November 2013
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The Greenwall Foundation Bioethics Grant Program
 
 
 
New Bioethics Program, Spring 2014
Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemma

 

The Greenwall Foundation will fund a bioethics grants program, Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemmas to support research to help resolve an important emerging or unanswered bioethics problem in clinical care, biomedical research, public health practice, or public policy. We hope these grants will have a real-world, practical impact. These grants will be of modest size and short duration; one-year grants of up to $60,000 that do not involve primary data collection will receive priority. Additionally, in this funding cycle we will also consider larger bioethics projects that collect primary empirical data.

Four types of bioethics grants will be funded

  1. Mentored research projects. Awards to a senior bioethics researcher to carry out a mentored bioethics research project with a post-doctoral fellow or junior faculty member. The close mentoring will help ensure that the project is completed within a year. The Foundation will provide salary support for the effort of the mentor on the project. Projects where the mentee already has salary support will receive priority. Proposals in which the mentee has other responsibilities that compete with carrying out such a research project, like courses for a degree program and clinical responsibilities by resident physicians or fellows, will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. For projects that involve secondary analysis of existing data sets, the team must include expertise in the obtaining, merging, and analysis of such datasets. For mentored projects, primary data collection will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Proposals to collect pilot or preliminary data for a larger project will not be considered.

  2. Senior collaboration projects. Grants to allow innovative biomedical or clinical researchers or leaders of health care organizations or government agencies to partner with an established bioethics scholar to carry out research on the intersection of their primary work with bioethics. For example, a leading researcher in an innovative biomedical field could bring deep knowledge of that field to help analyze important unresolved bioethics problems in it. As another example, a physician-leader in a safety-net hospital or a public health agency could analyze ethical problems she or he had encountered and struggled with. Both collaborating senior scholars are eligible for salary support.

  3. Analyzing the normative implications of empirical research you are conducting with other funding (new). Some researchers are able to obtain funding from other sponsors to carry out empirical research on a bioethics dilemma or issue, but lack protected time to write about the conceptual or normative implications of the findings of this empirical research. We will fund investigators to write conceptual or normative analyses, providing that the empirical study is well-designed and the findings interesting. These grants may have only one investigator.

  4. Empirical bioethics research involving primary data collection (new). We will consider projects that involve the collection of primary data, are tightly linked to an active real-world bioethics problem or policy dilemma, and likely to contribute to its resolution. The research team must demonstrate the ability to carry out such projects within the proposed time frame. Methodology should be rigorous, with attention to response rates, representativeness of the sample, and bias in survey questions. Projects will receive priority if they show contained costs, for example by adding questions to already-funded survey projects or using research trainees whose salary is supported from other sources (provided that trainees do not have conflicting classwork or clinical responsibilities). Proposals to collect pilot or preliminary data for a larger project will not be considered. Partial salary support may be requested for staff to manage the budget/finances for very complex projects.

We expect grantees to disseminate their research through practical articles in one or more peer-reviewed journals that reach the appropriate audience for the topic studied, through presentations in relevant national and international professional meetings, and in other ways that will increase real-world impact.

Examples of the kinds of real-life bioethics problems grantees might address include:

  • Dilemmas raised by innovative biomedical research and new communication technologies.
  • Dilemmas from major changes in the delivery of U.S. health care resulting from the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Acts and private initiatives.
  • Dilemmas that are particularly salient -- and particularly ripe for analysis -- in certain cultural and ethnic communities, although they also involve people across the population.

In evaluating proposals the Foundation will consider:

  • The real-world importance of the bioethics problem to be studied and the likelihood the project will have a constructive real-world impact.
  • The innovative nature of the project's approach.
  • The professional background of the proposed investigators, and their close, working familiarity with the practical bioethics problems to be addressed.
  • The previous success of the principal investigator in carrying out similar projects (mentoring, collaboration, normative implication of empirical research, or primary data collection).
  • The success of the investigators publishing practical bioethics articles, similar to what is proposed, in top-tier journals with a broad audience.
  • The reasonableness of the budget. All things being equal, projects with smaller budgets will receive priority.

While we will give strong preference to proposals that meet these criteria, we will also consider exceptional proposals that meet our strategic goal of supporting bioethics research that will have a real-world impact. More than one applicant may apply from each institution.

Projects with the following characteristics will not be funded:

  • Projects that implement or make incremental improvements in established approaches to bioethics problems, build institutional infrastructure, or provide bioethics education, training or course work.
  • Projects that simply describe or analyze bioethics issues or provide a conceptual framework, without making practical recommendations for resolving the issues. However, projects that present normative recommendations that are based on previous empirical research are encouraged.
  • Proposals to gather pilot or preliminary data for a larger project.
  • Projects whose main goal is to convene or enhance a meeting.
  • Projects to support or extend ongoing or core activities of an organization. Applications from unaffiliated individuals and from institutions outside the U.S. The Greenwall Foundation awards grants only to tax-exempt institutions in the U.S.

Application Process

Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:00pm ET – Deadline for email inquiry. We encourage applicants with projects already in development to submit their inquiries before the deadline. Please direct all inquiries to applications@greenwall.org with the subject “Primary investigator’s last name, first name, title of proposal, either ‘Mentored’, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Normative’, or ‘Empirical’ Making a Difference LOI”. Please send a 400-600 word e-mail of inquiry including:

  • Title
  • Type of project: senior collaboration, mentored project, normative implications, or primary data collection
  • A one sentence summary of the project for a lay audience
  • The bioethics problem to be addressed
  • The specific aims of the project
  • The nature of peer-reviewed publication(s) from the project and how the journal audience includes key individuals who can change practice or policy regarding the problem.
  • How the proposed project is innovative and goes beyond the current work on the problem, particularly in its potential to have a real-world impact
  • Names of the proposed research team. Please attach copies of CV's (no more than 3 pages each, highlighting publications relevant to the this application) of the two main investigators (or mentee and mentor).
  • The amount and duration of funding requested.

Selected applicants will be encouraged to submit a full application. Some applicants will receive
feedback on issues to be specifically addressed or clarified.

Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:00pm ET– Deadline for full applications, by invitation only.

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