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Open Funding Opportunities

The T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion invites applications for one-time, non-renewable seed grant proposals for 2021. Please continue to check back for new updates and opportunities.

Page last updated 10/8/2021

(Closed - Applications Under Review) The Center for Empathy and Technology - Fall 2021

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Please review the complete RFA linked here for details about eligibility, project scope, and other requirements.
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ABOUT THE CENTER
The mission of the Center for Empathy and Technology is to make compassion toward others the default practice in medicine, public health, and society at large.  Technology is tightly woven into the fabric of the world today; therefore, the work of the Center is focused on using technology in ways that promote – rather than undermine – empathy, compassion, and well-being.
 
PROPOSAL DESCRIPTION
The Center invites applications for one-time, non-renewable seed grant proposals.  The Center is interested in projects that use advanced technology to study empathy and compassion, as well as projects that investigate the impact of technology on individuals, social interactions, institutions, and society.  Examples of technological advances of interest include, but are not limited to, artificial intelligence, digital health, and precision medicine.  Projects may be proof-of-concept, pilot, or early stage and may be de novo or add-ons to existing studies.
 
Priority Topics for Fall 2021
While we welcome all innovative proposals that fall within the mission of the Center, in this grant cycle, we have identified priority areas for funding as listed below.  Studies that also address the concerns of vulnerable or special populations are encouraged.
 
Mental Health

  • Technology to enhance self-compassion and/or mental health
  • Empathy, compassion, and digital well-being
Remote Work
  • Enhancing empathy and compassion in virtual encounters
  • Role of empathy and compassion in shaping the future of work 
 
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
First Stage Application – Letter of Intent
Please send a 500-word abstract that will be scored by the review committee.  The abstract should include (a) the project title; (b) list of research team members with NIH biosketch or equivalent for each investigator; (c) the research question; (d) its relevance to empathy, compassion, and technology; and (e) proposed methodologies.
 
To submit your proposal, complete the following steps:
  • Visit the submission portal located here. You may also access this form from our website at empathyandcompassion.ucsd.edu under the “Funding Opportunities” and “Research Application Portal” tabs.
  • Create an applicant account and complete the applicant profile.
  • Click “Get Started” to submit a new LOI application. Under the ‘Program’ menu, select “Center for Empathy and Technology – Fall 2021.”
  • Once the application is complete, please be sure to click ‘Submit.’

Applicants will be notified as to whether or not a second stage application is requested.  Specific instructions will be sent to investigators who are invited to submit a second stage application.
 
APPLICATION DEADLINES AND NOTICES OF AWARDS
First Stage Application due date: October 8, 2021 by 5pm (Pacific Time)
Notice of Invitation for Second Stage Application: November 12, 2021 (Pacific Time)
Second Stage Application due date: January 7, 2022 by 5pm (Pacific Time)
Notice of award: February 18, 2022 (on or around)
 
For detailed information regarding this call, please view the complete RFA linked here.

(Closed - Applications Under Review) 2021 Sanford Institute Fellows Program

T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Sanford Institute Fellows Program 2021-2022

 The Institute offers frequent opportunities for involvement, including a Journal Club, Compassion Interest Group, Speaker Series, along with opportunities for presentation and other professional development. We encourage appointed Sanford Fellows and their mentors to participate in Institute activities to enhance learning and to interact with the broader community engaged in research related to empathy and compassion. Fellows will present their findings at Annual Fellows Meetings.

AWARD:

Support will be provided for up to two years for Fellows. Renewal for a second year requires submission and approval of a progress report covering the first year. The full cost of stipend/salary will be covered for all Fellows. Tuition and fees will be covered for pre-doctoral Fellows; up to $5,000 will be allowed to support their supplies/reagents. For postdoctoral Scholars up to $15,000 will be provided for supplies/reagents.

ELIGIBILITY:

Any full-time UC San Diego medical student, graduate student, or postdoctoral scholar interested in conducting research related to empathy and compassion is encouraged to apply. We welcome applications for basic and applied research projects. Applicants are required to identify a UCSD faculty mentor to develop the research project collaboratively. The program welcomes as mentor all members of the UCSD faculty, including Adjunct members whose primary affiliation is through the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, or the Sanford/Burnham/Prebys Institute.

HOW TO APPLY

The application process begins with a letter of intent (LOI) (one and one-half page maximum) listing the project title, names of the applicant and mentor(s), the hypothesis and overall plan of study, expected outcomes, and significance. The applicant and mentor will jointly submit the LOI. An Institute review committee will select LOIs most likely to succeed as full proposals. Those selected will submit a full application (6-page maximum) that follows the Institute’s template.

