grant funding

The South Jersey Institute for Population Health (SJIPH), established by the the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors (Joint Board) to improve health outcomes in our region, is pleased to announce its inaugural funding initiative for 2021. SJIPH’s Call for Proposals will fund research projects that involve collaborations between Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden, and community-based organizations in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

counties served

Funding Dollars

Ongoing Projects

main goals

The funding cycle has two main goals:

Advance research and improve health outcomes

Individual research projects should use a population health or population medicine approach to directly improve health, build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities in southern New Jersey. Special consideration will be given to projects that focus on COVID-19 related impacts or COVID-19 identified disparities. In addition, projects should consider the social determinants of health and produce both general knowledge and community impact. Social determinants of health are defined by the World Health Organization as the conditions in which people are born,grow, live, work, and age, and which contribute to global health disparities.

Serve as a foundation for establishing a data hub for research that advances our region

Collectively, the portfolio of funded projects should support the development of the South Jersey Institute for Population Health by building two-way collaborations between community organizations and higher education partners at Rowan and Rutgers, initiating projects that can secure sustainable funding, and contributing data to the Institute. An important motivation of this funding cycle is to lay the groundwork for ongoing regional collaborations that can integrate current fractured data sources together to inform research and influence population health programs.

information session

On May 5, co-leads Sarah Allred and Nicole Vaughn hosted an information session about the inaugural funding initiative. An overview was provided and key questions were answered. This session was recorded and the slides are also available for download below.


The funding process is iterative.

Prospective grantees first submit a brief letter of intent by June 4, 2021.

After initial review, some applicants will be invited to a day-long sandbox meeting in late October 1, 2021
where applicants will meet colleagues across the region and partner with facilitators to improve funding proposals.

Final proposals will be due by November 1, 2021, with funding decisions made by December 15, 2021.


Letters of Intent (LOIs)

Prospective grantees must submit a short letter-of-intent by June 4, 2021 through the submission portal here. The Letter-Of-Intent submission portal asks prospective grantees to answer questions in the following areas: (1) content of research idea; (2) collaborative team; (3) data sharing; (4) impact; (5) sustainability; (6) budget.

Sandbox Meeting October 1, 2021

Teams selected from the LOIs should plan to attend the Sandbox Meeting at the Joint Health Sciences Building on October 1. This meeting will serve three purposes: (a) clearly communicate to potential grantees the goals of the research funding; (b) bring researchers with related interests and complementary skills together; (c) produce, during the meeting, proposal outlines that can be guided to full research proposals. During the meeting, prospective grantees will participate in planning sessions organized by clusters of interest, skills, and data ideas. Each group will include a facilitator provided by SJIPH. At the meeting, facilitators and potential grantees will develop proposal outlines. The goal is a collaborative rather than competitive environment.


Final Proposals

Final proposals will be due on November 1, 2021 and will also be submitted through the application portal. Applicants will be asked to provide more detailed responses to the same questions asked in the LOI process.



Final funding decisions will be made by December 15, 2021. Funding will be released through 2022, and projects are anticipated to last through Spring 2023. The funding period is 12 months. Budgets should be planned for this time frame. Reporting requirements will be outlined at the sandbox meeting. All funded projects will be expected to provide brief updates on their project progress and data on a quarterly basis.



Application question: What is your project idea?

In 250 words or less, briefly outline your project idea. The proposal must identify the specific priority population(s) under study and address the goals of the funding initiative outlined above on this page.

Evaluation criteria:
Does the project employ a population health or population medicine approach to directly improve health,build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities in Southern New Jersey. Does it focus on COVID-19 related impacts or disparities and consider the social determinants of health? Does the project focus clearly on a population?


Application question: Who is your collaborative team?

Instructions: Please list each primary member of your collaborative team. Include email contact information and either attach or include a link to evidence of qualifications for the collaborative team. (For faculty, this might be a CV; for community partners, this could include a link to the organization’s website). Primary members include those involved in proposal design. Secondary members (those who might be involved with project implementation) do not need to be mentioned. Teams will also indicate if they are new or established teams.

Evaluation criteria:
Priority will be given to projects that include representation from Rowan, Rutgers, and members of the population covered by the project idea. Community organizations serving the population count as community members. All projects must include academic and community partners. Do team members have the expertise needed to complete the project?


Application question: What data will your project produce that can be shared with the South Jersey Institute for Population Health?

Instructions: In 150 words or less, describe what data your project might produce and how this data could be leveraged by others to improve health, build capacity, and/or reduce health disparities.

