Community-University Research Partnership Grants for New Brunswick 2017-2018

Overview
Significant benefits ensue when universities and communities collaborate on research resulting in both scholarly publication and community action. Recognizing Rutgers’ responsibility to be a strong partner in New Brunswick, the Office of Community Affairs is administering a grant program with awards up to $25,000 to support community-based research.

Community-University Research Partnership Grants for New Brunswick will do the following:

  • Address one or more of the following topics: public health, safety and wellness; cultures and diversity; sustainability and innovation; and citizenship, leadership and youth development.
  • Involve a partnership between a Rutgers faculty member and an identified community organization
  • Yield results both scholarly and practical, of benefit to the community
  • Utilize the best practices for community-university research practices

Community Partners
Proposals require clear evidence of a strong commitment from at least one community partner that will be directly involved in the project. A “community partner” is defined as a nonprofit group or public entity residing in New Brunswick and providing local services. Community partners may be required to provide proof of their 501c3 status.

Who Can Apply
Although a faculty member or a community organization may initiate ideas for proposals, a Rutgers faculty member must write and submit the proposal, actively serve as the P.I., and assume financial responsibility for the project.

Tenured, tenure-track, and full-time clinical and research (supported by non-state funding) faculty are eligible to apply. Faculty members who submit proposals must actively serve as the proposed project’s co-director and may not sponsor a project that will be conducted by someone else. Community organization representatives, administrators, and students can participate as project co-directors with a faculty member.

Award Timeline

  • The application period has passed. Please check back in fall 2017 for information on new grant opportunities.

Application

  • Electronic submissions are required.
  • Application packets should be saved as one PDF document and submitted through the NB Grant Application site in Sakai.
  • Application packets must include:
    • completed grant application form no longer than four pages
    • completed budget form
    • letter of endorsement and commitment from the community partner organization
    • an abbreviated CV of the P.I. that demonstrates related research (two pages maximum)
  • Grant application forms longer than four pages will not be reviewed (not including the budget form, letter of endorsement, and abbreviated CV).
  • Use Times New Roman, 11 pt. font on the grant application form.
  • The application should include a list of activities, milestones, and contributions the grant will make to the community, and a project timeline.
  • The application should also briefly state how the grant addresses the six components of a successful partnership (listed below).
  • A defined process for communicating project results with the community partner organization must be outlined in the narrative and address ownership of results.
  • No grants will be awarded to previous recipients who have not fulfilled the terms of the requirements of a previous grant.
  • A faculty member may submit only one application, and one faculty member should apply for a collaborative group.
  • Proposals must adhere to the Best Practices of University and Community Research Partnerships and IRB guidelines and procedures.
  • Faculty co-directors must confirm that they have read and will abide by the New Brunswick Community-University Research Partnerships Tutorial.

Selection Criteria
Evaluation of proposals will be made by the University Engagement Committee–New Brunswick (in consultation with community partners). Proposals should have a direct and demonstrable positive impact on residents of New Brunswick. These grants are designed to foster new programs, research, and partnerships; however, grants may be awarded to a new facet of an existing program or initiative if it expands or enhances the project substantially.

Successful partnerships are all marked by common characteristics, whether a project is large or small, simple or complex, or research- or service-based. Successful proposals will embrace the following:

  1. Mutual respect and trust grow from the belief that each party brings valuable assets to the collaboration and values the other’s interests as equal to its own.
  2. Clear communication incorporates both effective practices and meaningful discourse to bridge differences in language, culture, and tradition as well as address the unique organizational constraints and capabilities of each partner.
  3. Flexibility allows partners to manage unexpected changes while remaining focused on achieving the project’s goals.
  4. Cultural understanding extends to an appreciation that community organizations differ from each other—and from academia—in fundamental ways, from goals and values to timelines and staffing.
  5. Shared authority for assigning roles and responsibilities allows all partners to feel comfortable deferring to others in support of the wider goals of the project.
  6. Reciprocity—values the goals of both the community (positive change) and the university (new knowledge)—ensuring that all partners are equally invested. 

The most effective partnerships incorporate practices that are known to support success and avoid problems. Best practices include the following:

  1. Establishing mutually agreed upon goals and strategies for achieving the purpose of the research and fulfilling the needs of each partner.
  2. Creating effective communication structures that express clear expectations, recognize progress, and allow constructive feedback.
  3. Defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations and documenting them in a written agreement appropriate to the size and scope of the project.
  4. Establishing agreement on the disposition of data, including its ownership, interpretation, and dissemination.
  5. Developing a plan for reporting research findings that is agreeable to all partners, especially when those findings might be sensitive for the community.

Reports
Grant recipients must submit a mid-year update by January 2, 2018 and a final report by September 1, 2018. Mid-year reports should be no longer than one page and include a project status including activities, meetings, milestones, and concerns.

Final reports should contain clear statements about research accomplishments, active outcomes, contributions to the community and constituencies served, and research publication plans in addition to a complete budget accounting. Final reports may be no more than four pages in Times New Roman font, at 11 pt. size or greater.

Budget Guidelines

  • Use the attached budget form when submitting your proposed budget. You may attach a brief statement explaining items within your budget, if needed.
  • Budgetary oversight and control will reside with your collegiate department or appropriate dean’s office. Consult with these units when developing your budget proposal.
  • Resources are state funds and thus are subject to the rules and policies governing state funding. No permanent hiring may be done.
  • Budget categories must include only one-time costs. Grant funds are temporary and may not be used for permanent on-going costs.
  • When developing your proposal, consider unanticipated or “hidden” costs. For instance, consider the costs of supplies, postage, mailings, etc. No additional support will be available for unanticipated expenses.
  • Non-fundable expenses include student tuition, conference attendance, course buyouts, meals/food not directly related to project programming, indirect costs, and expenses that occurred prior to approval of the project.
  • Fundable expenses include costs incurred by community partners, summer salary for faculty, and hourly wages for post-doc, graduate and undergraduate students, or part-time employees. Remember to budget for applicable fringe costs.
  • Awarded funds will be transferred to the appropriate department once all required paperwork is received by the Office of Community Affairs.
  • Any funds remaining at the end of the project must be returned.
  • Some awards may be less than the requested amount.

Support and Questions
The Office of Community Affairs serves as the coordinating office for this grant program. For more information contact Melissa Selesky, Director, Rutgers–New Brunswick Community Relations at 848-932-0598 or selesky@rutgers.edu.