InCHIP Rapid Response Proposals to Examine Social and Behavioral Implications of COVID-19

Description:

The Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) invites research proposals that address the social and behavioral implications of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). With no current vaccine available, institutions and governments have addressed the spread of disease through other modes, namely by encouraging or enforcing behavioral prevention strategies such as increased hygiene and social distancing. In many cases, significant measures have been undertaken including state-wide school closures, telecommuting, and changes in restaurant/business operations. While essential to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, these measures — coupled with the anxiety and uncertainty created by the global pandemic — have massive implications for the physical, mental, social, and financial well-being of millions.

To better understand the broader impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolds, InCHIP plans to provide several research teams with rapid release funds to capture/analyze time-sensitive data.

Possible areas of study include, but are not limited to:

  • Hygiene, Behavior, and Transmission Prevention – How do cognitive, affective, and social-contextual factors influence individuals’ level of adherence to CDC/WHO and state recommendations and guidelines?
  • Social Media, Social Networks, and Mass Media – What has influenced the relative uptake of behavioral precautions such as social distancing? How has misinformation about the COVID-19 spread across social networks and what impact does it have on the spread of disease across various demographics? How can social media be used to increase the uptake of behavioral precautions and decrease misinformation?
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing – What is the impact of social distancing and quarantine on mental health and substance use? What are the mental health impacts of quarantine and the pandemic on specific populations (e.g. elderly people, children, college students)? What strategies can be used to reduce stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19 (e.g., among college students)?
  • Implications for Immunocompromised Populations – How has the pandemic uniquely impacted people living with HIV, heart or lung disease, or diabetes?
  • Social Support and Infrastructure – What are the ongoing implications of the pandemic to social support systems, public health infrastructure, and institutions that support individuals living with limited resources (examples: schools/universities, public libraries, Veterans Affairs, homeless shelters, food pantries)?

Research areas not currently funded through this mechanism:

  • Vaccine Development
  • Viral Pathogenesis
  • Natural History of COVID-19
  • Immunology or Virology

Award Amount:

InCHIP will fund multiple projects with budgets up to $5,000. This funding is intended for costs associated with time sensitive data collection and analysis. Awards of larger amounts will be considered with prior approval of InCHIP Director Amy Gorin (contact directly at amy.gorin@uconn.edu). Our focus at this time is on supporting the collection of data in the immediate future. Additional funds may become available if longitudinal data collection is justified or study aims need to be expanded over time.

COVID-19 Guidance for the UConn Research Community

For the most up-to-date information about research activities at the University of Connecticut, please visit this webpage through the OVPR.

Jump to Application

Application Instructions:

Deadline: Proposals should be compiled submitted via the form below. Proposals must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on April 10, 2020 (new deadline). Proposals will be reviewed as they are received, and preference will be given to those received before April 10.

Proposal Guidelines:

All length guidelines assume 1-inch margins, 11-12 pt fonts, single spacing, and single-sided pages. Proposals should be 2-3 pages (plus an additional 1 page with budgetary information) and contain the following elements:

  • Research Aims – clearly state your research questions and hypotheses.
  • Research strategy focusing on the proposed approach/methodology.
  • Investigator(s) names, affiliation, description of roles, and contact information.
  • Budget including the total amount of funding requested (max of $5,000) and justification for each item (maximum 1 page – this does not count against the 2 page total).

Budget Guidelines:

Allowable Costs:

  • Seed grant funds may only be used for direct costs of carrying out approved projects, such as:
  • 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 as may be essential for carrying out the project.

Seed grant funds may not be used for the following:

  • Salary for the study PI, Co-Is, or any other faculty member.
  • 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.
  • Any activity that requires in-person contact that is inconsistent with CDC recommendations for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Project and Investigator Eligibility

  1. The contact 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. Eligible faculty appointments are tenured or tenure-track faculty, in-residence research faculty, clinical faculty, other research faculty, and research scientists/scholars. Multiple PIs are allowed.
  2. Anyone affiliated with UConn is eligible to serve as a multiple PI; this includes post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants, research associates, visiting titles, adjunct faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff. Community partners (those employed at community-based organizations, non-profits, or faith-based institutions) and faculty/researchers who work at other institutions of higher education are also able to serve as a multiple PI.
  3. The proposed research must be consistent with InCHIP’s mission, which can be found here. It does not have to involve intervention development, implementation, or evaluation. A wide range of research is permitted, including but not limited to, natural history studies, observational studies, qualitative research, correlational studies, pilot trials, and secondary data analysis.
  4. If funded, changes to the project’s objectives and budget will require prior approval from InCHIP staff.
  5. The PI(s) must commit in good faith to using the seed grant funds to obtain pilot data to support an external grant proposal that will be submitted through InCHIP or UConn Health within a year of completing the pilot project.
  6. 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.

Review Criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Scientific merit of the proposed study.
  • Feasibility of the work proposed.
  • Time sensitivity of the work proposed (i.e., are funds needed in the immediate future to conduct the proposed work?).
  • The relevance of the study to InCHIP’s research mission and strategic priorities.

Program Contact:

Grace Morris, MA (Research Development Specialist), grace.morris@uconn.edu, Cell: 860-617-5892

Works consulted in preparing this funding announcement:

Aiello, A., Coulborn, R., Aragon, T., Baker, M., Burrus, B., Cowling, B., . . . Stebbins, S. (2010). Research findings from nonpharmaceutical intervention studies for pandemic influenza and current gaps in the research. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, 38(4), 251-258.

Bish, A., & Michie, S. (2010). Demographic and attitudinal determinants of protective behaviours during a pandemic: A review. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 797-824. DOI: 10.1348/135910710X485826

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Germann T. C., Kadau, K,. Longini, I. M., & Macken, C. A. (2006). Mitigation strategies for pandemic influenza in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(15), 5935-5940. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0601266103

Glass, R. J., Glass, L. M., Beyeler, W. E., & Min, H. J. (2006). Targeted social distancing design for pandemic influenza. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 12(11), 1671–1681. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1211.060255

Prati, G., Pietrantoni, L., & Zani, B. (2011). A social‐cognitive model of pandemic influenza H1N1 risk perception and recommended behaviors in Italy. Risk Analysis, 31, 645-656. DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01529.x

Raude, J., & Setbon, M. (2009). Lay perceptions of the pandemic influenza threat. European Journal of Epidemiology, 24(7), 339-342.

Application

This funding opportunity is now closed to submissions. If you have any questions, please contact Grace Morris (grace.morris@uconn.edu) or Amy Gorin (amy.gorin@uconn.edu).