FY14 Intramural Research Funding Announcement
Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) Pilot Project Awards
Letter of Intent Deadline: April 22, 2013
Full Application Deadline: July 1, 2013
Announcement of Awards: August 5, 2013
Background and CANHR mission:
CANHR was established in 2001 as an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. The four central themes of CANHR include:
1. Community-based participatory research: Central to all CANHR research is the CBPR perspective of collaborative inquiry. Tribal community members as co-researchers provide significant direction to research questions, design, analysis, and interpretation as partners in all aspects of CANHR research projects. This, along with access to research findings and understanding their relevance through active culturally responsive dissemination efforts, builds community trust and informs future research.
2. Awareness of cultural processes: CANHR studies focus on how cultural variables influence the understanding of disease risk in Alaska Native people. An awareness of cultural process is essential for two reasons. First and foremost, it is an ethical imperative for all ethnocultural research and a key principle of CBPR. Second, for research outcomes that lead to improved health, interventions must be grounded in the social and cultural context at the community level. Through this, their likelihood of being adopted by community members and having a significant impact on the incidence, prevention, and treatment of disease is improved.
3. Interdisciplinary research on obesity, suicide, and substance abuse: The research and disease themes that comprise the CANHR portfolio have been determined by our strategic plan. The plan, developed by a variety of stakeholders, including CANHR research participants, External Advisory Committee members, and scientists, focuses on the genetic, behavioral, and nutritional risk and protective factors for obesity and related metabolic disorders including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Future research priorities will use what we have learned thus far to design and test interventions involving preventive and treatment approaches addressing obesity and related co-morbidities as well as research on suicide and substance abuse in Alaska Native communities.
4. External Partnerships for Specific Expertise (EPSE): The COBRE Phase III transitional award will provide investigators with pilot project funding to establish meaningful external partnerships for specific expertise with investigators at research-intensive universities outside Alaska. Their specific expertise should match the research focus of the pilot project principal investigators and the EPSE collaborator should have a strong track record of research support including NIH R01 grants or equivalent.
Awards are intended to foster the development of outstanding research scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks working in research that addresses health concerns of Alaska Native people. Awards are also designed to support activities that will lead to a new competitive research proposal for sustainable, external funding, as well as to sustainability of existing CANHR core resources (see http://canhr.uaf.edu/ for a full description of the CANHR cores). It is expected that a competitive external proposal will be submitted within one year of the completion of the pilot project grant.
Type of Award (dollar amounts are based on anticipated funding from the NIH):
• $75K, two-year awards for early stage investigators (those who have not previously received external research support). Number of awards: two in FY14, two in FY15, and two in FY16.
a. $25K in first year to develop community partnerships, establish EPSE collaborations ($5K may be used for this purpose), and gain approvals from IRBs, regional health corporations, tribal councils and communities.
b. $50K in second year to facilitate development and pre-testing of culturally appropriate measures and/or procedures, data collection, analysis, and community dissemination of research results.
• Pilot projects must utilize and pay for the services in at least one CANHR core.
• Project leaders must form a meaningful, collaborative partnership with at least one EPSE collaborator. The EPSE collaborator must be a scientist who is an established leader in his/her field, at a research-intensive institution outside of Alaska, and have a strong track record of research support including NIH R01 grants or equivalent. The collaboration should lead to a full-scale grant application wherein the collaborating investigator is a Co-I or multi-PI. Search NIH RePORT at: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/ to determine the NIH funding record when selecting EPSE collaborators. If the proposed EPSE collaborator does not have a strong record of NIH R01 support, explicitly state how their past funding record is equivalent in rigor to NIH R01 support.
Eligibility criteria for awards include:
• The project leader must be a full time UAF tenure track faculty, research faculty or research associate.
• An investigator can only submit one CANHR pilot research project application per year.
• Multiple investigators are allowed to propose a single collaborative pilot project, but such proposals must be well justified given the limited funding available.
• Use of one or more CANHR cores is required.
• Project leaders can have INBRE support but there must be no scientific overlap between the INBRE-supported project and the proposed pilot project.
