Roybal Pilot Program

CHIBE invites proposals from affiliated faculty for pilot projects which translate ideas from behavioral economics into practice in ‘real world’ settings, specifically testing interventions that reach middle-aged and elderly Americans at high risk for premature morbidity and mortality.

While we will accept and consider all applications, applications focusing on reducing health inequities, reducing the risks from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) by improving blood pressure control or cholesterol, or both are particularly encouraged and will receive special consideration.

At this time, we are not accepting proposals.

The pilot program aims to: 1) give research opportunities to junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in behavioral economics; 2) encourage interaction between affiliated researchers; 3) build collaborations with new partner organizations that have access to populations and potential willingness to translate results from the research studies into practice.

Based on the stipulations from the National Institute of Aging, all pilots must use the NIH Stage Model of behavioral intervention development. All pilot applicants must describe the relevant Stage for the proposed work. Roybal pilot studies are encouraged to: 1) leverage a Stage 0 basic research finding to develop a principle-driven, implementable intervention; 2) examine the principles, or mechanism of action underlying a behavioral intervention (Stage I, II, or III study); 3) create and/or modify, and pilot test real-world-friendly training procedures (Stage I); or 4) create and/or modify and pilot test methods to maximize real-world fidelity (Stage I). The definition of each stage can be found using the link above and Stage 0 or Stage I studies are required for this call for proposals (in future years we will entertain applications from later Stages as well).

The Penn Roybal Center will distribute up to $160,000 in pilot funding.  Each pilot project will be funded for a 1-year duration starting June 1, 2022, and awards will range between $25,000 and $100,000.  Please note that the start date can be pushed back if approval by NIA is delayed. Priority will be given to applications that are particularly innovative, focus on reducing health inequities and/or the risks from ASCVD, meet some of the aims listed above, and are seen as likely to be good candidates to advance through the NIH stage of behavior intervention development and successfully compete for external peer reviewed funding.


A CHIBE-affiliated faculty member must be the principal investigator in order for a proposal to be considered. If the faculty member is not already affiliated with CHIBE, s/he must affiliate to be considered eligible to apply for pilot funding (this requires submission of a current CV, short description of your research for our CHIBE website, and a willingness to attend at least one annual Penn Roybal Center Retreat every two years).

Other Requirements

A one-page annual progress report must be submitted in March 2023 that includes a description of the project’s specific aims, significance, summary of the research conducted and results found to date, total enrollment, and future plans.  A member of the research team must present study findings at one of the annual Penn Roybal Center Retreats.  To receive funding you will need to have obtained IRB approval, if applicable, and posted the project on, if applicable, prior to enrolling participants. Additional NIA-required documentation will be required for selected pilots and pilots will need to be approved by the National Institute on Aging before starting.  Additionally, the Penn Roybal Center must be listed in any publications resulting from this work.  Any publications that are the result of this funding must mention:  “The project described was supported in part by Grant Number P30AG034546 from the National Institute of Aging.”

How to Apply

The deadline for submitting applications was December 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST.  Selected pilots will be announced by mid-January 2022.  Funding will begin June 1, 2022.  For additional information, please contact Samantha Fellman by email at