Graduate Student Mini-Grants - University of Houston
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Graduate Student Mini-Grants

The Population Health Graduate Student Grant Program provides support for student-led research, evaluation, and advocacy projects (e.g., education campaign, community organizing, coalition building) relevant to population health in the greater Houston area. Population health is a field of study that employs concepts and approaches from multiple disciplines to address the interrelated conditions and factors that influence disparities in health outcomes across and within groups; and inform interventions to improve quality of life and health status of population groups rather than individuals. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects among students and/or community organizations are encouraged.

Eligibility

All full-time University of Houston students enrolled in a masters, doctoral, or professional degree program who are in good academic standing (as defined by the degree program(s) in which the student is enrolled). Students must continue to be enrolled as full-time students for the spring and fall 2024 semesters. Joint submissions are encouraged if the principal investigator or a co-principal investigator meets these requirements. Projects and individuals receiving a Population Health Graduate Student Grant in previous years are not eligible for consideration.

Faculty Mentor

Applicants must identify a faculty research advisor or mentor. The application submission must include a letter of recommendation from the student’s faculty research advisor or mentor and their signed approval of the application.  

Review Criteria

Applications submitted to the Graduate Student Grant Program will be reviewed for merit by a panel of faculty. Reviewers will score applications using the following criteria.

  • Feasibility: Can this project be completed within the given timeframe?
  • Planning: Is the project well thought out?
  • Justification: Is the project aligned with the principles of population health? Will/does the project have potential implications for clinical, behavioral, or policy interventions that can improve health or health care outcomes?
  • Creativity: Does the project represent new ideas or insights or new initiatives for specific subpopulations or areas?
  • Budget: Is the budget well-organized, realistic, and cost-effective?
  • Merit: Is there evidence to show that the candidate has some expertise or experience that would contribute to the timely and successful completion of the proposed project?

Summative scores will be used to make recommendations to Dr. Bettina M. Beech, Chief Population Health Officer.

Award Amount and Type of Support

A one-time award of up to $2,500 can be used for project operations and supplies. Support may NOT be used for salary, indirect costs, foreign and domestic travel, food/catering, or expenses associated with attending a professional conference. Up to two meritorious proposals will be selected for funding (subject to available funds).

Dual Submission

All applicants will be required to disclose current and pending support from both internal and external sources if it is relevant to the current project – this applies to the applicant, and the applicant’s mentor (see Proposal Checklist, item 9).

Application Deadlines 

Applicants should submit the application form as one PDF file via email to Dr. Marino A. Bruce mabruce@central.uh.edu by March 15, 2024, by 5 PM.

Effective Date of Awards

Applicants will be notified by April 3, 2024, and awards will be effective April 8, 2024. The awarded funds must be spent by Dec 31, 2024.

Evaluation of Proposals 

Applications will be judged competitively based on merit.  Proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of a minimum of 2 faculty members who are not mentors for the project.

Human Subject Review

All proposals that deal with human subjects in any manner including questionnaire-type studies, archival-retrospective studies, and studies involving routine clinical procedures must be reviewed and approved by the UH Internal Review Board (IRB).  Therefore, human subjects’ approval must be obtained before any funds may be spent.  No research involving human subjects will be funded without IRB approval. Applications are submitted through the ICON portal on the Division of Research website, and must be approved by the UHCO human subjects committee:

http://www.uh.edu/research/compliance/irb-cphs/

Final Report

A final report must be submitted by February 1, 2025, or prior to graduation (if earlier). The final report should adequately summarize the project. For research and evaluation projects, the final report should include any research findings or scholarly activities.  For advocacy projects, the final report should include evidence of the project’s outcomes (such as materials developed during the program and/or a detailed description of the advocacy activities), measurements for success, and any plans to expand the project beyond the grant terms. 

NOTE: The grantee is expected to acknowledge the University of Houston Population Health support in all publications resulting from the award.  Any major change of scope must be approved by the UH Population Health Graduate Student Grants program.

Proposal Checklist

Download Checklist, Cover Page & Budget Sheet

  • 1. Cover Page: In Downloaded File
  • 2. Proposal:(maximum 1,200 words)
  • Description: Include the goals, expected accomplishments and outcomes. For example, the goals of the proposed project could include testing a stated hypothesis, solving a specific problem, creating a novel advocacy campaign, building a coalition among community organizations, challenging an existing paradigm or clinical or professional practice, or addressing a critical barrier to good health or health equity.
  • Discuss the desired community impact and significance of the project, including how the proposed project is relevant to the health and well-being of the greater Houston community.
  • If relevant, describe how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, public knowledge and understanding, clinical or professional practice, and/or public policy.
  • Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and/or analyses to be used to accomplish the project’s goals, expected accomplishments, and outcomes. For research and evaluation projects, include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted, and include rigorous experimental design that will ensure robust and unbiased results.
  • Innovation: ( maximum 150 words) Explain how the proposed project challenges current research, clinical or professional practice, or public policy paradigms. For example, depending on the nature of your proposed project, you can describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions to be developed or used; any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions; any new or expanded coalition building among community organizations; and/or new, expanded, or modified advocacy programs or public policies.
  • Feasibility: (maximum 150 words)Describe any previous experience and background research that will support the feasibility of the project. Identify measurements for success and how you would troubleshoot perceived challenges. 

 

  • 3. Budget Sheet with Budget Justification : In Downloaded File 
  • 4. Time Frame: ( maximum 100 words)  Describe the project's schedule.
  • 5. Curriculum Vitae: CV of the student primary investigator. 
  • 6. References Cited: Provide a list of all references cited in the text of the proposal using a standard journal format.
  • 7. Letter of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation from the faculty research advisor/mentor is required. Applicant may submit additional letters of recommendation or support from others familiar with the applicant’s qualifications or who can comment on the merits of the proposed project.                  
  • 8. Other Research Support: List any internal and external funding, including start-up funds that support this project. This would include a mentor’s funding that supports the project.

Submission:

Email the documents listed above in a single PDF file to mabruce@central.uh.edu by 5pm CT on March 15, 2024. Late proposals will not be accepted.