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Community Engagement Pilot Program (CE-Pilot)

Frequently Asked Questions


Can non-faculty researchers submit pilot program applications?

Yes. We will accept applications from a range of research investigators, including those not holding a faculty appointment (e.g., graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research managers, professional research assistants).

Do academic researchers have to be from the University of Colorado Denver?

No, we welcome applications involving academic researchers from other institutions.

Can pilot program proposals include people or partners within the region (or must they focus solely on Colorado)?

CCTSI welcomes applications that include partners or target populations in other states within our region (e.g., New Mexico, Wyoming).

Is any researcher outside the University of Colorado system considered to be a ‘community partner’?

No. Researchers who are housed at or working on behalf of CCTSI Affiliate Organizations (University of Colorado Denver, CU Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Veteran Affairs Medical Center, National Jewish Health, and Kaiser Permanente Colorado) are considered academic researchers.

Can community partners be located outside of the region or country?

No, the community partners should be housed or serving community in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Can applications be submitted to more than one of the CCTSI pilot programs?

No. Applicants are permitted to submit a single application to only one of the three pilot programs offered through the CCTSI (this Community-Academic Partnerships program OR the CO-Pilot OR CMH-Pilot).


Can an academic researcher engage a population without an organization that is already in existence?

If the intent of the project is to equally engage community partners in the research with community members serving as equal partners, this is acceptable. Community members and patients engaged as a recruitment strategy or solely in an advisory capacity are not acceptable.

There is a focus during the application review on how community members and researchers work together; does that focus apply to both funding types (joint pilot projects and partnership development projects)?

Yes. However, reviewers understand that new partnerships take time to develop. With existing partners, reviewers pay particular attention to the level of involvement of the community partner throughout the entire research process.

Are there priority areas for funding?

Yes. For this year’s award cycle, preference will be given to applications that target one of three health disparity areas:

  1. childhood chronic conditions,
  2. mental health/social-emotional wellbeing, or
  3. cardiovascular disease prevention

However, applications with focal areas outside of these three priority areas still will be considered.

How is “community” defined?

As stated on the RFA, community and community partners is broadly defined as “a set of persons with shared commonalities, such as a geographic location (e.g., the community of Colorado Springs), work specialization (e.g., the community of community health workers), or a common cause (e.g., a group of residents advocating for homeowners’ rights). Eligible community partners can include current CCTSI Community Partners, or other community partners willing to collaborate on pilot projects with Academic Researchers. Please consult with us if you have any uncertainty about whether a partner qualifies as a Community Partner.”

Project Categories

If you are confused about the community-academic partnership already in place. For example, if you're interested in working with someone in the High Plains Research Network, but you haven't done any work with anyone in that network yet, is that considered in place or is that considered under development?

Unless there is already a relationship there between the [academic] researcher and the community partner, this would be considered partnership development.

If there is a network that is already established, but you as an individual applicant have not identified someone to work with, then you're in the development phase?


What about a case where you have an existing community-academic partnership network, but you plan to bring a new partner into the group; would that be considered category A (joint pilot project) or category B (partnership development)?

If the lead applicants have the primary, existing relationship, it would be considered a joint pilot project (category A). The key also is to ensure that, even within the joint pilot project, you're really talking about how you're going to engage this new group within your already existing partnership.


Community partners receive their portion of the funds through the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment (CFPHE) in a cost reimbursement agreement. Is this mechanism only for the community award?

Yes, the reimbursement process for academic researchers is determined by where the researcher is housed. If the researcher is a University employee, a University speedtype will be established for expenditures. Gift accounts or purchase orders will be established for academic researchers at affiliate institutions.

Regarding the 50% budget for the community partners, you noticed there were line items that aren't necessarily going to the community partner, so do those need to be allocated or are those a category? And exactly what does it mean for 50% to go to the community partner?

We need to know how much you plan to spend on people and activities and which side of the budget (academic or community) the expenses are going to come from. For example, if you determine that you want to spend $300 on food for a community meeting, organized by the community partner, you would want to include money for food and related meeting expenses in the community budget.

So a consultant helping to design a survey would go in the academic budget?

Whoever is going to pay that bill or be in charge of that particular activity would want to put the money for that activity in their budget.

Okay, so it's not going to that partner, but they are going to pay the bill, so if the community partner pays for that then it's considered part of their 50%?

Correct. It is important to emphasize that once the budgets are approved, you will not have the ability to move money from one budget to the other. Budget adjustments can be made within the community budget or within the academic budget but money cannot be shifted from the community to the academic budget or vice versa.

Do academic partners from the University need to submit their budgets to Grants and Contracts before pilot program submission?


What is the current approved indirect cost rate for community partners on this program?

This pilot program does not pay indirect costs for either community or academic partners. All funding is allocated to research or the process of doing research. Please include only direct costs on your proposed budget.

Formatting & Submission Requirements

Will you allow material in an Appendix that does not count against the narrative page limit?

Yes. Up to two letters of support/commitment; up to two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) and a one-page bibliography can be included as an appendix and will not count against the narrative page limit. Appendices that do not adhere to these requirements will not be accepted.

Post Award Requirements

Who is expected to participate in the mandatory community engagement workshop and coaching?

Both community and academic partners are expected to attend the workshop and any coaching sessions.

When does the open house/poster session take place and how is it structured?

The open house/poster session is held annually in the fall. It is an opportunity for community members, academicians, pilot awardees and others who are doing community-engaged research to come together and share information about their projects.

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