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Frequently Asked Questions for the Ignite the Spark Scholars Program

2024 Call for Applications

The application period for the Ignite the Spark Scholars Program (ISSP) opened on March 1st 2024! Submit a completed application packet and project budget by June 1st 2024 via email to [email protected] to be considered for this one-time 15-month, $72,000 grant scholars in residence program.

Program FAQs

To advance our understanding of the impact of structural racism on health, the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE, pronounced "care") is launching the Ignite the Spark Scholars Program (ISSP). This one-time 15-month program aims to build a critical mass of interdisciplinary scholars focused on measures and approaches to understanding and dismantling structural racism. Up to six grants of up to $72,000 each will be awarded.

Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about grant logistics, community partners, study methods, and scholar activities. For more information or to submit your application, email [email protected].

FAQs about Grant Logistics and Funding

  1. Please define 'high risk” studies in funding considerations

“High risk” includes studies that are innovative but may be in an early stage of development to do well in a traditional peer review process. 

  1. Should the academic institution serve as the lead applicant? Would public sector organizations (e.g., county health department) be eligible to apply?

Academic and non-academic institutions may serve as the lead applicant.  For example, a county or state health department can  serve as the lead applicant. Both academic and non-academic institutions will need to identify a community partner. 

  1. If an applicant’s academic institution changes between the time that they apply and the time that they receive the award, will applicants be able to receive the grant? (e.g., A postdoctoral fellow currently on the job market)

Applicants who change their institutional affiliation will still be eligible to receive funding, but the applicant will need to update the ISSP Coordinator about any changes to their institutional status.

  1. Can applicants incorporate their ISSP-related work in NIH/CDC grant applications submitted during their program participation?

We encourage applicants to do so.


FAQs about Community Partners 

  1. Should I identify my community partner organization in the project narrative?

We would like for you to provide a brief description  of  your community  partner organization and the nature of your collaboration in the project narrative.

  1. What type of incentive can I offer my community partner in return for their partnership?

You can offer your community partner a financial incentive  for their participation, which can be included in the budget submitted with your application. 

  1. Can  an academic research society or an academic affinity group serve as a community partner? Should a community partner organization directly engage with different populations?

Examples of community partner organizations include non-profit or volunteer organizations, government agencies, businesses, providers, neighborhood associations– organizations outside university settings.  Community organizations such as non-profit organizations typically advocate or serve specific populations or communities.


FAQs about Study Methods

  1. Will qualitative research studies be funded?

We are open to studies that use qualitative,  quantitative or mixed methods.

  1. Should the grant application have 1-3 aims? Or given the year timeline only 1 primary measurement aim?

We would advise limiting your application to one or two aims given the 15-month award period.

  1. While I’m an active member in my community, I’m still a researcher who does not want to tell community partners what I think they need. Can applicants submit proposals focused on collecting data such as ethnography or needs assessments?

Applicants can submit proposals focusing on ethnography or needs assessment, but the application must focus on measuring structural racism and population health. 

  1. What does "measurement of structural racism" specifically entail? For example, would assessing mental health help-seeking behaviors or marital satisfaction for the BIPOC community be considered measuring structural racism and be accepted for funding?

We will consider applications that examine  novel measures and approaches to studying the effects of  structural racism on different outcomes including mental health and marital satisfaction.   We encourage all applicants to familiarize themselves with the readings included in the Call for Applications under What Kind of Projects  will be Funded.

  1. Can applicants submit novel research ideas that require early pilot data with no previous publications/reports or not yet written on the topic?  Or should the research ideas be supported by existing work so this grant will further the idea/measurement/related knowledge?

We will  consider applications that are designed to collect  new pilot data  as well as  applications based on the applicant's prior work 

  1. Do applicants need to incorporate multiple measures of structural racism?

Applicants can focus on  a single or multiple  measures of structural racism.

  1. Can applicants use validated instruments that they did not develop?

Applicants can take advantage of  existing measures of structural racism, but may wish to discuss how they plan to adapt or improve upon them  


FAQs about ISSP Scholar Activities

  1. Where will the national conferences take place? Should applicants estimate travel expenses in their proposed budget?

Applicants should include travel expenses for the two retreats and national covenings. Details about the two national convenings (2024 and 2025) will be posted on the ISSP CARHE website. The 2024 national convening will be hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

  1. Are the Peer Learning Communities of Practice (PLCP) informal or formal discussions? 

The Peer Learning Communities of Practice are informal discussions facilitated by ISSP scholars . Topics will be generated by ISSP scholars  to foster agency and ownership and facilitate their research.  The main purpose of these gatherings will be to create space for emerging and mid-career scholars to share their thoughts and perspectives, and to build a supportive community.

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • January 29, 2024: CFA  released
  • February 22, 2024 (2:00 - 3:00 PM CT): Applicant Informational Meeting via Zoom. 
  • March 1, 2024: Application Period Opens 
  • June 1, 2024 (5:00 PM CT): Deadline for full applications
  • Mid-June 2024: Finalists Interviews via Zoom
  • July 1, 2024: Notice of Awards
  • September 2, 2024: Onboarding & Fellowship Start Date
Accepting applications now!

The ISSP application period opened on March 1st 2024! Submit a completed application packet and project budget by June 1st 2024 via email to [email protected].

Funding Recognition

The Ignite Spark Scholars Program (ISSP) is funded by an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (R. Hardeman, PI). Dr. Rachel Hardeman is the Principle Investigator for the ISSP, and Dr. Rhonda Jones-Webb is the Administrative Director.

This page was last updated on Monday, 2024 Apr 01.

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