Seed Funding in College Student Menalt Health

Quick Facts:

  • This seed grant opportunity provides pilot funding for new research projects related to the mental health of young adults (18-24) or 4-year college students consistent with InCHIPs mission conducted by UConn faculty. Pilot projects funded through this mechanism should act as a preliminary stage that informs a proposal for external funding. 
  • There are no deadlines. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Awards ranging from $5,000- $10,000 are available in this competition.
  •  InCHIP will fund up to two awards in this area during FY23.
  • Submit Proposals via the form below.

Description:

In response to the findings of recent UConn Presidential Taskforces, InCHIP invites faculty to submit proposals that will advance innovative work in institutional priority Mental health and wellness in adolescents and young adults. UConn's Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy (InCHIP) invites proposals for this seed grant from faculty at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, and the regional campuses that are InCHIP Network Members. This opportunity encourages faculty collaboration with UConn’s Mental Health Services (SHAW) when relevant. 

In the US in 2021, about 40% of young adults (between 18-24) were enrolled in college (4-year, 2-year, or graduate school). Developmentally, for many students and young adults, this time is fraught with stress, a lack of coping skills, and limited independence or resources. Many questions have emerged about how to improve the mental health outcomes and coping strategies of people within this age group. And by targeting this age group, how can we prevent or alleviate the severity of life-long struggles with mental health, reduce disease morbidity, and prevent early mortality?

Drawing from the NIH, here are a few thematic areas of study relevant to this opportunity (these reflect research goals from NICHD and NIMH in particular) :

  • Prevention, Intervention, & Management: Prevent adverse or life-threatening outcomes such as substance use, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among college students.
  • Develop, optimize, and adapt timely interventions that address adverse mental health outcomes or alleviate their impact.
  • College Student Subpopulations and Health Disparities: Target the mental health needs of specific subpopulations within the college student population (for example, students living with food insecurity, language barriers, or chronic diseases, or who have a minoritized race/ethnicity, sexuality, or gender identity).
  • Health Behavior: What are the impacts of diet, sleep, physical activity, or prolonged exposure to technology on college student mental health and well-being?
  • Identify Mechanisms that Impact Mental Health: Clarify what mechanisms impact mental health and behavior during this developmental stage.

Timeline:

Applications accepted on a rolling basis during the entirety of FY23. All applicants must inform InCHIP of their intent to submit a proposal via the form below prior to their submission.

Funding decisions are typically given within 4-6 weeks from the date of submission (please note that proposals receiving a revise and resubmit may take longer for a final decision on funding).
Please note that applications semester intercessions or during the summer may take longer to process due to reviewer availability.


Proposal Guidelines:

Planning Your Submission

Have you been awarded extramural funding within the last 5 years? 

  • Expedited Process:For those with recent experience writing successful grant proposals, please feel free to request an expedited process for review. We ask for 2 weeks notice prior to submission.
  • Please note- the proposed project should represent a new study or direction of research for the PI(s). This award cannot go towards funding a portion of a project that has already been awarded external funding.

If you have not been awarded external funding in the last 5 years

  • If it has been several years since you were awarded external funding or have never been awarded external funding, InCHIP offers extra support that aims to improve, tailor, and structure proposals toward this funding mechanism and ultimately the targeted external agency. 
  • To access this support, please submit an “Intent to Apply” form a minimum of 4-weeks prior to submission making sure to select that you are asking for support.
  • Information for New Investigators and/or Early Career Faculty:

  • New investigators are faculty who have never been awarded an external grant with a budget greater than 500K/year. 
  • Early Career status indicates that the faculty member completed their terminal degree within the last 10 years.
  • Funding for Mentoring- For those who meet one or both of these criteria, we encourage you to make use of this pilot funding opportunity to establish a relationship with a new research mentor who is an established investigator working in your research area. Need help finding a mentor? Contact Grace Morris at grace.morris@uconn.edu.

Review Criteria

  • Innovation: Is this a new research area, project, or collaboration? Priority is placed on new ideas for projects that involve cross-department and/or cross-college (interdisciplinary) connections among UConn faculty.
  • Significance: Does the proposed project make a significant difference to science and/or human health? What problem does the proposed study solve? Or what gap in knowledge does it fill?
  • Are the goals of the project clear and in alignment with the planned activities? Proposals should have a well-articulated plan of activities that include appropriate literature review, clear objectives, and a detailed methodology.
  • How diverse are the collaborators? Teams comprised of investigators who range in discipline, seniority, and experience.
    Does the team have a timeline and plan for achieving their goals? Proposals must include a specific product (e.g., external grant proposal) and a timeline for its attainment.
  • To what extent is the proposal aligned with the mission of InCHIP?
  • Does the proposal provide evidence for access to the population of interest? For example, building partnerships with community organizations, clinics, or hospitals can demonstrate points of access. Likewise, for studies using secondary data analysis having a description of how the team will gain access to the data is vital.

