Frequently Asked Questions about Community Grants

Funding priorities and eligibility

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What types of grants are available?

Special Call grants: periodic funding opportunities with a specific focus area.

Tiered grants:  Tier 1 (Define Need), Tier 2 (Develop and Pilot) and Tier 3 (Evaluation and Sustain). Learn more on the Tiered Grants web page.

Community Action Model:  Learn more on the Community Action Model web page. 

What types of projects are funded by the Community Partnership Program?

Tiered Grants: At this time, the Community Partnership Program tiered grants do not have specific funding priorities. Grants will fund projects anywhere along the cancer continuum from prevention and early detection to survivorship. Projects can be community-based, and are not required to have a clinical focus. Proposals that focus on addressing cancer-related health disparities are highly encouraged.

Community Action Model:  Each Community Action Model has a specific project focus.

What are cancer-related health disparities?

As defined by the National Cancer Institute, cancer-related health disparities are adverse differences among specific population groups in cancer incidence (new cases), cancer prevalence (all existing cases), cancer death (mortality), cancer survivorship, and burden of cancer or related health conditions. Proposals that use evidence-based approaches to address cancer-related health disparities, including disparities related to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic location and disability are highly encouraged.

What are some examples of eligible projects?

Tiered grants: View examples for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Community Action Model: View example projects and steps for each focus area of the Community Action Model or download the 2019-1 CAM Steps Example. 

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

Applicants can include, but are not limited to: individuals affiliated with community groups/organizations, schools, government bodies, health/medical clinics, health systems or businesses.

  • An individual may not have more than two active Community Partnership Program projects at the same time.  
  • An organization may receive a maximum of two Tier 3 grants for a single project/concept.
  • The Community Partnership Program may limit the number of awards made to an organization in a single round or cumulatively.

OHSU employees, students, divisions or departments are not eligible to apply. Projects proposing research that directly benefits OHSU or an OHSU affiliated individual/department are not eligible for funding. While the Community Partnership Program encourages collaboration between community organizations and experts in the field, funds are not intended to solely support the work of an individual who is not affiliated with a community organization.

We highly encourage organizations who are led by and or committed to serving communities adversely affected by cancer in Oregon to apply. There is no previous cancer or research experience necessary. 

Tiered Grants: Applicants who have previously submitted a proposal to the Community Partnership Program and did not receive an award are encouraged to resubmit a proposal up to a maximum of two resubmissions.

Individuals affiliated with an academic institution or university are required to partner with a local community-based organization to ensure funds are invested into the target community. This partnership should include collaboration on proposal development and, if funded, the partner should contribute to or lead project implementation.

When applicable, refer to a current RFP on the How to apply page for specific eligibility criteria.

Are there any limitations on grant funding?

Tiered grants: The Community Partnership Program limits the number of Tier 3 grants given to an organization for a single project to two maximum. In addition, our Steering Committee may prioritize tiered grant applications that propose a unique or innovative project, thereby reserving the right to deny the funding of proposals that duplicate or are similar in scope to other previously funded and/or proposed CPP projects. 

Can OHSU faculty apply for grants through the Community Partnership Program?

OHSU employees, students, divisions or departments are not eligible to apply. Projects proposing research that directly benefits OHSU or an OHSU affiliated individual/department are not eligible for funding. While the Community Partnership Program encourages collaboration between community organizations and experts in the field, funds are not intended to solely support the work of an individual who is not affiliated with a community organization. OHSU representatives are encouraged to collaborate on a project, but are ineligible from serving as principle investigator and/or leading the direction of any project. Subverting this policy may result in rescinding grant funding.

If an OHSU representative is interested in the Community Partnership Program, email KnightCancerCRO@ohsu.edu to learn more about opportunities to consult with grantees.

Faculty seeking funding from the Knight Cancer Institute have other options. The institute offers several programs to provide support for cancer research. Learn more about these funding opportunities.  

Are OHSU Partners and members of the Knight Network eligible to apply?

Employees of OHSU Partner organizations are most often eligible to apply. Please contact us to determine eligibility based on the proposed project scope. Funds may not support or underwrite services delivered by OHSU as per existing clinical affiliation.

May I submit a proposal if I am currently funded?

