Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Maternal Health Centers of Excellence Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Requests for Applications (RFAs)

  • RFA-HD-23-035: Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence (U54 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • RFA-HD-23-036: Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence Data Innovation and Coordinating Hub/Resource Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • RFA-HD-23-037: Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence Implementation Science Hub/Resource Center (U24 Clinical Trial Optional)

NICHD is sponsoring two pre-application webinars for these RFAs, on September 29 and October 4. Learn more and register to attend.

If you have additional questions that are not addressed on this page, please email


Overarching for all Three RFAs

  • Will the government supply a recording of the notice of pre-application webinars presentation for those who were unable to attend?
    • A recording of the pre-application webinars will be available approximately one week following the date of the webinar.

  • Can an institution apply to be a Research Center, the Data Innovation and Coordinating Hub, and the Implementation Science Hub?
    • An institution may apply to one, two, or all three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

Research Centers (RFA-HD-23-035)


  • Regarding the page limit, I am a bit confused by the wording of the minimum and maximum. Would the page limit for this FOA be 12 pages for the Overall component, 12 pages for the Research Project, 6 for Community Partners, and 6 for Training? So, 36 pages in total?
    • The maximum number of pages depends on the number of projects being proposed:
      • If 1 project is proposed, the maximum number of pages is 36 pages: 12 Overall + 12 Research Project + 6 Community Partners + 6 Training = 36 pages
      • If 2 projects are proposed, the maximum number of pages is 48 pages: 12 Overall + 24 Research Project (12 pages x 2) + 6 Community Partners + 6 Training = 48 pages
      • If 3 projects are proposed, the maximum number of pages is 60 pages: 12 Overall + 36 Research Project (12 pages x 3) + 6 Community Partners + 6 Training = 60 pages
  • Would you please confirm that applications to RFA-HD-23-035 should not include an Administrative Core component? If so, for center-wide activities that typically would be covered by an Administrative Core such as strategic planning, center-wide meetings and communication, data and resource sharing, and annual review, should these be distributed across the center components or are we to anticipate that they will be covered by the Coordinating Hub/Resource Center (RFA-HD-23-036)?
    • Applications in response to RFA-HD-23-035 should not include an Administrative Core component. It is expected that the Data Innovation Hub (RFA-HD-23-036) will provide a coordination infrastructure to foster communication and collaboration for participating Research Centers and the Implementation Science Hub under the Maternal Health CoE initiative; support data collection, facilitate data curation, and ensure high-quality data are shared with CoE researchers and submitted to public repositories when appropriate; and provide cutting edge biomedical research informatics and data science expertise to maximize data comparability and facilitate data harmonization. Each awardee will be responsible for submitting their own Research Performance Progress Report annually.
  • How will geographic diversity be assessed? Would other institutions in our metropolitan area count or not count toward this diversity? Or are you looking for sites completely outside of our region/area?
    • Geographic diversity will be assessed across all applications combined, looking at the well-scoring applications to ensure that the awarded Research Centers provide geographic spread across the United States as well as racial and ethnic diversity.

Staffing and Budgeting for Personnel

  • We are developing a project team and I was curious whether it would be acceptable to have a multiple principal investigator (PI) leadership team that includes a co-PI who does not have a doctoral degree.
    • We have not placed a requirement for a doctoral degree for applicants. It is important to demonstrate appropriate expertise and experience for the investigators involved.
  • Can we propose a multiple program director (PD)/PI application? If so, can we propose a different PI for each project component and/or each participating institution?
    • We recommend that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (PDF 6.4 MB) in conjunction with FOA-specific language. RFA-HD-23-035 states: “For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the multiple PD/PI policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.” Thus, more than one PI, or multiple PIs, may be designated on the application.
    • Additional information on the implementation plans and policies and procedures to allow more than one PI on individual research projects is available at
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