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The Carolina Population Center (CPC) annually awards 57 seed grants for proposals submitted by CPC Fellows in support of project development focusing on populationbased research pertinent to the Population Dynamics Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) or the Division of Behavioral and Social Research of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Proposals will be evaluated based on scientific merit. Priority will be given to projects that will clearly lead to the development of fundable grant proposals submitted in Spring/Summer/Fall 2024, through the CPC Proposal Unit. Proposed funds cannot be used for faculty salary support,but can be used to cover staff time (e.g., programming, spatial), student assistance, equipment, pilot testing,etc.

Seed Grant 2024 Application


Year PI(s) Title Description Grant
2020q Adair, Linda
Gordon-Larsen, Penny
Moulton, Jeremy
Howard, Annie Green
Frankenberg, Elizabeth
Effects of health on economic well-being of older adults in the context of rapid modernization The overall goal of this project is to enhance understanding of how economic productivity and security in older adults is influenced by trajectories of physical, mental, and cognitive health beginning earlier in life, and in turn, how the health and economic well-being of older adults affects the next generation. P30
2020 Hummer, Robert
Hargrove, Taylor
Aiello, Allison
Life Course Cognition: Multimodal Measurement of Cognitive Functioning among Diverse Midlife Americans The overall goal of this pilot is to develop, test, and evaluate potential measures of cognitive functioning among a diverse convenience sample of midlife subjects for Wave VI of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). P30
2020 Yang, Claire
Lund, Jennifer
Social Determinants and Adverse Health Outcomes in Older Adults: The role of inappropriate medication use Our proposed study will leverage a novel data resource, the National Health and Aging Trends Study linked with Medicare claims data to evaluate and compare the performance of contemporary potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) screening tools, document disparities in use by race/ethnicity, geography, and SES, and disentangle associations between longitudinal PIM use trajectories and important adverse health outcomes. P30
2021 Harris, Kathleen Mullan
Aiello, Allison
Meyer, Jess
The Role of Morningness in Sleep Timing and Epigenetic Aging in Young Adulthood We propose leveraging genetic and recently collected epigenetic data in NIA-funded Add Health to advance understanding of the relationships between  diurnal preference, sleep timing, and epigenetic aging. We hypothesize that greater genetic propensity for morningness, reflected in polygenic scores (PGSs), is associated with decreased epigenetic age acceleration (EAA), a measure capturing how far biological aging reflected in DNAm has progressed beyond levels predicted by chronological age. P30
2021 Maselko, Joanna (Asia) Optimizing wearale sensing technologies for the measurement of social interactions among older adults Our overarching study objective is to pilot the use of a wearable technology-based approach to measure how domains related to health among the aging vary in the presence of their grandchild. We focus on the measurement of known correlates of health, including heart-rate variability, physical activity, and frequency and quality of grandparent speech. P30
2021 Moulton, Jeremy Property tax exemptions and senior home affordability Property tax exemptions are often targeted at seniors to improve home affordability and help them age in place. In this project, I aim to answer the question of whether these policies affect the ownership and location decisions of seniors and what impact this has on their health. P30
2021 Poteat, Tonia Meeting the pandemic needs of older sexual minority women: Data to inform Covid-19 Response This study seeks to collect preliminary data for an R01 to test a tailored, community-derived intervention (e.g., peer navigation to provide emotional support, accurate COVID-19 information, and linkage to resources) for a diverse, older sexual minority women (SMW) population. P30
2022 Gutierrez, Carmen Criminal legal System Connections, Health, and Place Safety Connections to the criminal legal system (CLS) are known to affect health. However, surprisingly little is known about the ways that the relationship between punishment and health varies across geographic contexts. Even less attention has been dedicated to investigating the health consequences of working for the CLS. To address these important and timely gaps in the literature, the proposed project seeks to generate original data on CLS connections in eastern North Carolina (ENC) and link these connections to health outcomes among working-age adults. P30
