Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction (CSUA)
Seed Funding RFA
ADDRESSING ISSUES OF SUBSTANCE USE AND ADDICTION
Request for Proposals
Priority will be given to projects that make a convincing case for how the developing research program can advance solutions to the systemic problems of substance use and addiction. In line with Penn State’s Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction (CSUA), applications are particularly encouraged that map onto the University’s distinctive strengths in substance use research: pathways to addiction (including basic science, etiology, and epidemiology), criminal justice, and spillover effects to children, families, and communities. Projects that build strength in impact analysis or implementation and dissemination science also are encouraged. Proposals may focus on any addictive substance, including alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, nonmedical use of prescription drugs, and other illicit drugs. We are also interested in proposals that include translation and dissemination of evidence-based programs or new community interventions in partnership with Penn State Extension.
All Penn State faculty members (tenured, tenure track, fixed term, and clinicians) who hold an appointment at any Penn State location are eligible to submit a seed grant proposal as Principal Investigator (PI) of an interdisciplinary research team. Single investigator proposals will not be considered; interdisciplinary teams will be prioritized. Community organizations, state agencies, and investigators from other institutions may be collaborators, but not PIs. Faculty members may be the lead or co-PI on only one proposal but may serve as a collaborator on up to two proposals.
Funding Availability and Timeline
At least $50,000 of funding is available through this seed grant solicitation via the SSRI’s Level 2 mechanisms.
Level 2 Proposals are due on March 31, 2022 and should be sent as one PDF document to email@example.com. No letter of intent is required. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions no later than May 10, 2022; projects must have a start date of May 15, 2022.
LEVEL 2 PROPOSALS
The Level 2 mechanism assists PSU faculty in advancing their research by securing extramural funding. Although research teams can include students, post-docs, faculty from other institutions, and other external collaborators, our goal is to support interdisciplinary teams comprising Penn State faculty and researchers. For this reason, team leaders should be tenure track or research faculty with continuing appointments.
- Level 2 funding supports research projects with specific research questions, a well-conceived theoretical basis, an identified team of Penn State faculty collaborators, and a concrete plan to pursue external funding
- Level 2 proposals are between $5,000 and $20,000
- For projects greater than $20,000, please consult with the Director of the CSUA
- The CSUA Director, members of the CSUA Executive Committee and the CSUA Advisory Board, and Penn State faculty members with relevant expertise will review Level 2 proposals
- Funds are allocated for a 12-to 24-month period beginning May 15, 2022
Level 2 funding support may be provided for:
- Innovative interdisciplinary research, training, and integrated research-outreach projects that involve collaborations among Penn State faculty
- Costs for student wages to support the project
- Costs associated with pilot data collection and/or data analyses
- Travel, consultants, graduate student time, or hourly support of activities
- Faculty salary up to $8000 for non-tenure-track faculty.
- Innovative workgroups or conferences that might include outside speakers and consultants. Note: The SSRI supports conferences only when they are specifically designed to enhance faculty expertise, leading to newly funded research. Proposals for conferences must show the expected date and specify that other sources of conference funding have already been explored.
- International travel for up to one investigator. Note: International travel will not be supported for graduate students. Proposals must include a letter of support from the international collaborator(s) outlining their role in the project.
Level 2 funds are NOT intended to support:
- Student (masters, dissertation research) or post-doctoral projects
- New or ongoing projects of individual faculty or any ongoing programs or research activities
- Delivery of outreach programs or services, unless the proposal includes translation and dissemination as a component of the research effort
- Funding for the kinds of activities supported by departments and colleges (travel to conferences, seed money for an individual's project, computer or software purchase, etc.)
- Summer salaries for tenure-track faculty members
- Projects involving a Penn State faculty member and external collaborators only; our goal is to build and support Penn State teams
Criteria for Review
- Priority is placed on new ideas for projects that involve cross-department, cross-college, cross-center, and/or cross-campus (interdisciplinary) connections among Penn State faculty
- A well-articulated plan of activities
- Teams comprised of investigators who range in seniority and experience
- Proposals must define a specific deliverable to be produced (typically an external grant proposal; in some cases, a workshop, conference, or training activity) and a timeline for its attainment
- Proposals must make a clear contribution to addressing substance use and addiction
- For human subjects research, proposals must provide strong evidence for access to the population of interest; for secondary analyses, proposals must describe dataset availability; investigators are expected to prepare and submit the appropriate requests for IRB approval.
Structure and Submission of Proposals
Proposals must be submitted as one document via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To complete your proposal submission, you must download, complete, and email the forms below: Proposal Submission Form (see below)
Other Ideas to Consider as You Construct Your Level 2 Proposal
- Consult with the SSRI Director or CSUA Director about your project. Talk with any of the CSUA Executive Committee members about your project.
- If you need time and funding to network, organize your team, or further develop your research ideas, consider applying for an SSRI Level 1 seed grant.
