FY2020 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

President Houshmand, with approval of the Rowan University Board of Trustees, has created a $50M fund to expand research opportunities and collaborations with various healthcare entities in Camden. The funds will allow the University to expand medical research at CMSRU in collaboration with the Colleges and Schools of Rowan and in partnership with Cooper University Health Care/MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Coriell Institute, and other life sciences partners.

In order to implement this goal, President Houshmand convened a committee of key university officials that included the Provost, Senior Vice President for Health Science, Vice President for Research, and Deans of the Colleges of Engineering, Science and Mathematics, Earth and the Environment, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine to identify areas in which these funds would be invested to meet the goals of the University.

This committee identified the following categories for research investment. It must be recognized that certain technical areas of study (e.g., data analytics and informatics, immunology, genomics, tissue engineering, biomaterials, and cell and molecular biology) traverse all fields of the health sciences and may be considered as integral to programmatic needs even if not specifically identified in a particular category below.

Cancer: Investment in the field of cancer will leverage the clinical capabilities of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Research will include translational research, diagnostics, and new therapies. Specific research capabilities involved in these research areas are cancer informatics and data analytics, genomics (e.g., genetics and epigenetics), drug delivery systems, biomaterials, cell regulation and growth, immune regulation and inflammation, biomarkers, and targets for new drugs and immunotherapies.

Biomedical Engineering & Science: Researchers from Rowan’s College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics will benefit greatly from working with the basic science faculty researchers at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University and CMSRU clinical faculty physicians at Cooper University Hospital since physicians can best identify problems in treating patients that can be solved by our scientists, engineers, and material scientists. Specific areas where these interactions may lead to practical solutions include medical devices, biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, microvascular engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, biomechanics, diagnostics, and disease detection (e.g., sepsis and other infectious diseases). These capabilities are applicable to cancer, neuromedicine, cardiology, and orthopedics as well as other emerging areas of medicine.

Neuromedicine: Investment in neuromedicine will leverage clinical strengths in neurology, neurosurgery, geriatrics, and behavioral medicine (e.g., psychiatry and clinical psychology) with complementary programs in basic and translational research in the neurosciences to benefit patients with a broad range of behavioral disabilities (e.g., opioid addiction), neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease), trauma (e.g., traumatic brain injury and concussion), inflammation, and pain. In addition, investigators from the fields of neuroscience, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, human factors engineering, molecular and cellular biology, education, and biomedical engineering will address issues involved in improving cognitive function in healthy individuals and/or restoring cognitive capabilities (or preventing cognitive dysfunction) in those individuals disabled by disease or trauma.

Sustaining Healthy Communities: To address the challenges associated with creating and sustaining healthy communities and to educate qualified artists, educators, engineers, urban planners, scientists, health practitioners, humanists, and social scientists to implement solutions to these complex problems, Rowan has designed a research and education initiative entitled Rowan Healthy Communities (RHC). The solutions to these complex problems are multidisciplinary and will include (but not be limited to) faculty with expertise in socio-cultural factors (particularly in medicine), community healthcare delivery, music therapy, infrastructure (e.g., transportation, water, energy), nutrition and exercise, population health (data analytics), environment, resilient critical infrastructure, emergency and disaster preparedness, and education. By coordinating activities and creating synergy among individuals in these disciplines, the initiative will enable participants to conduct focused, high-impact, problem-driven urban healthcare systems research and training. We anticipate that the outcomes and training provided as part of this initiative will change the way healthy environments are understood, planned, governed, and managed.

PROCESS FOR CONSIDERING AND FUNDING PROPOSALS

1. Proposals for support are now being solicited from faculty through an open Request for Proposals (RFP).
2. Proposals received will be evaluated by external subject matter experts through a peer review process and a Research Funding Committee, a committee that includes the following:

  • Vice President for Research
  • Dean’s Council
  • A representative from Cooper University Health Care holding a faculty appointment at CMSRU, to be appointed by the Provost.
  • A representative from the Senate Research Committee
  • A representative from the Office of Finance
3. The committee will submit their recommendation to the Provost for approval.
4. The President will finalize funding decisions, and decisions will be communicated to the applicants. Final decisions shall also be communicated to the Board of Trustees through its Committee process. Decisions shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal.

All applicants to this program must create a researcher profile within Rowan Digital Works. Please contact rdw@rowan.edu in order to begin this process.

PURPOSE

Funding can be requested for the following purposes:

  • To provide funds for collaborative projects that will be performed in Camden involving faculty from one or more campuses to support work that will ultimately be the subject of an application for external grants; and
  • To provide gap funding for faculty who were unsuccessful with a first submission of a competitive renewal of an independent investigator award (NIH R01 or equivalent) and have utilized all funds associated with no cost extensions and their available internal accounts. Applications that were unsuccessful but received a priority score will be most competitive.
  • For purposes of tenure, recontracting and promotion, successful awards will be considered as internal funding.

