Pilot Projects

2024-2025 Call for Pilot Proposals

The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison invites investigators with an interest in aging to submit proposals for pilot research projects.  Proposals are due by March 1, 2024, and awards will be supported from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.  The program is open to faculty and academic research staff (e.g. Research Scientists) with an interest in aging. We welcome proposals from UW-Madison affiliates as well as scholars who work in institutions without an NIH-funded population center. Priority will be given to early career investigators. Please review the Call for Pilot Proposals here and for more information, contact Michal Engelman (mengelman@wisc.edu) or Aaron Crandall (aaron.crandall@wisc.edu).

For internal (UW-Madison) applicants, this face page that’s partially completed can be utilized for part 1 of the application.

2023-2024 Pilot Projects

Environmental Determinants of Premature Aging in Transportation and Construction Workforce

PI: Wan-chin Kuo

This project aims to (1) elucidate the environmental-biological pathways of premature aging in the transportation and construction workforce, (2) predict workers’ 24-hour activities based on the contextual cues identified in the Socio-Ecological Model, and (3) identify Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs) strategies incorporating worker-centered care into systems-level changes and workers’ perspectives toward climate change policies. The ultimate goal of this work is to build worker-centered intelligent environments to alleviate health disparities among industrial workers across the nation and the world.

Rent and Mortality in the Metropolitan U.S.

PI: Max Besbris

This study offers multiple improvements in an effort to expand the literature on the relationships between housing and health. Specifically, it will use geographically fine-grained data on rent and changes in rent over a five-year period to estimate the effect of changes in rental housing prices on mortality in the urban U.S. It will (1) examine if rising rents at the county-level are related to increased mortality, (2) identify county-level heterogeneity in the effect of rental prices on mortality, and (3) estimate the relationship between county-level housing cost burden and mortality.

An Overlapping Cohorts Approach to Life Tables

PI: Héctor Pifarré i Arolas

This project constitutes a novel examination of key public health and social policy issues, guided by new analytical methods to study population level mortality patterns. In a manuscript (recently published in Epidemiology, a leading field journal), Arolas present preliminary findings based on an early version of this proposal’s approach and find that current Black-White mortality inequality in the U.S. is over 60% larger than documented by existing evaluations. The next step in this project will explore the implications of this methodology on a variety of key demographic and public health issues, including projects on the relative importance of major causes of death, and cause-related determinants of current trends on lifespan inequalities; this CDHA pilot grant will jump start this large research agenda.