Calderone Health Equity Awards

It is well established that health disparities persist between populations in the world as a result of historical and present structural oppression, which has rendered particular groups vulnerable to adverse health outcomes. The goal of the Calderone Health Equity awards is to support research that aims to address and mitigate these health inequities. These awards will support research that moves beyond merely observing health inequities to focus on the design, development, and implementation of strategies that support health equity.

Supported by a generous endowment established by the Calderone family in 1986, this award honors Frank A. Calderone’s distinguished career and lifelong commitment to public health. This award is designed expressly for research teams led by a faculty member holding a primary appointment in one of the Departments or Centers at the Mailman School.

Dr. Calderone was born and educated in New York City, graduated from Columbia College, and earning his MD from New York University. In 1938, after receiving his MPH from Johns Hopkins University, Calderone joined the New York City Department of Health as district health officer, embarking on a career in public health that would last for the rest of his life.

2021 Winners

  • Dan Belsky and Peter Muennig​​: Economic Intervention as a Prescription for Disparities in Healthy Aging: the Paycheck Plus RCT
  • Silvia MartinsMark OlfsonChristine MauroHeidi AllenChristopher Morrison​​: Unemployment Insurance as an Intervention to Reduce Drug-Related Outcomes and Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Kelli Hall and Julius ChenCOVID-19’s Impact on Disparities in Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Across the U.S.: Piloting an Academic Healthcare-Community Partnership and University-Wide Platform for Interdisciplinary, Innovative Health Equity Research 
  • Daniel Malinsky and Graham BarrA Health Equity Perspective on Data-Driven Treatment Decisions in Cardiovascular Care: Risk Assessments Versus Individualized Treatment Rules

Rules, Eligibility, and Applying


Full-time faculty holding primary appointments in one of the School's Departments or Centers are eligible. Investigators from CUIMC or Columbia University, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows can be members of the research team, but the principal investigator must hold their primary appointment in the Mailman School of Public Health.


Applications will be reviewed and ranked by a committee of senior faculty.  The written opinion of outside experts may be solicited when the committee considers it helpful to do so.

Criteria to be used by the review committee

  1. The scientific merit of the proposed research.
  2. The public health significance of the proposed research.
  3. Evidence of an interdisciplinary and team-based approach.
  4. The likely impact of the award on addressing health inequities and achieving health equity.

Award Details

Up to $40,000 in funding will be awarded to each recipient to support promising, high-impact research proposals. We anticipate making up to four awards. The money may be used for research expenses, salary, travel, equipment, consultation, or administrative/research assistance. The funds must be expended by within 18 months of the award and a formal report must be provided at the completion of the project by no later than 30 days after the completion of the work.

Awards were announced in May 2021 with awards starting July, 2021. 


The application process is now closed.