Apply Now for the Joint Catalyst Award

The Gund Institute for Environment at The University of Vermont (UVM), the UVM Larner College of Medicine, and the Maine Medical Center Research Institute are joining forces to offer a $100,000 award for research at the intersection of rural health and the natural environment. 

The collaboration is aimed at better understanding how environmental concerns relate to human health. The Gund Institute and the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network (NNE-CTR) are the co-conveners of this Joint Catalyst Award.

Proposals are due by April 30, 2020. The award period will begin July 1, 2020 and end August 31, 2022.

Apply Now

Introduction and Goals

The Gund Institute for Environment, the University of Vermont (UVM) Larner College of Medicine, and the Maine Medical Center Research Institute are joining forces to offer a $100,000 award for research at the intersection of rural health and the natural environment.  The collaboration is aimed at better understanding how environmental concerns relate to human health.  The Gund Institute and the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network (NNE-CTR) are the co-conveners of this Joint Catalyst Award.

The Gund Institute mobilizes scholars and leaders to understand and help solve the world’s critical environmental problems by targeting environmental issues at the interface of four pressing themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.  Part of the Gund’s mission is to catalyze interdisciplinary research and scholarship among UVM faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and non-UVM collaborators. 

The NNE-CTR is a regional consortium composed of partners at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, and the University of Southern Maine, funded by a $20 million 5-year grant awarded by NIGMS in 2017. Research activities are focused on rural health across the northern tier of New England. The NNE-CTR seeks to enhance the health of people in northern New England by fostering and coordinating clinical, translational and educational research activities.

The Gund Institute’s Catalyst Awards support research and scholarship that spans disciplines and addresses critical environmental and sustainability issues. The NNE-CTR funds pilot research awards that target rural health disparities in northern New England. This special joint Catalyst Award will support a team of investigators to build a collaborative program with the promise to grow and attract external support or recognition. Successful programs must focus on rural health and the natural environment and will combine cutting-edge research and scholarship with real-world engagement and impact.

Funding and Duration

We anticipate funding one project up to $100,000. The award period will begin July 1, 2020 and end August 31, 2022 (26 months). No-cost extensions are not typically allowed. There is no overhead on these grants.

Eligibility

A multi-PI model is required with at least one Co-PI that is a Gund Fellow who will be the administrative communicating PI and at least one Co-PI that is an NNE-CTR member from Vermont or Maine (List of NNE-CTR members from Maine Medical Center and UVM). Preference will be given to proposals that include collaborative team members from both Vermont and Maine. Awardee PIs who are UVM faculty and not yet Gund Fellows will automatically become Gund Fellows.  The administrative communicating PI must be a Gund Fellow at the time of submission.

Finding a Co-PI: 

Requirements:

  • Proposals must address important issues at the intersection of the natural environment and health, in rural settings in New England.
  • Proposals must include a clear description of how the proposed work will lead to broader, longer-term efforts, especially external funding proposals in appropriate fields.
  • An individual may serve as a Co-PI on one Catalyst Award application at a time.

Funds may be used for the following:

  • Research expenses that are easily identifiable, reasonable and necessary to advance and perform the scope of work being funded.
  • Equipment costing $5,000 or more if such equipment was included in the proposal selected for funding, otherwise prior approval is required from the Gund.
  • For a co-PI with a 9-month appointment, funds may be used for up to one month of summer salary support and associated fringe at the institutional rate of pay which may not exceed the NIH salary cap.
  • Student research assistant support for up to three months of summer salary or stipend support per summer.
  • Travel and workshop costs for project participants

Funds may not be used for the following:

  • Salaries or stipends for faculty, postdoctoral fellows or associates, or students during the 9-month academic year
  • Indirect costs

Criteria and Review

To be eligible for funding, proposals must be feasible and address the priorities of this call. Proposals will also be scored on 5 criteria: intellectual merit, interdisciplinary reach, strength of team, potential for impact, and potential for growth (see scoring rubric). Priority will be given to proposals that include collaborative team members from both Vermont and Maine. The inclusion of graduate and undergraduate students is desirable. Applicants are encouraged to work with the Gund’s Director of Policy Outreach to ensure proposed projects have policy relevance and potential for real impact.

To support the development of the strongest possible proposal, it is also recommended to reach out to the research navigators and research cores associated with the NNE-CTR.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of Gund Fellows and NNE-CTR affiliated investigators from Vermont and Maine who are chosen to represent relevant disciplines. Final award decisions will be made jointly by the Director of the Gund Institute for Environment and the Administrative Core leadership of the NNE-CTR.

How to Apply

Proposals will be accepted through UVM’s InfoReady Review portal until 11:59 pm April 30, 2020. Required files to upload include: project proposal (see below); budget and sub-award budgets (use template);  a 2-page NIH format biosketch for all Co-PIs and collaborators for awardee and sub-awardees; and a completed signature page indicating support from the appropriate Chair, Director or Dean for the administrative communicating PI (Gund Fellow). Upload each of these files on this proposal website.

Project proposal document should include the following sections (max 2500 words, excluding timeline and references):

  • Abstract (max 250 of the 2500 total words)
  • Introduction and problem statement
  • Objectives
  • Approach and work plan
  • Expected outcomes (e.g., publications, proposals, public engagements, policy impacts)
  • Significance and novelty of scholarship
  • Relevance to priorities of this call
  • Plan for expanding the work, including follow-on proposals
  • Interdisciplinary Team
  • Timeline of activities
  • Documentation of submission for IRB review (if applicable), including self-determination documentation
  • References (max 20)

Responsibilities for Grantees

Awardees must acknowledge support from the Gund Institute, the UVM Larner College of Medicine, the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, and the NNE-CTR in all resulting publications, presentations, or reports. At the end of the grant period, any unspent funds will be returned to the Gund Institute and will be dispersed to sponsors in relation to their funding contributions. At 6- and 18-months, the co-PIs must provide one-page progress reports. Within 2 months of the end of the grant period, Co-PIs must provide a 2-page written report on project activities and measurable outcomes. Awardees agree to serve as reviewers in any future competitions.

Questions

Contact the Gund Institute Research Coordinator, Jeannine Valcour, for additional information or questions about the Gund Institute and the application process. See FAQs for additional information. 

Contact our navigators for information about useful NNE-CTR collaborators and resources.

UVM LCOM Navigator Program Services:
Annie Penfield-Cyr and Jennifer Holmes
Research.Navigator@med.uvm.edu
802-656-9404 or 802-656-9407
Given Building C423
http://www.med.uvm.edu/clinicaltrials/researchnavigator

MMC Navigator Program Services:
Ivette F. Emery, PhD
Research Navigator
Maine Medical Center Research Institute
emeryi@mmc.org