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Investing in Communities’ Local-Level Needs to Reduce Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer: Phase I Planning Grant

Planning Grants for Community-Academic teams to come together in partnership to develop proposals to address racial disparities in breast cancer with local community-based solutions.

This initiative aims to implement and test the effectiveness of promising intervention frameworks to address local level social and environmental risk factors for breast cancer in historically marginalized communities.

CBCRP is currently sponsoring a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Phase I of this initiative. CBCRP intends to fund up to four planning grants in Phase I, each with a maximum direct cost budget of $15,000 and a duration of 1 year. Additional funding will be available only to those who were funded for Phase I in the future in Phase II of this initiative.

Download the RFQ below:

Full Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

 Application materials will be available through CBCRP's SmartSimple application and grant management system in December 2022. 

Applications must be submitted by 12:00 pm PT on Thursday, March 2, 2023. 

Application Orientation Webinar

We held an applicant webinar on December 8 2022 in which we described the requirements for this funding opportunity and provided an orientation for the navigating the application process in SmartSimple.

View the video and slides below:

For questions or more information, contact CBCRP Program Officer Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D. at

Specific Aims and Activities

Given that the various subsystems that make up the causal foundations of racial breast cancer disparities are spread across a diverse array of interrelated domains of practice and expertise, the aim of this initiative is to encourage teams of community members and academic researchers to 1) partner with stakeholders across multiple sectors (subsystems), especially community, 2) use community-partnered systems methods (i.e. problem structuring) to map the complex systems that impact breast cancer in the specific community, and 3) build a coordinated effort across these sectors to leverage community strengths, modify environmental factors, and address social needs to reduce breast cancer incidence and disparities.

We are particularly interested in projects that propose an innovative and practicable application of systems methods and that leverage existing data and ongoing community activities. Purely qualitative approaches are acceptable for Phase I, and mixed methods are encouraged for Phase II. 

Phase I – Problem structuring: mapping local-level needs within the system that creates disparities in your community and planning to intervene

Phase I projects will be one-year planning grants that serve as seed funding for community-partnered participatory research teams. In their Phase I application, teams must clearly describe the steps that they will take over 12-months for developing their collaboration, exploring relevant topics, mapping systems, and writing their Phase II pilot grant application. Mapping will include constructing systems maps of local-level social and environmental exposures, identifying community-level assets, challenges, and opportunities. Also during Phase I, teams will use this information to write the Phase II application that must describe their proposed pilot test of systems-level interventions. The interventions will modify place in substantive ways that meet basic social needs and incorporate effective primary breast cancer prevention strategies.

Each team will need at least one community Co-PI and at least one academic Co-PI. 

  • Community-level stakeholders (e.g., residents, community leaders, community-based organizations)
  • Academic partners with relevant experience and expertise for the proposed project

Teams will need to have the appropriate technology to allow for virtual meetings (if necessary). Teams will be eligible whether they are new teams who are working together for the first time, or existing teams with a track record of working together. In the applications, teams should describe highlights of prior experience (e.g. track record in organizing community-engaged/participatory initiatives or projects; partnerships with academic institutions; experience working across multiple sectors).

If data will be used in Phase I planning grants, then teams should be clear about sources of data. For example, teams should describe any existing data sets that they will use and describe variables contained therein. If appropriate for the planning grant, teams should describe whether they will conduct primary data collection or partner to utilize existing data systems. Data for local-level planning could include existing data such as those collected through other research or through existing public or private data systems.

Planning grantees will be required to meet together twice in their planning process. Teams will agree to meet and share accomplishments and challenges; brainstorm together for solutions. Meetings will be planned and facilitated by CBCRP.

Additionally, Phase I grantees who have not completed QuickStart, CBCRP’s community partnered participatory research (CPPR) technical support program, will be required to complete the program during the year of the planning grant award. The QuickStart program will provide technical support to grantees in preparing their applications for Phase II.

Phase II – Intervening to modify place, meet social needs, prevent breast cancer, and reduce disparities

In Phase II, CBCRP will fund up to two 24-month pilot projects at $400,000 total direct costs each that implement plans developed in Phase I. This second phase will involve a separate competitive application process that is open to Phase I grantees only.

Project duration and budget cap

CBCRP intends to fund up to four Phase I Planning Awards.

  • Maximum direct cost budget: $15,000
  • Project duration: 1 year