Career Enhancement Award to Advance the Study of Intimate Partner Violence in the Context of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Research

Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-OD-24-001

Award Amount: Up to $1,400,000

Deadline: December 1, 2023


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship and refers to both current and former partners. It can take a variety of forms, including physical and sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression. Approximately 41% of women have experienced some form of IPV with negative health impacts during their lifetime, with risk for serious injury or death at its highest around the time of pregnancy and postpartum. In addition to direct injury, mental health problems such as PTSD and depression, and substance use, chronic IPV also can have indirect impacts that place one’s health and wellbeing at risk, including interaction with the justice system, missed days of work, housing challenges, etc. Most relevant here, crime data indicates that one in five homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner and, specifically, over half of female homicide victims are killed by a former or current male partner. In fact, homicide is a leading cause of maternal mortality. A recent study using national death certificate data found that pregnant women in the United States died by homicide (most often committed by partners) more often than they died of pregnancy-related causes. Homicides during pregnancy were particularly prevalent among African-American women.

Program Objective

It is expected that this initiative will lead to new research collaborations that connect and integrate IPV expertise with that of maternal health researchers to better position the field and to ensure that future NIH applications reflect this critical integration. This short-term (up to 24 months) period of mentored research experience should expand the investigator’s current expertise and lead to new knowledge and skills and potential new collaborators. The research career enhancement experience may be conducted in a different department within the candidate’s home institution or in a different institutional setting from the location where the candidate holds their primary appointment. Mentoring may occur in-person, virtually, or in combination. The research experience proposed must have the potential to substantially augment the candidate’s research capabilities and provide new research opportunities and benefits that would not be achievable through a collaborative research grant with the mentor(s). The research career enhancement experience should be tailored to the individual needs and level of experience of the candidate. The career enhancement plan may include (1) a didactic academic enrichment plan (e.g., courses on IPV screening and leveraging partnerships to link survivors to comprehensive community-based interventions, seminars, journal clubs, etc.) and (2) a small-scale research project focused on IPV in the context of maternal mortality and morbidity. Applicants are expected to identify one or more research mentors with relevant IPV expertise in the candidate’s knowledge-gap areas. The mentor(s) must be established, well-qualified, and willing to support the candidate’s short-term research career development experience. The candidate and the proposed mentor(s) should not already have established, longstanding collaborations at the time of the application. Candidates are expected to either establish new collaborative arrangements or strengthen and enhance relatively new or developing collaborations on a research project on violence within the context of existing work on prevention of pregnancy related morbidity and mortality.

For more information, please see the funding opportunity website.