Evaluation criteria:
Will the project include data to support the long-term goals of the South Jersey Institute for Population Health to integrate fractured data, inform research, influence population health programming in the region and become a valuable public resource? Note: For those who are unsure about data sharing, help will be provided at the Sandbox Meeting.


Application question: What academic impact will your project have? What community impact will your project have?

Instructions: In 200 words or less, briefly describe the possible academic and community impacts of your project. Select which regions (from 8-county region) in South Jersey your project will impact.

Evaluation: Will the project produce scholarly products (such as papers?) Will the project impact the population under study? How? For example, a study on the effects of food insecurity on behavioral health in schools might include as an academic impact a scholarly article on the findings, and as a population impact, a brief advocating for state resources to the school district working with the researchers.This is just one example. Benefits to the population under study could include direct services, provision of data, community-facing publications, support for acquisition of other resources, and other direct/indirect benefits.


Application question: How can this project lead to future funding?

Instructions: In 150 words or less, provide ideas about how the project can be sustained over time.Possible sources of funding could include foundations, governments, or state and federal funding agencies. If the project is a smaller, clearly-defined project, then explain how results from this project could serve as the basis for other projects. If known, provide specific funding mechanisms. (E.g. “NSF Smart and Connected Communities” is better than “NSF”; specific NIH institutes and mechanism R01, R21,etc., RWJF specific funding program, etc.).

Evaluation: Is the project sustainable? How likely is the project to secure future funding?


Application question: Please describe broadly the categories of expenditures and the total amount requested..

Instructions: In 150 words or less, describe in broad strokes the uses of the funding. Specific amounts are not necessary at this juncture. For example,categories could be staff time, human subjects payment or equipment. Applicants should also indicate the total amount requested. Most projects will be funded between $10,000 and $20,000. Exceptional projects with broad reach may be considered for additional funding. See below for budget guidelines.

Evaluation: Does the budget fit with the scope of the proposed project? Is the budget consistent with the guidelines?


New and Established Partnerships
An important goal of this funding cycle is to build capacity for ongoing collaborative research. Some prospective grantees will be part of teams newly formed to address this call for proposals, while other teams will be established. Newer teams will likely require more technical assistance and help,whereas established teams may develop significant funding proposals on their own. Prospective grantees should indicate whether they are part of a newly formed or established team, and the review process will aim to fund both types of teams. Established teams will likely have stronger initial proposals, but we run the risk of perpetuating the disparities we seek to eliminate if we only fund groups with sufficient capacity and resources to do this work on their own. We also inadvertently disadvantage newer groups from forming, and this may inhibit new areas of interest and research in new populations. For the purposes of this cycle, “established” teams have a track record of working together to secure funding, while“new” teams are those that have desire and motivation to work together, but have not previously had the capacity to secure funding.

Portfolio of Projects
The call for proposals is broad, and we recognize that creating a sustainable institute will require a diversity of projects. In addition to traditional research projects, prospective grantees are encouraged to consider additional types of projects, such as: (a) projects that include the gathering, interpretation, and/or dissemination of South Jersey data to relevant stakeholders, including academic audiences, community organizations, community members, health care providers,policy makers, and funders. Data that support clear action around health and health disparities in South Jersey are particularly encouraged; (b) projects that focus on capacity building or relationship development between different stakeholders in health (community members, community organizations, health care systems, healthcare providers, researchers); (c) projects that implement or evaluate plans to reduce health disparities; (d) projects that focus on the development of the data infrastructure needed to support the South Jersey Institute for Population Health.

The inaugural funding cycle will consist of up to 10 projects funded at $20,000- $40,000 for a total of $240,000. A smaller number of exceptional proposals may be funded at higher levels. Projects that can identify matching funds and/or include in-kind support should be submitted. Individual budget determinations will be made by the reviewing committee. Allowable expenses include: % effort for PI/Co-PI (capped at no more than 20% of the grant), hourly student wages, supplies, materials,equipment, mileage reimbursement for study-related travel, travel for students to attend professional conferences, software, data analysis/evaluation. Non-allowable costs to include: food (except as related to human-subjects research), equipment exceeding $3000, and publication subvention.

application portal

Ready to apply? Submissions should be made by May 31, 2021 using this portal. The application process is meant to be simple and provide reviewers with a general overview of the project, partners, objectives and budget.

If you have questions, please reach us at


What makes SJIPH unique is its collaborative focus. We encourage academic and community partners to reach out to us if they would like to participate but may not be currently paired with a team. Please provide a very brief description of your interest and expertise and a member of the team will be in touch with you.

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