NIH released a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) called the “Community Infrastructure Grants Program” with up to $30 million in fiscal years 2009-2010 to fund 30 or more grants. This grant program funding supported by the Recovery Act will be used to develop, expand, or reconfigure the infrastructure needed to enable academic health centers and community-based organizations to collaborate on health science research.
Communities are key consumers of NIH-supported health science research and it is important for this research information to be filtered and presented to the American public. However, NIH recognizes that in order for health science research to reach the public, communities must have the opportunity to be actively engaged in the research, and also be active in formulating research questions.
NIH will establish the role of the Community Research Associate who will be a community representative and service as a primary liaison facilitating communication and collaboration between the academic health center and the local community.
One example for a community-linked infrastructure project could be collaborations that develop or expand telehealth networks linking academic health centers and health care providers in rural and other medically underserved areas. This could be accomplished by leveraging existing telehealth and related programs (e.g. HRSA, IHS, USDA, and other agency resources) to increase community capacity for clinical and translational research.
Another example would be to develop collaborations that establish or expand community-based infrastructure in medically underserved areas, including health promotion, disease prevention research, and dissemination of the information.
The FOA is particularly directed towards Academic Health Centers, but all public and private institutions of higher education, non-profits, small businesses, for profits other than small businesses, state governments, county governments, regional organizations, and others are invited to apply.
The notice was published September 18, 2009. The earliest date that an application may be submitted is November 11, 2009 with Letters of Intent to be received by November 12, 2009. The application due date is December 11, 2009 with the earliest anticipated start date to be July 2010. For more information, go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-09-010.html.