You may submit a proposal to further develop your current project if you anticipate the current project end date will occur prior to the start of the next funding cycle. If your currently funded project activities will be completed and funds spent at the start of the next round, you are eligible to apply. You may also be eligible to submit a proposal for a project that is unrelated to your current award. An individual may hold up to two unrelated Community Partnership Program awards at any given time.

Refer to the current RFP for more details regarding eligibility and contact us with any questions that are not addressed.

Are there geographic restrictions?

Organizations applying for a Community Partnership Program grant must be based in Oregon. All funds must be used to support efforts within Oregon. 

Can an organization submit more than one proposal per cycle?

Community Action Model: an organization is allowed to submit one proposal per cycle. 

Tiered grants: Applicants are welcome to submit more than one proposal per cycle. However, each project should have clearly distinct objectives. For example, two proposals with the same objectives proposed in two different geographic regions would not be eligible to move forward in the review process. Please consider capacity and strategy if submitting more than one proposal.

Can an organization apply for funding to support an existing or ongoing program?

Community Partnership Program funds are not intended to support maintenance of established or existing programs. If proposing work to support an established program or project, the work and funds must be directed toward expanding the effort in some way. Common examples include development of a new component to be adapted/tested or changing the strategy to reach a new and different target population.  Funds may be used to build on an existing program or effort, but there should be clearly defined objectives demonstrating how the funding would be used, how the project is cancer-related, and how it meets the given tier’s eligibility criteria.

Are policy-focused projects eligible?

Yes, the Community Partnership Program encourages proposals aiming to address cancer-related needs at a policy or systems level.  Policy-focused project activities may include working with a local organization/clinic to collect data to determine the impact of a proposed city or county level policy (e.g. flavored tobacco restrictions), or to assess the feasibility of implementing a cancer-related policy, etc.  Funds may not be used for the preparation, distribution, or use of materials to directly support or defeat proposed legislation.  Please contact us if your team is proposing a policy-focused project and you have questions about its eligibility.

Are projects focusing on end of life care for cancer patients eligible?

Yes. Community Partnership Program grants fund projects across the cancer continuum from prevention and early detection through survivorship.  Survivorship projects address cancer-related needs from the point of diagnosis forward, including treatment and/or end of life care.  

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2020-2 Special Call

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Are grant funds able to be used to support existing COVID-19-related efforts?

Yes, funding may be used to support the expansion of existing COVID-19-related efforts that address at least one of the identified priority areas.

Are research-focused projects eligible to apply?

No, in this RFP the Community Partnership Program is not accepting applications for projects that require human subjects protection or Institu­tional Review Board (IRB) oversight. Please contact us with any questions around whether your project may include research activities.

How can I tell if the project activities I’m proposing are considered research? What types of data collection are allowed?

In determining whether a proposed project activity may be research, consider the overall intent.  If you are proposing to collect data or identifiable information for programmatic purposes (e.g. program evaluation, tracking participants/supplies, etc.), this would not be considered research and would be eligible for this cycle of funding. If the data you are proposing to collect would be used for a purpose other than your program’s implementation (e.g. a needs assessment), then your project may be research and therefore would not be eligible for this cycle of funding. If you have questions about your specific project’s eligibility, please contact us at KnightCancerCRO@ohsu.edu.

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Developing a proposal

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What are the guidelines for choosing a grant tier?

Grant tiers are designed to offer communities with an opportunity to engage at a level that is most appropriate for them. For guidance about which tier to apply for, contact a Community Partnership Program representative.

Why are grant recipients supported with technical assistance?

As Oregon’s only public academic health center and as a nationally prominent research university, OHSU can leverage its expertise by sharing knowledge of evidence-based programs, best-practices and evaluation methods. In working with OHSU faculty to develop programs, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute hopes to continue to strengthen relationships with local communities to better understand their cancer-related needs. Working together, the result will be robust, sustainable programs that benefit the health of all Oregonians.

Does the Community Partnership Program make multiyear awards?

Community Action Model: grants are awards funded over two years to complete steps 1-5 of the model. All awarded organizations are required to demonstrate successful completion of the first year deliverables in order to be considered for a second year of funding.

Tiered grants:  project duration is one year (twelve-months) for project implementation. Organizations are encouraged to build on their program each year and apply for progressive tiered funding in future funding cycles. Applicants are encouraged to describe future plans, but funding will be restricted to one year.

Should letters of support for the project be included with a proposal?

