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The Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Roybal Center for Therapeutic Optimization Using Behavioral Science (funded through NIA RFA-AG-19-006) seeks to develop and test principle-driven, potent, practical, scalable, and sustainable behavioral interventions to enhance the appropriate prescribing of and adherence to evidence-based medications.


We are pleased to issue a call for pilot proposals for randomized studies in real-world healthcare settings that seek to test behavioral interventions aimed at improving evidence-based medication use. These trials should measure clinically-relevant outcomes and should aim to generate strong preliminary data for follow-on funding.


For the upcoming year, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Roybal Center will support 2-3 projects with a maximum annual direct cost of $125,000 each. Most projects will be funded for a 12-month period starting June 1, 2022, although multi-year studies will also be considered.


Successful proposals will exhibit the following 3 key features:

  1. multi-disciplinary approach integrating collaborators with expertise in medication use, theory-based behavioral science, implementation research, and/or data science

  2. the testing of principle-driven interventions in real-world settings 

  3. the use of novel analytic methods and technological approaches to gain a deeper understanding of behavior and to facilitate the creation of interventions that are both personalized but applicable to population health improvement



Per the parent Roybal RFA, eligible investigators for pilot studies include, but are not limited to, Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) and established investigators from academic, non-profit or corporate institutions. ESIs, applicants who are underrepresented minorities (URMs), and applicants who have not previously received funding through the BWH Roybal Center for Therapeutic Optimization Using Behavioral Science are particularly encouraged to apply to this pilot program. Partnership with Center-affiliated faculty and individuals who have experience successfully conducting pragmatic clinical trials of behavioral interventions is strongly recommended for all applications.


If prospective applicants would like assistance in assembling an appropriate investigative team, we would be pleased to provide consultative assistance and can be contacted at


Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated by the Center’s Executive Committee using the following criteria:

  1. the strength of the principle-driven intervention being evaluated

  2. the potential of the project to promote healthy aging

  3. novelty/innovation

  4. feasibility

  5. investigative team quality and diversity

  6. the potential to lead to follow-on funding such as an R01


Examples of successfully funded projects can be found here.


Letter of Intent and application process

Applicants should submit a 1-2 page letter of intent with the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity

  • Brief description of proposed pilot study

  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the pilot PI(s)

  • Names of other key personnel

  • Participating institution(s)

  • Estimated budget (total direct and indirect)


The LOI should be addressed to Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, Center Director, and submitted via email to by December 1, 2021, at 5p ET.


Those LOIs highly ranked by the Executive Committee will be invited to submit a full application due February 1, 2022 with the following components:

  • Research Strategy: In this document, please include your specific aims on the first page and explain the principle-driven intervention or basic behavioral science concept that you seek to evaluate. Your application should emphasize the underlying theory and its potential to optimize medication use and to promote healthy aging and provide sufficient methodological detail to allow for accurate assessment of the validity and feasibility of the proposed approach. The research strategy should be no longer than three (3) single-spaced pages with at least one-half inch margins, including the specific aims, and should use Arial 11-point font.

  • NIH Biosketch: An NIH format biographical sketch must be submitted for the PI(s) and all Co-Is.

  • Budget and budget justification: Please use the PHS 398 template budget page and provide detailed expenses.  Please also provide a short justification for all personnel, supplies, and equipment that will be expensed to this project.


Successful applications will be notified by March 1, 2022. Chosen pilot projects will require additional documentation such as a Data Safety Monitoring Plan and Human Subjects documents for submission to NIA for final approval by March 15, 2022.


Awarded pilot projects will begin June 1, 2022, pending NIA approval.

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