New ARRA RFA: Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure

Well, they haven’t spent all the ARRA funds yet, as evidenced by the latest FOA to be released:

Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research (RC4)
LOI: November 12, 2009
Application: December 11, 2009

NCI, NEI, NHLBI, NHGRI, NIA, NIAAA, NIAMS, NIBIB, NICHD, NIDCR, NIDDK, NIDA, NIEHS, NIMH, NINR, NLM, NCMHD, OWHR, and NCRR are all on board. The NIH plans to fund 30 of these awards, which provide up to a total of $1M for a 3-year period ($1M total for all 3 years, not per year).

Applications are invited from US institutions/organizations proposing to develop or expand needed infrastructures that will fundamentally transform collaboration and communication between academic health centers and local communities. … This RFA is not intended to fund research or evaluation projects, clinical trials, or public health campaigns. …

In this community research infrastructure program, NIH establishes the role of Community Research Associate (CRA), who will be a community representative and serve as a primary liaison facilitating communication and collaboration between the academic health center and the local community. Applicants must identify at least one CRA and include a biosketch. It must be demonstrated and documented in some manner that the CRA can represent the community’s needs and will.

Illustrative examples of potential community-linked infrastructure projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborations that develop community organizations’ infrastructure for developing tools and skills for building research portfolios.
  • Collaborations that establish or expand community-based infrastructure (i.e. core facilities, equipment, personnel) for collaborative clinical and translational research addressing health disparities in medically underserved areas, including health promotion, disease prevention research and dissemination.
  • Collaborations that develop or expand telehealth networks linking academic health centers and health care providers in rural and other medically underserved areas by leveraging existing telehealth and related programs (e.g., HRSA, IHS, USDA and other agencies’ resources) to increase community capacity for clinical and translational research.

One page for specific aims, followed by a 12-page narrative organized as:

Background/Preliminary Studies: State the broad goals of the project and describe how the project may result in research and development innovations that could effectively be linked to long-term improvements and growth in the research enterprise, public health and health care delivery. Include a description of the proposed research-CBO partnership including its history (if any) of prior research collaborations.

Opportunity and Potential Impact: What is the research opportunity, scientific knowledge gap or technology that will be addressed? How broad is the potential impact in science and/or health? Which community(ies) will be affected? What is (are) the size(s) of the community(ies)? Will the potential impact be major?

Approach: How will you attempt to explore or solve the stated research infrastructure problem? How will your rationale and/or approach overcome existing challenges or barriers in the field? If you propose to improve existing approaches to community wellness or to develop new approaches, which needs are being addressed? Which elements of your approach are transformative and have the potential to ensure equity, future capacity and sustainability of your partnership? Provide enough information for reviewers to determine what you are proposing to do, but do not include a detailed science plan.

Timeline, Milestones, Expected Measurable Outcomes and Deliverables: Provide a timeline for the proposed research indicating points where intermediate objectives will be assessed, the measurable outcomes that will be evaluated to assess progress, and the timing and process that will be used to reach decisions regarding the course and direction of the continuing research effort. Possible alternative paths that may be followed at critical junctures in the project plan should be described and indicated on the timeline.

Long Term Sustainability Plan: Applications must include a plan that describes how the infrastructure and services expect to be maintained and supported beyond the initial NIH funded period. The plan should include potential sources of support other than NIH. The level of institutional support and commitment and organizational structure should also be included.

One page for literature cited, 2-page biosketches (up to 10 publications), no supplemental material. Specific contacts are listed for each of the participating ICs.

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