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Pilot Grants for Health Policy Research

Download the .pdf of this RFP here, or the .docx file here.

*Investigators who submitted a concept paper Spring 2020 will need to re-submit in September, following the updated guidelines in this RFP.

The mission of the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy (LHC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is to connect and support those seeking to improve health outcomes through policy. The Lister Hill Center invites applications for pilot studies to support new research initiatives in any area related to health policy. Pilot funding will be up to $20,000 for one year. Pilot funding is intended to provide initial project support for new investigators, allow exploration of possible innovative new directions for established investigators in health policy research that represent a significant departure from ongoing funded research, and stimulate investigators from other areas to use their expertise for health policy research.

The LHC will provide funding for internal grant applications that propose research, public health practice, and policy advocacy projects that support the LHC’s goal of promoting effective and equitable health policy. All projects should have a strong research or evaluation component. Pilot studies must address the relationship between public health and public policy. We anticipate funding 3-5 applications of up to $20,000 each.

Eligibility Criteria: UAB faculty and postdoctoral fellows are eligible. The integration of early stage faculty with other UAB researchers and community partners/stakeholders is key and required to advance all pilot projects within the context of a team science approach.  All projects should have clear next steps in terms of future opportunities. Priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate a close relevance to the Lister Hill Center’s focus and likelihood of future R01 (or equivalent) funding.

Process: Interested researchers should submit a concept paper (outlined below) in a single PDF. Please submit the concept paper electronically to Sean McMahon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, September 4, 2020 by 11:59pm. Late concept papers will not be accepted. The LHC team will review all submissions and return feedback by September 25, with full applications due October 25.

Timeline:

  • Request for Proposals (RFP) Released: July 1, 2020
  • Deadline for 1-page Concept: September 4, 2020
  • Concept paper feedback provided to investigators: September 25, 2020
  • Deadline for Full Applications: October 25, 2020
  • Awards Announced: December 11, 2020
  • Funding Start: January 9, 2021

Concept Papers are one page in length and include:

  • Project Title
  • Names of Principal Investigator(s) and Mentor(s)
  • Abstract (<500 words) with the following components: Background, Significance, Hypothesis, Aims, Design, Procedures. References may be included as an attachment, but are not required.
  • Health Policy Relevance: Please include 1-3 sentences describing how this project could lead to policy change.
  • Budget Synopsis: Please include 1-3 sentences briefly summarizing what the grant funding would be used for.
  • NIH BioSketches (not included in the one page limit) as an attachment
  • Late concept papers will not be accepted

Full Applications:  Full proposals will be on the modified forms used commonly for NIH grant applications (PHS 398 forms) and should follow a modified NIH R03 grant application (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r03.htm) format.

For detailed instructions on how to fill out the forms see: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

Budget: Maximum direct costs are $20,000. Indirect costs are not allowed. Awards are one year in length. Funds must be spent within a year of grant award. Salary support can be requested.  All costs must conform to the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) and applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget OMB circulars for necessity and reasonability, allocability, conformance and consistency, as well as allowability. Please follow the link below to section 7.2 cost principles section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_7/7.2_the_cost_principles.htm

Review Criteria: A Scientific Selection Committee (SSC) will review the applications. Criteria for selection are primarily based upon the scientific impact, investigative team, significance, approach, and innovation. Specifically, the project will be evaluated for its significance to health policy, and how well it is aligned with the strategic interests of the LHC. Applications must clearly describe a vision and the feasibility of the approach. Applications based on a high degree of innovation are preferred. Applications that do not include a clear description of how the proposed research will lead to the formation of a research team are deemed ineligible.

Award Details: Funding will be awarded from the Lister Hill Center Administrative Office. All questions regarding the awarding of funding should be directed to the contact listed in the notice of award. Prior to the awarding of funding, the following information must be provided, if applicable:

  • Institutional Review Board approvals, if applicable, must be obtained prior to receipt of an award, but are not required to submit an application. Prior to receipt of an award involving human subjects, IRB approval from all participating sites and human subjects training certification for all key personnel will be required.
  • Applicants chosen for funding will be expected to present the details of their study at an LHC Seminar. This will provide an opportunity to identify additional synergies within UAB and the LHC. Other presentations, including a ‘research in progress talk’ (midway) and at the end of the funding period may also be requested.
  • Awardees will be required to submit quarterly progress reports.
  • Awardees will be tracked after the award ends to monitor productivity (abstracts, publications, grants).
  • Support from this mechanism must be acknowledged in all publications and presentations.
  • If for any reason the awardee is unable to fulfill the requirements or adhere to the policies of the award, at the discretion of the funding mechanism leadership, the award may be revoked.

Questions or more information:

Sean McMahon, LHC Program Manager; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone: (205) 934-6553