The mission of the Sparkman Center for Global Health (Sparkman Center) at UAB is to contribute to solutions of health problems in developing countries through undergraduate and graduate-level public health education, research, and training programs. These programs are organized collaboratively with academic institutions, international agencies, and health ministries within the host country. Additionally, the Sparkman Center works to enhance the capacity of the UAB community to engage, prepare, and support current and future health professionals in a global health agenda.

The Sparkman Center will provide funding for internal grant applications that propose research projects, public health practice, and global health & development projects that support the Sparkman Center’s mission of promoting health in less developed countries. All projects should have a strong research or evaluation component. Only those applications that are aligned with the Sparkman Center mission will be considered for funding through this mechanism. We anticipate funding 3-5 applications of up to $20,000 each.

  • Eligibility & Expectations


    1. UAB Faculty and fellows are elligible.
    2. Integration of early stage faculty with other UAB researchers and community partners/stakeholders to advance all pilot projects with the context of a team building approach.
    3. Preference given to those who have never had an R01 in global health field of study or who are new to global health research.
    4. Established investigators with an R01 in global health are elligible to apply if they are exploring a new direction.
    5. All projects should have clear next steps in terms of future opportunities.

      Pre-Award Approvals
      • Funding will be awarded from the Sparkman Center Administrative Office. All questions regarding the awarding of funding should be directed to the contact listed in the notice of award. Prior to the awarding of funding, the following information must be provided, if applicable:
      • Institutional Review Board approvals, if applicable, must be obtained prior to receipt of an award, but are not required to submit an application. Prior to receipt of an award involving human subjects, IRB approval from all participating sites and human subjects training certification for all key personnel will be required.
      • For more information about human subjects approval, see: and

      Post-Award Requirements
      • Applicants chosen for funding will be expected to present the details of their study at a Sparkman Center Seminar and/or the UAB CCTS PDQ Committee for review of the study. This will provide an opportunity to identify additional synergies within UAB and the Sparkman Center, explore other means of support, and gather recommendations to enhance the study. Other presentations, including a ‘research in progress talk’ (midway) and at the end of the funding period may also be requested.
      • Applicants will be requested to become UAB Sparkman Scholars with the potential to be matched with and mentor UAB students (Sparkman Fellows) working on global health projects.
      • Awardees will be required to submit yearly progress reports**. Awardees will be tracked after the award ends to monitor productivity (abstracts, publications, grants).
      • Support from this mechanism must be acknowledged in all publications and presentations.
      • If for any reason the awardee is unable to fulfill the requirements or adhere to the policies of the award, at the discretion of the funding mechanism leadership, the award may be revoked.
      • **All recipients of Sparkman Center funding are obliged to provide information, not limited to, progress reports or final performance reports, as requested by the Sparkman Center. Failure to provide such information in a prompt and timely manner may result in the immediate termination of the grant and will preclude the grantee from applying for future Sparkman Center funding opportunities.
  • Key Dates

    Applications for 2019 Funding have been awarded. Please visit back for the next application cycle for Sparkman Pilot Grant Funding.

    • RFA Released: December 1, 2019
    • Deadline for 2-page Concept: February 1, 2020
    • Full Application Applicants Announced: March 1, 2020
    • Deadline for Full Applications: May 1, 2019
    • Awards Announced: May 31, 2019
    • Funding Start: June 1, 2019
  • Application Information

    Concept Proposals

    To apply for Sparkman Center funding please submit a Concept Proposal with the following information as a single combined PDF that is no more than 2 pages in length, as well as NIH biosketches for all investigators. Proposals should be submitted to Anna Helova This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Project Description

    Outline the specific aims, hypotheses, brief preliminary data (if any), and brief research/evaluation design. As the criteria for funding are primarily based upon the scientific impact, investigator, significance, approach, and innovation, concepts should address these topic areas.

    Combined Significance and Innovation Section

    Briefly explain the importance/significance of the proposed project in the context of global health research that is promoted by agencies engaged in global health research. Describe the innovative nature of the proposal and how the proposed research will support the mission of the Sparkman Center and advance the field. Note the specific funding sources and mechanisms to be targeted with the results from this study, as well as the timeline for follow-on submissions.

    Eligibility/Team Building Component (no more than one-half page)

    The integration of junior faculty with other UAB researchers at various levels is required by the Sparkman Center to advance all pilot projects within the context of a team building approach. Requests for pilot funding from single investigators working alone will not be funded with Sparkman Center pilot project funds. The PI of the study should adhere to the eligibility requirements stated above. Co-investigators should include senior, junior, or early stage investigators constituting research teams. Involvement of community stakeholders in the global setting is also encouraged.

    Investigators should clearly state how their proposed research will impact the UAB research environment, improve the UAB research infrastructure (e.g. facilitating access to methods, improved knowledge, enhanced ability to apply for common funding), and thereby facilitate future global health research by other UAB investigators.

    Biosketches (Include one for each investigator)

    All applicants and collaborators should submit NIH biosketches (5-page limit) with personal statements adapted to describe defined roles on the project. Use the NIH biosketch form.

    Researchers whose concept proposals are selected for the full proposal competition phase will be notified by email.
  • Application Instructions

    Full Applications

    Full Proposals will be submitted electronically in one Adobe PDF file to Anna Helova at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The full proposal will be on the forms used commonly for NIH grant applications (PHS 398 forms) and should follow a modified NIH investigator initiated grant application (R01) format.

    For detailed instructions on how to fill out the forms see: with the following modifications. The Research Plan (Specific Aims through Approach) is limited to 4 pages (Bibliography and References Cited sections do not count toward the page limit). No appendices are allowed. Do not submit Targeted/Planned Enrollment Tables. Applications must be in English. Please note that applications that do not adhere to the instructions will not be considered.

    The Full Proposal should include (in this order in a single Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file):
    1. Complete budget and justification: (Download: MS Word or PDF)
    2. Research Plan (Maximum 4 pages for a-d below). Use PHS 398 Continuation Format pages (Download: MS Word or PDF).
    3. Specific Aims (suggested length ½ page)
    4. Significance (suggested length 1 page)
    5. Innovation (suggested length ½ page)
    6. Approach (suggested length 2 pages)
    7. Description of the Research Environment (suggested length ½ page). Use PHS 398 Continuation Format pages (Download: MS Word or PDF).
    8. Bibliography and References cited (as needed) Use PHS 398 Continuation Format pages (Download: MS Word or PDF).
    9. Protection of Human Subjects (if applicable; maximum 1 page). Use PHS 398 Continuation Format pages (Download: MS Word or PDF).
    10. Letters of Support (letters of support from collaborators essential to the proposed project must accompany the application).

    Budget Development Guidelines and Restrictions (NIH budget form (Form page 5) with justification)

    1. Maximum direct costs are $20,000. Indirect costs are not allowed. Awards are one year in length. One no-cost extension may be requested at the end of the first year budget period only.
    2. Salary support is limited to 10% for the PI, unless special permission is received.
    3. Budgeting for travel to project sites and conferences to present project research results is allowable (travel budget limited to no more than $7,000).
    4. Costs associated with Institutional Review Board (IRB) review of human research protocols are not allowable as direct charges.
    5. All costs must conform to the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) and applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget OMB circulars for necessity and reasonability, allocability, conformance and consistency, as well as allowability. Please follow the link below to section 7.2 cost principles section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

To access the full Sparkman Pilot Grant Funding Application click here

Questions or more information? Please contact Anna Helova, UAB Sparkman Program Director; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone: (205) 975-7770