Quick Strike Research Fund for Practice-Based Research Network

  • Mays, Glen (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The purpose of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Program is to expand the volume and quality of evidence on effective public health practice through networks of practitioners and researchers that collaborate to conduct studies in real-world practice settings. Currently, 12 Primary PBRNs receive core RWJF funding and support through the program, and an additional 13 Affiliate PBRNs participate in program activities without core RWJF funding. The PBRNs supported through this program focus their studies on public health services and systems research (PHSSR), a field of inquiry that identifies how best to organize, finance, and deliver public health strategies and to elucidate the comparative health and economic effects of these strategies. A host of economic, demographic, epidemiological, social and political developments are leading public health agencies and their partners to make significant changes to their structures and operations. These developments include public health budget cuts and resource reallocation precipitated by the economic recession, new public health funding opportunities and expectations created by health reform implementation, emerging and resurgent public health threats associated with natural disasters and communicable disease outbreaks, public health leadership and policy changes triggered by electoral politics, and organizational changes such as health agency consolidation, regional cooperation, and strategic public-private ventures. These adaptations create unique opportunities for studying the causes and consequences of system change and practice change in public health, for determining the effectiveness of practice innovations, and for informing public health decision-making while these developments are still underway. Capitalizing on these research opportunities requires the ability to (1) quickly identify important trends and pending developments in the public health environment and (2) rapidly implement studies while these developments are still in process. Public health PBRNs are uniquely positioned to undertake such rapid-response research studies. To this end, this project will support the identification, development, implementation, and translation of four Quick Strike Research Fund (QSRF) studies conducted through the Public Health PBRNs during an 18-month project period. The project will be administered by the National Coordinating Center for the Public Health PBRN Program located at the University of Kentucky. Project Components and Activities The Coordinating Center will solicit, select, and coordinate the implementation of up to four QSRF research projects to be carried out by primary and affiliate PBRN grantees during the program year. Projects must address time-sensitive research questions based on emerging information needs in practice and policy; must have a high probability of leading to subsequent, larger-scale studies; and must be feasible for completion with a limited budget of up to $25,000 in total costs and within 3-6 months. These projects will be funded through a subcontract to each awardee to expedite initiation of the research. The Coordinating Center will identify projects by continually scanning the policy and practice environments and by soliciting ideas from the PBRN National Advisory Committee (NAC), primary and affiliate PBRNs, public health associations including NACCHO and ASTHO, the National Coordinating Center for PHSSR, RWJF Public Health Team members, and other affiliated public health research programs. With support from the Coordinating Center, grantees will disseminate practice-relevant findings rapidly through the new rapid-release, open-access journal Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research and other vehicles, and will translate findings into practice improvements through the development of webinars, training sessions, and decision aides for use by practitioners and policy analysts. As in past TAD years, we will solicit QSRF proposals from primary and affiliate PBRN grantees through announcements in the weekly PBRN electronic newsletter, during the monthly PBRN conference calls, and using special email announcements via the PBRN email list (beginning in November 2011). Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until all awards have been given or until a final deadline of August 31 2012 has been reached. Proposals will be reviewed by Coordinating Center staff and members of the NAC, and selection decisions will be made by the Coordinating Center based on reviews of (1) the importance of the topic in terms of ability to inform practice and/or policy; (2) time-sensitivity of the research opportunity; (3) feasibility of the project given budget and time constraints and expertise of network; (4) strength of mechanisms for engaging practice settings in the study and its translation; and (5) potential for the study to lead to subsequent, larger-scale funded research. The Coordinating Center will notify the RWJF program officer about selection recommendations prior to final processing of the awards, and respond to any questions or concerns about the selected projects. We are using the historical grant amounts as a basis for the anticipated cost of these grants and will require QSRF applicants to submit proposed budgets which are in accordance with the Foundation’s budget guidelines and will not exceed $25,000. The University of Kentucky will structure these contracts as cost-reimbursement subcontracts. As director of the PBRN Coordinating Center, Glen Mays (5% effort) will provide overall direction for the project and serve as director and principal investigator of the QSRF project. Activities will include working with PBRN grantees to draft and revise study designs, research protocols, data collection and measurement specifications, and executing data analysis plans and dissemination and translation activities. A timeline of key activities is shown below. Activity Date Begin solicitation of QSRF awards November 1, 2011 Earliest beginning review of QSRF proposals November 15, 2011 Earliest start date for QSRF projects December 1, 2011 Last date to submit QSRF proposals August 30, 2011 Latest start date for QSRF projects October 1, 2012 Dissemination and translation activities: webinars, research briefs, decision aides and protocols February 1 – April 30, 2013 End date for all QSRF projects April 30, 2013 Final report deadline for QSRF projects May 30, 2013
Effective start/end date12/1/115/31/13


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