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R40 Maternal and Child Health Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (FIRST) Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
for Research on Maternal and Child Health

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Office of Epidemiology and Research

Deadline Date:

01/08/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and IHEs for research addressing maternal and child health, as well as services aimed at children with special healthcare needs. Applicants are advised that the required registrations may take up to one month to complete. The purpose of this program is to further the health and well being of maternal and child health populations.

This notice solicits applications for the R40 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (FIRST) Program. The purpose of the MCH FIRST Program grant is to advance the health and wellbeing of MCH populations by supporting innovative, applied, and translational intervention research studies on critical issues affecting MCH populations.

The research findings of the R40 MCH FIRST Program should be generalizable to the broader U.S. population, and of regional and national significance.

Findings from the research supported by the R40 MCH FIRST program are expected to:
-Strengthen and expand topics addressed by the MCH Block Grant National Performance Domains. Researchers are encouraged to use the life course perspective as a frame of reference for study proposals;
-Address MCHB Strategic Research Issues (see Appendix A) such as improving public health systems and infrastructure, reducing health inequalities, increasing quality of and access to care, and/or promoting the health of MCH populations;
-Address the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) clinical priorities, namely, mental health, childhood obesity, and opioid abuse. Proposals must indicate how study findings will further develop the evidence base for the above clinical priority topics; and
-Address emerging research topics of regional and national significance that highlight new data, knowledge, evidence, and strategies for addressing the burden of diseases.

HRSA expects each R40 MCH FIRST award recipient to complete the following major activities:
-Conduct innovative applied or translational intervention research using rigorous scientific methodology;
-Recruit, track, and report study participants from diverse backgrounds to include diversity with regards to ethnicity, race, gender/sex, geographic location, and socioeconomic status;
-Develop and submit a dissemination plan for the distribution of research findings and products to scientific, professional, and lay audiences. Dissemination activities include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, conference presentations, newsletter articles, webcasts, fact sheets, infographics, policy briefs, websites, and social media posts, as appropriate;
-Submit and publish scientific findings through the development and publication of at least three peer-reviewed manuscripts; and
-Continue to further the science by leveraging additional funding from other sources.


The R40 MCH Field-initiated Research Program (FIRST) program is authorized by Title V, § 501(a)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 701(a)(2)), as amended, and is a component of the Special Projects of Regional and National Significance.

Built on over 60 years of experience, the MCH FIRST program is administered by the MCH Research Program, in MCHB’s Office of Epidemiology and Research. The MCH Research Program has supported groundbreaking investigations that have significantly influenced clinical practice, organization and delivery of health care services, preventive care, and early intervention for the MCH population, including children with special health care needs.

The MCH FIRST program supports intervention research that is specifically focused on improving the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of health care service delivery as related to health promotion and disease prevention among Title V Block Grant MCH populations through innovative intervention research. For example, a prior MCH FIRST study demonstrated that dieting and unhealthful weight-control behaviors predict outcomes related to obesity and eating disorders 5 years later. The study called for a shift away from dieting and drastic weight-control measures toward the long-term implementation of healthful eating and physical activity behaviors that is needed to prevent obesity and eating disorders in adolescents.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182514

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Funding is expected to be available annually to fund three (3) recipients.

Estimated Size of Grant:

You may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $300,000 total cost (including both direct and indirect, facilities, and administrative costs) per year.

Term of Contract:

The project period is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021 (3 years).

Funding beyond the first year is dependent on the availability of appropriated funds for R40 MCH FIRST Program in subsequent fiscal years, satisfactory recipient performance, and a decision that continued funding is in the best interest of the Federal Government.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Only public or nonprofit institutions of higher learning and public or private nonprofit agencies engaged in research or in programs relating to maternal and child health and/or services for children with special health care needs are eligible to apply (42 CFR § 51a.3(b)).

Faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are eligible to apply, if they otherwise meet these eligibility criteria. Non- U.S. entities are not eligible to apply.

Applicants are required to submit proof of nonprofit status.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The pre-submission technical assistance conference call was held Monday, November 20, 2017, 3:00 - 4:00 PM ET.

Call replay is available.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are accepted between November 6, 2017 and January 8, 2018, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

HRSA requires you to apply electronically through

Ensure your and registrations and passwords are current immediately. Registration in all systems, including and, may take up to 1 month to complete.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Conference Call Replay:
-Number: 1-866-430-4721
-Passcode: 4113

Evva Assing-Murray, Program Officer
(301) 594-4113

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming