FY20 InCHIP–UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media (CHASM) Seed Grants

InCHIP–UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media (CHASM) Seed Grants Rapid Submission: Building an Evidence Base for Commercially Available Technology

A Special Funding Opportunity Reserved for Attendees of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media 2020 Annual Conference

Description

The Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media are collaborating on a seed grant program that promotes research that builds an evidence base for commercially available technology. One $15,000 seed grant will be available to a PI who is a member of the UConn faculty and attends the UConn CHASM Virtual Conference: Building an Evidence Base for Commercial Technology, on May 14, 2020. Conference information here.

Eligible studies must be for the purpose of providing preliminary data to support a federal grant application. For example, eligible studies may:
1. Evaluate the reliability, accuracy and/or validity of a wearable device or sensor
2. Evaluate the real world effectiveness of a commercial health technology
3. Evaluate the impact of specific uses of a social media platform on a health outcome
4. Conduct a pilot feasibility study of a commercial technology on a health outcome
5. Collect needed qualitative or quantitative data from users on their use of and preferences regarding a health technology

Funded projects must be consistent with the missions of InCHIP and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media (see below). Proposals must demonstrate how the proposed work will generate critical preliminary data to support an extramural grant (e.g., NIH, NSF) and describe the aims of that subsequent grant.

The ultimate goal of the FY20 InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grants is to build evidence for commercially available health technology and to assist investigators in securing federal funding. UConn investigators must commit to submitting subsequent federal grants through InCHIP or UConn Health.

Program Award and Details:

One award of up to $15,000 is available for this seed grant competition for UConn investigators. All grant funds must be expended within two years of the award date. Unexpended funds will revert to InCHIP and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. Please see Budget Guidelines for additional information.

Funding Priorities:

Seed grant funding will be prioritized based on:

A. How the pilot work will increase the likelihood of external grant funding, AND

B. The scientific merit of the larger future project for which external funding will be sought and the extent to which is it novel or innovative.

Key Dates:

Tuesday, April 21 2020: Initial FOA posted

May 14-15 2020: UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media 2020 Annual Conference

Monday, June 1, 2020 UCONN INVESTIGATORS: InCHIP Affiliate Application due by 11:59 PM EST

Friday, June 12, 2020: Full proposals due by 11:59 PM EST

Friday, June 19, 2020 Applicants notified of award decision

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022: Award Period

Timeline

1. Proposal Development

a. It is strongly recommended that, prior to developing their seed grant proposal, applicants watch the previously recorded InCHIP webinar on how to effectively structure a seed grant to support a future external grant application. It is essential that the work supported by an InCHIP seed grant be linked to a larger future project.

View Webinar
b. Applicants are also encouraged (but not required) to utilize resources offered by InCHIP’s Cores when developing their research ideas and proposals. Seed grant-related services available through the InCHIP Cores include:

Training and Development Core: Individual consultations are available by appointment with InCHIP Training and Development Core staff. Additionally, Grant Proposal Incubators can be scheduled to provide applicants the opportunity to meet with a panel of InCHIP investigators to receive feedback on their research idea and proposal.

Community-Engaged Health Research Core: This Core can help UConn researchers make linkages to community researchers and community-based organizations (e.g., community health centers). For assistance with identifying possible community partners, email deborah.cornman@uconn.edu

UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media: The Center has a suite of services available to researchers on a fee-for-service model. Services include adapting intervention content and health messaging for social media delivery using specific platforms, training on social media management and scheduling software, data extraction, and user-centered design. Please contact Dr. Sherry Pagoto at sherry.pagoto@uconn.edu for more information.

NOTE: InCHIP Cores offer more extensive services for those applying for external funding including pre- and post-award services, as well as assistance with the design, development, implementation, and dissemination of research. A complete description of the Core services can be found on their respective webpages (see links above). Please look for announcements from InCHIP about Core trainings, workshops, and events in the coming months.

 

2. Submit Application:

Applications must be submitted through the form at the bottom of the page by the end of the day (11:59 PM EST) on June 12, 2020. Proposals must be uploaded as a single PDF.

Go to Application

Project and Investigator Eligibility

1. Proposals must be for studies that are working to build evidence for commercially available technology addressing a health-related issue. They must also be for the purpose of gathering needed preliminary data for an extramural (e.g., NIH or NSF) grant.

