The DISC has a total amount of 200K per year in direct costs to allocate for Rapid DIMS awards across the Program. It is expected that funds would be spent within 2 years of receipt of funds.

Successful proposals will clearly state:

    • Plans for creating, evaluating, or implementing data infrastructure enhancements
    • A rationale for relevance to removing data barriers to the H2DA Innovation Project and/or HD2A Program, with example data roadblocks that the project will address and the anticipated benefits of overcoming them
    • How the proposed project advances ability to meet the research goals for an H2DA Innovation Project or create synergy across Innovation Projects for the HD2A Program
    • Any specific potential for advancing a data-to-action approach in the field more broadly (transportability, scalability)
    • A reasonable project plan that is feasible to complete within a 2-year period.


These funds are available to support all Innovation Projects and investigators that are part of the HEAL HD2A Program. However, the proposal submission is limited to the institutions that are the primary recipients of the HD2A Innovation Project grants or Center cooperative agreements. Submissions that include funding for multiple HD2A-funded institutions are allowable and encouraged.

Key Dates

03/01/2024: Full Application Deadline

04/05/2024: Selection of Awardees

06/03/2024: Project Start Date

05/31/2026: Latest Project End Date


The WF DISC has $200K total each year to allocate funds for Rapid DIMS projects across the HD2A Program. The number of awards will depend on the funding amounts proposed and the number and quality of proposals submitted. See section on Budget Guidelines for more details on allowable and non-allowable budget items.

Application Procedure

Full Application Deadline: 03/01/2024

Investigators are invited to apply by submitting their application through Redcap by the deadline noted above. Application instructions are summarized below.

Format Specifications

  • Arial font and no smaller than 11 point
  • Margins at least 0.5 inches (sides, top and bottom)

Submission/Applicant Information

  • Project Title
  • Submitting Investigator, Co-Investigator(s), and other Key Personnel (Note: An Innovation Project PI must be the Contact PI on the proposal; Center PIs can be MPIs or co-Investigators. Early career investigator involvement and lead role is welcomed.)
  • Awardee Institution(s) (Note: only HD2A-funded institutions are eligible to apply.)

Abstract (300 words max)

Research Plan (3 pages max) Please see characteristics of a successful proposal above.

  • Specific Aims
  • Significance – Explain how the activity addresses an important problem, how it will improve data infrastructure, scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical
  • Investigator(s) – Describe how each member of the team will contribute to the project activity. Include their expertise and experience that will be utilized on this
  • Innovation – Explain how this project activity uses novel concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or
  • Approach – Describe the overall strategy for this project activity, including potential problems, alternative strategies and benchmarks for
  • Projected Activity Timeline
  • Milestones for 6 and 12 months – Describe milestones that the project will meet by 6 and 12 months.

References (no page limit)

Information Regarding Human Subjects

Address the following if the project involves human subjects.

  • Provide a one-page document addressing the Protection of Human Subjects, if
  • IRB Approval Status (please note: IRB approval is not required for full application submission, however a delay in IRB approval does not alter the project end )

Budget and Justification (budget template plus 1-page justification)

  • Complete the budget template form provided along with a brief justification for the funds requested. Please include explanation of other resources that may be leveraged to support the project.

NIH-style biographical sketch for all Key Personnel (new style) Budget Guidelines

Grant funds may be budgeted for purchases (e.g. datasets) or to support effort (e.g. develop tools and resources) within the guidelines of the scope listed above for:

  • Data Infrastructure
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Acquisition
  • Data Collaboration

Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

  • Components previously proposed under the H2DA grant proposal
  • Supports and resources already identified for provision by the HD2A Support and

Resource Centers (DISC, MERC, RASC)

  • Office supplies or communication costs, including printing
  • Meals or travel, including to conferences, except as required to collect data
  • Professional education or training
  • Computers or audiovisual equipment, unless fully justified as a need for the research
  • Manuscript preparation and submission, or
  • Indirect costs

Awarded funds must be used to conduct the work proposed. All awards must observe regulations and policies that would apply if the award was made directly by NIH, including but not limited to, clinical trials registration, IRB approval, OHRP approval, public access requirements, and so forth, as applicable. The general criteria for determining allowable direct costs on federally sponsored projects is set forth in 2 CFR Part 200: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (The Uniform Guidance).

Review Criteria and Process

WF DISC proposals are competitive and peer reviewed. Proposals will be reviewed by the WF DISC, the NIDA Science Officer, and the Program Officers, based on NIH review criteria and scoring. Final award approval will be at the recommendation of WF DISC & NIDA Program Officers.

Funding decisions will be made based on the reviews of an evaluation of the projects’ connection with the goals of the HD2A Program. Any IRB protocols must be approved prior to funding of the approved Rapid DIMS, and is expected to be received within 3 months of notification of intent to fund.

Reviewers will score applications from 1 to 9 based on:

  1. Significance of the problem to be addressed;
  2. Innovation/Removal of barrier in the proposed solutions;
  3. Methodological rigor and feasibility with clear milestones;
  4. Likelihood the innovation will move HD2A Innovation Project or HD2A Program forward or create synergy, and;
  5. A reporting plan for activity outcomes

Other elements to be considered in the review include: early-career faculty involvement, race/gender inclusiveness of the research team and inclusion of women, minorities, older adults and children as potential participants.

Program Expectations

If any significant issues arise, the study team will be required to work with the WF DISC to define an intervention strategy for the study activity to be successfully completed (or in rare cases, terminated).

Other Guidelines

  1. Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the IRB. Either an IRB approval letter or an IRB response to a “Determination Whether Research or Similar Activities Require IRB Approval” must be submitted to the WF DISC prior to funds being released. Human subjects must be reviewed in accordance with the institution’s general assurances and HIPAA. All key personnel must have certification of training in the protection of human subjects prior to the start of the grant
  2. WF DISC staff will work closely with funded teams throughout the grant period to monitor progress and, when necessary, provide assistance. 6- and 12-month milestones will be required for funding. As well as a final brief progress report will be required. We expect PIs to report over the lifetime of the work the outcomes achieved due to the Rapid DIMS award, e.g., subsequent external funding, publications, presentations and
  3. All publications that are the direct result of this funding must reference: “Research reported in this publication was supported by the NIH grant U24DA057612.” Publications must also follow NIH and HEAL guidelines.

Grant Administration

The Principal Investigator is responsible for the administration of grant funds. The maximum allowed indirect cost rate is the WF Indirect Cost rate of 55%.


Questions about your proposed research project should be directed to WF DISC meradams@wakehealth.edu  and Cara McDonnell at cmcdonne@wakehealth.edu

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