The South Jersey Institute for Population Health (SJIPH), established by the Rowan University / Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors to improve health outcomes in our region, is pleased to announce its funding initiative for 2023. SJIPH's Call for Proposals will fund research projects that involve collaborations between Rowan, Rutgers-Camden, and community-based organizations in the following Counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic, and Cape May.
This funding cycle has two main goals:
- Advance research and improve health outcomes in southern NJ
- Serve as a foundation for establishing a data hub for research and projects that advance our region
For this initiative, projects should focus on 2 areas.
First, individual research projects should use a population health or population medicine approach to directly improve health, build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities in Southern New Jersey. In addition, projects should consider the social determinants of health and produce both generalizable knowledge and community impact. Social determinants of health are defined by the World Health Organization as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and which contribute to health disparities around the world.
Second, taken together, the portfolio of funded projects should support the development of the South Jersey Institute for Population Health by building two-way collaborations between community organizations and higher education partners at Rowan and Rutgers-Camden, initiating projects that can secure sustainable funding, and contributing data to the Institute.
An important motivation of this funding cycle is to continue to lay the groundwork for ongoing collaborations in our region that can integrate current fractured data sources together to inform research and influence population health programming. To support the goal of fostering a wide range of collaborations, we have intentionally created a broad and wide call for proposals for this region.
The funding process is iterative. Prospective grantees first submit a brief letter of intent by July 14, 2023. After initial review, some applicants will be invited to a day-long sandbox meeting where applicants will meet colleagues across the region and partner with facilitators to improve funding proposals. Final proposals will be due by November 17, 2023, with funding decisions made by mid-December 2023.
Prospective grantees should submit a short letter-of-intent by July 14, 2023 at the website (sjiph.org). The submission portal on this website is open. The Letter-Of-Intent submission portal asks prospective grantees to answer questions in the following areas: (1) content of research idea; (2) collaborative team; (3) data sharing; (4) impact; (5) sustainability; (6) budget. More details are below.
Teams selected from the LOIs should plan to attend the Sandbox Meeting at the Joint Health Sciences Building on Friday, October 13, 2023. The Sandbox Meeting will serve three purposes: (1) clearly communicate to potential grantees the goals of the research funding; (2) bring researchers with related interests and complementary skills together; (3) produce, during the meeting, proposal outlines that can be guided to full research proposals. At the sandbox meeting, prospective grantees will participate in planning sessions organized by clusters of interest, skills, and data ideas. Each cluster will include a facilitator provided by SJIPH. During the sandbox meeting, facilitators and potential grantees will develop proposal outlines. The goal is a collaborative rather than competitive environment.
Final proposals will be due on November 17, 2023 and will also be submitted on the application portal. Applicants will be asked to provide more detailed responses to the same questions asked in the letter-of-intent process.
Final funding decisions will be made by mid-December 2023. Contracts to release funding will be sent by mid-February 2024, and projects are anticipated to last 1 year.
Projects (both letters-of-intent and final proposals) will be evaluated by a reviewing committee on how well they meet the RFP goals in: (1) content; (2) collaboration; (3) data sharing; (4) impact; (5) sustainability; (6) budgeting.
Application question: What is your research question(s)?
Instructions: 250 word limit. Briefly outline your project idea and specific research question(s). The proposal must identify the specific priority population(s) under study and address the goals of the funding initiative as described in the Background Section. Please see sjiph.org for the overall mission of SJIPH and its overall interest areas.
Evaluation criteria: Does the project employ a population health or population medicine approach to directly improve health, build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities in Southern New Jersey? Does it consider the social determinants of health? Does the project focus clearly on a population?
Application question: Who is your collaborative team?
Instructions: Please list each primary member of your collaborative team. Include email contact information and either attach or include a link to evidence of qualifications for the collaborative team. (For faculty, this might be a CV; for community partners, this could include a link to the organization's website). Primary members include those involved in proposal design. Secondary members (those who might be involved with project implementation) do not need to be mentioned. Teams will also indicate if they are new or established teams (see below). Students and university staff may serve as a key personnel or partners. However, a faculty member at their institution must serve as a PI, Co-PI, or Investigator on the project. In the event that a PI is unable to continue a project, the PI must contact SJIPH, ensure another key personnel on the project will take over leadership, and amend contracts, if required.