    ELIGIBILITY

    Since the Camden Health Research Initiative is intended to support full-time faculty who are seeking collaborative research opportunities that will create sustainable, externally funded programs, each applicant must demonstrate in their proposal that they have developed a committed multidisciplinary team to perform the proposed research. Preference will be given to projects that are developed in collaboration with Cooper Medical School at Rowan University biomedical sciences faculty or/and partnerships between CMSRU’s clinical faculty who are employed clinicians of Cooper University Healthcare, and Rowan University faculty from any college. Therefore, the location of the primary site must be identified in the application. The primary site of all proposed research must be shown to be in the City of Camden, though in the case of collaborative research, work may be performed at multiple locations. By submitting an application, the research team certifies that the proposed research has not been funded by other entities. All applications must be submitted through the Rowan Digital Works website (https://rdw.rowan.edu/cgi/ir_submit.cgi?context=camden_health_research_initiative). Faculty who received funding from last year’s CHRI may not apply for additional funding for the same project.

    FUNDING LEVELS

    These grants are not intended to completely fund an individual’s or team’s research career(s) but rather to act as a stimulus for attracting additional external support and to supplement and enhance ongoing activity. Therefore, any single grant will not exceed $150,000. Grant funds cannot be used for a faculty member’s summer salary or to provide funding for course-buyouts. Costs requested for infrastructure/equipment funds and new faculty start-up packages will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not part of this solicitation.

    The Internal grant awards will be provided up to a maximum of $3M.

    PROPOSAL NARRATIVE PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

    Detailed information is provided about each item later in these instructions.

    • Narrative

      • Title Page (1 page)
      • Abstract / Extended Summary (1 page)
      • Project Description (10 pages maximum)
      • References (1 page)
      • Current Biographical Summary with Relevant Publications (2 pages per faculty member)
      • Every proposal has to have a single PI but can have several additional co-PIs.
      • Budget (use attached form; see below)

      Formatting

      • Margins: One inch in all directions.
      • Fonts: Ten point font or higher.
      • Spacing: Single spacing with one line break between paragraphs.
      • Page Limits: Page limits for each section are upper limits only. Fewer pages may be used.
      • References: Discretion of the author, but must remain consistent throughout the proposal.
      • Note: Proposals not adhering to the established formatting and page limits will be returned without review.

      Title Page

      • Project Title;
      • Name of PI and department/affiliation & names of co-PIs and their departments/affiliations;
      • Specify which of the four categories the research applies to;
      • Indicate whether the proposed project includes human subjects or animal subjects (if animal subjects, which species).

      Abstract/Extended Summary

      Present a concise, self-contained one-page summary of the project written for an audience of reviewers that may not possess expert knowledge of your area of research or discipline. The summary should address the following, as appropriate by the scope of the proposed work:

      • Statement of problem to be addressed or research question to be studied in non-technical language;
      • Brief description of your proposed solution to the problem or how your proposed hypothesis will extend the base of scholarly knowledge about the problem;
      • Brief description of the objectives of the project and the anticipated results and outcomes;
      • Scientific, scholarly, or artistic significance of the project.

    • Broader impacts of the project to develop any or all of the following:
      • Professional growth;
      • A student’s educational experience;
      • University’s mission and institutional priorities; and
      • Impact of the work to the broader professional community.

    For gap funding, the following is also required:
    • A narrative on how the investigator has addressed the concerns raised by reviewers.

    Project Description

    The project description should be written for an audience of colleagues with similar interests and expertise; however, please avoid esoteric/technical explanations and jargon. Please do not exceed 10 pages. The specific contents of this section, the headings of subsections, etc. should be representative of typical proposals submitted to other funding agencies in your area. The following information should be included:

    • Introduction: This section should provide a more detailed background about the project. Summarize any references to your relevant prior work and the work of others in this field;
    • Method / Experimental Procedure / Creative Activity: Provide more detail on the goals and objectives of the proposed work. Explain the method, procedure, or activity you will conduct. Discuss expected outcomes of the project. Provide a brief timeline of proposed activities;
    • Facilities and Other Resources: Provide a short description of the facilities where the research will be conducted and key resources, (e.g. biospecimen availability, vivarium or major instruments) to be utilized with the aim of demonstrating to the reviewers that the proposed research can be successfully completed;
    • Broader Impacts: Expand on the Abstract / Extended Summary. How will the project benefit you/team professionally? How will the project benefit the university, community, and the profession in general? How will the research expand collaborative research at CMSRU/Camden?
    • Qualifications of the Applicant: Explain why the collaborative team is uniquely qualified to conduct this project. If this is work in your current area of expertise, provide evidence. If this constitutes a new area or departure from your expertise area, specify the reasons for the change in direction and the prospects of success;
    • Rationale for Funding: Explain why the program should fund this work. List any other external funding opportunities that exist, if possible. Identify agencies that have funded similar work in the past and sources of funding you intend to seek out and timeline for applying for external funding.
      • Biographical Summary

