Federal Funding Opportunities Through The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
By Barbara Becker-Cottrill, Ed.D.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer many
grant funding opportunities in a variety of areas that lend
themselves well to behavior analysis. The CDC is one of the major
operating components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Resources and is considered the lead federal agency for protecting
the health and safety of people - at home and abroad. The CDC
includes 12 Centers, Institutes and Offices. Of these, perhaps of
most interest to behavior analysts would be the National Center on
Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, The National Center
for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health promotion, the National
Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
CDC encourages strong partnerships in fulfilling its mission.
Within these partnerships, there is a growing trend for
establishing interdisciplinary collaboration between epidemiology,
medicine, and a variety of other disciplines including behavioral
science. A few current examples of grant opportunities that call
for collaborative efforts among disciplines include education
programs in occupational safety and health, development and
validation of measures to assess outcomes of mild traumatic brain
injury, a cooperative agreement program for fetal alcohol syndrome
(FAS) prevention, and a cooperative agreement for assessing folic
acid knowledge and behaviors.
"Healthy People 2010", the national agenda on preventative
health, has several focus areas and grants available that are well
suited for behavior analysts. Many of these are related to the
development, implementation and evaluation of community-based
interventions. One objective set forth in "Healthy People 2010" is
to reduce motor vehicle-related fatalities to no more than 9.2 per
100,000 from a baseline of 15.6 per 100,000 persons in 1998.
Behavioral science has already had an impact on seat belt use.
Current research sponsored by the CDC calls for further
interventions and collaborative efforts in this area; specifically
to(1) reduce alcohol-impaired driving among high-risk groups; (2)
increase safety belt use among low-use groups; and (3) increase the
use of child safety seats, with an emphasis on booster seats.
The CDC has an excellent reputation with regard to its
relationships with grantees and collaborative partners. From
personal experience, their grants management office and technical
assistance personnel provide a superior level of support at every
phase of grant development and implementation. The West Virginia
Autism Training Center (WVATC) at Marshall University successfully
applied for a grant from the CDC in 1996 to develop a model of
prevention of some secondary conditions of autism (i.e. familial
stress, self-abusive behavior). To date, this model has been
implemented with over 300 West Virginia families and their children
with autism. In 1999, the WVATC began to conduct population-based
surveillance of autism spectrum disorders based on CDC methodology.
The addition of an epidemiologist to our staff has enabled us to
conduct this type of research and has opened new doors to research.
We now work collaboratively with nine additional states that have
been awarded similar grants. Grantees come from public health,
medicine, education and behavioral science backgrounds. As work
goes forth with this group of grantees, it becomes very clear that
it will take this type of interdisciplinary collaboration to move
forward in the field of autism and many other fields.
In summary, the CDC offers many research opportunities for
behavioral scientists interested in public health issues.
Collaboration with other disciplines is most often essential and
considered a credit to a proposal. Funding opportunities with the
CDC can be found easily on their website at
www.cdc.gov. There is a link on the home page that will take
you to funding opportunities. Under funding opportunities, specific
grants are listed by focus area. Requests for proposals are
detailed and most often, the request states what resources must be
in place in order to be considered. Addressing each point listed in
the RFP in detail, and ensuring the appropriate resources are
available is essential. Grant forms are available on line and can
be located at the CDC funding site. Specific questions of a
budgetary or technical nature related to a proposal submission are