2022 Sheridan, Margaret A Dimensional Approach to Assessing the Impact of Adversity on Age-Related Cognitive Decline This study seeks to collect preliminary data to study the impact of early adversity on aging. The overall goal is to start specifically delineating the dimensions of adversity for future larger studies. P30
2023 Batsis, John Using Linked Census and Electronic Health Record Data to Address Health Disparities In this proposal, we will use data from the National Health and Aging Trends Survey (NHATS). We will link this cohort to Medicare claims data, which includes plan enrollments, utilization costs, chronic conditions, and Part A and B claims. Evaluating the relationship between access to primary care and the progression through the stages of frailty, and how it can affect utilization for older adults has relevant implications to current regulatory and reimbursement policies. P30
2023 Delamater, Paul Evaluating the impacts of heavy precipitation events on geographic access to health care for aging rural populations The goal of this research is to provide a preliminary evaluation of how aging rural populations are affected by extreme weather events. Specifically, I will examine geographic access to two important health care facility types, acute care hospitals and pharmacies, and how it has been and may be impacted by both small-scale (e.g., storms) and large-scale (e.g., hurricanes) heavy precipitation events. P30
2023 Entwistle, Barbara
Batsis, John
Carey, Timothy
Hargrove, Taylor
Palta, Priya
Electronic Health Records: A Potential Source of Data on Migration and Mobility The goal of the proposed pilot study is to establish the extent to which data derived from electronic health records can be used to track mobility. It will inform planning for a larger study of migration, mobility, social determinants, and health outcomes. P30
2020 Parcesepe, Angela
Nash, Denis
Family, work, and maternal mental health during and after the SARS-COV-2 pandemic This mixed methods study aims to: 1) generate knowledge and advance understanding of the impact of COVID-related work and family arrangements on maternal mental health in U.S. during the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, 2) examine to what extent resilience, coping, family structure, and health or economic stressors moderate the relationship between work and family arrangements and maternal mental health during the SARS-COV-2 pandemic and 3) identify attributes and preferences for a digital coping or social support intervention for mothers during the SARS-COV-2 pandemic or other times of high stress. P2C
2010 Emch, Mike Place, Space and Health P2C
2010 Rindfuss, Ronald Demography of Tourism P2C
2010 Jagger, Pam Pilot testing methods for linking land use change, biomass fuel use, and gas and particulate matter exposure in Western Uganda P2C
2012 Seaton, Eleanor Racial discrimination and black youth P2C
2012 Pettifor, Audrey
Thirumurthy, Harsha
Poverty alleviation programs to reduce HIV risk and improve reproductive health among young people in rural South Africa P2C
2012 Pearce, Lisa
Elder, Glen
American lives in a new century P2C
2012 Mouw, Ted Social Networks Mexican Diaspora P2C
2013 Gordon-Larsen, Penny
Herring, Amy
A Feasibility Study: Development of survey weights for the China Health and Nutrition Survey P2C
2013 Thompson, Amanda
Adair, Linda
Bentley, Margaret
Mendez, Michelle
Examining the impact of caesarean section on infant health in China: Pilot and feasibility study P2C
2013 Klara Peter Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey pilot- Enterprise model P2C
2013 Gordon-Larsen, Penny A feasibility study to collect fecal samples from individuals enrolled in the China Health and Nutrition Survey P2C
2017 Harris, Kathleen Mullan
Hummer, Robert
Whitsel, Eric
Ancillary proposals for add-on projects to Add Health (cardiovascular deaths) P2C
2017 Delamater, Paul The spatial and social clustering and diffusion of vaccine refusal P2C
2017 Pearce, Lisa
Thompson, Amanda
Innovative Data for a Socioecological Study of the First 1000 Days in NC Social and physical environmental exposures and experiences during the first 1000 days of life (conception to age 2) have been implicated as important drivers in shaping multiple short and long-term health and development outcomes. Many questions remain, however, on how to identify the key early environmental factors shaping these outcomes. We propose to address these gaps by integrating multiple health, sociological and environmental measures for a population-based, North Carolina sample, forming an invaluable baseline for understanding health and well-being trajectories that can be followed across the lifespan, the long-term goal of this research endeavor. P2C
2017 Tumlinson, Kat Patient Perspectives on Addressing Contraceptive Discontinuation in Low-Income Settings: Advancing Patient-Centered Care Through Qualitative Inquiry P2C
