Community-Engaged Research Request for Applications
Campus-Community Research Incubator Grant Program

Application Deadline: May 10, 2022

The Campus-Community Research Incubator Program (CCRI) is a small funding mechanism designed to foster collaborative research-oriented projects between university researchers and community organizations. Annually, there are two levels of grant funding available: 1. Pilot CCRI $8,000-$10,000 (for research applications) and 2. Mini CCRI $3,000-$5,000 (for capacity and partnership building applications). Potential applicants are encouraged to attend a workshop on general application preparation. A registration link for this workshop can be found below.

The estimated funding period is July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

All applications must be submitted electronically.


Grants are awarded only to teams comprised of UCI researchers and community organization representatives. Applicants can be:

  • 501(c)(3) community organizations located in southern California
  • UCI-based researchers, including faculty, healthcare providers, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, or senior researchers

Proposals must demonstrate an active engagement between UCI researchers and community representatives. Specifically, projects must demonstrate they are co-designed and clearly state the anticipated benefits to each partner.

All projects require regulatory compliance (e.g. UCI Human Research Institutional Review Board [IRB] approval or an exemption determination, required trainings) to be met prior to funds being released. It is recommended that the IRB application be submitted prior to final submission of this funding application. In addition to UCI IRB approval, community organizations may have their own IRB processes.

All personnel on proposals must take the Human Subjects Protections and HIPAA tutorial prior to funds being disbursed.

Tutorials: Human Subject Protection and HIPAA

Types of Awards

Research-based activities: Pilot CCRI $8,000-$10,000

  • Research activities include but are not limited to data collection, analyses, and/or pilot studies.
  • An example of a pilot CCRI is a study that will generate findings to be further studied or tested in a larger follow-up research study. Typically, CCRI funds are adequate to determine feasibility. Sometimes a statistically-significant sample can be obtained, but this is not an expected outcome of CCRI-funded projects. For information on the expectations and limitations of seed grant funding, please see this article:
  • Fifty-one percent (51%) of research funds must be distributed directly to the community partner.

Capacity- and partnership-building activities: Mini CCRI $3,000-$5,000

  • Capacity-building and project planning activities include but are not limited to trainings, data set organization, technology, project development for future research.
Community-engaged research is a unique genre of research requiring specific skills, approaches, motivations, and methodologies. Working directly with community entities to conduct translational research often entails health equity/racial and economic health disparities interests. Addressing these social determinants of health requires sensitivity to- and understanding of the unique contextual circumstances driving equity disparities within specific populations. In turn, this type of research requires investment in developing relationships and trust within communities, with an eye toward long-term collaborative work. Given the specialized nature of community-engaged research, we feel it is important to communicate clearly the mission, goals, and requirements for this request for proposals and have, therefore, created an information webinar for faculty and community researchers to learn more details on application preparation. We strongly encourage all potential applicants to view this webinar on the ICTS website: HERE. (Slides for reference are attached HERE.)
Use of Funds

Two funding levels are anticipated for this round:

Pilot CCRI $8,000-$10,000 (for research applications)
Mini CCRI $3,000-$5,000 (for capacity and partnership building applications)

Funds may be used to purchase research supplies, support research assistants, or buy out an applicant’s time.

At least 51% of award funds must be distributed to the community partner to support their research activities. Community partner funds may also be used to supplement academic partner’s project activities, if necessary.

Funds may not be used to purchase food, but may be used to purchase study participant gift cards.

Funds must be spent and projects completed by June 30, 2023.

Reporting Requirement

  • Awardees are required to complete documentation for an activation meeting that takes place at the beginning of the funding, and a report with highlights, findings, and further actions, at the close of the award period June 30, 2023.
  • Awardees are expected to develop a poster that presents their findings and display the poster at an annual UCI/ICTS Translational Science Day. Additional information will be given in the notice of awards.
  • Awardees are required to acknowledge the ICTS in all publications and presentations.
Selection Criteria

Awards will be made competitively. In general, proposals that demonstrate the following will be given highest priority:

  • Focus on integrating innovative community-based practices that accelerate discoveries toward better health and healthcare delivery and/or contribute to the understanding of clinical translational science and the social determinants of health.
  • Have formed or established a partnership (an existing partnership prior to applying for CCRI). This can be a new partnership, where the project being applied for is the first co-led activity of the partnership, but the active role of both partners is required. Partnership development and fortification are a primary mission for this grant mechanism, so a special emphasis on the nature of the academic-community partnership should be apparent.
  • Demonstrate project ingenuity/innovation.
  • Have a high likelihood of meaningful positive impact (ex. changing clinical care in a positive way, future research possibilities).
  • We will preferentially consider proposals with in-kind support.
  • Those with existing IRB approval.

The CCRI applications for research activities are rigorously reviewed by UCI faculty and community partners. Each application will have at least one review from an academic and a community member.  Please be sure to clearly indicate to which funding mechanism you are applying.

Scoring for Research-based activities (Pilot CCRI) is based on the following:

  1. Significance and impact
  2. Qualifications of the PI and research team
  3. Innovation
  4. Approach; Scientific strength of the research design
  5. Scientific environment
  6. Translational nature of the project
  7. Project feasibility within the proposed time frame
  8. Likelihood of generating extramural funding
  9. Strength/potential of the partnership

Scoring for Capacity- and partnership-building applications (Mini CCRI) is based on the following:

  1. Significance and impact
  2. Qualifications of the PI and research team
  3. Innovation
  4. Scientific environment
  5. Translational nature of the project
  6. Project feasibility within the proposed time frame
  7. Likelihood of generating extramural funding
  8. Strength/potential of the partnership
Application Components

  • Research Description (Template)
  • Biosketch (NIH new format) of University Partner and biosketch or CV/resume of Community Partner
  • Timeline (1 Page)
    • A detailed plan for completion of the project by June 30, 2022
  • Letter of support from the university partner and the community partner
  • Budget (itemized, 1 page maximum). Must clearly state the following:
    • Total budget for the project
    • Amount requested from the ICTS
    • Breakdown of funds to be directed to the community partner vs. university partner (remember, > 51% of funds are to be sent to the community partner)
  • Budget Justification
    • Funds cannot be used to support the PI’s salary, computer purchases, or travel. Other personnel salaries are allowable.
    • No overhead will be provided for outside institutions
  • ICTS Pilot Project Implementation Plan (click link to download form)
  • UCI Financial Disclosure(For UCI Faculty: Form 800 and if required Form 810; for community members Form 800SR)
Note: Partnered and engaged research differs in several ways from traditional research inquiry, including the time and care it takes to create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships, and the ability for partners to understand and acknowledge the expertise, contributions, and needs of the other. If you have questions about what is meant by Community-Engaged Research, would like examples of high quality proposals, help framing your research project, and/or to discuss your idea, please contact Robynn Zender via the information below.

Robynn Zender, MS 
Community Engaged Research Manager
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

UCI researchers: Apply HERE.

Community researchers without a UCInetID: Apply HERE.

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