The goal of the Pilot Project Program (PPP) is to provide direct support for pilot research across partnering institutions and organizations in promoting academic-community collaborations to decrease health disparities in African American men.

The PPP seeks to:

1) facilitate emerging research ideas and explore new methodologies or approaches to gain an improved understanding of disparities in the areas of unintentional and violence-related injuries, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke in African American men; and

2) foster sustainable collaborative relationships and innovative research between community partners and academic researchers. The long-term goal is to develop sustainable evidence-based health interventions that can be applied nationally.

This goal will be achieved through the following specific aims:

Aim 1. Provide support in the form of one- and two-year pilot awards for health disparities research in the areas of unintentional and violence-related injuries, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke across the life course of African American men, especially for projects with a transdisciplinary focus;

Aim 2. Provide mentoring and career-development support to early-stage investigators as well as crucial networking opportunities for their success; facilitate investigator training and skill-building, with a special focus on CBPR, developing and maintaining of productive relationships with community organizations, and effective stakeholder communication strategies.

The activities of the PPP are designed to:

a) facilitate novel approaches to observed health disparities in the thematic areas of the proposal;

b) attract established investigators with expertise in the thematic areas who can be encouraged to focus on further investigations in these areas within the context of health disparities;

c) mentor early-stage investigators and provide career-development support and crucial networking opportunities for their success;

d) facilitate investigator training and skill-building; and

e) work closely with the Collaborations and Partnerships Core (CPC) to foster active academic-community research collaborations.

This will guarantee the development of a pipeline of collaborative academic-community research and create a critical mass of investigators in African American men’s health disparities, thus ensuring the sustainability and long-term success of the NTCC. The PPP will elevate the quality of the pilot research by sponsoring a competition for funds among all institutions and community partners that is viewed by the applicants as fair, objective, and outcome-oriented. The PPP will also identify additional funds within the participating institutions to strengthen the program and leverage resources through institutional cores and centers involved in relevant research in unintentional and violence-related injuries, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke in African American men.