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2004 Call for Proposals Overview
2002 Call for Proposals Overview
2002 On-line Letter of Intent Application
2002 Frequently Asked Questions
2002 Timetable
2002 Teleconference Presentation

2002 Call for Proposals - Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions from our 2002 Call for Proposals.

Can I apply for a grant even though I did not participate in one of the teleconferences?

Are the maximum character counts listed on the application calculated with or without spaces?
Spaces are included in the maximum character counts.

How should I cite references in my LOI application?
At the LOI stage, reference sheets and bibliographies are not required. If you cite references, please include them in the body of the text similar to this: "According to Smith (2001)..."

Is funding available for the purchase of equipment?
There is a limited amount of funds that will be available for the purchase of equipment. No specific dollar amount has been determined, and this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We encourage applicants to seek in-kind contributions to offset the cost for major equipment expenses.

My organization requires review of all research projects by our Institutional Review Board (IRB). Do I need to secure final IRB approval for the LOI application process?
No. This information is not required at the LOI stage, but IRB review would be needed by the time a final proposal is submitted.

Can the Initiative connect evaluators with researchers and technology developers for the current LOI application process?
It is a goal of the Initiative to build out our website to support this type of activity in the future. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide this service for the current LOI application process.

We intend to apply for grants in both categories, but they are contingent on one another. What if one is funded and the other is not?
We are interested in supporting the best proposals in both categories. Each application will be evaluated independent of other proposals and ought to include all necessary information as requested.

What type of letter of agreement among collaborators do you require and when will you need it?
If invited to submit a full proposal, it will be required upon submission. No letter of agreement is required at the LOI stage.

Would you support the research of healthcare decisions made by proxy, for example, parents making health care decisions for their children or parents and children making decisions together?
Yes, this would be appropriate under our Initiative as long as there are measures of outcome for, in this example, the child/patient.

What is eHealth?
For the purposes of this Initiative, eHealth is defined as the use of emerging interactive technologies (i.e., Internet, interactive TV, interactive voice response systems, kiosks, personal digital assistants, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs) to enable health improvement and health care services. For this Initiative, these technologies should focus primarily on health behavior change and chronic disease management for consumers/patients.

What are some examples of projects that might be funded under the Methodology and Design Grant category?
Proposals spanning a broad array of topical areas will be considered as long as they are consistent with the scope and objectives of the Initiative. The examples listed below are intended only to illustrate potential areas of focus, and may include, but are not limited to:

  • refining or developing methods, measures, instruments, and data analysis approaches to evaluate the efficacy and/or effectiveness of eHealth applications, such as creating standardized assessment measures and instruments for the evaluation of eHealth applications; employing novel methods for gathering on-line process data in order to interpret outcomes from eHealth applications; and, assessing more effective ways to recruit and retain study participants in eHealth programs.
  • refining or developing research designs that accommodate unique aspects of eHealth applications, such as investigating the reliability and validity of a web-based measure of self-reported physical activity compared to a paper and pencil version; assessing the confidentiality and security of electronically-gathered information; and, determining the impact of tailored messaging in assessing an application’s overall effectiveness.
  • evaluating innovative research paradigms, such as using qualitative research and case control methods to investigate the psychosocial, cultural and health outcomes of online communities for chronic disease management; and reviewing the potential for applying pioneering predictive models to evaluate differential exposure to comparative eHealth applications (e.g., generalized estimating equations [GEE], random regressions).
  • developing strategies and methods that increase access to eHealth applications for specific, and often traditionally underserved, populations, such as enhancing enrollment opportunities and strategies to reach more diverse populations; accommodation of different functional and technological literacy levels, as well as the primary language of end-users; and improving accessibility of eHealth applications (e.g., infrastructure and equipment access, interface design, usability).
  • improving methods for evaluating the costs and cost-effectiveness of the adoption and use of eHealth applications, such as identifying and evaluating standardized categories and measurable components of costs for eHealth programs; creating valid and reliable approaches for assessing the relative cost-effectiveness of eHealth applications versus traditional methods for delivering interventions; and developing models for assessing return-on-investment (ROI) and program sustainability.

Who can apply for funds under this Initiative?
The Health e-Technologies Initiative will accept applications from public and private institutions (individuals are not eligible), including both non-profit and for-profit organizations. The applicant organization and the proposed intervention to be evaluated must be based in the United States or its territories. Collaborations and partnerships among applicant organizations are highly encouraged. Initiative funds will not be available to Brigham and Women's Hospital; its parent company, Partners HealthCare System; and other Partners HealthCare System affiliates (i.e., Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, etc.); Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health.

How many grants will you be awarding?
No specific number has been determined. We plan to award approximately $4.8 million through the 2002 Call for Proposals (CFP). The actual number of grants awarded will depend on the strength and quality of the applications received.

Can an organization apply/be funded for more than one grant in the same category?
Yes. Each specific Letter of Intent (LOI) application will need a separate application ID and password.

Can an organization apply/be funded for more than one grant in different categories?
Yes. Each specific LOI application will need a separate application ID and password.

Do you award grants to for-profit organizations?

We have concerns about copyright issues regarding the underlying technology being used for our grant proposal. How will this be addressed under this CFP?
The Health e-Technologies Initiative and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recognize the importance of protecting proprietary and patented technologies that might be utilized for potential grants under this project. In general, under The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's standard terms and conditions of a grant, charitable [501(c)(3)] organizations retain the copyright to materials created as a result of the grant, while RWJF receives a non-exclusive license to use all such materials. When making grants to, or contracting with non-charitable organizations, RWJF commissions the grantee or contractor to produce all products developed under the grant as work for hire and takes ownership of the copyright to the materials.