Eligibility

  • The Principal Investigator (PI) must have an advanced degree (e.g., PhD, MD, PharmD), have an eligible faculty appointment at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, or one of the regional campuses, and be eligible to submit external grants through InCHIP or UConn Health. To view the complete list of faculty eligible to act as a PI, please see this list from the OVPR. 
  • Leadership Roles: While research teams can include students, post docs, faculty from other institutions and other external collaborators, our goal is to support interdisciplinary teams led by UConn faculty. For this reason, team leaders should be UConn faculty with continuing appointments who meet the OVPR’s PI criteria (see above).

Budget Requirements

InCHIP invites Seed Grant proposals with budgets between $5,000 and $10,000. Seed Grants are awarded for up to two years after award.

Allowable Costs

  • Personnel who are essential for conducting the research project, such as graduate research assistants and student labor.
  • Individuals who are not on the regular state payroll (i.e., consultants and other off-campus assistance) may be hired to perform special research-related tasks as needed.
  • Resources that require fee-for-services within UConn.
  • Participant incentives for recruitment or study participation.
  • Out-of-state travel that is necessary to conduct the research.
  • Equipment necessary for conducting the research (“equipment” is defined as an article of tangible, non-expendable personal property that costs $5,000 or more).
  • Project supplies, including drugs and services.
  • Other specifically authorized expenses essential for carrying out the project.

Not-Allowable Costs:

  • The salary of any Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, or other faculty member who has an appointment at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, or any of the UConn campuses. This includes Connecticut Children’s faculty with joint appointments.
  • Living expenses.
  • Laptops or desktop computers, unless used exclusively for the project and not for any other activities.
  • Service/maintenance contracts on equipment.
  • Laboratory renovations or other infrastructure renovations.
  • Institutional and/or individual memberships in professional organizations.
  • Travel to professional meetings to present the results of the research, or any conference attendance.
  • Indirect costs, including clerical and administrative personnel salaries.
  • Costs associated with the publication of results of the research, such as the purchase of reprints.
  • Investigator training costs, including tuition.

Application Requirements

Please complete all sections below, save the document to your computer, and upload here. Proposals must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font size no smaller than 12-point type, left-aligned with one inch margins.

Do not include appendices. Remember that many members of review committees will not have specific expertise in your area and that proposals should be written for a broad academic audience. Note that your effort to follow these formatting requirements is excellent practice for successfully submitting a proposal for external funding.

Investigators are expected to receive approval from the IRB for human subjects or from IACUC for animal model studies before beginning their study.

Your proposal should be collated and sent as one PDF document including letters of support and biosketches. Proposals that do not conform to guidelines will be returned to the PI.

Awardee Requirements

The awarded PIs are responsible for obtaining all required approvals for the research from their relevant IRB(s). Please visit the UConn IRB website for more information on IRB approval for research conducted at the UConn Storrs Campus, the five regional campuses, the School of Law and the School of Social Work. For more information on IRB approval for research conducted at UConn Health, please visit the UConn Health IRB website.

Awardees will be required to submit a brief progress report after 6 months, a final report at the conclusion of the project or award period, and periodic check-ins over the following 5 years to track external grant applications/awards stemming from the seed grant. Changes to the project’s objectives, PIs, and budget will require prior approval from InCHIP staff.

Detailed awardee instructions/requirements will be distributed to seed grant winners when they are notified of the award decisions. All awardee requirements described above are subject to change in accordance with updated institutional procedures (e.g., routing requirements).

Intent to Apply

  • All applicants must inform InCHIP of their intent to submit a proposal via this form prior to their submission.
  • Expedited Process: Investigators who have been awarded external funding in the last five years and are not requesting any services may submit their intent to apply 2 weeks prior to submission.
  • If you would like to utilize InCHIP services to develop your proposal, applicants must inform InCHIP of their intent to submit a proposal via this form at least 4 weeks prior to their submission.
Name(Required)
When do you plan to submit your proposal?(Required)
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Which of the following services would you like to access as your prepare this proposal?
We hope to make this review process quick. In order to ensure that is the case, please list any UConn faculty who we should not contact to review your grant proposal:
This is to encourage disclosure of conflicts of interest and ensure a more fair review process.
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Seed Grant Application

  • Pre-Submission Checklist

  • Proposal Upload

  • Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 100 MB.
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