2. For the $15,000 award, the Principal Investigator (PI) must be a UConn faculty member and meet the following eligibility requirements:

a. The UConn PI must have an eligible faculty appointment at UConn, and s/he must be eligible to submit grants through InCHIP or UConn Health. Eligible faculty appointments are tenured or tenure-track faculty, in-residence research faculty, clinical faculty, other research faculty, research scientists/scholars, and adjunct faculty. Eligible faculty are not restricted to junior faculty.
b. Ineligible appointments are post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants and research associates, visiting titles, and extension titles.
c. The UConn PI must be an approved InCHIP affiliate by the time the final proposal is submitted. The InCHIP Affiliation application form and instructions are available here. Please allow at least two weeks for approval.
d. Graduate students are not eligible.
e. The PI must (virtually) attend the 2020 UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media 4th Annual Conference on May 14,2020. Register here.

3. Seed grant proposals must be predominantly the work of the PI and for the benefit of the PI’s research programs. Proposals written primarily by graduate students or others in the PI’s name are not permitted. Graduate student research has separate funding opportunities at UConn

4. The proposed research must be consistent with the missions of InCHIP and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media:

a. InCHIP Mission: “The University of Connecticut’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) provides an interdisciplinary nexus for investigators and Centers across the University to stimulate research collaborations and major newly-funded initiatives that create new scientific knowledge and theoretical frameworks in health behavior at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., individual, family, community, policy). Health is broadly defined and includes physical and mental health, and outcomes with critical implications for health. Work at the intersection of behavior and biology, and at the intersection of science and public policy is encouraged. InCHIP disseminates its research and cutting-edge health behavior change interventions through publishing, structural change, capacity-building, teaching, mentoring, and collaboration at the University, local, state, national, and international levels.”
b. UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Mission: “Our mission is to advance the science of digital health by exploring novel applications of digital technologies to health problems, using technology to increase the impact and reach of health interventions, leveraging technology to gain a deeper understanding of health issues, and developing new methodologies with digital health tools to conduct clinical research.”

5.The proposed seed grant project should address a novel research question, not a research question that is already being explored as part of an existing, externally-funded project.

6. Changes to the project’s objectives and budget will require prior approval from relevant InCHIP and Center for mHealth and Social Media staff

7.The PI must commit in good faith to using the seed grant funds to obtain pilot data to support an external grant proposal that is submitted by June 2022. Recipients of the award must submit a grant proposal through InCHIP or UConn Health.

8. UConn faculty who work at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) are not eligible to be a PI on this seed grant unless they can submit their external grant applications through UConn. If they are required to submit their external grant applications through CCMC, they can serve as a Co-Investigator on this grant but not as a PI.

9. If the PI has an InCHIP seed grant from a previous fiscal year, s/he must close out that award prior to the start of the award period for the FY20 InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grant.

10.An individual may only submit one LOI/proposal for this competition as a Principal Investigator (PI).

Application Instructions:

Proposals should contain the following elements and follow the structure and guidelines indicated. All length guidelines assume 1-inch margins, 11-12 pt fonts, single spacing, and single-sided pages. Proposals (items A through J below) should be submitted as a single, compiled PDF via the form below by 11:59 pm on June 12, 2020.

Go to Application

Application Components

A. Cover Page

  1. Project Title (maximum 200 characters).
  2. PI(s) Contact Information.(name, email address, department/organization, title/position for each PI).

B. Abstract/Project Summary (maximum 1 page) – This section should describe the concept for the future external grant application and explicitly state how the proposed seed grant will help the research team develop a more competitive external grant.

C. Research Plan (maximum 3 pages)

  1. Specific Aims – In addition to information about the proposed pilot project, this section should include information about the planned future external grant application. Include an explanation of how the proposed pilot project will lead to a new externally-funded research project.
  2. Research Strategy – Provide a brief description of significance, innovation, and approach. The significance and innovation descriptions should focus on the larger research questions that will be addressed by the future external grant application. The approach portion of the Research Strategy should focus on the pilot project that is being funded by the seed grant.
  3. Specific Aims of Extramural Grant Proposal – (1) The specific aims of your extramural grant proposal for which the seed grant will provide critical preliminary data, (2) the funding mechanism, including program announcement, to which you will submit this extramural grant proposal, and (3) how seed grant will provide critical preliminary data to support this extramural grant proposal (1 page)

D. The external funding opportunity (with url) for the extramural grant.

E. References (not included in the 3-page maximum for the Research Plan).

F. Biographical sketch of PI(s), in NIH or NSF format.

G. Roles and functions of project personnel (maximum 1 page).- Briefly describe the roles of all people working on the project, including the PI. If there is more than one PI, describe the individual project responsibilities of each PI.

