Promise Research Grants support research at UNC Children's

Carolina For The Kids Research Grants

Note: CFTK Research Grant application process has closed for 2018 - good luck with your proposals and we hope you apply next year.


The Carolina For The Kids Research Grants will fund a limited number of grants to support faculty or fellow projects related to child health.The Carolina for the Kids Grant Program supports pediatric research for investigators in one of three potential categories below. However, each category is not guaranteed funding each year.

A. Fellow research projects

B. Junior faculty (instructor or assistant professor) research projects

C. Established faculty investigators

i. Bridge funding 
to provide continuity for important studies with future funding highly likely

ii. Funding for novel projects or new lines of investigation

Carolina For The Kids (CFTK) does give preference to projects with a direct impact on the children of UNC Children’s, but considers all applicants that fit the general eligibility criteria and guidelines. Some projects we have funded in the past include:

- Improving antibiotic prescribing for children in North Carolina (PI: Dr. Zachary Willis)

- Procedural competency in neonatal chest tube placement (PI: Dr. Jacob Johnson)

- Assessing PCP-Specialist involvement and collaboration in the delivery of care for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PI: Dr. Neal deJong)

- Improving access to a primary care based positive parenting program (PI: Dr. Samantha Schilling)

About the Organization

The mission of the Carolina For The Kids Foundation is to provide major emotional, medical, and financial support for the patients and families served by UNC Children's Hospital. In the hospital, Carolina For The Kids provides free meals to families through the Parents’ Night Out program, supports families financially through the For The Kids Fund, and staffs volunteers in the pediatric playroom. More information about the many ways CFTK supports the patients and families at UNC Children’s Hospital can be found at

General Grant Eligibility and Guidelines

Applicants for a Carolina for the Kids Research Grant must be faculty in the Department of Pediatrics or at UNC Children’s Hospital, or be a current fellow in good standing within UNC Hospitals. Only one proposal may be submitted per applicant.

Description of the Grant Types

  • Length of award: Each award can be made for up to an 18-month period.
  • Start date: Grant funding will begin on January 2, 2019. Specific information about each type of grant:

Specific information about each type of grant:

A: Junior Researchers

B: Established faculty investigators

C: Fellows

Projected Maximum Award Amount




Intended for

Individuals who have not previously competed successfully for an NIH-supported research project, specifically Assistant Professors or Instructors who need preliminary data for an extramural grant application.

Individuals who have a track record of NIH funding and display scholarly productivity through publications.

Intended for all fellows in a training program performing a research component.

Requirements for Award

The applicant must present a clear research proposal and a plan that has a high likelihood for leading to an extramural grant application. The applicant must complete a final progress report at the end of the award.

The applicant must demonstrate likely funding already in place to start at a later date, or that the new line of research has strong potential for future NIH funding. The applicant must complete a final progress report at the end of award.

The applicant must complete a final progress report at the end of the award.

Please contact Eric Zwemer, MD, in 231 MacNider with any questions. 

Specific Caveats for Fellows Research

Applicants must apply with a faculty mentor. Faculty mentors partnering with fellows will assume responsibility for stewardship of funds and program compliance, including any issues following the fellow’s graduation and departure from the program.

Grant Timeline

Grant process opens: September 3

Grant process closes: September 24

Grants are reviewed: September 25 – October 19

Grant recipients are notified: October 26

Grant funding begins: January 2, 2019

Grant Application Packet (required documents)

Application packets are required to contain the following:

1. Completed proposal

  • Project description (3 page limit, start with specific aims)
  • Applicants should specifically discuss how their project fits with the mission of the Carolina for the Kids Foundation.
  • Impact on career (faculty) or training (fellow) (1 page limit)

2. Forms

3. Supplemental materials

  • Faculty Support Form (Fellow only)
  • Faculty Mentor Letter of Support and Biosketch (Fellows only, see Attachment 2 this document for instructions)
  • Email from Division Chief acknowledging approval of the grant (Faculty only)

Submit completed application packets to Pediatric Administration, 260 MacNider Building, CB# 7220, no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 24, 2018.

