County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County

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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Are state or local health departments eligible to apply?

Yes, health departments are eligible to apply for these funds. Applications must be submitted by an educational institution, a tax-exempt government agency or nonprofit organization that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3).

Are you willing to accept two distinct brief proposals from the same institution?

Yes, we will accept two distinct brief proposals from the same institution, because we recognize that proposals may come from different departments or research groups within the same institution, but we will not fund two projects from the same PI.

Application Format & Budget

Could you please clarify the difference between the experience section, the work plan, and the personnel portion of the budget narrative?

In the section on experience, applicants have an opportunity to summarize in 1 paragraph (150 words) the expertise of key personnel.

The work plan is an opportunity to provide information about the anticipated timeline, roles for key personnel, and if a collaborative effort, how the proposal team will be working together.

The personnel portion of the budget offers an opportunity to provide information on salary and percent effort and detail justifying the distribution of anticipated expenditures or noting any in-kind contributions.

Do we need to submit the background information on research personnel in NIH biosketch format?

We are looking for concise documentation (4 pages or less) of the investigator(s) research experience and expertise relevant to successfully completing the proposal. The NIH format is only a suggested guideline.

Can I provide additional background material in the form of another appendix?

For the brief proposal stage, we are seeking applications that concisely convey a well-formulated research question, and demonstrated expertise and capacity of the research team/organization to successfully execute the proposal. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants can provide additional information and background materials relevant to the proposal. Well-articulated and concise proposals are desired.

What is the source of funding for this CFP? Do the available funds cover total cost, or just direct cost?

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is the source of funding and available funds are for total costs.

Can the budget be up to $300,000 or $100,000 in total for complex/comprehensive studies?

There is a total of $300,000 in funding available under this Call for Proposals. We intend to fund more than one proposal and therefore put forth guidelines (e.g., $100,000 for complex/comprehensive studies) for the range of funding levels we’d be looking to disperse for any one proposed study/research institution.

Can you please tell me if the $50,000 maximum on "small studies" includes the 12% indirect costs, or are applicants able to add the indirect costs on top of the $50,000?

Applicants should structure their budgets according to total anticipated costs. The $50,000 figure for small studies is a guideline for what would be considered a “small study”.

Data & Methods

Would a focus on state-level analysis be considered for funding under this CFP?

The unit of analysis will depend on the study design you are proposing.  For quantitative studies, we ask that analyses are done at the county level or lower so that the findings can be applied to the current ranking system, which ranks nearly all of the counties in the nation. Qualitative or mixed methods approaches, by their design, may use other levels of analysis.

Can my proposal address research on a measure that may not have data availability for every county? Does my proposal need to include analysis of a proposed metric in all counties?

Proposals to examine factors at the county level for which there may not be the same data availability in each state will be considered for funding. Currently, there are some Rankings measures that do not have data for every county either due to sample size or data steward issues (e.g. a few BRFSS measures, air pollution measures).

For this proposal, it is not necessary to test a proposed county-level measure nationwide. However, the ideal is that all counties have data available for Rankings measures, so it would be important to understand whether a proposed metric has the potential to be replicated and scaled for all counties.

Where can I locate the data sources and description of the Rankings measures?

Data for the Rankings can be found here. The excel file contains information on data sources and county-level data for each metric (also sortable by FIPS code).