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Mini Grants for Academic- Community Research. Meharry Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research . Why community ?. Recognition that “traditional research”: Has often failed to solve complex health problems

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mini grants for academic community research

Mini Grants for Academic- Community Research

Meharry Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core

Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research



Recognition that “traditional research”:

Has often failed to solve complex health problems

Is not well suited for translating knowledge into practice

Does not adequately address community health needs

why research
Why research?

Articulate community health priorities

Answer questions about your community

Identify better ways to promote health

Evaluate programs/interventions

Adapt or test new programs/interventions

Improve effectiveness or cultural appropriateness of programs/interventions

why partnerships
Why partnerships?

Educate researchers about real life community health challenges

Provide access to clinical trials for your clients/patients

Translate promising clinical breakthroughs into health improvements

Have input on projects that affect your community

Access wider range of funding sources for both community organizations and researchers

community engaged research
Community Engaged Research

Brings community and academic partners together to design and conduct health-relatedresearch that will enhance the collective capacityand address community health priorities.

defining heal th

Health: a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Social determinants of health: the economic and social conditions that influence the health of individuals and communities.

purpose of mini grants
Purpose of Mini Grants

Stimulate new academic-community research partnerships

Preliminary work and generation of pilot data on community-identified health concerns

Build capacity of community organizations and coalitions to participate in research partnerships

Build capacity of academic researchers to work collaboratively with community

types of activities
Types of Activities

Partnership building activities

Identifying community health priorities

Analyzing existing data

Collecting pilot data for larger study

Testing or adapting community based interventions or educational materials

Implementing change in practice or protocol to improve services

past projects
Past Projects

Development of community food asset map

Community conference to identify health challenges among African American men in Nashville

Creation of regional advisory council to plan community and faith-based HIV prevention strategies

Pilot testing of an after-school obesity prevention program

Introduce new training program for women with dual mental health diagnoses and assessed outcomes for agency.

Introduce new activity into senior citizen program to assess improvements in mental health.

past projects1
Past projects

Forum for neighborhood groups to create action plans to address neighborhood health challenges

Live Spanish-language radio show that features health and research topics

Assess feasibility of urban walking trails to boost physical activity levels in North Nashville

Intensive interviews with recent refugee population to understand how to improve services for newcomers

Focus groups with African-American men to understand barriers to health care use and persistent health disparities

sample budget items
Sample Budget Items

Incentives for focus group participants

GIS mapping

Food for community meetings


Equipment such as heart rate monitors and pedometers

Training material development

Focus group facilitator expenses

Data collection and analysis expenses

Radio air time

Materials translation

grant will not cover
Grant will not cover:

Operating support for existing programs

Direct services

Health fairs

Regular staff salary

Total requests more than $5,000

Time periods longer than 12 months

desired outcomes
Desired Outcomes

Pilot data or other findings to direct future research

Grant proposal for larger project


Evidence to advocate practice or policy change

Groundwork for stable, on-going partnerships

actual outcomes
Actual Outcomes

Proposals to NIDA, CDC and EPA for larger research projects

Outcomes shared with policymakers and service providers to strengthen community-based services

Expansion of coalition activities around food advocacy

Based on data collected in pilot, local funding secured to support program

Increased community understanding of and participation in cancer clinical trials

New intervention adopted for improved mental health service

Innovation in neighborhood pharmacy service delivery

requirement s

Community organization is applicant

Meharry or Vanderbilt research partner*

Community partner is federally tax-exempt

IRB requirements met

Maximum request: $5,000

Average request: $2,600-$3,600

*Other universities may be involved as well (in fact this is encouraged), and the Meharry or Vanderbilt partner does not have to be the lead researcher.

requirement s1

No more than 4 pages with minimal, explanatory appendices only.

No smaller than 12 pt. type.

Submit by email.

Organizations not previously funded are priority

Graduate students need involvement of faculty mentor to assure sustainability of partnership.

timeline and reporting
Timeline and Reporting

Complete within 1 year of receiving funding

Report upon completion

Interim report if longer than 6 months

Submit any products

Periodic follow-up to track impact on research partnerships

evaluation criteria
Evaluation Criteria

The role of each partner in the developmentand implementation of the project is clearly described.

Purposeof project/research question is well defined and addresses an important health concern.

The plan for/design ofthe project is described and is suitable to the purpose/research question being proposed.

evaluation criteria1
Evaluation Criteria

The project is likely to producemutualbenefits for both the community and academic partner and lead to a stronger,moresustainable, relationship.

The anticipatedproductsof this proposal are clearly described and attainable within the time frame proposed.

Overall impact is significant…………..

The budget is appropriate and documented.

format suggestions
Format suggestions
  • Give enough background to help reviewers understand the importance of the research question/project in general and to the community in particular.
  • Highlight the strengths that each of the partners brings to the project, and the contribution each partner made to development of the proposal.
  • May cite some relevant articles or past work, but this is not intended to be a literature review.
  • May submit limited attachments if relevant to the proposal
    • Surveys that will be administered
    • Job descriptions or organizational charts
    • Background data on problem being addressed
    • Logic models for program

[Attachments will not necessarily be reviewed but will be available if questions].

evaluation process
Evaluation process

Review committee of six—3 CERC academic advisory board members and 3 CERC community advisory board members.

Each reviewer rates each proposal independently using criteria and identifies questions.

Reviewer ratings and questions returned to CERC staff for tallying, answering.

Review committee meets to develop final impact score and decide whether to award, award pending recommended revisions, encourage resubmission, refer for VICTR funding, reject.

Announcements one month from submission date.

award process
Award process

Preparation of mini-grant agreement based on template that is signed by CERC and community partners (Grants and Contracts).

Check issued for total amount to community partner or intermediary (Finance folks).

Site visit during grant period and Report due at end of grant work to describe progress and document expenses. Follow up one year afterward to assess if partnership sustained.

Recipient obligated to repay grant if funds misused or work deviates from approved proposal.

award process1
Award Process

Funds being distributed are not federal dollars, but institutional funds.

Lump sum given to community partner.

Taking 6-8 weeks minimum to get funds to recipient following return of contract.

need help finding a partner
Need help finding a partner?

Community Research Partners monthly meetings and weekly listserv.

Community Research Partners Website:



This presentation is posted for reference:


clare.sullivan@vanderbilt.eduor 322-0593