Research on the Structural Racism, Social Injustice and Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health Pilot Grants

DEADLINE: Monday, April 19, 2021 - 5:00 PM PST

The Stanford MCHRI is pleased to announce the Research on the Structural Racism, Social Injustice and Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health Pilot Grants.  Addressing the impact of structural racism and social injustice as key drivers in health disparities that affect maternal and child health are critical to advancing research.  Engaging with community partners in research is a key component in promoting health equity.  It enhances the creative process by bringing to the table new and relevant insights and contributes to a culture of health equity in all aspects of translational research in maternal and child health. This funding mechanism seeks to support researchers who understand the importance of these practices and provide support for transformative scholarship.  

This pilot grant is aimed at supporting research that not only highlights an important maternal and child health disparity (e.g. racial and ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic, sexual orientation and gender identity) but also focuses on reasons or drivers of these disparities. The projects propose action-oriented strategies to promote equity and improve health outcomes in diverse communities through policy or programmatic changes and innovations.      

Investigators are strongly encouraged to engage in partnerships with communities when possible. 

A recording of a recent info session and a Q&A sheet are available below. 

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Key Dates

Action Date
Application Deadline April 19, 2021
Notification of Awards June 2021
Award Start Date July 1, 2021

The performance period is 12 months.

Forms for Applicants

*NEW UPDATES* - New Requirement for Lay Summary in 2021 Application Cycle
Applicants will be required to submit a Lay Summary in their application, as outlined in the grant instructions above. Briefly and clearly provide the rationale and objective for the proposed research project in a manner readily understood by a general audience. Avoid using acronyms, jargon, or technical, field-specific terminology. Should not be more than 300 words. (See Grants Instructions above)

*NEW UPDATES* - Community Partner and Engagement Component of Research Proposal
Describe the community partner’s role in the project and plans for engagement. Please include how the community partner will be funded (e.g. stipend) if applicable. The investigator should also provide background for the partnership and outline a plan for dissemination back to community members and other key audiences. (See Grants Instructions above)

*NEW UPDATES* - Review Criteria (See document above)

Funding Amount

$35,000 for one year

This award provides both PI salary and non-salary support for hypothesis-driven or hypothesis-seeking research that could lead to research that is externally fundable as a result of the proposed study. The study must be a pilot, concept, development, or feasibility proposal.  

General Eligibility

  • Applications welcome from faculty (CE, MCL, NTLR, NTLT, UTL) at the Instructor rank or above. This mechanism is not intended for Clinical Scholars.   
  • All applicants must have, or plan on, having a focus on maternal child1 health research. Research must be primarily related to maternal child health. “Child” refers to the expectant mother, oocyte, zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, child and adolescent.   
  • All applicants and their mentors must be MCHRI Members.
  • A Primary Research Mentor must be identified for instructors and assistant professors in all faculty lines.
  • The following are not eligible:
    • Visiting scholars to Stanford
    • Senior Research Scientists, Research Associates/Assistants
    • Former recipients of MCHRI sponsored awards who have not complied with award/reporting requirements.
    • Mentor or applicants who have not cleared overdraft(s) in previous MCHRI awards prior to applying.

Examples of funded projects:

  • Research that engages with community partners to support under-represented racial/ethnic minority patients experiencing food insecurity and allergies through a pilot program.
  • Research to determine whether shorter, more frequent telehealth visits are feasible for publicly insured children with type 1 diabetes without compromising outcomes.
  • A pilot project to validate and improve an AntiRacism Perinatal Preferences Tool before use in a prospective study.
  • A pilot project to collect vocabulary data of children from diverse backgrounds impacted by socioeconomic disparities (SES) to examine causal links between SES - related factors and children’s language outcomes.

We strongly encourage any potential applicant to review, “How to Embed a Racial and Ethnic Equity Perspective in Research Practical Guidance for the Research Process” by Kristine Andrews, Jenita Parekh, and Shantai Peckoo to ensure that research topics include an equity perspective across the entire research process.

Reviewer Form

Funding Rates

YEAR # of Applications # of Awards
Funding Rate
Total Awarded
FY 21  12 5  42% $175,000


No-Cost Extension

If the project is not completed within 12 months due to unforeseen circumstances, a no-cost extension (NCX) of up to 6 additional months may be requested (total study period not to exceed 18 months). Please complete a No-Cost Extension Request Form

Policy Updates

Visit Policy Updates for more information.


View the program Q&A sheet for more information about the program. 

Program Review Chairs

Lisa Chamberlain, MD, MPH
Professor, Pediatrics (General Pediatrics)

Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH, MSHS 
Associate Professor, Pediatrics (General Pediatrics)


Please contact MCHRI Administration at or 650-724-0279 with any questions.