This announcement is to request research concept proposals on structural violence for the renewal application of the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Chicago, housed at the UIC Institute for Minority Health Research. The overall goal of CHER Chicago is to eliminate the effects of structural violence on health inequalities among racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. CHER is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD) and additional information, including our research portfolio, can be found in our website. We invite UIC faculty to submit R01- or R21-types concept projects. The selected projects (two or three) will be invited to become part of the Center’s renewal application and the PIs will work with the CHER team in the preparation of the submission.
The current thematic focus of CHER Chicago is structural violence– the multiple ways in which social, economic, and political systems expose particular populations to risks and vulnerabilities leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Our work is framed within NIMHD’s research framework as previously described. Proposals should contribute to CHER’s mission of advancing research on structural violence and health equity.
Research Priority Areas
The priority areas (within the framework of Structural Violence)for proposals include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Gun violence, law enforcement, police brutality within the context of racial justice
- Health promotion interventions (e.g., policy, community, and group levels)
- New technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality
- Rural and urban differences
- Intergenerational transmission of trauma
- Health inequities
Research projects may be observational or interventional studies, and are expected to use a transdisciplinary, multi-level perspective. Other innovative areas of research addressing the impact of structural violence (including those aligned with the NIMHD research framework and priority areas) are also welcomed.
Populations of Focus
The proposed research must focus on the following NIH-designated health disparity populations:
- Racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities
Community Partners & Other Stakeholders.
The CHER team will work with the PIs of the selected projects to facilitate collaborative and sustainable relationships with community and other stakeholders. Projects are encouraged to include a community partner with whom the researcher(s) will collaborate on the development, implementation, and dissemination aspects of the project. Additional partners may include departmental or private institutions, including, but not limited to federal or local government agencies, school districts, and healthcare providers.
Funding Period and Budget Amount
The anticipated funding period for R01-type research projects will be up to 5 years and for R21s will be up to 3 years. The budget amount will be determined later in collaboration with the Center MPIs (and following the NIMHD funding announcement) if the research project is selected to move to the next stage of full-proposal.
Principal Investigators (PIs) must be UIC faculty (either clinical, research, tenured, or tenure-track faculty). We also encourage investigators previously funded by our pilot funding program to submit their proposals. While we welcome collaborations across the University of Illinois System— particularly from Urbana-Champaign, Rockford, and Peoria— we prefer the leading PI(s) to be based on our Chicago Campus. CHER Chicago recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote racial justice in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences workforce. Thus, we highly encourage applications from individuals of backgrounds currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.
The concept proposal should be no longer than 2 single-space pages (excluding bio-sketches) and should include the following:
- Names and affiliations of all investigators and community partners
- Type of research (i.e., pre-clinical, clinical, public health, or a combination) and up to 5 project keywords
- Synopsis of proposed study and description of how it will address structural violence (should not exceed 250 words)
- Research goals and Specific aims (should not exceed 300 words)
- Proposed study design, study size, and timeline (should not exceed 400 words)
- Current NIH biosketch of the PI(s)
Concept proposals should be emailed to CHERChicago@uic.edu (with the email subject: CHER CHICAGO Concept Proposal – PI Last Name); the deadline to submit is Friday, October 29, 2021 by 5:00 PM (Central Time). Only completed proposal will be considered. Notification of proposal status to advance to Full-Proposal submission will occur during the Fall 2021 or early Spring 2022.
Key Evaluation Criteria
CHER Chicago’s MPIs and Co-Investigators will consider the following criteria when selecting research projects:
- Alignment with the overall thematic focus of CHER Chicago’s resubmission.
- Alignment between the research projects.
- Project builds upon Center PIs expertise and strengths in research.
- Faculty diversity, experience and expertise in health equity and structural violence research, and documented previous collaboration with CHER Chicago MPIs and Co-Investigators.
- Innovation and significance of research.
Following an initial review of concept proposals, selected applicants will be invited to discuss their idea with CHER leadership and to develop a full application (in collaboration with CHER investigators and Center personnel) for submission to NIMHD as part of the Center’s renewal application.
Additional Information and Questions
For questions, please contact Dr. Mayra Estrella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Sage, J.K., Ramirez-Valles, J., Watson, K., Allen-Meares, P., Matthews, P., Odoms-Young, A., Martinez, E., Daviglus, M. & Winn, R.A. (2020). Fostering health equity research: Development and implementation of the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Chicago. Journal of Clinical and Transactional Science, 4(1), 53-60. doi:10.1017/cts.2019.415.