Team Grants

PRI Innovation, Collaboration and Leadership Internal Grant Competition:

The Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University is sponsoring a new one-time internal grant competition aimed at building new collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams. Successful teams will be focused on developing a clear and specific program of research with the potential for funding by the Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) of NICHD and directly related to one of the key research areas supported by PRI (see below for examples of PDB research priorities and their location within PRI’s key research foci). Funds are available to support two successful research teams for awards up to $22,500 each.

The primary goal of this internal grant competition is to foster the development of at least one new team of researchers that can develop an innovative research program that will be sustained by the receipt of multiple external awards. This must include at least one submission to the PDB of NICHD, including the first application, but may also include additional submissions to other branches and Institutes within NIH or other funding agencies and foundations.

All PRI faculty affiliates and associates are eligible for this internal competition. Successful teams will propose a specific research agenda that includes plans for multiple external awards. We also value teams composed of researchers from more than one academic department, proposals that incorporate more than one PRI research area and those teams with a combination of new investigators and senior scholars. We strongly encourage the PRI working groups to discuss this opportunity and to consider brainstorming new ideas either within a single working group or across two groups with potential for collaboration. Funds may be used to support course releases (of $7,500 per course negotiated flat rate with PRI-affiliated departments), pilot data collection, consultant travel, bioassay work, supplemental research assistance or programmer time. Note: funds may not be used for hardware purchases or faculty summer salary. Funds are expected to be spent within two years of the initial award.

Proposals will be judged on their innovation, significance and relevance to the intersection of PRI and PDB priorities (see below). Proposals will also be judged on the feasibility of the plan for competing for external research support. Each team’s final internal grant submission must document conversations with program officers about potential grant plans.

PRI is supported by the PDB of NICHD (5P2CHD041025-17). For more information see relevant PDB priority areas. Key research priorities for this competition include:

Population Health

  1. Health and disease across the life span (critical periods, early exposures, etc.)
  2. Gene-environment interactions – How do social, economic and policy environments get under the skin?
  3. Racial and ethnic differences in health
  4. Contraceptive use; reproductive health

Communities, Neighborhoods and Spatial Processes

  1. Effects of population mobility and im/migration on population health
  2. Effects of environmental change on population health
  3. Methodological research on improving data collection, analysis and estimation of population mobility
  4. Applications of spatial econometrics and other methods to demographic processes.

Immigration and Immigrant Integration

  1. Immigrant adaptation, assimilation and health
  2. Racial/ethnic characterization among US immigrants

Social Change and Changing Families

  1. Division of labor in families and households; work-family interactions
  2. Family investment in children
  3. Union and household formation and dissolution

Application process:

STEP 1 Letter of Intent due May 1, 2018. A letter outlining the topic area, basic research goals and identifying at least three members of the research team. Letters of intent (LOI) should be no more than two pages and must include contact information for all team members. LOIs must also be accompanied by letters from Department Heads assuring support if funds will be requested for course release time. The PRI Internal Advisory Board will review all LOIs submitted and teams will receive a response by May 15, 2018. Teams that meet the goals of the competition and have a higher likelihood of success will be invited to submit full applications.

STEP 2 Complete applications due June 30, 2018: Complete applications will be no more than 6 pages (excluding biosketches and letters of support) and must include:

  1. Title of project, team members and contact information.
  2. Specific aims (1 page) – include significance of the research theme and specific goals for individual projects.
  3. Research goals and plan (3 pages) – Describe overall theme and explain each research project envisioned within this program of research. Specify team members involved and provide justification for the personnel plan and leadership for each research project proposed (i.e. will all members participate in each project? Will other investigators be invited to participate?)
  4. Timeline (1 page) – Describe the steps the team will undertake to prepare for each research goal. Describe the expected grant submission dates for specific project(s).
  5. Budget (1 page) – Budget may not exceed $22,500.
  6. Biosketch for each team member.
  7. Documentation of discussion with PDB program officers about the proposed project

Applications will be reviewed by the IAB and awarded by July 15, 2018. Up to two awards are available. PRI expects that a first grant proposal from the team(s) who are awarded internal funds to be submitted to NICHD by July 1, 2019. Teams that successfully meet these goals may be eligible for additional support contingent on available funds.

Contact: Dora Hunter, Project Manager, Population Research Institute, PSU