The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

Small Planning Grant Program

sherita trainingThe Detroit URC's Small Planning Grant program aims to foster the establishment of new community-academic research partnerships and new collaborative health research efforts in Detroit through two types of grants: 1. Partnership Formation and Maintenance and 2.Project Development

1. Partnership Formation Grants are intended to support newly developing or potential partnerships in, for example, relationship building, exploration of shared areas of interest, creation of partnership structure, and identification of potential research collaborations. Example activities include: 

  • Building relationships between partners (e.g., facilitating formal and informal meetings for partners to learn more about each other, explore the involvement of other potential partners, and discussing how the partners will adopt and use equitable collaborative principles and operating norms);
  • Exploring shared research interests and identifying capacity building needs (e.g., to identify partnership research priorities, delineate capacity-building needs, participate in trainings and/or ongoing mentoring opportunities);
  • Developing a Steering Committee and/or other partnership infrastructure mechanisms (e.g.,
    defining roles and responsibilities, develop communication and decision-making mechanisms, 
    policies and procedures; developing a set of collaborative participatory research principles to 
    guide decisions regarding various aspects of the research process)

2. Project Development Grants are intended to support established partnerships in, for example, the development of specific new collaborative research efforts, analysis of existing data, enhancing capacity for conducting collaborative research, the dissemination and translation of research findings, and the evaluation of the partnership process. Example activities include:

  • Conducting community assessment(s) to inform new collaborative research efforts (e.g., focus groups to gather data to inform the research question and/or methods);
  • Analyzing existing data to help inform future collaborative research (e.g,. collaborative analysis, review and interpretation of previously collected data);
  • Disseminating and translating research findings (e.g., development and implementation of appropriate dissemination tools, such as fact sheets and policy briefs, to community and academic audiences and to policy-makers); and
  • Evaluating the partnership process (e.g., to collect data to assess how and to what extent the partnership is achieving its goals, and the challenges and facilitating factors associated with developing, maintaining and sustaining the partnership, and to indentify future directions for the partnership based on the assessment conducted).

The program has funded 23 projects in 9 rounds of funding since 2010 averaging $4,000 per award; a total of $91,982 has been allocated overall. Past funding sources include the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), and the University of Michigan Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs. Funded partnerships addressed issues including: youth violence, chronic disease prevention, environmental health and justice, mental health, homelessness, Native American empowerment and culture, and faith-based care. Visit this page for more information about past projects

The application period for this round has closed. We plan to continue this program in the future – details forthcoming. See below for additional information about projects awarded in Round 9. 

Eligibility: Members of the Detroit URC Community-Academic Research Network (CAR-Net), as well as academic researchers and community entities who are not CAR-Net members but are committed to engage in collaborative research, are eligible to apply.

Funding Level:  Grants of up to $5,000 were awarded, with a grant duration period of one year. The number and amount of awarded grants is based on the quantity and quality of the submitted proposals. Most recently (Round 9), a total of $20,000 was dispersed across four grant recipients. 

Funding Support: Round 9 of this program was funded, in part, with support from the University of Michigan Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Communities Engagement Program. Please note that small planning grants for partnerships that are NOT based in Detroit are available through the MICHR Community University Partnership Seed (CUPS) Program

Awardees: Four community-academic partnerships have been selected for Round 9 to receive awards of $5,000 each to support research that improves the health and quality of life of Detroit residents. These partnerships feature three different schools at the University of Michigan (Schools of Information, Social Work, and Public Health) and are partnered with organizations representing diverse identities, geographies and focus areas in Detroit. Visit this link to learn more about these partnerships.


Related Links: 

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We offer opportunities for community organizations, health and human service agencies, and academic researchers: 

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Detroit URC Partner Organizations

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The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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