Pilot Projects RFP | Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

Pilot Projects RFP


MCOHS-ERC PILOT PROJECTS RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4/19/2019

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to a maximum of $20,000 are available to occupational health and safety (OHS) researchers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Areas of OHS include industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental health nursing, occupational and environmental epidemiology, occupational and environmental medicine, occupational health services research and policy, injury epidemiology and safety, ergonomics, toxicology, health physics, and occupational health psychology. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is applicable only to educational institutions and targets (1) newly-independent principal investigators (PIs); (2) experienced PIs pursuing OHS as a new direction for research; and (3) doctoral research trainees working under the supervision of a PI. Priority will be given to:

  • Research proposals with a high potential for affecting the practice of OHS;
  • Research ideas that have the potential for: i) resulting in peer-reviewed publications; and ii) being developed into proposals for more substantial funding, based on results from this research grant (very important);
  • PIs working in complementary or non-traditional disciplines who wish to become more actively involved in addressing occupational safety and health issues;
  • PIs attempting to develop innovative research efforts in collaboration with faculty from the MCOHS-ERC;
  • Junior PIs needing initial support for innovative research areas who lack support from other sources; and
  • Doctoral students undertaking research required for their degree

Research must be relevant to the occupational health and safety field and focus on the NIOSH NORA objectives. Potential types of projects include intervention studies, risk factor analyses, and exposure assessments affecting a broad range of employee groups, including construction workers, farmers, industrial process workers, and small business owners.

Doctoral students applying for funds must list an advisor, who must have faculty ranking at the same institution. The faculty advisor will be responsible for overseeing the expenditure of funds.

An annual/final progress report summarizing research activities and results must be received within two months of the end of the grant funding period. Investigators will be expected to complete a poster and/or provide a short presentation of their project results at the annual NORA Symposium held at the MCOHS-ERC, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. As required by the funding agency, those receiving awards must agree to respond to follow-up for at least five years, regarding all presentations, publications, grants submitted and grants received, that are relevant to results of this funding.

Because we are requesting proposals from researchers who may not have traditionally engaged in research or who are in complementary or non-traditional disciplines, the project teams may not have expertise in all the required areas for their proposal. In such cases, the investigators must seek collaborators from the MCOHS-ERC faculty with the required expertise.

To apply for these grants, the following materials must be received by Friday, April 19, 2019, by 5:00pm.
Applications will be accepted in electronic format only. The entire application should be submitted as a single PDF in the order outlined below.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES

  1. Application Cover Page from PI with the following information:
  1. Title of project
  2. Funding request
  3. Principal Investigator(s): name, title, organization, address, email, telephone
  4. On your cover page, please include the following statement:
    This pilot project application is not currently under review by any other grant administering program. If I submit this pilot project application (or an application with similar aims) to another funder while it is under review by the MCOHS-ERC, I will notify the MCOHS-ERC. I understand that failure to comply with this policy is grounds for rejection of the application and withdrawal of any funds that may be awarded.
  1. Abstract: A 300 word abstract that includes a summary of the proposal.
  1. Proposal: A short, single-spaced proposal outlining the proposed research project using 11 point (or larger) Arial font, five page maximum for items A-E. Use 1/2″ margins and single-spaced narrative. Required elements include:
  1. Objectives and Specific Aims
  2. Significance and how the project is important to the field and region (Upper Midwest)
  3. Innovation: what new knowledge or ideas this project will result
  4. Methods for accomplishing the research (research design, population to be studied if appropriate, data collection methods, data analysis methods and plan)
  5. Expected results and importance of research, including dissemination through professional presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and anticipated opportunities for future funding
  6. Timetable (not included in five page maximum)
  7. References (not included in five page maximum)
  1. Application/Budget Form (word) (pdf)

The earliest possible start date for the project will be July 1, 2019.

Eligible Expenses: If there is clear justification of the need for expenditures and a clear explanation of their direct relevance to the proposed research, these awards may be used for any category of research-related expenses, with the following limitations:

  • Faculty salary support may not exceed 5% for each faculty member.
  • Travel to professional meetings will not be funded with the exception of travel to the annual NORA Symposium held at the MCOHS-ERC, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, during spring to present results from the research project.
  • Indirect costs capped at 8% MTDC (exclusive of tuition and equipment).

  1. Budget justification: Should not exceed one page; a description of each item listed in the budget should be included with an indication of its relation to the proposed work.
  1. Biographical sketch: A short (no more than two pages) biographical sketch or resume for key personnel detailing qualifications to conduct research. Provide: (a) name, degrees, title, institution; (b) personal statement identifying experience/expertise that is pertinent to the proposed research; (c) positions and honors in chronological order; (d) selected peer-reviewed publications; (e) current other support (title, funding source, funding period, percentage effort on each type of support).
  1. Human or Animal Subjects: Statement addressing plans for use of human or animal subjects in research. IRB approval must be received prior to distribution of funds. The IRB must be registered with the DHHS Office of Human Research Protections and have completed a Federal-wide Assurance.
  1. Letters of Support: (a) Letter from a faculty advisor is required for all students, indicating the student’s research ability. (b) Letters of support from co-investigators and collaborators indicating their agreement to collaborate and the nature of their role(s) and responsibility (ies) on the project. (c) Applications requiring data analysis should either include a statistician co-investigator on their research team or the applicant should provide a letter of support from someone qualified to conduct or give guidance on the proposed analysis.
  1. Compliance Form: Completed and signed Compliance and Signature Form (word) (pdf)

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applications will be accepted in electronic format only. The entire application should be submitted as a single PDF document in the order listed in the APPLICATION GUIDELINES section above.

