Pilot Grants

2015 Health Disparities Pilot Grants: Request for Proposals 

The University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research announces the 2015 Pilot Grants in Health Disparities Research. These grants are designed to encourage community-initiated research and foster sustainable long-term collaboration between community-based organizations and academic researchers on research projects focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities.  

See also: 2015 Health Disparities Pilot Grant FAQs (PDF)  

Overview of 2015 Schedule
  • January 21: Request for Proposals announced to PHDR members
  • January 26: Request for Proposals announced broadly
  • February 4: Pre-application workshop* 
    *The Pre-application workshop is free and highly recommended, but not required. To reserve your spot please RSVP to phdr@umn.edu by January 30.
    It will take place on February 4, 2015 from 9 - 10:30 AM in 
    Rm. 303 of 717 Delaware St SE
  • February 16: Deadline for mandatory Letter of Intent (2,500 character max.) on a health disparities research topic from community-based organization with an interest in health disparities.
  • February 23: Community-academic teams invited to submit full application
  • February 17 - March 6: Community-based organizations without an academic researcher matched by Program staff based on research interests; community-academic teams invited to submit full application
  • April 27: Full research proposals due from research teams
  • June 15-30: Grant awardees announced
2015 Proposal Topics

Based on the priorities of our funding stakeholders, the 2015 Pilot grant proposals should focus on:

  1. Health disparities from second hand smoke in Minnesota
  2. Cancer-related health disparities in Minnesota
  3. Any health disparities topic in North Minneapolis
  4. A Broader sharing of new knowledge generated from a research project (e.g., dissemination research) related to topics 1-3 above

• “Broader sharing” refers to targeting a specific audience(s) to send research findings to. For example, a plan that focuses on individuals, groups, organizations, and/or decision makers to receive findings from a research study. New and creative ways of sharing information is highly encouraged. “New knowledge” refers to all types of research generated information or resources. For example, new products or materials from an intervention, findings from a survey, and focus group and interview results. “Generated from a research project” refers to a) research generated from a prior or existing community-academic partnership and b) includes all types of study designs. Dissemination research projects must have a rigorous evaluation component. Grant awardees previously funded by PHDR are encouraged to apply.

• Cancer is a complex disease with many possible causes. Examples of cancer disparities pilot grants include but are not limited to a focus on disparities related to specific cancer risk factors, including lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity; environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation; and, certain types of infections known to cause cancer (e.g., Hepatitis B and liver cancer, HPV and cervical cancer). Other cancer-related topics are appropriate too.

• Please contact us if you have any questions about the “fit” of your topic for this request for proposals. 
Process and Technical Details

All community-based, 501(c)(3) organizations with an interest in health disparities are eligible to apply in partnership with an academic researcher from any campus at the University of Minnesota. 

Prior awardees are eligible to apply with new or expansions of previous projects.

Application Instructions

Step 1. Submitting a Letter of Intent is the first required step in the process. Organizations with or without an established working relationship with an academic researcher are welcome to submit a letter of interest.

Email your mandatory Letter of Intent to phdr@umn.edu. Download a Letter of Intent template (DOC) here.

Step 2. After the letters of interest have been received, organizations without an established working relationship with an academic researcher will be matched with a researcher with similar interests at the University of Minnesota by Program staff. Continued consideration will be based on suitable matches; if no appropriate match is made, the applicant will be duly informed.

Step 3. After the matches have been made, each project will consist of a minimum of two co-principal investigators—including a member(s) from a community-based organization and an academic researcher(s). If the matched research teams agree to work together, they will be invited to submit a full research proposal and budget.

Email your full research proposal and budget to phdr@umn.edu.

Download the application template (DOC) here.
Download the budget template (XLS) here.
2015 Application Deadline

Monday, February 9: Letters of intent (step 1 above) are due by 4:00 PM

Monday, April 27: Full research proposals from matched research teams (step 3 above) are due by 4:00 PM 

Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of individuals from the local community and the University of Minnesota. Applicants will be notified of the review outcome by Monday, June 15.

