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CBR Partnership Formation Grant Program

Program Description

Community-Based Research (CBR) Grants at the University of Utah seek to support research partnerships between academic researchers and community-based partners that inquire into and address real-world issues through an approach rooted enhancing societal impact and sense of community and belonging. The University of Utah recognizes the value of CBR as a method for enriching our understanding of the world while also increasing social impact by advancing scientific knowledge within contextualized practice, guiding community and economic development, impacting policy, fostering learning, supporting organizing and movement building, and enhancing trust between academic institutions and communities harmed by past research.

Following extensive dialogue with key stakeholders in collaboration with the Community Research Collaborative (CRC), the VPR has redesigned its CBR grant mechanism. Part of this redesign has produced the CBR Planning and Partnership Formation Grant Program. CBR requires substantial up-front work from both academic and community partners. Partnership Formation Grants are designed to support this early stage of CBR.

The goal of the Partnership Formation Grant Program is to build and foster new relationships between community-based and campus-based partners. This partnership should be either:

  • A new relationship between the community organization and the University of Utah (i.e., community partner has never worked with the University of Utah before) or
  • An existing relationship between the community organization and the University of Utah being leveraged in a new/innovative way (i.e., a community partner that has worked with the U of U before working on new idea or concept with research faculty/staff they have not previously worked with)

Planning and Partnership Formation Grants are designed to support activities such as:

  • Analyzing existing data to help inform collaborative research.
  • Conducting asset mapping or other processes for identifying community strengths and priorities.
  • Developing partnership infrastructure and collaborative operating procedures (e.g., partnership mission and goals, partner roles and responsibilities, communication plans, project funding and support, data use and sharing agreements).
  • Co-designing research proposals.
  • Building the capacity of partners to conduct the research (e.g., training in research methods, building cultural competency).

This call for proposals is a pilot launch of the CBR Planning and Partnership Formation grant program. Future program details, deadlines, etc. are subject to change based on feedback from the pilot launch. Applicants to the CBR Project Implementation grant program are highly encouraged to complete the “Principles and Practices  of Community-Based Research (CBR) at the University of Utah” REd course prior to applying for any CBR Program.

Defining Community Based Research

For the purposes of this grant program, CBR, as defined by the Community Research Collaborative, is:

A family of research approaches that aim both to understand or explore an issue and to implement solutions. CBR focuses on questions that are meaningful to a community and engages both professional academics and community members as experts. Partners share power and collaborate to develop and carry out the research together.

Research approaches that can fall under the umbrella of CBR include, but are not limited to, community-based participatory research, translational research, participatory action research, teacher research, participatory design research, community-based translational research, and action science. CBR projects can utilize a wide range of research methods and can define the community in a multitude of ways, including by geography, ethnicity, organizational affiliation, sexuality, profession, Indigenous tribe, and many other shared identities or experiences.

More information can be found in the Community-Based Research Guidelines for Communities and Higher Education published in May of 2021. Applicants are encouraged to review this guideline document fully prior to applying to any CBR Program.

Eligibility Criteria

Current faculty members who hold at least a .50 FTE appointment are eligible to apply.

Important Deadlines

Applications for the pilot launch of this program are due by 11:59pm (MST) on Thursday, September 7th, 2023. 

Budget Guidelines

Guidelines and Resources

  • A budget outline is required for all applicants. Applicants must use the CBR Budget Template. Add lines as needed to include all pertinent items.
  • Budgets should not exceed $10,000.
  • Hourly wages of research assistants must be listed and justified. If Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)students are used in the project, their wages are paid by UROP. Students must apply separately to UROP.
  • The basis for figuring travel related to the project and per diem costs must be itemized and made clear and may not exceed rates for per diem and travel set by the Travel Office (801-581- 7142).
  • Once the grant is awarded, the awardee is responsible for managing the budget. All funding distributed by the VPR is subject to audit. The VPR will not bear the burden of over-expenditures, which must be rectified by the faculty member and their academic unit.

Allowable Expenditures/Restrictions:

  • Partnership Formation funding should be used to offset costs associated with new partnership formation. Examples of relevant budget items include but are not limited to: travel for partner meetings, meals/supplies for partner meetings, childcare for community partners, stipends to community organizations involved in the project (up to 20% of the budget), participation incentive for community members, hiring U of U student with established ties with the community (up to 20% of the budget) etc.
  • Partnership Formation funding may not be used for faculty salaries, graduate student stipends or fellowships, graduate student-initiated projects or support to write their dissertations or theses, curriculum development and/or career development (e.g., taking courses, attending professional meetings, etc.), benefits on hourly wages except those required by law.
  • Funding dedicated to faculty salaries or research assistance require meaningful justification. Applications The review committee is likely to favor a high percentage of funds going to community partners and members of their communities. Budget outlines that allow for course buyout must have approval from their Associate Dean for Research or equivalent.
  • Careful justification should be given for the purchase of equipment (including computer hardware/software, books, or supplies) which may already exist in the University. Equipment purchased by the research grant becomes the property of the University of Utah. Where leasing equipment is a possible option, the purchase must be justified.
  • A request for funds to purchase a computer requires evidence that the project cannot be pursued without procuring that specific computer or workstation.
  • ALL expenditures must adhere to relevant UofU Purchasing Policies and Regulations