However, since this program deals exclusively with the research and evaluation of existing products, and does not support primary development of new materials or products (see development FAQ below), RWJF does not anticipate it would take copyright ownership of new research products developed by for-profit companies. RWJF claims no copyright ownership or interest in products developed prior to the award of this grant. In the event that minor product enhancements to an existing product are developed with grant funds, RWJF would consider making an exception to its usual copyright terms so as not to impair the owner's intellectual property rights in an existing product.

If you have any questions about copyright issues, please contact the National Program Office prior to submitting an application.

How much information are we expected to provide in our LOI application about our technology?
Grantees will not be required to provide data regarding the research and development stages of any technologies being tested (i.e., activities that occurred before the funding period). However, LOI applications need to include sufficient information to allow reviewers to judge the potential effectiveness of the intervention and understand its underlying technology. In addition, all events and activities outlined in proposal applications, as well as data generated from proposals that receive funding, are considered appropriate data that may be shared. Any proprietary concerns regarding data sharing for technologies being evaluated under this program should be addressed in the application process.

The CFP states “funds are not available for the development of eHealth applications.” How is “development” defined? Why was the decision made to not provide funds for development?
For the purposes of this Initiative, development is defined as effort related to the proposed technology’s architectural design, creation of functional and technical specifications, and coding of the core functionality. These stages of program or intervention development will not be funded by the Health e-Technologies Initiative since our primary focus is to fund research and evaluation of eHealth applications, not the creation of them.

Certain enhancements to existing applications may be funded under this Initiative, however, if it enhances the evaluation component of the technology (for example, the addition of a survey instrument onto an existing interactive website). All requests for support for these activities will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Will special consideration be given to projects that target underserved populations?
The Health e-Technologies Initiative highly encourages studies that assess efforts to reach specific diverse populations, including ethnic and racial minorities, older adults, low-income families, and disabled persons. Diversity of study samples is an important consideration in the evaluation of applications.

Who has access to the information I submit in my LOI application?
All information that you submit in the LOI application process is done through a secure server, encrypting the data to prevent unauthorized access. The Initiative, its NAC members and the Foundation will have access to the information you provide. However, this data and the related review process will be kept confidential, including the name of any organization that has submitted or may be collaborating on an LOI application, the name of any individual listed on an LOI application, the LOI application content, all discussions and reviews about any LOI application, subsequent recommendations for funding awards, and who reviewed specific proposals.

If an organization is awarded funding, the Health e-Technologies Initiative will be responsible for releasing basic information about grant recipients (i.e., organization name, investigators, funding amount).

What if the space allotted on your website is not sufficient to fully explain the nature of our project?
Please try to be succinct and concise when completing your LOI application. The data entry fields on the on-line LOI application are preset and cannot be expanded. If you are invited to submit a full proposal, additional space will be provided for you to explain your project.

Can resources from other sponsoring agencies be used in conjunction with Foundation funding to carry out the project?
Yes. Commitment of funds and/or in-kind support from applicant organizations is highly encouraged.

What staffing is expected to be put into place by the applicant?
Staffing should be appropriate and justifiable for the proposed scope of work.

What budget information will you need for the LOI application?
The LOI application will require an estimate of the total dollar amount you expect to need to carry out your proposed project. This estimate should include direct and indirect costs (the latter at 9%), as well as travel related to grantee meetings. Those LOI applicants invited to submit a full proposal would be required, at that time, to submit a detailed line-item budget as well as a statement of financial viability for the applicant organization.

What technical support and assistance will be provided during the application process?
Interactive group teleconference calls will take place on November 25 and December 4, 2002 to guide applicants. Refer to the Timetable for more information and to register for one of these sessions. You can also contact the Health e-Technologies Initiative at 617/732-9727 for additional information and assistance.

Can we send our LOI application by e-mail, mail or fax?
No. Submissions must be done on our website.

Will applications submitted before the deadline be reviewed early?
No. All LOIs will be reviewed after the submission deadline has passed.

Can we submit an LOI application after the deadline?
No. LOI applications will not be accepted after January 8, 2003 at 2pm EST. The on-line application form will be deactivated after this time.

Who reviews the grants and makes the final decision about which applications are funded?
The Health e-Technologies Initiative and its National Advisory Committee are responsible for reviewing grant proposals. The National Advisory Committee makes recommendations to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Final decisions about funding reside with the Foundation.

If we are selected to submit a full proposal, are we allowed to modify any of the content presented in the LOI?
Yes. Modifications are acceptable if they strengthen the final application and are within the general scope of the original LOI.

Can we receive copies of successful proposals?
No. All proposals submitted to the Health e-Technologies Initiative are confidential. However, once awarded, basic information about the grant recipients will be posted on our website.

Will applicants receive written feedback about their proposals?
No. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation does not provide individual written critiques of applications or proposals submitted.

Will we be notified if we are not selected?

If we are awarded funding, can we publish the results?
Yes. Investigators are encouraged to publish their results.

Will another CFP be released by the Health e-Technologies Initiative?
Yes. A second CFP is planned for the fall of 2003.

How can I get on your mailing list for future CFPs?
Please contact us.

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