Review and Scoring Criteria:

This is the exact criteria given to grant reviewers:

a) Specific aims – Please include clearly stated and measurable objectives.
b) Background and significance – Does this study address an important health issue? How will health disparities be reduced and the health of the target population be improved? Please describe any relevant experience with the proposed health issue.
c) Community – Who is/are the group(s) that will benefit from this research project? How are they involved in the proposed research?
d) Methodology – Is the research plan and methodology sound? Are the research methods appropriate for the proposed research question? Dissemination research projects must have rigorous evaluation. Evaluations might include; Who did the resources/information reach? Did the audience find the resources/information useful? How did the audience use the resources/information? How do they intend to use the resources/information in the future?
e) Dissemination – How and to whom will the findings be disseminated? Are dissemination costs included in the budget? All proposals must at a minimum address how and to whom the findings will be disseminated and budget accordingly.
f) Long-Term Plan – What are the implications of this project for advancing this type of research? What are your plans for future research and funding?


  • Priority will be given to projects that have a high likelihood of leading to future funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other federal, state, or private funding agencies.
  • Priority will also be given to projects that are grounded in the principles of community-based participatory research as described in the University of Minnesota’s Performance of Community-based Research: Guidance Statement (PDF)
  • Additionally, one of our collaborating partners would like to support one project that focuses on health disparities in North Minneapolis; special consideration will be given to projects that focus on North Minneapolis.

In 2015, we expect to make up to 4 awards, ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000 in direct costs. Indirect costs are not permitted in this grant mechanism. Awards will be made for one-year.

Awardees will be asked to present a poster about the project at the annual poster session and awards banquet Fall 2015. Awardees may also be asked to present results of the project to the PHDR Advisory Board or at other program meetings or events.  

Duration of Support

Projects are supported for a one-year period. Grant recipients are required to submit a mid-project and final-project progress report with updated budget as stipulated with other conditions listed in the award letter.  

2015 Collaborating Organizations
  • ClearWay Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota:
    - Program in Health Disparities Research
    - Masonic Cancer Center
    - Office for Business & Community Economic Development, The Community Health Initiative (w/ Medica)
    - Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations

Questions should be directed to Huda Ahmed, MS at ahmed177@umn.edu or Kristin Eide, MPH at keide@umn.edu.

Please see the 2015 Health Disparities Pilot Grant FAQs for additional information.

Previous Grantees
2014-2013 Grantees 


Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening in the Laotian Community: Understanding Barriers and Health Literacy
Sunny Chanthanouvong, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
Elizabeth Rogers, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota

From the Heart…Mindful Total Wellness Intervention Model to Reduce Health Disparities in the African American Community
Anika Robbins, The ANIKA Foundation
Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Estimating the Exposure of the Hmong Community to Perfluorochemicals from Their Food Baskets
Karen Clark, Women’s Environmental Institute
Matt Simcik, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

Shisha Smoking among East Africans in the Twin Cities: A Qualitative and Quantitative Investigation into an Emerging Health Crisis
Amano Dube, Brian Coyle Community Center
Janet Thomas, PhD, LP, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota 


Culturally Relevant Hunger Relief Services Toolkit
Caitlin Caspi, University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Anita Berg, Emergency Foodshelf Network 

Doula Support for Pregnant Jailed Women
Rebecca Shlafer, University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics
Erica Gerrity, Isis Rising

Increasing Knowledge about Hepatitis B in the Minnesota Lao Community
Ruby Nguyen, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Sunny Chanthanouvong, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota

Understanding Cigarette Smoking Patterns within the Minnesota Somali Community around Ramadan
Barrett P. Sewali, University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Diana Dubois, WellShare International

2012-2011 Grantees


Project HEAR (Health Education and Resources): Cancer Prevention for Black Women
Andre Crockett, Vision Church
Starr Sage, University of Minnesota-Rochester, Center for Learning Innovation

Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Adolescent Peer-to-peer Health and Wellness Social Media Strategy for the North Minneapolis Program Youth Determined to Succeed
Melvin Anderson, Youth Determined to Succeed
Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, Department of Pediatrics


Addressing Smoking Cessation among Persons with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
Sally Sales, Spectrum Community Mental Health
Kate Goldade, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Culturally Competent Cancer Screening: Utilizing Granular Demographic Data and Point Of Care Provider Educational Interventions to Improve Identification Of and Care for Foreign Born Hepatitis B Carriers
Patricia Walker, HealthPartners Research Foundation
Mohamed Hassan, Department of Medicine

2010-2009 Grantees


Youth Determined to Succeed-University of Minnesota Partnership to Reduce Obesity Among Youth in North Minneapolis
Melvin Anderson, Youth Determined to Succeed
Toben Nelson, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health

Evaluation of Community Health Worker Cancer Screening Referrals in Different Settings
Jose Castellanos, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio
DeAnn Lazovich, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health

Barriers to Mental Health Care for the Somali Community in Minnesota
Sirad Osman, New Americans Community Services
Nancy Raymond, Department of Psychiatry

Development of a Teacher-Focused Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Promotion Intervention for Latino Youth
Luis Ortega, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership
Michele Allen, Department of Family Medicine


A Community-University Partnership to Examine Family Violence in the African American Community of North Minneapolis
Cari Clark, Department of Medicine
Jeannette Raymond, Family and Children's Services

Motivating Underserved Vietnamese Americans to Obtain Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Culturally Tailored Video-Based Intervention
Mark Yeazel/ Hee Lee, Family Medicine and Community Health/ School of Social Work
Marie Tran, Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the Hmong Community: Tackling an Old Problem in a New Way

Tai Mendenhall, Family Medicine and Community Health
Thomas Yang, Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota

Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity among Latino Youth

Jamie Stang, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
Rosa de la Torre and Maria Navas, La Clinica

Opening Pandora's Box: Somali Women, Sexuality, and HIV/ STD Prevention
Bean Robinson, Family Medicine and Community Health
Fatima Jama and Amira Ahmed, Midwest Community Development

2008-2007 Grantees


Motivational Interviewing to Reduce the Risk of Kidney Disease in African American Men
Clarence Jones, Q Health Connections
David Radosevich, Department of Surgery

Examining Social Factors Contributing to Disparate Rates of Retinopathy among Latinos with Type II Diabetes in Minnesota
Rodolfo Gutierrez, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research
Michele Allen, Department of Family Medicine, Medical School

Understanding Somali Refugees' Perceptions of Mental Health Care: A Focused Ethnography
Hassan Ugas, Center for Somali Family and Children's Service
Cheryl Robertson, School of Nursing

Stress-related Health Disparities among African American: A Systemic Focus on Risk and Resiliency
Willie Winston, Minnesota Association of Black Psychologists
Sonya Brady, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology

Pharmacogenomic Investigations in the Hmong Community
Kathleen Culhane-Pera, West Side Community Health Services
Robert Straka, Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy

Community Partnerships to Prepare for Pharmacogenomic Studies in the Hmong Community
Kathleen Culhane-Pera, West Side Community Health Services
Robert Straka, Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy


Wise Kids Eat Well
Pam Cosby, Community Center of Excellence in Women's Health at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
Nancy Raymond, Psychiatry

Using Photovoice to Document Perceived Routes of Pesticide Exposures and Health Concerns among Mothers from Minnesota's Red River Valley
Linda Kingery, Northwest Regional Partnership
Patricia McGovern, School of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

The Family Education & Diabetes Series (FEDS) Project: A Pilot Investigation

Sheila WhiteEagle, St. Paul Area Council of Churches; Dept of Indian Work
Tai J. Mendenhall, Family Medicine & Community Health

Translating Research to Action: Reducing Recreational Tobacco Use in the Urban American Indian Community
John Poupart, American Indian Policy Center
Jean Forster, Epidemiology and Community Health

  • ©2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
  • Last modified on March 15, 2015