Faculty Incentives

Dear Public Health Faculty,

One of my primary goals is to further enhance and diversify the School’s research portfolio. Research is an important source of funding for the School that has a direct impact on our overall reputation locally, nationally, and globally. I am excited to announce two programs to incentivize productivity for both tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty; the Incentive for New Grants and the Indirect Cost Incentive Program

I look forward to working together with all of you to achieve our research goals.

Bess H. Marcus, PhD
Dean, School of Public Health

Although the School of Public Health research portfolio is growing, for the past several years indirect cost revenue as a percentage of direct costs has declined from 37.5% in FY15 to 33.4% in FY17.  With the goal of increasing indirect cost revenue, Dean Marcus is launching a new incentive program that will reward Principal Investigators who receive new grants or contracts with full indirect costs.  The University’s indirect cost rate is 62.5% in FY 18.  The Dean is funding this incentive program with her startup funds for 3 years.  If the incentive program achieves its goal of increasing our research portfolio and indirect cost revenue, it will be extended.  Program details can be found here.

Indirect costs are an important source of revenue for the School of Public Health. With the goal of increasing indirect cost revenue, this new incentive program will reward Principal Investigators whose indirect costs are among the highest in the School.  Dean Marcus is funding this incentive program with her startup funds for 2 years.  If the incentive program achieves its goal of increasing our research portfolio and indirect cost revenue, it will be extended. You can find more details by following this link.

The School of Public Health sponsors a Grant Incentive Program (GIP) for all tenure track faculty and those term faculty who have a portion of their salary guaranteed by the School.  Under this program, a percentage of the salary/fringe, which is offset by external funding from grants and contracts, is transferred to a flexible research reserve account that can be used for research and academic purposes.  External funding  DOES NOT include support from internal University funds or support for faculty time which is purchased by affiliated hospitals outside of a standard research contract with indirect costs. Faculty GIP accounts accumulate over budget years, but terminate if the faculty leave Brown.  Examples and more details are available here.

When faculty have substantial research funding in the form of salary support, under some circumstances they may “buy out” of one of their two required courses. Examples and more details are available here.

Tenured and tenure track faculty with 10-month appointments may receive compensation for up to two additional months of salary during the months of July and August. The summer salary is not part of the tenure guarantee, but may be supported with startup funds, grant incentive program (GIP) funds, other institutional funds or funds for sponsored research. Further information on the policy can be found here.

School of Public Health Catalyst Pilot Grant Program:

Innovative Research to Advance Themes in the Strategic Plan

Due February 15, 2020

The School of Public Health’s Strategic Plan "Advancing Well-Being for All" identifies four themes that will shape our priorities, reputation, and opportunities to advance public health, locally and globally. We are targeting the 2020 Catalyst Grant program to deepen and broaden the School’s research program around one or more of these themes:

  • Addiction
  • Environmental Health and Climate Change
  • Mental Health, Resilience, and Mindfulness
  • Vulnerable Life Stages: Children and Older Adults

We are also interested in funding applications that enhance the School’s research-related cross- cutting capabilities:

  • Health Data Sciences and Technology
  • Prevention and Policy
  • Partnerships: Local, National, and Global

This program will continue to focus on supporting new research that is distinctive from ongoing work in the Centers and would not be possible without the support that is requested. While open to all areas relevant to the School’s major health themes and cross-cutting capabilities, we are particularly interested in themes that have not yet been funded through this mechanism, i.e., Mental Health, Resilience, and Mindfulness, and Environmental Health and Climate Change. As always, faculty are encouraged to work with those outside their Center who have complementary interests, but this is not a requirement for this round of awards.

Projects should be able to begin quickly and should culminate in a proposal for external funding by February, 2021. The Catalyst Project period can be no longer than 12 months. This timeline will require a focus on defining clear, short-term aims that will provide key information needed for a competitive grant application. While applications may build upon areas of established strength, to be competitive the application must indicate what aspect is distinctive from ongoing work in this area. This program is not meant to replicate other seed grant programs that exist in OVPR, the Center for AIDS Research, the Advance-CTR, COBREs, and Center-specific sources of pilot project funds.

This year we also encourage the submission of smaller projects that create cross-cutting capacity or leverage ongoing work. For example, there may be an opportunity to add measures of addiction to a funded study in gerontology, or to add measures of resilience to a funded study that currently focuses on vulnerabilities.

The School of Public Health Catalyst Pilot Grant Program will provide awards of up to $20,000 each ($5,000 for smaller projects) in support of the goals identified above.

The application must include:

  1. Description of Proposed Research: This must include aims, significance, and approach, and how the findings would contribute to a competitive proposal for external funding (max 3 pages).
  2. Description of how the proposed activity addresses the goals of the strategic plan and how it is distinctive from ongoing lines of research that are already well supported (max 1 page).
  3. Timeline for the pilot work and the external grant submission, the specific targeted external funding sources, and detail about how the work fits with the funding source’s funding priorities (max 1 page).
  4. Budget that indicates needed expenditures for research staff, supplies, etc., but cannot include faculty salary.
  5. NIH Biosketches of all investigators involved in the research.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of selected faculty with broad experience and specific expertise in the area of the application who are not in direct conflict with the submissions. Proposals will be evaluated based on an assessment of: (1) the contribution the research will make to the themes of the strategic plan, (2) the extent to which the application addresses a novel topic that could not otherwise be pursued through other mechanisms, (3) whether the study will significantly enhance competitiveness of an application for external funding, and (4) the feasibility of conducting the work and submitting a proposal early in 2021.

Applications are due February 15, 2020, and decisions will be made to allow funding to begin May 1, 2020. Please contact Jennifer Tidey, Associate Dean for Research ([email protected]) to submit your applications, as well as to ask any questions or to discuss plans as they are being developed.

Posted: January 13, 2020