Submit first stage LOI applications via form on website

(https://empathyandcompassion.ucsd.edu/funding-opportunities/application-portal.html) or https://webportalapp.com/sp/ucsdempathyandcompassion_applicant. All applicants should indicate they are applying for the 2021 Fellows Program on the dropdown.

Once you have completed the LOI application in the application portal, please be sure to click SUBMIT.

DEADLINES

The deadline for the LOI is September 13, 2021.  Interested applicants may direct questions to komerry@ucsd.edu.

Please visit our website to learn more about the Institute and Centers, and to review currently funded research projects.  

(Closed -Second Stage Proposal Intake) 2021 Center for Research on Empathy and Compassion Request for Applications

2021 Request for Applications addressing either Basic or Applied Research under the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion

 

The Center for Research on Empathy and Compassion, operating within the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, invites applications for one-time, non-renewable seed grant proposals for 2021. The Institute exists to enhance the well-being of healthcare professionals, faculty, and students through elucidation of the neurobiological bases of empathy and compassion and through the application of research advances in novel educational and training initiatives.

 

The Center for Research on Empathy and Compassion pursues both basic and applied research.  The basic science agenda has a focus on the fundamental features of neural function and behavior in the context of paradigms that engage empathy and compassion.  The applied research agenda focuses on outcomes of interventions carried out in ecologically valid contexts that foster empathy, compassion, alleviation of anxiety and burnout, and, more generally, pro-social behavior.  Projects that directly link training to changes in brain function are of special interest. In turn, we are eager to exploit basic science insights to enhance training programs.

 

Both subjective and objective measures of outcome are valid. Examples of objective measures include functional and structural MRI, EEG and MEG, and local field potentials and single neuron recordings.  In addition, approaches to the assessment of behavior, social interaction, contextual awareness, and emotional response are encouraged. These include, but are not limited to, measures of facial expression and evaluation of discourse, gesture, and distributed cognition.  The Center encourages the incorporation of measures of physiological function (e.g., heart rate, sympathetic/parasympathetic function, blood, and saliva biomarkers) when projects are designed to help bridge the gap between measures of behavior and neural function.

 

The Center especially encourages projects that are relevant to patient interactions with health care professionals and their relationship to professional burnout, depersonalization, and emotional fatigue.  This includes systems-level work guided by principles of empathy and compassion to improve physicians’ work experience and well-being and multidimensional innovations that span individual health care professionals, patients, care teams, and the records and equipment with which they interact. 

 

The Center is interested in cross-disciplinary projects that effectively integrate measures of brain, body, and behavior/social interaction in applied settings that engage and foster empathy and compassion.  Projects may be a proof-of-concept, pilot, or early stage and may be add-ons to existing studies. The level of funding for projects supported under this RFA is expected to be $50,000 to $100,000 for one year, with possible renewal for one additional year.  

 

FIRST STAGE APPLICATIONS

Please send a 500-word abstract that will be scored by the review committee.  The abstract should include: a) the project title, b) the research question, c) the relevance of project outcomes to the goals of the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, d) proposed methodologies, e) the groups or systems targeted for training and/or intervention, and f) a list of research team members (please include a NIH or equivalent biosketch for each investigator).  Submit first stage applications via form on website (https://empathyandcompassion.ucsd.edu/funding-opportunities/application-portal.html) or https://webportalapp.com/sp/ucsdempathyandcompassion_applicant. All applicants should indicate whether the proposal is a better fit for the basic versus applied research agendas.  In cases where the proposal can fit under either agenda, the review committee will assign the proposal to the appropriate review panel. If your proposal fits under either, please choose the general research option in the application form.

Once you have completed the LOI application in the application portal, please be sure to click SUBMIT

 

Applicants will be notified as to the outcome of the review, and those selected for further evaluation will be asked to submit a second stage application. The second stage application will allow applicants to more fully detail the hypothesis, preliminary data, scope, and methods to be employed as well as expected outcomes.  A plan for funding of the program after the pilot period should be included with sufficient detail to indicate which funding sources would be approached and a tentative timeline.   A detailed budget will be required together with justification. Allowable expenses will include those normally permissible under NIH funding, including personnel, research reagents, and resources and small pieces of equipment. No renovations will be supported.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINES AND NOTICES OF AWARDS

First Stage Application due date: July 11, 2021

Notice of Invitation for Second Stage Application: September 1, 2021

Second Stage Application due date: September 30, 2021  November 15, 2021

Notice of award: TBD 

Award start date: TBD