        Provide a biographical summary that is two pages or less. The summary should only include the following information:

        • Educational background: degrees and year in which they are awarded;
        • Appointments: in reverse chronological order;
        • Publications / Creative Works – Only in citation form;
          • Related works: The most relevant works, three at most;
          • Other works: Most recent and / or other noteworthy works, three at most;
        • Professional activities or service functions. List most recent, relevant, or important three activities;
        • Recent and active grants: list all active grants from all sources, as well as the three most recently completed projects. Include the funding agency, the amount, and duration of the grant.

        Budget

        All budget items must directly support the proposed effort and must be clearly justified. All equipment and other non-expendable supplies purchased with these funds are and remain the property of Rowan University.

        • Salaries and Wages: Faculty salary is not permitted. Salaries and wages requested for student workers shall be based on prevailing departmental / college rates.
        • External Consultant Fees: May be requested to assist in areas of the project where additional expertise is required. Daily rate and number of days working on project must be provided.
        • Travel: Only travel clearly associated with the research project and not otherwise available through departmental or college travel funds will be considered. All travel should be calculated following the University’s daily per diem meal allowances and applicable lodging and transportation policies.
        • Equipment, Supplies, Materials, and Other Direct Costs: All requests for equipment, supplies, materials, hardware, software, and other items directly related to the project must be justified. Expenses generally provided by the department or college or those expenses typically covered by personal funds will not be allowed. Therefore, routine photocopying, commuting to / from Rowan, memberships to professional organizations, internet access, etc. are not permitted.

        Download the Camden Health Research Initiative Budget Template

        Note: All State purchasing / procurement guidelines need to be followed when purchasing equipment/supplies and/or hiring consultants.

        SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS

        • Submit no later than 4:00 PM on Friday, September 27, 2019 through https://rdw.rowan.edu/cgi/ir_submit.cgi?context=camden_health_research_initiative
        • Requests for post award budget revision must be approved, in writing, by the Vice President for Research.
        • Generally, all grantees must expend all awarded funds no later than two years from the starting date of the award.
        • Approved proposals that seek to use animals or human subjects must include a statement that the research processes and procedures will be submitted for approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Funding for approved proposals will be released after the project is approved by the IRB or IACUC. IRB and IACUC procedures and forms may be downloaded electronically from the Division of University Research web site.
        • Awardees will submit a final report on the results of the grant to the Vice President for Research. The report template is attached. This report will include a list of presentations, publications and/or grant applications that resulted from the Camden Health Research Initiative grant, along with a two-page (maximum) summary of project outcomes. This report will be due no later than 30 days following the completion of the study.

        PROPOSAL EVALUATION

        The goal of the evaluation process is to ensure a fair and unbiased review of the proposals. Proposals received will be evaluated by external evaluators with subject matter or related expertise and the Research Funding Committee that includes the following:

        • Vice President for Research
        • Dean’s Council
        • A representative from Cooper University Health Care holding a faculty appointment at CMSRU who will be appointed by the Provost
        • A representative from the Senate Research Committee
        • A representative from the Office of Finance

        Proposals will be ranked by the following scale:

        • 1 – Poor: proposal is lacking components, no coherent plan, and possesses other deficiencies;
        • 2 – Fair: proposal has some unique concepts, but these are not well-developed or well- planned;
        • 3 – Good: proposal has good ideas and a sound plan. However, some key components are not well-developed;
        • 4 – Very Good: proposal has very good ideas, well-conceived plan, with wide-reaching broader impacts;
        • 5 – Excellent: proposal addresses very timely and important issues, with a clear, convincing, and well-conceived project plan. The proposed work, if successful, will have significant and broad impact not only to the applicant, but also to the students, university, community, and / or profession in general.

        The final list of proposals recommended by the committee for funding will then be forwarded to the Provost, who will, with the approval of the President, will make the final decision on which proposals will be funded. All awards are subject to availability of funds.

        Please address questions to Stephanie Lezotte, Director of Strategic Research Initiatives and Outreach at 856-256-4124 or lezotte@rowan.edu.

Follow