Small Planning Grants Program

Overview

The Detroit URC's Small Planning Grant Program facilitates new community-academic research partnerships and new collaborative research efforts aimed at promoting health in Detroit. The program has funded 31 projects since 2010 averaging $4,200 per award; over $130,000 has been allocated overall.

The Small Planning Grant Program invites proposals that, for example:Quotations from participants

  • Build equitable relationships between partners
  • Explore shared research interests and identify capacity building needs
  • Develop partnership infrastructure and collaborative operating procedures
  • Conduct community assessment(s) to inform new collaborative research efforts
  • Analyze existing data to help inform future collaborative research
  • Disseminate and translate research findings
  • Evaluate the partnership process

The 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. Click the headings below to learn more.

Partnership Formation Grants

These 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)

Grant selection criteria are:

  • Evidence of the rationale for the need for this collaborative
  • Evidence of responsiveness to the community partner’s needs/interests
  • Extent and feasibility of community and academic partner involvement
  • Potential for future research collaboration
  • Potential of funding for future collaborative research effort(s)
  • Clear, detailed and reasonable budget
  • Clear, detailed and realistic timeline
  • Evidence that the budget has been developed and discussed by all partners and allocated equitably as appropriate
Project Development Grants

These 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 identify future directions for the partnership based on the assessment conducted).

Grant selection criteria are:

  • Relevance of proposed research effort to Detroit communities involved
  • Extent and feasibility of community and academic partner involvement
  • Extent to which basic collaborative research principles are applied through the current project and in past efforts
  • Evidence of responsiveness to the community partner’s needs/interests
  • Potential positive impact on the goals of the project (e.g., new research priorities identified, dissemination materials developed, capacity building workshops conducted, partnership process improved)
  • Potential of funding for future collaborative research effort(s)
  • Clear, detailed and reasonable budget
  • Clear, detailed and realistic timeline
  • Evidence that the budget has been developed and discussed by all partners and allocated equitably as appropriate

Funding Support

This program is funded with support from the University of Michigan (U-M) 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. Partnerships with U-M School of Social Work faculty will be supported by the U-M School of Social Work.

Past funding sources include the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program at the University of Michigan, and the University of Michigan Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs. 

Eligibility

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 and Project Period

The number and amount of awarded grants is based on the quantity and quality of the submitted proposals. Most recently (Round 11), a total of $20,000 was dispersed across four grantee teams. Projects typically last 12 months.

Selection Criteria 

Grant applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff from the Detroit URC, U-M SSW, and MICHR, composed of both community and academic partners with extensive experience in and understanding of community-based participatory research. The Detroit URC seeks proposals with the potential for creating new or developing existing effective collaborative research efforts that will address the social and physical environmental factors that contribute to health inequities of relevance to Detroit communities. Selection criteria specific to each proposal type is included under each grant heading, above.