2017 West, Colin
Leslie, Paul
Mapping Fine-scale Land-Use Practices Using High Resolution Satellite Imagery and Feature Extraction This seed grant project sought to develop a method of automating the extraction of improved land-use practices from high-resolution (i.e., sub-meter) satellite imagery over three relatively large 16-km by 16-km areas in northern Burkina Faso, West Africa. P2C
2018 Weisshaar, Kate A Perfect match?  Racial and Gender Discrimination During Upward, Downward, and Lateral Job Mobility The goal of this pilot was to examine the ability of applicants to secure jobs at different levels, and the role of gender and racial discrimination in job mobility P2C
Cai, Yong ART Births in the United States: Sociodemographic Differences and Unmet Needs The goal of this project was to examine the use of Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ART) in the United States, with a focus on sociodemographic differences. This project thus links ART birth mothers to corresponding denominator populations to examine sociodemographic differences in ART births in the United States, to assess the hidden demands for ART service based on the observed differences in ART births, and to evaluate how healthcare policy affects the overall level of and sociodemographic differences in ART births. P2C
2018 Freuwirth, Jane Transitions:  A Study of College Life and Well Being P2C
2019 Martin, Stephanie Early life exposures and adolescent health and development outcomes: Assessing the feasibility of following-up a pregnancy cohort in urban Tanzania P2C
2020 Ng, Shu Wen Pandemic benefits for US households and their impacts on household food security and nutritional quality This seed grant project seeks to obtain immediate data on the extent to which households with children have accessed emergency Coronavirus food assistance programs and their implications for food security and nutritional quality. . P2C
2020 Martin, Chantel
Su, Jessica
Add Health Offspring Feasibility Study The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), with its extensive contextual, environmental, social, economic, psychological, behavioral, and biological data, offers a unique opportunity to explore contemporary intergenerational mechanisms of health and health disparities. Our proposal seeks to generate preliminary data for establishing an Add Health Offspring cohort. Few existing data sources have multigenerational samples, and a new study of Add Health offspring would provide a valuable resource to the scientific community to evaluate development, health, and disease across the lifespan. P2C
2021 Adair, Linda
Thompson, Amanda
Health implications of spatiotemporal trends in the water environment: A comparative analysis in Cebu, Philippines and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador For this pilot study, we will examine water security in relation to perceived stress and inflammation in order to demonstrate the importance and utility of enhanced water environment data for health. This will lay the groundwork for exploration of a wider range of health outcomes from infancy to young adulthood. P2C
2021 Entwisle, Barbara
Carey, Timothy
Chelminski, Paul
Linking Census and Electronic Health Record Data to Study Social Determinants of Health The Pilot Study serves as a critical “proof of concept,” demonstrating the feasibility and value of linking electronic heath record (EHR) data to Census (ACS) data as well as the ability of UNC and the Census Bureau to collaborate successfully. P2C
2021 Hall, Marisa
Smith Taillie, Lindsey
Enhancing the health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes: Two pilot studies with parents The scientific premise of this proposal is that enhanced price tags will improve the effectiveness of Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes for children and their families. The seed grant will collect preliminary data to support an R01 submission to NICHD that will 1) develop enhanced price tag strategies using eye tracking, and 2) evaluate the impact of enhanced price tags on SSB purchases among parents, as compared to a no-tax control and a standard tax display arm, in a randomized trial in our online food store. P2C
2022 Addo, Fenaba Wealth Inequality, Early Cohabitation, and Wellbeing in Young Adulthood The purpose of this study is to 1) explore whether familial wealth is associated with early union formation (cohabitation before age 22) and 2) Examine the educational attainment, fertility, and health of emerging adults, assessing whether these outcomes differ among those who entered into early cohabiting unions relative to those who deferred shared living or did not enter into cohabiting unions. P2C
