The University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research announces Pilot Grants in Health Disparities Research annually. These grants are designed to encourage community-initiated research and foster sustainable long-term collaboration between community-based organizations and academic researchers on research projects focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities. The Pilot Grant program is made possible with support from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; and the Office for Business & Community Economic Development Community Health Initiative (CHI), University of Minnesota.
For the 2021 funding cycle, up to 3 grants will be awarded, with a maximum award amount of $25,000 per grant. Projects are supported for a one-year period. This year's application cycle is now closed. Please check back in December 2021 for updates.
Utilizing traditional tobacco to reframe what tobacco is and is not to promote commercial smoking cessation in American Indians
Community Partner(s): Dylan Jennings (Bizhikiins), Tribal Council member, Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Academic Partner(s): Dana Mowls Carroll & Dorothy Hatsukami
Un poco de luz: Learning from cervical cancer screening among uninsured Hispanics in Minnesota
Community Partner(s): Rodolfo Gutierrez, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER)
Academic Partner(s): Gabriela Bustamante Callejas
Participatory Theater to share learnings about living with Type 2 Diabetes while homeless
Community Partner(s): Maren Ward, zAmya Theater
Academic Partner(s): Kate Diaz Vickery
Implementation of Culturally Tailored Lung Cancer Screening In The Native American Community Clinic
Community Partner(s): Antony Stately & Shannon (Fahey) Klingelhutz, Native American Community Clinic
Academic Partner(s): Abbie Begnaud
Projects must be conducted within a partnership between community-based organizations and academic researchers. Priority will be given to projects that:
1. The Masonic Cancer Center (MCC) Community Research Grant supports (up to 2) proposals for cancer-related health disparities in Minnesota.
- Because our goal is to reduce the burden of cancer in Minnesota, proposals must identify and address a disparity in cancer incidence, treatment, or outcomes among groups of Minnesotans. Groups can be defined by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geography (e.g. rural). All proposals addressing cancer risk factors need to be directly tied to cancer.
- Special consideration will be given to projects that address one of the Cancer Center’s catchment priorities, including disparities in incidence and mortality of colon, liver, and prostate cancers, geographic and racial/ethnic disparities in colon cancer screening, and disparities in infection-related cancers.
- Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to: lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity; environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation; certain types of infections known to cause cancer (e.g., Hepatitis B and liver cancer, HPV and cervical cancer).
- Topics related to socioeconomic barriers to cancer care, screening, education, or clinical trials will be considered.
2. The Community Health Initiative (CHI) Research Grant supports the work that reduces or eliminates Health Disparities in North Minneapolis. Proposed research projects must address a public health issue that has been identified by a community or community-based nonprofit organization.
3. You may submit a dissemination research project related to one or both of the topics listed above. Dissemination research projects must have a rigorous evaluation component. Grant awardees previously funded by PHDR are encouraged to apply.
- Dissemination research is a broader sharing of new knowledge generated from a research project.
- “Broader sharing” refers to the dissemination of research findings to a target audience(s). For example, a plan that focuses on individuals, groups, organizations, and/or decision-makers to learn about research findings. New and creative ways of sharing information are highly encouraged.
- “New knowledge” refers to all information or resources generated from research. For example, new products or materials from an intervention, findings from a survey, and focus group and interview results.
- “A Research Project” includes all types of study designs.
- “Generated from a research project” refers to research findings from a prior or existing community-academic partnership.
- All community-based, 501(c)(3) organizations with an interest in health disparities are eligible to apply.
- Community-based organizations with or without an established working relationship with an academic researcher are welcome to submit a letter of intent.
- Letters of Intent from organizations without an established working relationship with an academic researcher will be matched with a researcher with similar interests at the University of Minnesota by Program staff. Continued consideration will be based on suitable matches; if no appropriate match is made, the applicant will be duly informed.
- After matches are made, each project will consist of a minimum of two co-principal investigators—at least one member from a community-based organization and one academic researcher. If the matched research teams agree to work together, they will be invited to submit a full research proposal.
- Prior awardees are eligible to apply with new or expansions of previous projects.
Informational Session - January 19, 2021
Required Letter of Intent
Pre-application Technical Workshop - March 8, 2021
The pre-application technical workshop will provide community and academic partners who have been invited to submit a full application with technical assistance to guide them through the grant application process.
