Funding » Funding Opportunity Details
Funding Opportunity Details
2019-2020 Community Scholars Program (LaCoSP)
Currently Accepting: Nothing
Deadline: N//A
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: 9/6/2019 Applications: 9/30/2019 Reviews: N/A
Untitled Document


LA CaTS Community Scholars Program (LaCoSP)
2019-2020 Call for Applications


Application Key Dates

Date: August 19, 2019
Informational Session: August 26, 2019
Letter of Intent Deadline: September 6, 2019
CEOR Symposium: September 6, 2019
Application Deadline:  September 30, 2019
Applicants Contacted on Award Status: October 18, 2019
Training Start Date:  Week of October 27, 2019



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 Conference Call

An informational conference call will be held on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 4-5 PM CST. The conference line phone number: (888) 330-1716 & Access code: 6730163. The session is recorded and available to those unable to join the conference call on the LaCoSP webpage. Please email dsarpong@xula.edu and copy tfields6@xula.edu and mechever@xula.edu if interested in participating in the informational session by noon Friday, August 23, 2019 to be sure you receive update information on the Informational Conference Call.



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 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 (LaCoSP) [Cohort 3] through September 30, 2019. 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 October 27, 2019 to December 9, 2019, except on observed holidays, on a date and time to be determined.  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. Three in-person sessions at either Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans or Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge are required for all grantees. The dates and venue 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.  LaCoSP 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 LaCoSP application.  During the training sessions, teams receive assistance from their mentor and LaCoSP 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 LaCOSP leaders in the proposal development stage. Each pilot project proposal and the associated IRB application submission (second week of November 2019) 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 the end of third week of November 2019.

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 LaCoSP 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, 2020, this includes the submission of a final project report.


Dates are subject to change

August 19, 2019

Release Date

August 26, 2019 at 4 pm

Information Session (conference call)

September 6, 2019 at 5 pm CST

Letter of Intent Due

September 6, 2019 at 8AM – 5 PM

Community Engaged Research Symposium (Strongly encourage potential applicants of the Community Scholars Program to attend)

September 30, 2019 at 5 pm CST

Applications Due

October 18, 2019

Notify teams of acceptance status

Week of October 27, 2019

Formal training begins

November 11, 2019

Revised Pilot proposal due

November 18, 2019

IRB application due

December 9, 2019*

Formal training ends

January 2, 2020

Start of pilot projects

Following IRB Review and Approval

Grant award disbursement

March 31, 2020

Project midpoint summary due

June 30, 2020

End of pilot projects

June 30, 2020¨

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

Team Structure
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:

  •  a documented interest in improving the health of the relevant community (e.g., a mission statement); and
  •  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 LaCoSP 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 LaCoSP 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 LaCoSP pilot funds if awarded.

Application Process

LaCoSP 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 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 September 6, 2019 by email to info@lacats.org. Please include “LaCoSP Letter of Intent” in the subject line of the email.

  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/services/1018.
  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.
Applicants can also review services and request consultations at any time in the application process with the LA CaTS Center cores and resources through SPARC.
Submit one application per community-academic team.  Complete application must be received no later than 5:00 PM CST, September 30, 2019.


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 as an attachment on this document. 

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.
Significance: (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 LaCoSP.  Successful applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program by October 18, 2019.
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 conference call will be held on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 4-5 PM. The conference line phone number 1-888-330-1716 & Access code: 6730163. The session is recorded and available to those unable to join the conference call on the LaCoSP 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.