Weekly COVID-19 Update: Funding Opportunities, Human Subjects Research and More
09/02/2020, 02:05:01 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
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Dear Research Faculty,​​

Now that students are back on campus after the short Hurricane Laura interruption, please continue to emphatically remind your research team members to wear face coverings when they are on campus in indoor public spaces, even if they are alone - and in outdoor spaces when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

There are two funding opportunities that I want to bring to your attention, one is a public-private partnership opportunity, and the other focuses on digital health interventions. My office would also like to hear from research teams that engage in community-based human subjects research.

Funding Opportunities

The Department of State (DOS) announced a COVID-19 Private Sector Engagement & Partnership Fund opportunity. The Fund seeks to support private sector interventions and build upon private sector investments in response to the virus. Universities are included in DOS’ definition of the private sector. A concept paper is required. The opportunity supports projects that prepare for, mitigate, and address second-order economic, security, stabilization impacts of COVID-19 and prevent development backsliding. The Department is specifically looking for concept papers that will enable people around the world to mitigate the effects of the virus on their societies. Concepts that work to enable an economic response to the virus, such as local production of ventilators, personal protective equipment, virtual education and other economic engagement are welcome. Requested funds must be leveraged on a 1:1 or greater basis. The program has a rolling deadline.

The PAR-20-243 Digital Healthcare Interventions to Address the Secondary Health Effects Related to Social, Behavioral and Economic Impact of COVID-19 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) aims to support research to strengthen the healthcare response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and future public health emergencies, including pandemics. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to focus on the role and impact of digital health interventions [e.g., mobile health (mhealth), telemedicine and telehealth, health information technology (IT), and wearable devices] to address access, reach, delivery, effectiveness, scalability and sustainability of health assessments and interventions for secondary effects (e.g., behavioral health or self-management of chronic conditions) that are utilized during and following the pandemic, particularly in populations who experience health disparities and vulnerable populations. The next deadline is December 2.

Human Subjects Research

Harris County is still under Threat Level 1, and we do not know when the threat level will change. Currently, no off-campus human subjects research in non-institutional or community settings is allowed. To prepare for the time when UH is ready to allow such research, our office would like to hear from you if you have research that falls into this category. Please contact Kirstin Holzschuh (kmholzsc@Central.UH.EDU) to discuss COVID-preventive measures you may have in mind for this unique category of research under Threat Level 2, as we will evaluate these studies on a case-by-case basis.

VPR Virtual Office Hours and Federal Research Priorities Presentation

The next VPR Virtual Office Hours will be on Friday, September 18, at 3 p.m. (please note the time). You will be able to access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site. I hope that you will join us. Please also consider attending the Federal Research Priorities presentation by McAllister & Quinn just prior to the Virtual Office Hours on Friday, September 18, at 2 p.m. To obtain a Zoom link for the event, please register.

Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | elnashai@uh.edu | 713-743-4736

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