Project Reports and Brief Presentation
Investigators are expected to provide an annual project status update and a brief (one page) final report upon completing the project. These materials allow us to track and report outcomes and monitor the success of our seed grant program. PIs are expected to give one brief presentation on their project at a meeting involving all CSUA pilot grant recipients and co-funded faculty members.
If you need to change the project team, description, design, or budget during your projects, please send a request to email@example.com with the specific details of these changes.
Example of a Successful SSRI Level 2 Proposal
Saeed Abdullah, PI, Assistant Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and Stephanie Lanza, Co-PI, Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) "'Alexa, I’m in pain!' A Real-Time Mindfulness Intervention to Control Pain: Delivery Through a Conversational Agent." Collaborating investigator: Sebrina Doyle, Research Associate at the PRC.
Questions? Contact Emily Christenson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
LEVEL 2 FULL Proposal Submission Form
Please complete all sections below, save the document to your computer, and email the document to us at: email@example.com. Proposals must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman font size no smaller than 12-point type, left-aligned with one-inch margins. Please include a NIH or NSF biosketch for each investigator. Proposals cannot exceed 5 pages when presenting Sections 1 through 8 (information requested under “Additional Information” does not count toward page length). Remember that many members of review committees will not have specific expertise in your area and that proposals should be written for a broad academic audience. Appendices should not be included.
Your proposal must be sent as one document, including letters of support and biosketches. Proposals that do not conform to guidelines will be returned to the PI.
1. Title of Level 2 proposal and name of PI:
2. 3-5 Descriptive keywords:
Provide a succinct overview of the proposal including its innovation and potential for addressing issues related to substance use and addiction. Assume that reviewers do not have technical knowledge in a specific field. Avoid or explain technical jargon, field-specific terminology, or acronyms.
4. Specific aims and objectives:
List the specific aims and objectives of the proposal, including how the accomplishment of the objectives will inform the development of a project for external funding.
5. Brief background, rationale, and description of methods:
Summarize briefly the background and rationale for the proposal, including its innovation and potential for combatting substance use and addiction, and a specific description of the methods and activities for which support is requested. Describe the interdisciplinary nature of the team/approach.
6. Anticipated outcomes:
Describe the anticipated outcomes in operational terms (e.g., grant submission [state target agency and submission due date], research/outreach program). Priority is placed on proposals designed to lead to external funding. Please specify the investigators to be involved in the grant submission, an anticipated title of the proposal, funding source(s) to be targeted, and the timeline to submit the proposal.
Proposals for the development of shared infrastructure or training must include the plans for dissemination and outreach (anticipated dates, methods for dissemination, audience targeted).
If the plan involves any type of working group or conference, the target audience must be specified and an estimate of the audience size must be included.
Describe the roles of the principal investigator(s), the collaborating investigator(s), and any other personnel included in the proposal. For key personnel, include titles and brief descriptions of their expertise.
8. Project timeline:
Describe the anticipated timeline to accomplish the goals of the Level 2 proposal
Budget and Justification:
Provide an itemized budget and budget justification that includes salaries, fringe, and other expenses. Exclude fringe for faculty; include fringe for staff and students. Requests for international travel should include only one investigator. Expenditures for food are to be kept to a minimum.
- Name and phone number of your department's budget coordinator:
- Budget and fund number:
- Administrative area number:
- Lead Investigator:
- Tenure Track - Yes/No; if Yes, please include tenure home department.
- Tenure Track - Yes/No; if Yes, please include tenure home department
[Please include complete contact information for additional investigators here.]
(Optional) Indicate any SSRI services proposed to use:
Computational and Spatial Analysis Core (CSA), Survey Research Center (SRC), Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC), and/or Quantitative Developmental Systems Methodology Core (Quantdev)
Proposals must include the pre-submission checklist (see below). The pre-submission checklist catalogs the potential your project has for external funding. It is weighed heavily in the review process.
Level 2 proposals support the development of research that has the potential for external funding. As we have tracked Level 2 proposals over time, we have found that they are more likely to be funded when the faculty team has fully explored funding opportunities and used that information to inform the design of their research plan and Level 2 activities. Please respond to each of the following questions:
- Which agency or foundation officials (e.g., project officer) have you spoken with to determine their interest in this project or project area? What feedback did you receive on your concept and approach?
- Are you responding to a specific request for proposal (RFP/RFA), program announcement, or other special funding initiative? If yes, which one and how is your Level 2 a good match for it?
- Is this Level 2 being undertaken in response to feedback from a prior external proposal? If so, how does this project address reviewer concerns?
- How does your study compare with projects in similar domains that have been funded by your targeted agency? In particular, how does the scope of your methodology appear similar to other funded projects (in terms of the size and representativeness of the sample, measurement strategies, design and planned analytic approach, etc.)?
- What criteria will be used to evaluate your proposal and what do you know about the likely reviewers?
Letters of Support from All Collaborators
Collaborating investigators must indicate their support of the project by writing letters of support; these letters should be emailed to the Principal Investigator and attached to this proposal.
Attach NIH or NSF biosketches