Roybal Pilot Program

CHIBE invites proposals from affiliated faculty for pilot projects that 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 the risks from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) by improving blood pressure control or cholesterol are particularly encouraged and will receive special consideration.

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.

As part of our Roybal Center renewal application for funding from the National Institute on Aging, based on the stipulations of the RFA, 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 Stage as well).

The Penn Roybal Center will distribute up to $250,000 in pilot funding. Priority will be given to applications that are particularly innovative, 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 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. The proposed project and budget will need to be approved by the National Institute on Aging.  These pilots will be part of the UPENN Roybal Center Competing Renewal. To this end, additional documentation may be required if selected. You must list the Penn Roybal Center 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

Stay tuned for information on the next Roybal funding opportunity and deadlines.