The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Awards 2017

To stimulate innovation, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute is pleased to announce the 2017 Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Awards. The awards are made possible through the generous support of the family of Alan Hassenfeld. Brown University faculty or preferably teams of faculty investigators may apply for one-year seed funding awards of up to $25,000 to support innovative research aimed at improving children’s health. In addition to requesting funding support, applicants may request technical assistance and collaboration from the Hassenfeld Child Health Institute’s Core Research and Evaluation Unit.

For the 2017 awards, priority will be given to proposals that expand collaborations with the Institute’s Core Research and Evaluation Unit. The Institute has a strong research methods focus in the area of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), employing spatial analysis to examine neighborhood and environmental factors that impact child health. The Institute also has expertise and active research utilizing data from health information systems and informatics techniques. In addition, in 2017 the Institute is launching two multi-year birth cohort studies. One will enroll approximately 200 pregnant women per year for five years at a single obstetric site in Rhode Island. The site primarily serves a low-income population, with a substantial number of Spanish speaking patients. The second will enroll more than 1,000 families per year during the post-partum period at Women & Infants Hospital. Both the pregnancy enrollment and birth enrollment studies will include annual phone follow-up.

A broad range of topics may be appropriate for the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Awards. The Institute embraces the World Health Organization’s definition of health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Topics could include mental health, physical health, and risk reduction, as well as optimal growth and development, including school and social functioning. The Institute includes a focus on maternal health and its influence on child health, as well as family influences on children’s health more broadly. Consistent with the AAP definition of pediatrics, projects focusing anywhere from the prenatal period through age 21 are appropriate. 

Criteria for Selection
Competitive proposals will be those that:
• Help further the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute goals to:
           o Improve the health of children, making the communities we serve among the world’s healthiest places for children and their families
           o Address the issue of poverty and how it impacts child health
           o Serve as a national and international model for what can be achieved in child health
• Have the potential to impact the academic field of study
• Have the potential to lead to future federal or national foundation support
• Expand interdisciplinary collaborations with the Hassenfeld Institute

Additional selection criteria include the overall quality of the project/proposal, the qualifications of the study team, the feasibility of the project to be successfully completed in one year, appropriateness of the budget, timeline for future funding proposals and other quality/impact issues.

Letters of intent are due no later than Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm to Those invited to submit full proposals will be notified by July 15, 2017. Full proposals will be due September 15, 2017.

The Principal Investigator or a Co-Principal Investigator for the proposal must be a Brown faculty member and must be employed by Brown, a Brown teaching hospital (or affiliated foundations), or key Institute partner. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary teams to apply, including the option of co-investigators from other institutions.

Amount and Duration of Awards​
We expect to fund two awards at approximately the $25,000 level each for one-year projects. Faculty salaries and indirect costs are not allowed. The expectation is for the project to be completed in a 12-month period beginning January 1, 2018, though requests for a 6 month no-cost extension will be considered. Funds not expended by the completion date will be returned to the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute.

Application Format
The letter of intent should be no longer than one page (11-pt font). It should outline the proposed project’s specific aims, and clearly articulate how the project aligns with the mission of the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. Please also include the names and roles of all key investigators. Receipt of the Letter of Intent will be confirmed with the submitting PI. If you do not receive confirmation within 72 hours of submission, please contact the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute at 863-3855 or by email at

Award Conditions ​
1. Award funds must be used to support reasonable and necessary costs, as outlined in the approved budget. Any deviations in the proposed project or budget must be approved in writing, in advance by the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute Director.
2. Funding will begin on January 1, 2018. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2018. A final report is due March 1, 2019. If a project extension is required, it must be requested by July 1, 2018. If approved the project can be extended until February, 2019 with a final report due April 1, 2019. This report should outline the work accomplished as a result of the award, highlight the significant progress made on the project, summarize any publications, and describe any significant deviations from or extensions to the project described in the original proposal. The report should also describe plans to submit proposals to external sponsors based on this award. The final report should be submitted to:
3. The PI of the project and/or the co-investigators will present the results of their research from this award at a Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute forum.