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GMH Pilot Awards

2020 GMH Pilot Award recipients

2021 GMH Pilot Award recipients

2021 GMH Pilot Award Application

The deadline for the 2021 pilot application process has passed, please check back next year for more information!

2021 Request for Applications (RFA)
Key Deadlines Date Due
RFA Released April 19, 2021
Applications Due May 16, 2021 at 11:59 PM PDT
Notification June 4, 2021
Period of Performance July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

Mental and substance use disorders remain leading causes of morbidity and excess mortality around the globe. Optimal responses to the needs of people at risk for and living with these conditions require an understanding of the determinants of mental health (psychological, sociocultural, economic, environmental and biological), knowing how and where to intervene, and identifying critical periods across the life course for effective intervention.

The University of Washington Global Mental Health Program (UW GMH) invites pilot study applications that support its mission and priorities:

UW GMH contributes to reducing the burden of mental disorders in low resource settings globally.

UW GMH develops, tests, and builds the capacity to deliver contextually-appropriate and sustainable models for mental health intervention with local and global partners.

Three strategic pillars guide UW GMH activities:

A. Understand mental health intervention gaps and opportunities in low resource settings

Research examples:

  • Develop novel approaches to assess mental health intervention coverage and pathways to care and support.

B. Build workforce capacity to deliver mental health services

Research examples:

  • Create demand for mental health services in low resource settings.
  • Test innovative approaches to building and training a culturally appropriate mental health workforce.
  • Develop innovative approaches to supervision of health workers providing mental health care.

C. Elevate mental health on the global and local agenda

Research examples:

  • Use the evidence to inform decision-makers and increase access to effective care through evidence-based integrated care interventions.
  • Evaluate approaches to integrating evidence-based mental health interventions into new community-based, health care or digital platforms.

Through this request for proposals we seek to stimulate interdisciplinary research focused on the mental health of women (especially perinatal), children, adolescents, and families that will lead to innovative prevention, promotion, and care. Our goals are to a) support pilot global mental health research that will lead to larger funding proposals and b) to build new collaborations that spark creativity and innovation. Responsive applications will be framed in terms of one of the UW GMH strategic pillars AND address at least one group from each column:

Table 1:

Populations Problems Interventions
  • Women
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Families
  • Refugee or immigrant
    (Puget Sound area or international)
  • Common mental disorders
  • Severe mental illnesses
  • Substance use disorders
  • Preventive
  • Mental health promotion
  • Treatment

  • Applicants must be a current member of the UW faculty or a PI-eligible research scientist at UW.
  • Eligible proposals must include investigators from at least 2 distinct disciplines who will further the work of each discipline through the collaboration. Examples include, and are not limited to, Psychology and Computer Science, Psychiatry and Communications, Social Work and International Affairs.

Applications should address at least one element from each domain of the Populations, Problems, and Interventions in Table 1. The application should identify the relevant strategic pillar that it addresses. The proposed project should provide preliminary data or proof of concept needed to seek outside funding and support. Pilot grant applications should not be an extension of well-established, ongoing or recently funded studies or projects. Pilot grant applications should not be used to bridge funding for existing work.

One award of up to $45,000 in total expenses per project are available from the UW GMH Program. A project budget may exceed $45,000 only if the Co-PIs have secured the additional funding as a match from their school/college/department (as indicated in a letter or email from the department chair).

 Table 2.

Allowed expenses include: Unallowable expenses include:
  • Personnel (i.e., salaries and benefits for faculty, staff and students)
  • Equipment, materials, and supplies
  • Travel, including air fare, transportation, and per diem lodging, meals and expenses
  • Tuition for graduate students
  • Other direct costs related to the project (must detail the expense and include rationale)
  • Indirect/overhead costs
  • Patent costs
  • Office supplies
  • Administrative support
  • Hosting expenses (e.g., receptions, alcohol)
  • Marketing efforts

Pilot research grants are supported by state funding, meaning all allowable expenses must adhere to applicable University of Washington policies. Please contact your department’s finance lead with questions regarding such expenses. In addition, an Office of Sponsored Programs review is not needed prior to submitting an application.

Applications must meet the following standards:

  • Submitted as a single PDF file
  • Paper size no larger than standard letter (i.e., 8 ½” x 11”)
  • Margins of at least 0.5 inch (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Single-spaced
  • Eleven-point font or larger using either Arial or Times New Roman
  • Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%
  • We do not require a specific citation format

Each application must contain the following sections:

  1. Completed cover sheet (project title, total budget, applicant names)
  2. Abstract (250 word maximum)
  3. Research Plan (three pages, excluding references)
    1. Specific Aims – 0.5 page
    2. Background and Significance – 1 page
    3. Methods – 1.5 pages
  4. Research team, timeline and future plans – 1 page (Describe qualifications of each team member and roles of the research team. Provide a timeline for the proposed work, and describe how the work will support a grant application to federal or foundation funders.
  5. Budget, budget justification and potential matching funds – 1 page
  6. Letters of Support are not required, but will be accepted. Limit of two.

Successful pilot grant applications will demonstrate the following:

  • Clinical or public heath significance
  • Addresses a UW GMH strategic pillar, population, problem, intervention
  • New collaborations or partnerships
  • Innovation (novel concepts, approaches, technologies or methodologies; new approaches to practice; originality)
  • Appropriate and well-developed frameworks, methods, approach, and analyses that correspond to the aims and time constraints of the project

  • Awardee becomes a UW GMH member. Requires participation in monthly faculty meetings.
  • Presentation of the study findings in the collaborating schools/departments
  • Final report of spent funds including receipts
  • Visual documentation of before/after award (photos or videos)
  • A 2-3 sentence narrative summary of the project and a two paragraph, lay-friendly description of the project’s impact on global mental health
  • Permission to use photos and data on UW GMH’s website and promotional materials

Download the RFA and Application here

Submit all application materials as one PDF file to by May 16, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.

Contact us

Please contact us with any questions regarding this pilot research grant or the application process:

Patricia English, Program Manager