Exclusion criteria: The Pilot Project Program will not fund:
• Overhead costs
• Extensions of existing COBRE, INBRE or SNRP projects (e.g., for ‘bridge’ support)
• Service contracts on equipment.
• Postdoctoral fellows as project leaders of a pilot project.
• Before submitting a full application, potential applicants must submit a Letter of Intent including the name of the project leader; how s/he meets the eligibility criteria; name(s) of collaborating investigator(s), including EPSEs, and their affiliation(s); proposal title; and a 250-word abstract of the proposed research. Submit the Letter of Intent by 5:00 pm on April 22, 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• All applicants whose Letters of Intent indicate that the proposed pilot project meets the eligibility criteria will receive notice by May 1, 2013 and will be invited to submit a full proposal.
• Applicants who have been invited to submit a full proposal will receive an application packet with instructions. Full proposals will be due by July 1, 2013. The full proposal will include a budget and budget justification, biographical sketch(es), a project summary, a 5-page research plan, description of available resources, references, a section describing the proposed future grant application, and a section on the protection of human subjects. If you plan to ask the CANHR administrative office for assistance with your proposal, please do so far in advance of the proposal due date.
• Full proposals will be reviewed by July 26, 2013.
• Awards will be announced on August 5, 2013.
• Successful projects will need to be approved by the UAF IRB, CANHR’s External Advisory Council, and the NIH prior to funding. Actual funding dates will depend on the time it takes to receive these approvals.
• A Pilot Projects post award meeting will be scheduled with awardees to provide feedback about the proposals and discuss administrative requirements, compliance and other information. If there are minor weaknesses in the proposal that, if addressed, would greatly strengthen the research design or procedures, the investigator will be given two weeks to revise the proposal, prior to funds being released.
• Reviews will be conducted at 6 months and 12 months post award. Sufficient progress in the first year will be required before the second year of funding will be released.
Review Criteria of Pilot Project Program Applications: While the primary goal of the CANHR Pilot Project Program is to help launch and solidify the careers of early stage investigators through EPSE partnerships, the program will not sacrifice scientific merit to that goal. In order to ensure that only studies of the highest scientific merit receive funding, the updated NIH review criteria (NOT-OD-09-025) have been adapted and will be used to provide an assessment of the scientific merit of the pilot project full applications for funding.
Significance: Does the pilot project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Will an important health problem to Alaska Native people be addressed if the aims of the pilot project are achieved, and a full project is funded?
Investigator(s): Are the project leaders, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If early stage investigators or new investigators, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Does the EPSE-collaborator have complementary expertise? Is the EPSE collaborator a leader in his/her field and is s/he at a research-intensive institution outside Alaska? Does the EPSE collaborator have a strong record of NIH support including R01s?
Innovation: Is it likely that the pilot project research will lead to an application that will challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to the field of research or novel in a broad sense?
Approach: Is the approach culturally respectful and appropriate with plans included for community engagement and consultation with regional health corporations and local tribal communities using a CBPR perspective? Is the pilot project timeline realistic and appropriate for CBPR research in Alaska Native communities and for all IRB and tribal approval processes? Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the pilot project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Will the strategy establish feasibility for a full proposal? Is the proposed use of one or more CANHR cores adequate to support the goals of the proposed pilot study? Will the same core facilities be needed and appropriate for a full project based on the outcome of the proposed pilot study?
If the project involves clinical research, are there plans for the protection of human subjects from research risks? Are the plans for inclusion of members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Environment: Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done, including that in the EPSE collaborator’s institution, contribute to the probability of success? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific or study environment, participant populations, or collaborative arrangements?
At the same time that we will stress scientific merit as the basis for funding decisions, we will also prioritize funding decisions to ensure that new investigators obtain support needed to establish EPSEs and solidify CBPR research opportunities. One-year grants must have documented EPSE collaborations in place. Thus, in making funding decisions, we will factor in both the quality of the scientific proposal and the career status of the applicant.
For more information:
Scientific questions may be addressed to CANHR Director Dr. Bert Boyer, email@example.com. Administrative questions may be addressed to CANHR Program Coordinator Michelle Dondanville, firstname.lastname@example.org.