Pilot Project Grant Program

Request for Proposals Now Open

The Healthier Workforce Center encourages the development of new and creative research and research-oriented health promotion, health protection and translation projects with promise to lead to more comprehensive studies addressing Total Worker Health approaches.

The pilot grant program supports new faculty and student research projects and engages community members in implementing and evaluating evidence-based research into practice.

2021-2022 Request for Proposals

The Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest (HWC) at the University of Iowa and Washington University is pleased to announce the availability of funds for New Investigator and Student pilot projects.

The HWC is one of six Total Worker Health® (TWH) Centers of Excellence funded through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The HWC is dedicated to protecting and preserving worker safety and health through knowledge generation and dissemination of evidence-based TWH practices. As a regional Center, the HWC serves the occupational safety and health needs of employees and employers in HHS Federal Region VII (IA, NE, KS, MO). NIOSH defines TWH as “policies, programs and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being.” Topics relevant to TWH include improving work organization, assessing the contribution of occupational stressors to the burden of chronic health conditions among employees (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression), optimizing return to work outcomes, and injury/illness prevention strategies among populations particularly at-risk for adverse health outcomes (e.g., older/younger workers, immigrant workers, and those with part time or precarious employment arrangements).

Additional resources and information can be found using the following links:

Funding

Availability of funds for these proposals is conditional on continued funding of the HWC by NIOSH.

Funding is available for the usual categories of NIH grant direct costs, such as salary and fringe for research assistants and graduate students, laboratory supplies, equipment, data analysis, and travel associated with executing the research. However, salary and fringe support for faculty is not allowed, and no meeting/conference travel can be covered.

Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact Mindy Sickels Sterbenz (mindy-sickels@uiowa.edu; 319-335-4411) for guidance in preparing budgets.

For New Investigator proposals, the maximum permitted budget is $25,000 (direct plus indirect). We anticipate funding at least three New Investigator awards. For Student proposals, the maximum permitted budget is $5,000 (direct plus indirect). We anticipate funding at least four Student awards.

Deadlines and Review Process

With this RFP, the HWC is adopting a rolling submission and review process. We will accept complete applications at any time (see Application Content in the full RFP, for details and submission instructions).

While funds remain available, applications received by the first Monday of each month will be reviewed on or about the first Monday of the subsequent month. As examples:

  • Applications received by close of business on October 4, 2021 will be reviewed on November 1, 2021.
  • Applications received between October 5, 2021 and close of business on November 1, 2021 will be reviewed on December 6, 2021.
  • The status of funding availability and this RFP will be updated regularly on this website.

Pilot project grant applications will be evaluated by internal and external HWC Advisory Committee members and others with the appropriate scientific expertise. Reviewers follow procedures similar to those used by federal scientific review panels (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-od-09-024.html) and consider relevance of the proposed project to TWH, originality, scientific quality of the approach, the potential for future funding, and the appropriateness of the budget. A written critique will be provided to the principal investigator of each pilot grant application, regardless of funding decision.

For more information, please download the Request For Proposals pdf.

Past Projects

Chris Blum & Lisa Henning
Nebraska Safety Council
Lauren Remspecher
St. Louis Business Health Coalition
Elizabeth Ablah
University of Kansas-Wichita School of Medicine
COVID-19 employer guide addressing employer & employee health & wellness during a pandemic

Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD
University of Iowa
Carri Casteel, PhD
University of Iowa
Laura Schwab-Reese, PhD
Purdue University
Work and workplace characteristics associated with suicide

Carly Nichols
Silvia Secchi
University of Iowa
Agricultural production practices and stress: a pilot study of women farmers in Iowa

Christine Ekenga, MPH, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Public Health
Work after breast cancer: a mixed-methods study of African-American survivors

Amany Farag, PhD, RN
University of Iowa, College of Nursing
Feasibility study for assessing nurses’ occupational fatigue using the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness (SAFTE) biomathematical model

Kayla Faust
University of Iowa, College of Public Health
Detection of environmental hazards by senior farmers using a simulated tractor environment

Matt Nonnenmann, PhD
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Total Worker Health in home-based childcare workers

Jeremy Hudson, MA, Chaplain
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Spiritual Services
Justin Kenardy, PhD
University of Queensland
Marizen Ramirez, PhD
University of Iowa
A comparative effectiveness study of Response, Resiliency & Resources (RRR) and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: two programs designed to reduce occupational stress among hospital clinic workers

Lisa Jaegers, PhD
Saint Louis University, College of Health Sciences, Occup. Science & Occup. Therapy
A protective study of heath among newly hired corrections officers

Melissa Hogan, MPH
St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition
Dissemination of Total Worker Health strategies to Midwest employers: addressing employee health in the 21st century

Lisa Jaegers, PhD
Saint Louis University, College of Health Sciences, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
Determining the mental health needs of corrections officers in Missouri for the development of a Total Worker Health program

Steven Rippentrop, MD (Heartland Center trainee, Occupational Medicine)
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Workforce-centered outcomes research

Tonya Vyhlidal
Nebraska Safety Council
Development of a Total Worker Health program in small organizations

Ann Marie Dale, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
Integrated health protection and health promotion program for grocery store workers

Carri Casteel, PhD
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Prevalence and comprehensiveness of intimate partner violence programs, policies and training in mid-sized U.S. businesses

Mark Schall, MS (Heartland Center trainee, Ergonomics)
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Nate Fethke, PhD
University of Iowa
Inertial measurement units as a tool for simultaneous worker health protection and promotion

Sophia Chiu, MD (Heartland Center trainee, Occupational Medicine)
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Transitioning from school to work: Total Worker Health in young adults

Sharon Tucker, PhD
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Worksite physical activity intervention for ambulatory clinic registered nursing staff

Lucas Carr, PhD
University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Physiology
Efficacy of a combined ergonomic health promotion intervention on employee health

Deirdre Green (Heartland Center trainee, Industrial Hygiene)
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health
Personal noise exposure assessment study of food servers in locally owned restaurants

Sandra Ramey, PhD, RN
University of Iowa, College of Nursing
Evaluating stress resilience: a new worksite intervention to reduce stress and CVD risk factors in Police

Katherine Jones
University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Community and Behavioral Health
Integrating health, wellness and protection using wellness champions at Rockwell Collins in Coralville

Arlinda McKeen
State Public Policy Group
Employer wellness and prevention programs in PPACA exchanges and consumer operated and oriented (CO-OP) programs

Perry Meyer
Iowa Hospital Association
A survey of hospital-based employee health services