EGRP News Flash - September 24, 2009

New ARRA Funding Opportunity for Building Sustainable Community-linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established a new program entitled Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research, hereafter called the "Community Infrastructure" grants program. This NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), supported by funds provided to the NIH under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, solicits applications from domestic (United States) institutions/organizations proposing to support the development, expansion, or reconfiguration of infrastructures needed to facilitate collaboration between academic health centers (AHC) and community-based organizations for health science research.

In this community research infrastructure program, NIH establishes the role of Community Research Associate (CRA), who will be a community representative and serve as a primary liaison facilitating communication and collaboration between the academic health center and the local community. Applicants must identify at least one CRA and include a biosketch. It must be demonstrated and documented in some manner that the CRA can represent the community's needs and will. The NIH envisions that CRA's will be respected community members such as local health officials, leaders of community-based organizations, or community health care providers, with a successful track record in community-based programs and projects. It is critical that this person be invested with the authority to bring the community's views and opinions into negotiations and discussions with AHC program staff. The CRA will work closely with the PDs/PIs on the conceptualization and implementation of the transformative, sustainable infrastructure apparatus that the local award seeks to establish. The CRA is responsible for and accountable to the community and the collaboration as a whole for the proper conduct of the project or program, including sharing in decisions and appropriate distribution, sharing, and stewardship of resources. The identity and proposed role of the CRA in the project should be described in detail.

Illustrative examples of potential community-linked infrastructure projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborations that develop community organizations' infrastructure for developing tools and skills for building research portfolios.
  • Collaborations that establish or expand community-based infrastructure (i.e. core facilities, equipment, personnel) for collaborative clinical and translational research addressing health disparities in medically underserved areas, including health promotion, disease prevention research and dissemination.
  • Collaborations that develop or expand telehealth networks linking academic health centers and health care providers in rural and other medically underserved areas by leveraging existing telehealth and related programs to increase community capacity for clinical and translational research.

To ensure efficient use of Recovery Act funds as well as maximize the likelihood of sustainability beyond the funding period, projects should build upon existing infrastructure and resources wherever feasible. The sustainability potential of projects may also be demonstrated through existing partnerships with local philanthropic organizations, foundations, or local and state governments. Organizational infrastructure may include, but need not be limited to, existing collaborative structures such as the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science Awards, Research Centers in Minority Institutions, and Institutional Development Awards interuniversity consortia including shared library and information technology infrastructures, and existing academic/community outreach collaboratives such as the Cooperative Extension Service, among others.

Letters of Intent are due November 12, and applications are due by December 11, 2009. NIH has designated up to $30 million in Fiscal Years 2009 - 2010 to fund 30 or more grants, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications. Because the nature and scope of the proposed projects will vary amongst applications, it is anticipated that the size of each award will vary. However, applicants' budget proposals are limited to a maximum of $1 million in total costs over the entire project period. The planned duration of the proposed projects issued under this FOA may not exceed three years. Grants will be awarded upfront and in full as a single budget period.

NCI Contact: Shobha Srinivasan, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences; e-mail:

  • Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for details: RFA-OD-09-010External Web Site Policy.

Return to Top