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Faculty Research Fellowship Policies and Procedures

Application due: March 1, 2017

I. Introduction

  • The Faculty Research Fellowship Program (FRFP) is designed to encourage faculty at the MGH Institute of Health Professions to develop a program of research in their area of interest. The program supports faculty efforts to achieve external funding for their research program by providing a $10,000 seed grant to conduct pilot studies that serve as preliminary data for subsequent efforts.
     
  • Grants are awarded for a one-year period (from July 1 to June 30). An ad hoc committee of faculty with research experience is appointed by the Provost's Office to act as a peer review panel for all applications. The Committee makes recommendations to the Office of the Provost, who is responsible for awarding and monitoring the fellowships.
  • Two $10,000 awards are available for this cycle. Neither of the awards is required to be given if it is determined that no meritorious applications have been submitted.

II. Timeline

  • Fall Semester – call for applications
  • March 1, 2017 – Application Due Date. Submit to Director of Research Programs, Dr. Robert Hillman, in the Office of the Provost’s
  • April 2017 – Office of the Provost announcement of award(s)
  • Before the end of spring semester – Pre-award activities – i.e. establish sites, obtain CITI / IRB(s) approval if necessary, establish grant account
  • July 1, 2017: Award start date
  • June 30, 2018: Project end date
  • Sept 1, 2018: Final report due

III. Eligibility

  • Applicants for these awards must currently hold a faculty appointment at the Institute and have, at minimum, a 10-month contract at a 0.5 FTE level.
  • The applicant need not be physically located in Charlestown at the Institute, and may conduct the research offsite.
  • A prior FRFP recipient can apply for another fellowship award contingent on fulfilling all the previous responsibilities, including a subsequent extramural grant submission.

IV. Award Criteria

  • The application clearly portrays a significant area in need of research, with well defined research objectives and a scientifically sound approach to the study that is deemed meritorious by peer review.
  • The project is of appropriate scope and rigor to produce preliminary data for use in subsequent applications for extramural funding and publication, and a clear plan is described for how future funding will be pursued (e.g., timeframe, funding agency, type of grant, etc.).
  • Priority will be given to interdisciplinary approaches that align with the Institute's strategic vision and mission.
  • Applicant's ability to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) is evident by a track record of management /leadership and/or prior research collaborative activities commensurate with one’s stage of career.
  • The project is feasible based on proposed objectives, timeline, and budget.
  • Applicants must provide sufficient supporting documentation to meet the above criteria. The FRC will provide written reviews to the applicants to enhance subsequent proposal development.

V. Budget Options for FRFP Funds

Appropriate use of FRFP Award monies include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of project-related equipment or project-related expenditures
  • Salary to “buy out” faculty teaching time
  • Statistical consultation beyond available IHP-based resources if necessary
  • Support to complete dissertation research
  • Support for travel to and from a research site
  • Support for travel to and from a professional meeting that is related to the project

V1. Responsibilities of the Awardees

  • Awardees must submit an end-of-project year report of their activities to the Associate Provost for Research.
  • Awardees must meet with the Institute's grant account representative initially, and at least 90 days prior to completion, to ensure appropriate accounting and monitoring of funds.
  • Awardees must give a formal presentation of their research progress and results at the MGH Institute within the next academic year following the completion of the funding of their project.
  • Awardees must submit their findings for publication and provide a copy of submission to the Provost's Office.
  • Awardees are expected to use this award as the basis for a subsequent extramural grant submission.

VII. Application Process

Final application by order of assembly and page limits:

  1. Proposal Cover Sheet, completed with your Academic Program Director’s (APD) signoff prior to submission (available on the Intranet under Office of the Provost – Research)
  2. Proposal Applicant Letter attesting to rationale for application in relationship to your career and program of research (1 page), accompanied by your biosketch using the NIH format (4 pages or less)
    • Identify in your letter if this is your first application, a resubmission, or a new, different FRFP application. Describe how the funding will enhance your ability to obtain external grant funding and identify the intended grant(s). If a previous award recipient, detail the research outcomes from your prior project.
  3. Project Abstract – Project Title and description of no more than 500 words
  4. Proposal (following the format for NIH R03 Grant Applications):
    • Specific Aims (1 page)
      • State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved.
      • List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed, e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology.
    • Research Strategy (6 pages no counting bibliography/references): Organize the Research Strategy in the specified order and using the instructions provided below. Start each section with the appropriate section heading – Significance, Innovation, Approach. Cite published experimental details in the Research Strategy section and provide the full reference in the Bibliography and References Cited section.
      • Significance
        • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses.
        • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
        • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.
      • Innovation
        •  Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.
        • Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.
        • Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.
      • Approach
        • Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Unless addressed separately in Item 15 (Resource Sharing Plan), include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.
        • Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.
        • If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of the proposed work.
        • Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised. A full discussion on the use of select agents should appear in Item 11, below.
          • (Note: If an applicant has multiple Specific Aims, then the applicant may address Significance, Innovation, and Approach for each Specific Aim individually, or may address Significance, Innovation, and Approach for all of the Specific Aims collectively.

            As applicable, also include the following information as part of the Research Strategy, keeping within the three sections listed above: Significance, Innovation, and Approach.

    • Budget (2 pages): 
      • Page 1: Budget for the year using the entire $10,000 award (use the NIH format).
      • Page 2: Brief justification of each item in the budget.

VIII. Submission Procedure

  • A copy of the completed application should be given to your APD for review and sign-off approval regarding any effects on program resources, such as faculty course buyouts and use of IHP facilities, prior to submission to the Provost’s Office. 
  • The original copy with the proposal coversheet and APD signoff, as well as an electronic version in MS Word, is to be submitted to the Director of Research Programs (Dr. Bob Hillman) in the Provost’s Office with a copy to Damary Gutierrez.
  • Proposals involving human subjects are not required to have IRB approval at the time of submission but must receive approval by the Spaulding Human Research Committee before funds are awarded.

IX. Post Award

  • Support for grant management issues and monitoring of grant policy compliance occurs through the Institute’s research administration in the Office of the Provost.
  • All funds must be spent during the funding period otherwise they are forfeited.
  • Copies of all publications resulting from FRFP-supported research should be submitted to the Associate Provost for Research (Provosts’ Office). Published reports are required to acknowledge the support of the Faculty Research Fellowship Program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, as follows: “This work was partially supported by a Faculty Research Fellowship Award (or Faculty Geriatric Research Fellowship Award, if appropriate) from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.”
  • Compliance with fulfilling previously stated Responsibilities of the Awardees.

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