Evaluation criteria: Priority will be given to projects that include representation from Rowan, Rutgers-Camden, and members of the population covered by the project idea. Community organizations serving the population count as community members. All projects must include three distinct academic and community partners (i.e. at least one Rutgers-Camden, one Rowan, and one community partner). Do team members have the expertise needed to complete the project?
3. Data Sharing
Application question: What data will your project produce that can be shared with the South Jersey Institute for Population Health?
Instructions: 250 word limit. Please describe what data your project might produce and how this data could be leveraged by others to improve health, build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities.
Evaluation criteria: Will the project include data to support the long-term goals of the South Jersey Institute for Population Health to integrate fractured data, inform research, influence population health programming in the region and become a valuable public resource? Note: For those who are unsure about data sharing, help will be provided at the Sandbox Meeting.
Application question: What academic impact will your project have? What community impact will your project have?
Instructions: Briefly describe the possible academic and community impacts of your project.
Evaluation criteria: Will the project produce scholarly products (i.e. papers)? Will the project impact the community? How?
Application question: How can this project lead to future funding?
Instructions: Provide ideas about how the project can be sustained over time. Possible sources of funding could include foundations, governments, or state and federal funding agencies. If the project is a smaller, clearly-defined project, then explain how results from this project could serve as the basis for other projects. If known, provide specific funding mechanisms. (E.g. "NSF Smart and Connected Communities" is better than "NSF").
Evaluation criteria: Is the project sustainable? How likely is the project to secure future funding?
Application question: Please upload a draft budget on the budget template listed below.
Instructions: Upload a budget for the project that takes into account allowable and non-allowable expenses.
Evaluation criteria: Does the budget fit with the scope of the proposed project? Is the budget consistent with the guidelines?
Additional Proposal Considerations
New and Established Partnerships
An important goal of this funding cycle is to build capacity for ongoing collaborative research. Some prospective grantees will be part of teams newly formed to address this call for proposals, while other teams will be established. Newer teams will likely require more technical assistance and help, whereas established teams may develop significant funding proposals on their own. Prospective grantees should indicate whether they are part of a newly formed or established team, and the review process will aim to fund both types of teams. Established teams will likely have stronger initial proposals, but we run the risk of perpetuating the disparities we seek to eliminate if we only fund groups with sufficient capacity and resources to do this work on their own. We also inadvertently disadvantage newer groups from forming, and this may inhibit new areas of interest and research in new populations. "Established" teams have collaboratively conducted research for 6 months or more, while "new" teams have collaborated for less than 6 months or have never previously collaborated in research.
Portfolio of Projects
The call for proposals is broad, and we recognize that creating a sustainable institute will require a diversity of projects. In addition to traditional research projects, prospective grantees are encouraged to consider additional types of projects, such as: (a) projects that include the gathering, interpretation, and/or dissemination of South Jersey data to relevant stakeholders, including academic audiences, community organizations, community members, health care providers, policy makers, and funders. Data that support clear action around health and health disparities in South Jersey are particularly encouraged; (b) projects that focus on capacity building or relationship development between different stakeholders in health (community members, community organizations, health care systems, health care providers, researchers); (c) projects that implement or evaluate plans to reduce health disparities; (d) projects that focus on the development of the data infrastructure needed to support the South Jersey Institute for Population Health.
Previous awardees are welcome to apply to Cycle 3 funding if the following two conditions are met: (1) The Cycle 3 project must be distinct and different from the previous cycle's project; (2) Teams must demonstrate significant progress on their previous cycle's project.
Feasibility of Projects
Proposals will additionally be evaluated based on how realistic the proposed project is. All proposals must be realistic in scope and proposed projects must be feasibly completed in 12-18 months.