2022 Boyce, Ross Effect of tick-borne Rickettsia infections on pregnancy and birth outcomes The overarching scientific objective of the proposed pilot project is to determine if prior infection with Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia (SFGR) is associated with adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Our central hypothesis is that infection with SFGR, especially in close proximity to pregnancy, may cause damage to vascular structures that adversely impacts fetal growth and development. P2C
2022 Pearce, Lisa
Thompson, Amanda
Feasibility, accessibility and usability of home-based collection of dried urine spots for understanding the association between social support and maternal health This pilot expands our existing R21 measuring the association between family network structure and content during pregnancy and maternal health outcomes. The addition of biomarkers will allow us to consider how social support and/or conflict influence biological pathways of established importance for maternal health and birth outcomes,6-8 providing a richer understanding of the role of family networks during the critical period of gestation and new avenues for intervention. P2C
2023 Hino, Miyuki
Frankenberg, Elizabeth
Coastal Flooding and the Wellbeing of Youth and Young Adults In this pilot, we will build on the Dynamics of Extreme Events, People, and Places (DEEPP) platform to undertake exploratory work on how young adults are affected by increasing exposures to flooding that accompany climate change. P2C
2024 Arora, Kavita Assessing the Impact of West Virginia’s Medicaid Sterilization Policy Change Our long-term goal is to inform evidence-based and patient-centered health policy to reduce disparities in fulfillment of postpartum permanent contraception (PC) requests. Our overall objective is to determine whether this change in West Virgina (WV) policy is associated with providing more equitable postpartum PC. Our central hypothesis for this seed proposal is that the revised WV policy will alleviate disparities in postpartum PC fulfillment for the Medicaid population. P2C
2023 Hummer, Robert Neurological Biomarkers in Dried Blood Spots: A New Method for Population Studies We propose to use samples from a diverse community-based study to develop a bloodspot assay for neurocognitive biomarkers, using Amyloid 𝛽 40/42 as a template. P30
2024 Baker, Regina The Long Reach of Jim Crow and Racial Disadvantage across Counties: A North Carolina Case Study This project involves using North Carolina as a case study to examine the place-based legacy of historical racism for poverty and other socioeconomic and health outcomes across North Carolina counties. P2C
2024 Giovanello, Kelly Ultra-High Resolution Neuroimaging of Hippocampal Subfields in Healthy Aging The proposed project will establish the association between disruptions to corticalhippocampal subfield connectivity and age-related mnemonic discrimination differences.
We will test the hypothesis that the efficacy of such connectivity can account for differences in the extent that older adults can engage mnemonic retrieval processes in the service of successful mnemonic discrimination.
2024 Jensen, Todd Youth-Stepparent Relationship Dynamics and Well-Being: A 21st Century Update The proposed project aims to develop, refine, and administer survey materials that enable the collection of detailed and up-to-date information about youth-stepparent interactions in the United States. Data gathered on this front, coupled with information about youth-stepparent relationship quality and youth well-being, will support efforts to understand the increasingly common population dynamic of youth residing with a stepparent or social parent. P2C
2024 Song, Conghe; Frankenberg, Elizabeth Impacts of Salinity Intrusion on People and Communities in Coastal North Carolina The specific aims of this seed grant project include (1) to collect a survey for a modest number of households and two focus group discussions to understand the challenges that saltwater intrusion brings to the local people and communities. (2) to collect soil samples from the cropland parcels for the households interviewed. We can directly relate the data collected in our household surveys to the soil salinity data, providing conceptual verification to the proposal we have been developing. P2C
2024 Sylvia, Sean Innovating Community Health through Open-Source Technology and Precision Public Health Our project seeks to adapt a proven digital platform for mobile health, initially designed for use by community health workers in China, for broader use; and to lay the groundwork to expand it’s utility by incorporating state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms. P2C
2023 Dollar, Nathan Impacts of Extreme Events on Older and Foreign Born Adults In this pilot, we will build on the DEEPP platform to undertake exploratory work on how older adults and the foreign born are affected by increasing exposures to flooding that accompany climate change P30