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Call for Pilot Project Proposals

The Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions (RALI Boston), funded by the National Institute on Aging, is pleased to issue a call for pilot study proposals focused on behavioral interventions to promote healthy aging, especially those that enable middle-aged and older adults to adopt and/or maintain active and engaged lifestyles.

The Center’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of at-risk, vulnerable populations (e.g., from minority or low income groups, those who are inactive, socially isolated or have chronic conditions) and to identify the most effective mechanisms for adaptive behavior change. We are interested in multifaceted, holistic interventions engaging multiple systems (e.g., psychological, social, cultural, nutritional, physical, biomedical, spiritual, cognitive, motivational) to promote active, engaged, and healthy lifestyles despite the challenges of aging and disability.

We seek pilot proposals for innovative pilot projects that have a theoretical and evidence-base in the behavioral and social sciences and fit within the Center’s mission and goals to increase and sustain active engagement. We are also interested in collaborative applications that leverage expertise and resources (e.g., functional assessment core) at the Boston Older Americans Independence Center ( New proposals and ongoing projects that add a behavioral component to the study design will be considered. We encourage the use of measures from the Roybal Center Tool Box. Investigators, including junior faculty and postdoctoral trainees, from the Center’s five collaborating institutions (Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Hebrew Senior Life/Harvard Medical School, Northeastern University) are invited to apply.

Applicants should submit:

  1. Project Proposal -  (a.) cover page with project title, investigators' names and affiliations, and an abstract up to 350 words; (b.) a 3 to 4-page proposal, (c.) references, and (d.) protection of human subjects plans. The 3 to 4-page body of the proposal should include specific aims, background and significance, innovation, study design, a description of the intervention, proposed measures, sample and sample size justification, analytic plan, and potential for future publications, products and independent funding. Please use Arial size 11 font and 1/2 inch (.5) margins all around with single spacing.
  2. A biosketch on the newest NIH form (.docx) [Download a sample of the biosketch (.docx)]. Include biosketches for all investigators in one pdf file for submission.
  3. A 1-year detailed budget on Form 4 (.pdf) (maximum of $25,000 direct costs). Note that the overhead rate for the pilot studies is 8%.
  4. Total 1-year budget and budget justification on Form 5 (.pdf) signed by an institutional official.
    List all investigators and their specific roles on the budget justification form, even if not drawing salary.
  5. A planned enrollment form (.docx)
  6. Protection of Human Subjects Plan. See the Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects Plan. Please include at the end of the Project Propsal for submission.
  7. Data And Safety Monitoring Plan (if applicable). See Definiton and Information for Clinical Trials. Please include at the end of the Project Proposal for submission.

Please submit all application materials online by the deadline: January 22, 2018.

We expect to select 2-4 of the most meritorious proposals by March 2, 2018 and to begin funding on June 1, 2018. Funding decisions will be based on the proposal’s relevance to the RALI Boston mission, ability to advance our knowledge of behavioral interventions to promote active engagement and healthy aging, and potential for future publications and independent funding. Pilot study investigators will be invited to meet periodically with other Center investigators and develop new collaborative relationships, harmonize their outcome measures as much as possible (see RALI Toolbox measures), share research findings, submit progress reports, and attend Roybal Center meetings.

For additional information, please email us at or contact any member of our executive committee.