Required Application Materials

1) Proposal Narrative: 5 page maximum, single-spaced, 12 pt. font, PDF Format Only
Proposal Narrative’s should address the following questions with the understanding that some elements may still be in development and will change over the course of the planning and relationship building process:

  • Who are the current and/or potential partners (campus-based and community-based, including you) and what assets does each bring to the table? Include yourself: What backgrounds, experiences, relationships, skills, or knowledge do you have that will help you to successfully carry this out?
  • With what community/communities do you plan to work?
  • What is the broad topic area, issue, or question your project hopes to address? Why is it a priority for the communities involved? How might your project impact the communities, the university, and relevant areas of research?
  • What capacities will need to be built by campus-based and community-based partners and how will you work to build them?
  • What do you plan to do over the course of this one-year grant? What challenges do you foresee and how will you address them?
  • What products or outputs do you plan to create during the partnership formation period (e.g., a project proposal, a research grant)?
  • How do you plan to apply the Six Principles of CBR in developing and maintaining the partnership?

2) Budget Outline: Must use provided CBR Budget Template; PDF or Excel Format allowed.
The Budget Outline should include all project costs and justifications for each cost. Budgets should also include information on funds from other sources/matching funds, if applicable. Please refer to Budget Guidelines and Restrictions section of this opportunity announcement when creating your project budget.

3) Abbreviated CV or Biographical Sketch: PDF Format Only
Please provide the abbreviated CV or biographical sketch of each University of Utah affiliated investigator listed on the project. Bio-sketches/CVs are not required for associated parties who will not be considered PI or Co-PI on the project.

4) Key Contacts: PDF Format Only
Please provide up to 5 key contacts at the community organization you intend to form a partnership with. This should include the Name, Title, Affiliation, Phone, and Email Address of everyone. You may also include a short (1 paragraph) bio for each contact. These can be existing contacts OR prospective contacts.

5) Appendices (OPTIONAL): 2 page maximum, PDF Format Only
Please use this upload option to provide any additional materials or documents that would be helpful in reviewing your application. Please keep appendices to a minimum. Any health, safety, or compliance documentation that may be required for this project must be uploaded here.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be read by a committee made up of community-based and University of Utah affiliated reviewers. University-based reviewers will include faculty with expertise in CBR (including at least one CRC member) as well as staff from units that support CBR (including at least one staff member from UNP). Selected proposals will be encouraged to consider applying to the CBR Project Implementation grant program once the projects are fully developed, but there is no guarantee of receiving that grant. Criteria for review is below:

  • Proposals should address a topic that is important to community partners and academic scholarship, demonstrating potential to advance both scholarly knowledge and benefit to the communities involved.
  • Proposal authors should demonstrate understanding of their own positionality, of the social and cultural context in which they plan to work, and what it will take to build trusting relationships in that context.
  • Proposals should clearly explain how this relationship building and planning process will lead to a sustainable and productive community-based research project.
  • Proposals should demonstrate the potential to have positive impact by increasing trust and advancing knowledge within contextualized practice.
  • Proposals should include methods and approaches that are in line with the six principles of CBR and any relevant disciplines/methodologies.
  • Proposals should use the funds strategically in ways that support and value community partners/community members.
  • Proposals should be high-quality in terms of both scholarly rigor and collaboration. Proposals should be rooted in current scholarly research and community knowledge, use methods appropriate to the research question as well as the communities involved, and address and align with the Six Principles of CBR.

Expected Outcomes

Grantees will be expected to:

  • Submit a year-end report outlining what was done and what was achieved, along with any deliverables from the initial proposal.
  • Submit a partnership agreement by the end of the grant year. (Please use the template at the end of theCRC Report, In It Together, adapted to your needs as necessary)
  • Work with a representative from the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) to identify and apply for external funding sources.

Submit an Application

Applications for the pilot launch of this program are due to the InfoReady competition portal by 11:59pm (MST) on Thursday, September 7th, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

Submit an Application

Past Awardees

Information on 2012-2023 Community Based Research Programs (CBR) awardees is available HERE.

Contact Information

Questions about the above program guidelines, eligibility criteria, application materials, etc. should be directed to Tyler Matsamas in the VPR Office.

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