Funding » Funding Opportunity Details
Funding Opportunity Details
2020-2021 Community Scholars Program (LaCoSP)
Currently Accepting: Applications
Deadline: 12/2/2020
Funding Entity: LA CaTS
Max. Award: $10,000.00
Contact: info@lacats.org

The LaCoSP is a research opportunity that was developed by the Community Engagement and Outreach Resource (CEOR) of the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center. The program provides formal training (didactic) and pilot project funds (up to $10,000) for teams comprised of a community and an academic partner interested in community-based participatory research (CBPR). The goal of the LaCoSP is to increase the capacity of community-academic partnerships to conduct community engaged research with mutual ownership of the processes and products and aligning with the ultimate objective of improving the health of residents of Louisiana and the nation.

  • One Letter of Intent per submission
  • Submission Limit: 1 per Applicant.
  • Upload only pdf files
  • Only 1 file for each Application
More Information

Letter of Intent: 11/13/2020 Applications: 12/2/2020 Reviews: N/A
Untitled Document


LA CaTS Community Scholars Program (LaCoSP)
2020-2021 Call for Applications


Application Key Dates
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Informational Session: November 6, 2020
Letter of Intent Deadline: November 13, 2020
Application Deadline:  December 2, 2020
Applicants Contacted on Award Status: December 21, 2020
Training Start Date:  Week of January 4



General Information

  • Community and academic Co-PIs
  • All application documents required
  • Up to 2 teams awarded
  • Participation in formal training is required
  • Funding up to $10,000
  • One year to complete didactic component and proposed pilot project


Daniel F. Sarpong, PhD., LaCoSP Director dsarpong@xula.edu


Margarita Echeverri, PhD., T&E Unit Leader mechever@xula.edu,  504-520-6719
Tynesia Fields, MPA; Community Engagement Coordinator
tfields6@xula.edu, 504-520-5033


Informational Zoom Meeting

An informational conference call was held on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:00 PM CST. The session was recorded and available now on the LA CaTS You Tube Channel (direct link is above). 



The goal of the LA CoSP is to increase the capacity of community-academic partnerships to conduct community engaged research with mutual ownership of the processes and products, and with the ultimate goal of improving the health of residents of Louisiana and the nation.


  • Increase academic research investigators' participation in community engaged research
  • Promote collaboration and trusted partnership between community-based organizations addressing health disparities and translational researchers within the LA CaTS Center institutions.
  • Fund multiple PI (Community & Academic) pilot projects relative to community needs, which are congruent to the goals, mission and vision of the LA CaTS Center.
  • Stimulate subsequent research funding, projects and peer-reviewed publications

Overview and Competences

The Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center Community Engagement and Outreach Resource (CEOR) is accepting applications for LA CaTS Community Scholars Program (LA CoSP) [Cohort 4] through December 2, 2020. The program provides formal training and pilot project funds for teams comprised of a community and an academic partner interested in community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Participants successfully completing LaCoSP, will have the skills to:

  • Articulate the concepts and components of CBPR and other methods for community engaged research
  • Apply CBPR principles in the conduct of research
  • Communicate with audiences in both community and academic settings about CBPR principles and components 
  • Implement a pilot CBPR initiative to address a shared community health priority
  • Incorporate CBPR principles and approaches in funding applications
  • Develop a 3-4 year plan for subsequent CBPR research funding based on pilot

Program Details

Formal Training
Thirteen 90-minute training sessions are held weekly from the week of January 4, 2021 to February 8, 2021, except on observed holidays, on a date and time to be determined. Permitting no restrictions, participants in the New Orleans/Baton Rouge areas are expected to attend in person while participants outside New Orleans/Baton Rouge areas have the option to attend in person or via videoconference (Virtual options will be available). The dates for these three sessions will be determined after the cohort members have been selected for each cycle. The sessions address definitions, principles, theories and methods of CBPR, grantsmanship, building and sustaining partnerships, evaluation, and career development. Inter- professional faculty and community members conduct the training sessions. Optional online modules are available to all participants to help build research capacity.

Each team meets with a community and/or academic mentor to help guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot CBPR project. LA CoSP staff assists each team in the identification of a mentor in the team’s field of choice. Each mentor has expertise and success with CBPR and with the topic addressed by each team. Teams are expected to meet with their mentor at least once a month.

Pilot Grant Proposal Development

Each team prepares and submits a preliminary pilot grant proposal as part of the LA CoSP application. During the training sessions, teams receive assistance from their mentor and LA CoSP faculty and staff to refine the proposal. The budget amount awarded is dependent upon NIH funds and/or agreeable institutional available funds. The funding available for each project is determined by the LA CaTS Center Executive Committee and each team should discuss budget details with the LA CoSP leaders in the proposal development stage. Each pilot project proposal and the associated IRB application submission (by the final week of January) is peer-reviewed and when approved, each team can receive up to $10,000 in total costs to implement the proposed community-based research pilot project. Teams will refine their grant proposals and submit final protocols to the IRB by February 5th.

