is a list of Frequently Asked Questions from our 2002 Call for
I apply for a grant even though I did not participate in one of
the maximum character counts listed on the application calculated
with or without spaces?
Spaces are included in the maximum character counts.
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
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.
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.
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.
an organization apply/be funded for more than one grant in the
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.
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
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.
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.
special consideration be given to projects that target underserved
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.
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
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,
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.
staffing is expected to be put into place by the applicant?
Staffing should be appropriate and justifiable for the proposed
scope of work.
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.
technical support and assistance will be provided during the application
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.
we send our LOI application by e-mail, mail or fax?
No. Submissions must be done on our website.
applications submitted before the deadline be reviewed early?
No. All LOIs will be reviewed after the submission deadline has
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
reviews the grants and makes the final decision about which applications
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.
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.
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?