Additional SJIPH Partnership Requirements
Awardees must provide written quarterly progress reports to SJIPH. This report includes updates on the status of the project, the budget, projected activities, and any obstacles experienced by the project.
Awardees must participate in formal training when deemed necessary by SJIPH.
Awardees must participate in at least one event during the cycle to disseminate the results of the project.
Funding for cycle 3 will consist of two distinct budgeting tracks.
Track 1 will consist of up to 12 projects funded at $25,000 for a total of up to $300,000. All project teams are eligible for Track 1 funding.
Track 2 will consist of 2-4 projects funded between $50,000 - $100,000 for a total of up to $200,000. Those who are eligible for Track 2 include (1) previous SJIPH awardees who have successfully completed their projects OR (2) teams that are already established (i.e., have worked together for 6 or more months on previous research) and have a history of collaboration.
This is an external award and all proper guidelines for external awards by your institution or organization should be followed, including subawards to other partners. Community-led projects should pay particular attention to this. All project teams will be required to submit a budget indicating the level of funding they are requesting. However, established project teams can submit a budget for both tracks, should they choose to. Projects that can identify matching funds and/or include in-kind support should be submitted. Individual budget determinations will be made by the reviewing committee. Allowable expenses include: % effort for PI/Co-PI ( no individual person receiving more than 20% of the grant), hourly student wages, supplies, materials, equipment (i.e. tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level or $3,000), mileage reimbursement for study-related travel, travel for students to attend professional conferences, software, data analysis/evaluation and publication subvention/fees. Non-allowable costs to include: food (except as related to human-subjects research), and equipment exceeding $3000. Indirects are capped at 10% and should be included in your budgets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Sandbox meeting?The Sandbox Meeting is for LOIs that have been selected by reviewers to advance to the next stage. These projects are deemed promising, and the Sandbox meeting is intended to serve as an incubator for ideas and research partnerships.
If LOI is selected, will member(s) be required to attend?Yes, every project must be represented at the Sandbox meeting by at least 1 team member.
Will the Sandbox meeting be in person?Yes, the Sandbox Meeting will be held at the Joint Health Sciences Building in Camden, NJ on Friday, October 13, 2023.
Will final projects invited require Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden researchers?
- All projects will require an academic and community partner
- Priority will be given to projects that include academic partners from more than one institution.
- All projects must include an academic from Rowan or Rutgers-Camden
Who counts as an academic partner?
Faculty (tenure-track and NTT), post-docs, staff (e.g. PhD, MD, DO, EdD). Students and staff may serve as key personnel or partner. However, a faculty member at their institution must serve as a PI, Co-PI, or Investigator on the project.
What is the definition of an "existing team"?An existing team is a team that has worked together on research or project(s) for at least 6 months. This research or project(s) may be funded or not. A team does not have to be a previous cycle 1 awardee to be considered an established team. An existing team has collaboratively conducted research for 6 months or more.
What units are eligible?Rutgers-Camden, Rowan University, Rowan School of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Will data collected be required to be shared with SJIPH?All projects require a data-sharing plan, but not all data collected are required to be shared.
Can this funding initiative support programs (as opposed to Research)?Funding can support programs if there is a corresponding contribution to research or data supports the broader mission of the SJIPH.
Does my project have to be in Southern New Jersey?Yes, all projects must focus on populations or individuals from at least 1 of the counties in the 7 county South Jersey region
If I get invited to the Sandbox meeting, what are my chances of being funded?
Our goal is to fund the majority of projects invited to the Sandbox Meeting provided their full proposals address funding criteria and research priorities. However, attendance at the Sandbox Meeting does not guarantee funding.
Do I need to work with the university's grants or sponsored projects office to submit a Letter of intent (LOI)?Yes, applying to SJIPH at the LOI stage requires a budget as part of the application process. All project teams should work with their grants/sponsored projects office personnel. This university internal process may add additional time and approvals prior to your submission to SJIPH, so please connect with your office early enough to meet the submission deadline.