Submit all application materials no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, April 19, 2019 to Dr. Peter C. Raynor, PhD, Professor, at praynor@umn.edu.

TIMELINE

February 8, 2019 RFA announced
April 19, 2019 Full proposals due. Submit as a single PDF document to praynor@umn.edu.
April 20-May 31, 2019 Proposal review process
On or before June 1, 2019 Funded awards announced
July 1, 2019 Earliest possible start date for awards
1 year after award Project completed
Within 2 months of project completion Final report submitted
Annually for up to 5 years Brief post project updates

REVIEW PROCESS/CRITERIA

A Scientific Review Board will review all the proposals that are received for scientific and programmatic merit (according to criteria described below) and make funding recommendations. The Scientific Review Board members will be experts from academia, government, and industry who have research and professional interests in occupational health and safety. They will represent a range of professions, including engineering, medicine, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, nursing, and safety/injury prevention. Members of the Board will include representatives from outside the University of Minnesota.

Criteria Used to Assess Awards

The following criteria will be used in determining these competitive awards:

  1. Research Score (50%), including an assessment of:
  1. Overall scientific merit: The applicant must submit an original and feasible proposal that demonstrates the applicant’s understanding of the proposed field of research. Prior research experience is not necessary.
  2. Purpose: A clear statement and description of the purpose of the research project must be included.
  3. Specific objectives and goals: Specific aims/goals of the research project must be listed and defined.
  4. Methods: The methods proposed for carrying out the research must be defined and described clearly.
  1. Programmatic Score (50%), including an assessment of the following factors:
  1. Builds research capacity among new investigators and trainees: The research funds provided by this proposal will facilitate investigators working in complementary or non-traditional disciplines to become engaged in occupational safety and health research, investigators attempting to develop innovative research efforts in collaboration with faculty from the MCOHS-ERC, junior investigators needing initial support for innovative research areas who lack support from other sources, and trainees undertaking research.
  2. Proposal is likely to lead to further research activities: Greater weight will be given to research ideas that are innovative and have the potential for being developed into proposals for more substantial funding, based on results from this research grant.
  3. Research has a high potential for impacting the practice of OHS: Translational research ideas or research-to-practice (R2P) will be given high priority for funding. The research priorities identified in NORA will be used to evaluate the relevance of research proposals to the field of occupational health and safety.
  4. Research involves multiples stakeholders: Proposals for pilot funding that seek to involve multiple interested parties – such as employees, organized labor, employers, state officials, academics, etc. – are encouraged. Similarly, proposals that include the participation of NIOSH-supported training program grantees in health and safety or investigators at other academic institutions in the region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota) are specifically encouraged.
  5. Researchers have access to adequate resources and environment: Reviewers will assess if the project can be accomplished in the timeline presented, if the environment in which the research will be carried out is conducive to success, and if the research team has the expertise and guidance needed for carrying out the work.
  6. Diversity and outreach: Research proposals that might benefit under-served populations or members of minority groups are encouraged.
  7. Budget: The budget should be appropriate to complete the scope of the work proposed.

CONTACT

Programmatic Questions:
Dr. Peter C. Raynor
Phone: 612-625-7135
Fax: 612-626-4837
Email: praynor@umn.edu

Budget and Biosketch Questions:
Debb Grove
Phone: 612-626-4803
Fax: 612-626-4837
E mail: grove020@umn.edu

PROGRESS REPORT AND FINAL REPORT

  1. Progress Report: A Progress Report is due at the end of the first year of funding if it is a 2-year project. Include preliminary results and any relevant issues encountered.
  1. Final Report: A Final Report is due within two months following the end of the proposed budget period. The report should include: (a) the title of the project, (b) the names of the investigators and the institutions to which they belong, (c) a 150 word abstract of the research findings, (d) specific objectives and goals, (e) research methods used including study design, population characteristics, data collection methods, data analysis methods, (f) results including all tables and figures, (g) discussion and implications of findings. The report should list the various publications and presentations arising from this work, as well as proposals submitted for further funding on the basis of the pilot study results. Attachments must include all: (a) documents used in the research effort (e.g., cover letters, survey and other research instruments); (b) presentations; (c) publications; (d) extramural funds that have resulted, in part, directly or indirectly from this award.
  1. Acknowledgement: The NIOSH-funded MCOHS ERC Pilot Research Training Program (OH008434) must be acknowledged in all associated publications. In addition, the following statement must be included in all publications arising from this research: “The contents of this effort are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or other associated entities.”
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