Proposal Review, Scoring and Feedback

The Review Process

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee comprised of representative faculty from the Department of Pediatrics and the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

The Faculty Review Committee is comprised of faculty members chosen for their involvement with Carolina for the Kids as well as a history of research and grant experience. The Faculty Review Committee will recommend each grant be either “Approved for Consideration of Funding” or “Not Approved for Consideration of Funding.”

The Faculty Review Committee will then present their recommendations to the Carolina for the Kids Executive Board, who will make all final funding decisions based on alignment with their mission and priorities.

Proposals are evaluated on the following areas:

  1. Does the applicant meet the eligibility criteria for the category to which s/he has applied?
  2. Quality and merit
  3. Impact
  4. Novelty
  5. Is the hypothesis valid with the supporting evidence?
  6. Logical aims
  7. Are procedures adequate and feasible?
  8. Are investigators qualified?
  9. Is there the potential for future funding?
  10. Is the budget appropriate for the submission?

Feedback from the Review Committee

The main purpose of the Faculty Review Committee is to provide the CFTK Executive Board with guidance on the value and feasibility of submitted grants, not to provide applicants with extensive feedback on their application. Applicants will receive notification as to whether their project was chosen for funding, but specific feedback on their application will not be provided. Applicants who would like feedback about their grant proposal to use for future submissions elsewhere are encouraged to use the Departmental “Pay it Forward, Move it Forward” program.

Carolina for the Kids Research Grant Tracking Program

PIs are expected to complete a questionnaire after the time period of one year as well as a final progress report to UNC at the end of the award period. Failure to submit either one of these reports may jeopardize future Carolina for the Kids Research Grant applications by the investigator.

Citing the Carolina for the Kids Research Grants program

Carolina for the Kids Research Grant-supported researchers will acknowledge support from the Carolina for the Kids Research Grants program in their publications and presentations (e.g., “This research was supported, in part, by the Carolina for the Kids Research Grants Program”).


Attachment 1 – Approved and Not Approved Expenses

This attachment provides guidance regarding expenses that Carolina for the Kids Research Grant awards may or may not cover.

Note: These lists are not necessarily all inclusive. Please contact Eric Zwemer, MD, in 231 MacNider with any questions about whether or not Carolina for the Kids Research funds cover any possible expense.

Approved Expenses

  • Biostatistical support
  • Computer/software (with clear justification they are needed for research).
  • Any information technology-related purchases deemed essential to the project by the awards committee must be approved by Department of Pediatrics IT. All hardware and software will be considered property of the Department, and the Department will determine appropriate disposition of such items at the end of the project.
  • Equipment
  • Office supplies (research-related only)
  • Postage for submissions and in general (research-related)
  • Publication costs of publishers (submit info from publisher)
  • Salary and fringe benefits • Supplies for research projects; actual research costs
  • Travel exceeding no more than $1,000 for presentation of research at national meeting (for PIs who do not have funds)

Not Approved Expenses

  • Any expense not directly related to research activity
  • Any personal professional expense
  • Board exam fees
  • Board review courses
  • DEA#
  • Grant writing/editing for submissions, articles, etc.
  • Lab coats
  • Medical licenses
  • Membership dues to societies and professional organizations
  • Periodicals
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Subscriptions
  • Telephone and pager
  • Travel (unless PI has no funds)

Attachment 2 – Faculty Mentor Letter of Support

Applicants submitting under Category C must apply with a faculty mentor. Faculty mentors partnering with fellows or research residents will assume responsibility for stewardship of funds and program compliance, including any issues remaining following the resident or fellow’s graduation and departure from the program. Signature documentation of this agreement is required and is part of the application (Faculty Support Form). Mentors are asked to submit a letter of support that demonstrates a mentoring plan.

Include in the Faculty Mentor Letter of Support:

  1. Mentor’s prior experience in mentoring trainees.
  2. Demonstration of adequate time available from the mentor needed to oversee the project.
  3. Resources the mentor possesses and resources needed in order to carry out the proposed project. Request any new resources needed in the budget.
  4. A commitment by the mentor to help the fellow present and/or publish the research.