We highly suggest including letters of support from any organizations that will collaborate and/or partner in the proposed project.. Letters should define the specific role each organization is committing to in the planning and implementation of the proposed project. In addition, letters of support from community groups can be attached to the submission to indicate broad community support for the proposed project.

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Evaluation support

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Why is evaluation important?

Evaluation helps you define your data collection strategy and analyze findings to determine what worked, what didn't, and what adjustments might be needed for improved outcomes. Evaluation may also help you assess the impact of your work, to apply for additional funding, and to communicate your results to a wide range of stakeholders.  

What will happen during my one-hour evaluation consult?

Tiered Grants only: A member of the OHSU Evaluation Core will gain insight into your project objectives and what type of data you are thinking about collecting. This consult aims to support your team in developing an evaluation plan that is the best fit for your project. In preparation, you will be asked to send any project outlines and a draft objectives template (Tiers 2, 3 only). 

What kind of evaluation support do grantees receive?

An evaluation expert will be assigned to your project to help you with finalizing your evaluation plan evaluation tool selection, participant recruitment/engagement, planning for data management and analysis, and reviewing results. 

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Data collection, storage and analysis

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What are the most common data collection options?

A primary data source provides information you produce yourself using common methods such as pre/post surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Other data collection methods may include observations, photo and video, activity logs, attendance records, knowledge assessments, asset mapping and more.

A secondary data source provides information you can glean from an existing resource such as publicly available health data (e.g. Census.gov) or a conversation (talking with a reporter or professor).

What is data storage?

All collected data needs to be stored securely. Ideally, data is stored in a password protected environment, such as an excel workbook on a secure network drive or your organization's database, which can only be accessed through secure login. If you have data on paper (surveys, etc.), please also remember that it needs to be stored securely in a locked file cabinet or other secure location. You may wish to scan these files and shred them after the study is complete. 

How would I use collected data?

Data can be used to improve your program's processes, to show stakeholders the impact of your work, or to communicate to participants. You can use graphics and visualizations to disseminate your results. Please remember to maintain confidentiality by ensuring anonymity. What are data analysis methods?Analysis methods include descriptive statistics, group comparisons, identification of themes, and application of codes. Ask us about this on your evaluation technical assistance call.

What is a data analysis plan?

A data analysis plan is based on what kind of data you have. For example, if you have a small amount of quantitative data (survey responses or counts), you can just use Excel. For larger amounts of quantitative data, we recommend an analysis package such as R or SPSS. Small amounts of focus group or interview data can be analyzed in Word or Excel. For larger amounts of qualitative data, we recommend an analysis package for qualitative data such as Dedoose or Atlas.ti. All applicants, but especially Tier 3 projects should consider allocating budget for data analysis support if not available internally (see analysis resources list). 

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Application process

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How can communities apply for funding?

Refer to the How to Apply page.

Is it possible to submit a paper Intent to Apply form or proposal?

No, applicants will be asked to complete an online intent to apply form and proposal submission as directed on the How to Apply page.

Will feedback be provided on intent to apply forms?

Applicants will receive a confirmation email when the program receives an intent to apply form but will not receive specific feedback on their forms. Submit a full proposal by the due date, as directed on the How to Apply page.

Once submitted, what is the process for receiving updates on an application’s status?

Allow ten to twelve weeks following submission of the full proposal to receive information about funding status. When applicable, specific dates will be published on the How to Apply page.

If a tiered grant proposal is not funded, is it possible to reapply for the same project?

Yes. The Community Partnership Program is not able to fund all qualified applications. Applicants who have previously submitted a proposal to the Community Partnership Program and did not receive an award are encouraged to resubmit a strengthened proposal in response to a subsequent RFP up to a maximum of two resubmissions. Each submitted application is reviewed as a new application and is considered independently on its own merits.

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Project budget

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Are other sources of funding required?

No. However, if a proposed project is receiving funding from other sources that should be indicated in the proposal.

What budget items are allowable/unallowable?

