Call for Proposals: 2021-2022 Sara Lowther Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Memorial Fund

TEPHINET is pleased to announce the opportunity to submit full proposals for the Sara Lowther Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Memorial Fund. Infectious disease prevention and training future public health leaders were causes important to Dr. Lowther throughout her career. The Sara Lowther FETP Memorial Fund will support an award for a FETP fellow or recent graduate to conduct a project that makes significant contributions to infectious disease prevention and control in their home country.

The Sara Lowther FETP Memorial Fund small grants are awarded for a maximum of $1,000 (USD) and are funded through the generous support of the CDC Foundation and donations from Dr. Lowther’s family, friends, and colleagues. The award is being implemented in collaboration with CDC’s Workforce and Institute Development Branch.

All projects proposed for the 2021-2022 cycle of the Small Grants Program must be initiated and completed during the period of January 10, 2022 to August 31, 2022. The project must not involve other funders, and its budget should not exceed U.S. $1,000. Additionally, the project must be ready to start on January 10, 2022, with all necessary project approvals and related needs in place by that time.

Applicants are restricted to submitting one proposal. Multiple entries will result in disqualification.

When and how to apply

Please complete the full proposal application at this link by 11:45 p.m. Eastern Time on November 30, 2021.

Note: You must be logged into the TEPHINET website in order to access the application form.

Who can apply
  • Current FETP residents/trainees (intermediate or advanced) who have not previously received a TEPHINET small grant in any subject area and do not have another TEPHINET small grant in progress.
    • Residents/trainees who may graduate during the application or implementation period (i.e., during November 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022) can apply with the support of their FETP director.
  • The applicant (i.e., resident/trainee) must be the Principal Investigator (PI).
  • The applicant MUST identify an in-country subject matter expert (SME) at their ministry of health, academic institution, or public-private partnership who will serve as their in-country mentor for the duration of the grant-funded project. Applications that do not identify an in-country mentor will not be considered.
Priority will be given to:
  • Residents/trainees of the 2-year advanced FETPs from low- and lower-middle income countries (as per World Bank categorization).
  • Residents/trainees of FETPs with U.S. CDC Resident Advisors (RAs).
  • Residents/trainees who can demonstrate the ability to begin the project at the time the award is made and that the project’s scope can be successfully completed within 7 to 8 months.
  • Residents/trainees whose projects use innovative methodology or technologies.
Proposed projects should focus on:
  • Piloting or evaluating an infectious disease surveillance system; or
  • Analyzing and interpreting infectious disease data to provide prevention and control recommendations; or
  • Implementing and evaluating infectious disease prevention and control efforts.

Full Proposal Submission Guidelines

Non-Research Proposals

Please remember that small grants are only awarded to projects that are determined to be "non-research." Proposals must be able to demonstrate that the investigation is linked to a public health surveillance system, control program, or prevention program and provide concise documentation to that effect. Your proposed project should not be focused on generalizable research. Therefore, please avoid using the words "research" and "study" in your full proposal. While investigations may include human subjects, the primary objective should not be human subject research. For more information on non-research projects, please see the guidance document "Non-Research Proposal Reminder" that has been made available separately.

Full Proposal Document

Your full proposal document should be in English and should not exceed 5 pages of single-spaced text in 12-point font with normal margins.

The proposal should address the following sections:

  • Project title
  • Abstract (not more than 250 words)
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary investigations (if applicable)
  • Problem identification and definition
  • Justification
  • Goals and objectives (state goals in terms of public health purpose of the project)
  • Design and methods (include: investigation design; studied population; procedures related to data collection and data quality assurance; information on collaborating partners; etc.)
  • Interpretation and analysis plan (include: description of data collected; key table shells that show data organization; plans for tabulation, coding, and cleaning data; how will data be analyzed; etc.)
  • Reporting/dissemination plan for findings (include: description of planned reports; how findings will be disseminated; how you will communicate findings to partners; etc.)
  • Additional sections that will not be counted towards the 5-page limit:
    • Literature cited (start from fresh page; not counted in the 5-page limit)
    • Detailed budget along with justification narrative that covers a period not exceeding 7 months (not counted in the 5-page limit; use January 2020 as expected starting month; see template “Budget” that has been made available separately under the "Required Documents and Templates" section of this web page)
    • Indicative project timeline (not counted in the 5-page limit; see template "Timeline" that has been made available separately under the "Required Documents and Templates" section of this web page)