H. Budget with justification for each item (maximum 1 page).

I. Other Sources of Support for Proposed Project for the proposed project (e.g., additional funding, in-kind services, equipment).

J. Letters of Support (optional)
 

Important Notes:

1. Seed grant proposals are not required to be routed through InCHIP or Sponsored Program Services (SPS).

2. Seed grant proposals must be predominantly the work of the Principal Investigator (PI) and for the benefit of the PI’s research program. Proposals written primarily by graduate students or others in the PI’s name will not be considered.

3. Full proposals will undergo a rigorous review process, with reviewers from InCHIP and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. One or more external reviewers may be consulted as well. Individuals who are Senior/Key Personnel or Other Significant Contributors on a seed grant proposal will be excluded from participation in the review process. Reviewers and InCHIP staff may request additional information from applicants to better evaluate the scientific merit of the application, to clarify any aspect of the proposal, or to assess how the application fits within the strategic priorities of InCHIP or the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media.

4. Investigators will be notified via email whether or not their proposal has been awarded funding.

Priority for funding will be based on the following review criteria:

1. Scientific merit of the seed grant study and the planned extramural grant study.

2. Ways the work advances the science relating to a commercially available health technology.

3. Ways the work advances the science on the relevant health topic.

4. Relevance of the study to the research missions of InCHIP and the Center for mHealth and Social Media.

5. Extent to which the project is novel or innovative, especially a proposal testing a new methodology, new theory, or new area in need of pilot data.

6. Importance of the research question to external funders.

7. Feasibility of plans to submit a subsequent proposal to external funders no later than June 2022.

8. Composition of the research team (preference will be given to diverse teams that include community partners and/or multiple academic disciplines).

Seed grant funds may only be used for direct costs of carrying out approved projects, such as:

1. 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.

2. Resources that require fee-for-services within UConn.

3. Participant incentives for recruitment or study participation.

4. Out of state travel that is necessary to conduct the research.

5. Equipment necessary for conducting the research (“equipment” is defined as an article of tangible, non-expendable personal property that costs $5,000 or more).

6. Project supplies, including drugs and services.

7. Other specifically authorized expenses as may be essential for carrying out the project.

Seed grant funds may not be used for the following:

1. Principal Investigator’s, Co-Investigator’s, or any faculty member’s salary.

2. Living expenses.

3. Laptops or desktop computers, unless used exclusively for the project and not for any other activities.

4. Service/maintenance contracts on equipment.

5. Laboratory renovations or other infrastructure renovations.

6. Institutional and/or individual memberships in professional organizations.

7. Travel to professional meetings to present the results of the research, or any conference attendance.

8. Indirect costs, including clerical and administrative personnel salaries.

9. Costs associated with the publication of results of the research, such as the purchase of reprints.

10. Investigator training costs, including tuition.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Lynne Hendrickson (lynne.hendrickson@uconn.edu) while they are developing their proposal if they have questions about whether a cost would be allowable.

Awardee Requirements

If awarded, the PIs are not required to route their proposal through Sponsored Programs Services (SPS).

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

Awardees will be required to submit a brief summary report of their progress annually to InCHIP for a period of 5 years following receipt of their funding award. Changes to the project’s objectives, PI(s), and budget will require prior approval from relevant InCHIP staff.

Faculty based at UConn Storrs, Hartford, Avery Point, Stamford, and Waterbury must submit any external grant applications that result from this seed grant award through InCHIP.

All research products (e.g., publications, presentations) must acknowledge InCHIP funding support: “This research was supported by pilot grant funding from the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) and the Center for mHealth and Social Media at the University of Connecticut. at the University of Connecticut.”

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).

For questions not addressed in this funding announcement, please contact seedgrants@chip.uconn.edu

Seed Grant Application

Directions:

Applications must be submitted by the end of day (11:59 PM EST) on June 12, 2020 using the form at the bottom of the page. Proposals must be uploaded as a single PDF. Please see the proposal guidelines for the award you are applying for more detailed instructions.

If you have any technical issues, please contact Grace Morris (grace.morris@uconn.edu).