Funds may be used for the following types of expenses provided they are directly attributable to the proposed project:

  • Personnel: Costs include both salary and fringe benefits (see restriction below in unallowable expenses)
  • Indirect costs include facilities, administration, and/or overhead (not to exceed 10% of the total budget)
  • Consultant fees
  • Equipment: Defined as any item that has a useful life longer than one year
  • Materials and supplies
  • Travel costs excluding travel for CPP required trainings, which will be provided
  • Clinical care costs

Funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Project activities outside of Oregon
  • Advancing an OHSU department’s research or programs
  • Preparation, distribution, or use of materials to directly support or defeat proposed legislation
  • Equipment items above $3,000 (if proposing to purchase an equipment item above $3,000, justification must be provided)
  • No more than 10% of the proposed budget may be allocated to support an OHSU collaboration (e.g. clinical care costs, evaluation support, academic collaborator, etc.)
  • Applications from academic institutions: funds may not be used to support Faculty salary (staff support and Extension Faculty salary costs are allowed)
  • 2020-2 Special Call only: research involving human subjects

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Review process

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Who reviews the proposals?

Tiered Grants and Special Call Grants: A review committee made up of representatives of community, healthcare and academia will review proposals. In addition, scientific patient advocates provide perspective on proposals with potential to receive funding. Members of the Community Partnership Program Steering Committee who have expertise specific to the proposal, or knowledge of the organization, may be asked to participate in the review.

Community Action Model: Community Partnership Program staff and Steering Committee.

How are the proposals reviewed?

Community Action Model: Applications undergo an initial administrative review by Community Partnership Program staff. Following the review, top ranking proposals are discussed by our Steering Committee.  
Tiered Grants: As an academic research institution, OHSU follows the National Institutes of Health (NIH) review process model. Proposals are assigned to reviewers representing academic, clinical and community perspectives. Reviewers must recuse themselves from reviewing proposals submitted by organizations with which they collaborate and/or have existing relationships that present a real or perceived conflict of interest.

Special Call Grants: The review process for each specific Special Call may vary from cycle to cycle. See Request for Proposals for details.

Using the review criteria in the relevant RFP, each proposal is reviewed by two to three reviewers. Each reviewer submits an overall impact score and comments based on defined criteria. These scores are given equal weight and averaged to give each proposal a preliminary score. In general, the top half of proposals is discussed during a review meeting at which final scores are submitted by the full panel of reviewers. Scientific patient advocates participate in the review meeting, representing the perspective of the patient or lay community member. Proposals are then ranked based on their average final score.

How are funding decisions made?

Funding decisions are based on the average score of all reviewers. Proposals are ranked according to the average final score and the Community Partnership Program's Steering Committee makes a recommendation for funding the highest ranked proposals (per tier for tiered grants) based on scores and the amount of funding available. The final funding decision is subject to final approval by Knight Cancer Institute leadership. Score cutoffs for funding will vary from round to round and may be affected by the number of submitted proposals within each tier and the funding available. 

Proposals are funded purely by merit. Prior relationships with OHSU researchers, faculty or staff are not taken into consideration when making funding decisions.

What is the funding notification procedure for submitted proposals?

The applicant will be notified of the funding status via email.

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After a grant award

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What is the process after grant funding has been announced?

Grantees will begin the project preparation period. The project preparation period is designed to assist grantees in successfully completing applicable administrative requirements before the proposed project commences. Activities include:

  • Participation in professional development and technical assistance activities
    • Evaluation planning and support
    • Human subjects protection guidance (including IRB approval if applicable)
  • Contracting

When applicable, refer to a current RFP, found on the How to apply page, for details.  

How soon will funding be distributed following announcement?

Funding distribution will depend on the grant award letter, IRB approvals if applicable and other administrative requirements of the project.

Will there be program site visits?

If a project is funded a program representative will schedule a mid-project check in during the grant period to answer questions, offer helpful best practice information and learn what tools would be helpful in achieving project goals.

What are the reporting requirements?

Community Action Model: All funded projects will be required to submit a mid-project report at the end of year 1 and a final project report within 30 days after the end of the funding period. Reporting templates will be provided.

Tiered Grants: All funded projects will be required to submit a formal summary within 30 days after the end of the funding period. Reporting templates will be provided.

What if a tiered grant project needs additional time to meet the proposed objectives?

Tiered Grants only: Funded applicants may request a no-cost extension for six or 12 months beyond the original project end date if:

  • No additional funds are required
  • The approved project scope will not change

A no-cost extension indicates that additional work remains to be completed on the project and that funds remain to continue to support the project, or that additional time is needed to meet the proposed objectives. If additional time beyond 12 months is needed, contact us.

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