For additional information about the individual components usually included in a full proposal, please refer to the example reference document, "Development of a Small Grant Proposal for a NON-RESEARCH Project" that has been made available separately under the "Required Documents and Templates" section of this web page. A sample full proposal document has also been made available for your reference.

Budget and Timeline

Please provide a detailed budget for how the funds will be used and an indicative timeline for your project (see templates "Budget" and "Timeline" made available separately under the "Required Documents and Templates" section of this web page). All guidelines pertaining to allowable expenses on federal grants will be applicable for these awards. Moreover, funding will not be provided for: Principal Investigator/applicant stipends, books and subscriptions, or graduate student support and tuition remission.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the full proposal document, the following materials are also required for your submission to be considered complete:

  • A one-page summary of your proposal (not to exceed one page of single-spaced text in 12-point font with normal margins) with the following sections:
    • Project title
    • Project leader and collaborators/significant participants
    • Source of request (e.g., the divisions/departments within the Ministry of Health that are supporting the field investigation)
    • The public health activity (i.e., description of your project)
    • Goal and main objectives (stated as public health purpose of the project)
    • Data and human subject involvement (describe type and source of data collected)
    • Reporting (i.e., what do you expect to report and to whom)
  • Your latest curriculum vitae (C.V.)
  • A narrative description of your current position (to be submitted as a separate document)
  • NIH type biographical sketches for significant participants (see template “Biosketch” made available separately)
  • The abstract page(s) from all ongoing funded and pending project proposals that the PI (i.e., applicant) is undertaking
  • Letters of support from all collaborating institutions/agencies (e.g., hospital if using hospital data, etc.), FETPs, and/or Ministries of Health (MOH)
  • Evidence that you have applied for IRB (HRPP) approval at the same time as submitting your full proposal (e.g., documentation of HRPP # for pending review of the project). You do not need to submit evidence that you have received local IRB approval – at this time you’re only required to submit evidence that you have applied for local IRB approval. If your full proposal is selected for a grant award, then you will be required to provide evidence that you have received local IRB approval before you can receive the grant award.
Data Use Agreements

IMPORTANT: Prior to submitting the full proposal, applicants must verify that the data variables they plan to collect are indeed feasible to collect and can be included in the proposed analyses (e.g., test results, risk factors, etc.).

Overall Evaluation Criteria

Since your proposals will be reviewed by international reviewers, please describe any system, data source, abbreviation, etc. that may not be familiar to those outside your own country (e.g., how a boda boda driver system is set up, structure of healthcare system, data sources, etc.).

Your proposals should be succinct and written in English. Proposals will be subject to both scientific and programmatic review. The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals for funding consideration:

  • Significance of the problem being addressed
  • Scientific rigor and quality
  • Feasibility of completing the project in the indicated time (not to exceed 7 months)
  • Probability that the work will yield important information and will have lasting public health impact
  • Qualifications of the Principal Investigator (i.e., the applicant) and collaborators
  • Indication of a strong mentoring system: subject matter expert/mentor in relevant subject area from either the local Ministry of Health, your FETP, school of public health, and/or other relevant institutions
  • Use of new or innovative methodologies or technologies

Small grant awardees are expected to publish their findings in scholarly peer‐reviewed journals and present their research at professional gatherings (e.g., meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.).

At the completion of the project, it is recommended that a draft manuscript is submitted to TEPHINET for further consideration.

Any abstracts, publications, papers, and presentations resulting from project activities must cite contributing source(s) of funding and/or technical support (available from your point of contact at TEPHINET).

Please notify TEPHINET when you publish or present your work.