NIH NOSI IMPROVE Funding: Advance Maternal Health and Maternal Health Equity

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The Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces this new funding opportunity to advance the goals of the NIH Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Initiative. IMPROVE aims to understand the biological, behavioral, environmental, sociocultural, and structural factors that affect pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated morbidity and mortality and build an evidence base for improved care and outcomes. The initiative promotes research to address health disparities associated with pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated morbidity and mortality.

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to stimulate dissemination and implementation research on innovative approaches built on evidence-based findings from foundational research on factors that contribute to maternal morbidity and mortality (MMM). This NOSI will support the development and implementation of strategies to inform integrated efforts involving policy and practice changes to improve preconception, pregnancy, perinatal, and postpartum care and advance maternal health and maternal health equity.

Specific Objectives

With this NOSI, NIH invites research grant applications to plan and carry out projects to disseminate and implement evidence-based interventions or practices into public health, clinical, and community (e.g., workplace, school, place of worship) settings to advance a holistic approach to improve maternal health and maternal health equity in populations disproportionately impacted by MMM. Applicants are encouraged to propose studies that include interventions with demonstrated efficacy for the target populations and demonstrated effectiveness in real-world settings. Strategies should include plans to identify and overcome barriers and facilitators and adapt to local contexts.

Evidence-based practice areas of interest include behavioral interventions; prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment, and management interventions; and quality improvement programs, with emphasis on culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for NIH-designated HDPs ( Of particular interest are evidence-based practices with demonstrated effectiveness that address MMM related to social determinants of health, stress-, cardiovascular-, metabolic-, infectious-, mental health-, and infection and immunity-related causes.

Multidisciplinary, systems, and community-partnered implementation science approaches utilizing existing community-engaged partnerships to reduce morbidity and mortality related to and associated with pregnancy encompassing the preconception, pregnancy and post-partum periods are encouraged.

Applicants may propose approaches for the identification, development, testing, deployment, evaluation, and/or refinement of implementation and dissemination strategies. Projects may include pilot/feasibility studies or full-scale implementation or dissemination projects.

NIH plans to implement in fiscal year 2023 several activities to enhance research to advance maternal health. In order to maximize the impact and leverage any resources generated from projects funded in response to this NOSI, preference will be given to projects that can be achieved within a three-year timeframe (R21 and R03 applications are limited to project periods of two years or less). Specific to R01 applications, the maximum project period that will be accepted is three years.