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Community Engagement
Grant Applications Resources


A recording of this session is now available - click here to view the session slides. 


Frequently Asked Questions
Program & Eligibility
  • What is the difference between the Community Health Grants and Partnership Development Grants?

    • The Community Health Grants are larger (up to $20,000) and are intended for existing partnerships, whereas the smaller (up to $5,000) Partnership Development Grants are intended for newer partnerships and projects. Existing partnerships often have worked together on research projects or events before.

  • How do I know if my partnership is eligible for a grant?

    • The Community Engagement Core grants are intended for community-academic partnerships, meaning that the partnership must consist of at least one community member/organization and one academic partner. An academic partner is a member of a research institution such as the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Miami University, Xavier, etc. Community partners typically are 501c3 nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, or governmental agencies (such as a health department).

  • What/who do you consider an “academic partner”?

    • The three major institutions locally are Cincinnati Children’s, the VA, and University of Cincinnati. In the past several years, this definition of an academic partner has changed. An academic partner may be from any academic institution in the region. For example, Xavier and Northern Kentucky as well as other local institutions are considered to be academic health institutions and are now eligible to serve as academic partners.

  • If it is a faith-based organization, does it still need to have an academic component?

    • Yes, we have and will fund those types of organizations or partnerships.

  • How many proposals do you usually get?

    • Typically we receive 20 to 25 proposals (for both grants combined) each year, but this has increased every year over the past several years since the Partnership Development Grant has been developed.

  • How many projects/proposals do you usually fund?

    • It depends upon on how much funding the organization or individual needs for the community project. On average, the CEC funds 7-10 projects each year.


Letter of Intent
  • What is the letter of intent (LOI)?

    • The Letter of Intent (LOI) is OPTIONAL, but STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. This process is designed to:

      • Allow the Community Health Grant Reviewers to know how many applications to expect

      • Identify/red flag any applicants that do not align with the Community Health Grant

      • These applicants will be notified so they can resubmit their LOI and/or application

  • Why should I bother submitting an LOI if it is optional?

    • All applicants who submit an LOI will get tailored feedback to help prepare their proposal. The LOI and the LOI feedback is submitted to the reviewers with the proposal to review how applicants addressed feedback.

  • Can I change my proposal after I submit the LOI?

    • An LOI does not guarantee funding and is nonbinding: proposals can be different than the LOI proposals and partners.


Proposals and Budgets
  • When you say improving health, do you take a more social approach to health?

    • We view health holistically and across the lifespan. Mental health, social-emotional health, child development, and well-being are all elements that we consider to be part of our conceptualization of health. See our website for a sample of health areas we love to see in our inbox!

  • Can you submit just one community project or can you submit for multiple?

    • Yes, you can submit for multiple, unique community projects.

  • What are you allowed to spend money on when you are funded?

    • There are a variety of things to consider when applying for funding. There are four issues that we commonly see when reviewing proposals. The first is making a solid and realistic estimate for the effort put into the project based on the timeline. Secondly, we like to see how much money will be going to the community and the academic partner. The third issue is when the equipment and supplies that are needed completely overwhelms the budget. We like to see an even allocation to the appropriate resources. Finally, if there is no real plan for evaluation taken into consideration for the budget, we will not fund the project.

    • Note that CCTST funding is for direct costs only; no facilities and administration costs are included. Funding may not be used for operating support or salaries for existing programs. Funds may also not be used for duplicative programs or purposes. Funding cannot be used for journal fees.

  • How important is it to already have the evidence-base already there?

    • There are times when we are approaching a community project from a blank slate. However, it is important to identify the strategies or evaluation processes which are evidence-based that you will use for the specific population you are trying to reach.


Review Process
  • When you give feedback to the individuals or organizations submitting proposals, do you attempt to connect them with others who are either doing the same work or who have applied previously?

    • Yes, we definitely put people into contact with others in the community who are already doing the same type of work.

  • Will you post a list of previous proposals that have been funded?

    • Yes, there are lists of projects that have been funded in the past on the CHG and PDG webpages.

  • What is considered during the grant review process?

    • All proposals are reviewed by at least 3 members of the Community Partner Council Research Subcommittee (consists of Community and Academic members) without any conflicts of interest – at least one community reviewer and one academic reviewer scores every proposal.

    • Reviewers are charged with weighing the following areas:

      • Strengths of the project

      • Strengths of the partnership

      • CTSA priority areas

      • Potential impact

      • Funding amount


Grantee Responsibilities
  • What is the commitment after I receive the grant?

    • All grantees commit to complete the proposed project in a one-year grant period. Three progress report are due throughout the process - this is for us to track your progress with your project and help when needed. The CEC also collects some data to track the success and impact of the Institute.

  • What if we can’t finish in the one-year period?

    • If your partnership is unable to complete the project in one-year, a no-cost extension can be requested and reviewed by leadership for approval; however, feasibility of completing the project is the grant period is part of the review process and this should be a last resort.


Additional Resources
  • My organization has a great idea, but I need a partner and don’t know where to start!

    • We have played a match-making part in setting up connections for partners in related research areas upon request. Contact us for a consultation.

  • I missed the info session – can I still watch it?

    • A recording of the most recent Pre-Application Information Session and a copy of the slides are available soon.

  • Do you offer any consultations or help with applications and ideas?


Frequently Asked Questions
Application & Project
  • Do I have to type my application?

    • YES! To make it easiest to read your application, we require applications to be typed. If you need assistance with your application, contact us.

  • What is an auditor track for the CLI?

    • This is for someone who has an ID badge from UC, CCHMC, or the VA. Since you cannot receive a grant based on the stipulations of the CTSA grant, we can allow you to participate in the Community Leaders Institute without the funding. We do not require you to complete a project, but you still participate in all of the classes and the graduation ceremony. We have had individuals from a variety of disciplines participate in this role.

  • I’m not sure what track I should apply for?

    • Check out our flow chart - coming soon!

  • Can you apply for both the CLI and one of the grants?

    • Yes, you can apply for both. We have had applicants get into the CLI and receive grants as well as some receive one and not the other.

Questions about the CLI Program
  • Are the training sessions on a particular day?

    • Training sessions are typically held on Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 am or 12:30 to 3:30 pm depending on the sessions. The dates and times will be added to the website once everything is finalized with the instructors. A tentative schedule for the CLI is included in the application packet each year.

  • Can the community project be a spin-off of an existing project?

    • Yes, we want you to be successful and understand that this means it may be more feasible if your project is one piece of a larger project.

  • There is a follow-up mentioned six months later, can you talk about this?

    • Community Leaders Institute graduates submit a progress report due 6 months after your project begins and one year after the project begins. This is for us to track your progress with your project and help when needed. The CEC also collects some data to track the success and impact of the Institute.

Additional Resources
  • I really want to attend but I’m not sure how to plan my project.

    • The CEC offers technical assistance on project design. Email or call 513-803-0917 to discuss project options.

  • I missed the info session – can I still watch it?

    • A recording of the most recent Pre-Application Information Session and a copy of the slides will be available soon.

    • You can also view projects from past CLI attendees on the CLI webpage.

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