IMPORTANT, all community scholar pilot projects MUST receive LA CaTS administrative approval (which includes NIH prior approval) before the project can begin and funds can be released. Documents required for administrative and NIH approval of the project include designated NIH forms (i.e. face page, performance sites, budget pages, etc.), regulatory approval, applicable human subjects’ protection section and training certificate, etc. The LA CaTS Center Administrative Core facilitates the administrative and NIH approvals of projects. More detailed instruction will be given during the proposal development component.

Pilot Grants

Pilot projects are intended to inform future grant applications by each LA CoSP team for state, federal, foundation and other sponsor funding considerations. The LA CaTS Community Advisory Boards and results of community needs assessment identified the following health issues as a priority for research in Louisiana: obesity, cardiovascular disease, social determinants of health, child health, and mental health. We look forward to seeing how team projects align with these priorities and/or to expanding this list of health research needs based on input from communities and research teams across the state.
All pilot project grants must be completed by June 30, 2021, this includes the submission of a final project report, unless a no cost extension is requested and granted.


Dates are subject to change

October 27, 2020 Release Date
November 6, 2020 at 4 pm Informational Session (Zoom meeting)
November 13, 2020 at 5 pm CST Letter of Intent Due
December 2, 2020 at 5 pm CST Applications Due
December 21, 2020 Notify teams of award status
Week of January 4, 2021 Formal training begins
January 18, 2021 Revised Pilot proposal due
January 25, 2021 IRB application due
February 22, 2021* Formal training ends
March 8, 2021 Start of pilot projects
Following IRB Review and Approval Grant award disbursement
May 17, 2021 Project midpoint summary due
June 30, 2021 End of pilot projects
June 30, 2021¨ Final project report due

*: The times and dates of the formal training sessions will be determined by the accepted applicants.
¨: There is possibility of a no-cost extension to prepare and submit final report final.

Program Requirements & Eligibility

Each team must consist of at least one community partner and one academic partner.

An academic partner is an individual(s) with a faculty, clinician or postdoctoral appointment at one or more of the university/academic LA CaTS partner institutions.

A community partner is defined as an individual(s) who maintains a primary affiliation, whether employed or volunteer, with a community organization. For the purpose of this program, community organization is defined as an organization that has:

  1. a documented interest in improving the health of the relevant community (e.g., a mission statement); and
  2. a history of serving the health needs and interests of the relevant community.

These organizations may include, but are not limited to public schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, community-based health provider organizations and/or advocacy groups.


To ensure that each participant has the ability to meet each LA CoSP competency and that each team gains the necessary skills to carry out a CBPR project, the following attendance policy applies:
At least one academic or one community member of the team must be present (either in person or online) for each session. For each individual participant, only two absences are allowed. Failure to comply with the stated attendance policy jeopardizes the pilot project funding for a team and the certificate of completion for an individual member.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

Each member of the teams accepted into the LA CoSP must complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training before the second training session. Team members must complete the training individually. Community partners may need Xavier University of Louisiana login information prior to starting CITI training. Teams will receive additional information on how to complete CITI training when they are accepted into the program.
Points of Contact

Applicants must designate a study point of contact, defined as the person responsible for reporting requirements, budget management and communication with all members of the team. Applicants must also designate the academic department financial point of contact who will manage the LA CoSP pilot funds if awarded.

Application Process

LA CoSP application materials are available for download at the LA CaTS Funding Opportunities webpage: https://lacatsfunding.pbrc.edu/members/researchfunding/default.aspx

  1. Letter of Intent

Please send a Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by academic and community partners with a brief 2- 3 sentence statement describing your research project.  A Letter of Intent Template is available as an attachment on this document and is due November 13, 2020 by email to info@lacats.org. Please include “LA CoSP Letter of Intent” in the subject line of the email. Only applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria or other stated requirement will receive communication to that effect by November 18, 2020. Hence, you do not receive any response to your LOI, you should proceed to develop your full application to submit by the due date.

  1. Full Application
    1. Details for completing each section and requested information are provided below.  Please complete ALL sections of the LaCoSP application materials including:
      1. Memorandum of Understanding
      2. Supervisor Consent Forms (both Community and Academic Supervisors)
      3. Biographical Sketches (both Community and Academic Partners)
      4. Community and Academic Partnership
      5.   Proposal*

*No budget is required at the time of the application submission. A project budget will be developed during the pilot grant proposal development phase.

  1. Combine all completed application materials in the order above (A-E) into ONE PDF file.
  2. Applications should be submitted on the LA CaTS Center SPARC Request online system at https://sparc.lacats.org.
  3. First time users need to create a Login and Password as prompted on the LA CaTS Center SPARC Request online system at https://sparc.lacats.org.

Submit  one  application  per  community-academic  team.     Complete  application  must  be received no later than 5:00 PM CST, December 2, 2020.

A. Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a formal agreement between two or more parties.  Although they are not legally binding, establishing an MOU is a best practice when establishing partnerships, and expectations.  An MOU Template is available below. 

B. Supervisor Consent Forms

The supervisor of each community and academic partner, must approve each individual's participation in the LaCoSP. A Supervisor Consent Form Template is available as an attachment on this document. 