The Pre-application Technical Workshop* is now available. You may access the slides here. You can hear the audio by opening the slides in PowerPoint and 1) clicking on the audio button in the lower right corner of each slide, or 2) use the presentation mode and the audio will automatically turn on. Note: Slide 6 does not have any audio.
*Correction: The application deadline is 4/26/2021, not 4/23/2021.
Step 1. Submit a Letter of Intent.
A letter of intent is required. You may submit the LOI online at https://z.umn.edu/2021pilotgrantsLOI or email a completed LOI form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 2021. The LOI form can be found at https://z.umn.edu/2021pilotgrantsLOIform.
Step 2. Invitation to Submit a Full Application.
Matching will begin after LOIs have been submitted for community-based organizations without academic partners. Invitations to submit a full application will be sent out by February 22nd, 2021. Application details will be provided with the invitation. Deadline for full applications is Monday, April 26, 2021 by 12:00 p.m. No late applications will be accepted.
Review and Scoring Criteria
All applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of individuals from the local community and the University of Minnesota faculty and staff. Applicants will be notified of the review outcome by June 12, 2020. Awards will be made for one-year. Awardees will be required to attend a Kickoff Orientation, Partnership Workshop and to present a poster about the project at the annual poster session and awards banquet. Additionally, all awardees will need to commit to PHDR’s partnership support and problem-solving process.
Full Applications will be evaluated based on the following six criteria:
- Specific aims – Each proposal should have clearly stated Specific Aims with measurable objectives. This section should include a clear statement of the primary research question(s) being addressed by the proposed study.
- Background and significance – This section should address the following questions:
- What is the significance of the health disparity topic or health issue being addressed?
- What is currently known about the health disparity topic?
- What gaps in knowledge will the proposed study address?
- How will the proposed study reduce health disparities and improve the health of the target population? This section also should describe the applicants’ relevant experience with the proposed topic.
- Who is/are the group(s) that will benefit from this research project?
- How are they involved in the proposed research?
- What community-academic decision- making process is in place for the study?
- How are communities represented in decision-making at each level of the project?
- Implications of this project for advancing this type of research
- Plans for future research and funding after the project is completed
Frequently Asked Questions
2020-21 Key Dates
December 14: Request for Applications for 2021 Health Disparities Pilot Grants released
January 19: Informational Webinar uploaded on PHDR website
February 5: Deadline for the required Letter of Intent from community-based organizations
February 22: Community-academic teams invited to submit full application
March 8: Pre-application Technical Workshop webinar uploaded on PHDR website
April 26: Full research proposals due from research teams
June 4: 2021 Grant awardees announced
July: Kickoff Orientation and Partnership Workshop
Aug 1 – Jul 31: Award Period
*Dates may change without prior notice.
Activating Nature Play to Reduce Cancer Disparities in Red Wing
Erin Aadalen, Live Healthy Red Wing
Cathy Jordan, PhD, Institute on the Environment, Department of Pediatrics
The African Immigrant Memory Loss Assessment Project
Wynfred Russell, African Career, Education & Resources, Inc. (ACER)
Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
Choosing Life in the Black Community, Achieving the Dream: A Learned Self-Management Program for Trauma
Alfred Babington-Johnson, Stairstep Foundation
Jonathan Miller, PhD, Family Medicine and Community Health
Stress Exposure, Acculturation, and Cancer Screening in East African Men and Women
Jemal Tufe, Oromo Community of Minnesota
Motohiro Nakajima, PhD, Family Medicine & Behavioral Health
Mustafa al’Absi, PhD, Family Medicine & Behavioral Health
Reading for Health: Reducing Cancer Screening Disparities Through Addressing Health Literacy in the Somali Community
Imam Sharif Mohamed, Islamic Civil Society of America
Rebekah Pratt, PhD, Family Medicine & Community Health
Rev. Alika Galloway, Liberty Community Church (formerly Kwanzaa Community Presbyterian Church)
Ross VeLure Roholt, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, UMN College of Education & Human Development
Lauren Martin, Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
Increasing HPV vaccination in American Indian health systems through a tailored toolkit
Kristine Rhodes, MPH, American Indian Cancer Foundation
Annie-Laurie McRee, DrPH, General Pediatrics & Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, UMN Medical School