C. Biographical Sketches / Resumes

A biographical sketch, also known as a biosketch, is a standardized format to summarize achievements, skills, education and formal training.  The most common format of biosketch used by academic researchers is from the National Institutes of Health which recently updated the required format.
LaCoSP Academic partners are required to submit an NIH-formatted biosketch.  Click here for a template, examples, and for more information.
LaCoSP Community partners are encouraged to submit an NIH-formatted biosketch.  However, it is also acceptable for Community partners to submit a resume describing their experience, education, accomplishments, and awards.

D. Community and Academic Partnership Section

Partnership Capacity: (1 page maximum)

  1. Team Partnership
    1. Team members with organizational affiliation
    2. Date and description of established partnership
  2. Purpose of Partnership
  3. Briefly describe the work you have previously completed as partners
  4. Process of identifying project health issue and development of CES Program project
  5. Describe your ability as a team to carry out a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project in partnership. Consider addressing your team's capacity, resources, support, experience, training and role in the proposed project

E. Proposal Section

(no more than 4 single-spaced pages, 11-point font, half-inch margins– not including citation references)

Note: You will revise this proposal during the course of the formal training.  Study tools (e.g., surveys, focus group questions) do not have to be finalized for the initial application.

(approx. 1/2 page recommended)

  • Describe the research problem and research question.   
        • Why is this problem important?
        • Why is this project worth doing?

Innovation: (approx. 1/2 page recommended)

  • How will this work advance the field or contribute to the needed body of knowledge?
  • How will this work lead to changes in the way people think about or handle a problem?

Approach: (approx. 2 pages recommended)

  • Engagement Plan: Describe past or intended efforts to engage your community of interest in terms of participant involvement, support and the nature of outcomes.
  • Specific Aims (recommend no more than 3 aims)
  • Methods:
    • Study design, population, variables/outcomes/measurements, brief data management/analysis, and statistical analysis plan, human subject issues and approaches

Impact: (approx. 1 page recommended)

  • Short-term project goals
  • Long-term project and team partnership goals
  • How does this work advance the aims of community engagement and translational research? Why and how will this initial investment of money and effort lead to research that impacts health of people and communities?
  • Team and environment: Describe your team as well as the development and mentorship goals and plans for your team
  • Specifically outline next steps leading from this work to additional funding and research dissemination.

Appendices:   Reasonable appendices (no more than 10 pages) can be included to describe details related to tools, surveys, interview guide(s), figures, etc. and are not counted as part of the 4-page proposal.

Application Review Process

All applications are reviewed and scored under a two-step process:

  1. Eligibility Criteria Screening Process – All applications are screened for eligibility by LA CaTS/CEOR staff and leadership, based on the online information and completed LaCoSP Application submitted. Applications received after the due date are NOT accepted.
  2. Panel Review Process – All applications successfully meeting the minimum eligibility requirements are reviewed and scored by a community-academic review panel. Applications are scored according to the criteria listed below:
    1. Partnership capacity - strength of partnership to carry out stated goals:
      1. Ability of partnership to work together to achieve stated goals
      2. Resources and support available to community and academic partners
      3. History of partnership
      4. Experience of both partners in the targeted community and health promotion topic
      5. Training of community and academic partners
      6. Quality of the proposed research
      7. Potential for continued research funding
    2. Significance of the community health issue to be addressed in the pilot project.
    3. Approach of pilot project:
      1. Incorporation of participatory methods for community and academic partners
      2. Innovation
      3. Appropriateness of approach to meet short-term and long-term goals of project
      4. Potential for future funding by the team
  3. Scoring – Applications are scored modeled on the 9-point NIH scoring system which weighs strengths and weaknesses and designates if has minor, moderate, or major weaknesses.


Strength Score Descriptor
High 1 Exceptional
2 Outstanding
3 Excellent
Medium 4 Very Good
5 Good
6 Satisfactory
Low 7 Fair
8 Marginal
9 Poor

Notice of Award

Teams with the best scores will be admitted into the LA CoSP. Successful applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program by December 21, 2020.
NOTE: The amount awarded for the pilot project will be determined in the pilot grant proposal stage. Funds for the project will be managed by the academic partner’s institution that is a LA CaTS Center member institution.

Application Checklist

See full RFP at the bottom of this webpage under Related Files.

Further Information

  1. An informational Zoom meeting will be held on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:00PM. The Zoom link is: https://xula.zoom.us/j/91649742734 or by phone: (312) 626 6799 US, Meeting ID: 916 4974 2734. The session is recorded and available to those unable to join the conference call on the LA CoSP webpage.
  2. To request research support when developing your LaCoSP application proposal, please contact the LA CaTS Community Engagement and Outreach Resource (Xavier University office) at 504-520-5033/tfields6@xula.edu or 504-520-6719/mechever@xula.edu for a free consultation. 
  3. Further information regarding the Community Engaged Scholars Program application can be found on the LA CaTS Funding Opportunities webpage:https://lacatsfunding.pbrc.edu/members/researchfunding/default.aspx
  4. Please contact Dr. Margarita Echeverri at mechever@xula.edu, Tynesia Fields at tfields6@xula.edu  or community@LACaTS.org with any questions.