A Healthier Wisconsin

2021 Call for Collaborative Research for Improved Health

Funding Summary

Funds Available: Approximately $1 million is available to support approximately four meritorious MCW-led collaborative biomedical or population science research projects. 

Application Deadline: LOI Applications due by 5 PM (CST) on November 16, 2020

Funding Timeline: Project funding will begin July 1, 2021. There is no limit on project duration; however, projects generally request project durations between approximately 24 and 36 months.

Funding Details: AHW’s call for Collaborative Research for Improved Health seeks to support Medical College of Wisconsin principal investigator-led collaborations to pursue new paths of study, overcome barriers, or integrate new research perspectives to move knowledge into action.

This funding will foster research collaborations along the T0-T5 translational spectrum with the ultimate goal of addressing Wisconsin’s health needs. Projects should lead to health improvements for Wisconsin communities either as a direct result of the proposed research (immediate improvement to human health), or as a result of longer-term research plans (eventual improvement to human health that could not occur without important advancements in the scientific field). 

Collaborations should align with the following categories:

  • Basic/clinical/population science collaborations to speed the translation of knowledge and health impact
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations between two or more disciplines to cross-pollinate different expertise and produce new knowledge, instruments, and models
  • Junior/established investigator collaborations to create new opportunities to increase individual knowledge, skills, networks, and resources of both investigators by expanding the capacity of junior investigators and leveraging existing expertise and resources held by established investigators
  • Academic/industry collaborations to stimulate the production of usable innovations to speed discovery and health impacts

AHW encourages research in alignment with the focus areas of improving heart health, supporting healthy minds, and dismantling cancer, however work outside of these focus areas will also be considered. 

webinar series

Recording: 2021 Collaborative Research for Improved Health RFA Informational Webinar

On September 9, AHW hosted an informational webinar providing interested applicants with information on AHW, an overview of the current grant opportunity, an introduction to the application process and timeline, as well as an opportunity to ask initial questions. View the recording below:

AHW Funding Virtual Open House

Have questions? We’re here to help. AHW program managers will be available on a regular basis to share answers to frequently asked questions and take any questions from interested applicants or merit reviewers. Register at the links below to receive the webinar log-in information.

Wednesday, September 16 | 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Registration Closed

Wednesday, September 23 | 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Registration Closed

Wednesday, September 30 | 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Registration Closed

merit review

Merit reviews will be conducted by an internal (MCW) review body consisting of two panels: one comprised of clinical/population science experts and another comprised of basic science experts. Each application will be reviewed for its collaborative team, significance, and research approach using a nine-point scale based on the rating scale used by the National Institutes of Health. 


For more details, please see the full RFA.


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  Who is eligible to apply for the Collaborative Research for Improved Health funding opportunity?

Principal Investigators must be full-time or full professional effort MCW faculty with the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor and a primary appointment in the MCW School of Medicine. Successful research teams will be new, enhanced, or existing collaborations which involve one Principal Investigator (PI) and at least one Co-Investigator* with substantial roles in the project (minimum of five percent FTE each). Teams must represent one of four collaboration categories outlined in the RFA. *Co-I/Collaborator requirements vary by collaboration category. See the Eligibility section of the RFA for details. 

  How does my team apply?

Applicants under this RFA are highly encouraged to have a pre-submission meeting with AHW Program Manager Kristen Gardner-Volle. Please contact Kristen early in your application process to set up a meeting. 

Applications will be accepted only through the official online form. Applications must be received by 5 PM (CST) on November 16, 2020. Applicants must answer all required fields and follow the restrictions set within the online form. No paper or emailed applications will be accepted. AHW will confirm receipt of the submission via email to the primary partners. 

Following successful submission of the online form, signatures from key project personnel will be required via DocuSign in order to complete the LOI submission and be eligible to advance to merit review. 

  What are allowable expenses under this funding opportunity?

AHW uses a cost-reimbursement model. Funds may only be used for direct, project-related expenses. Please review a complete list of AHW’s Allowable and Unallowable Costs (PDF) as you prepare your application. A detailed budget is not required in the LOI application, but those advancing to the full proposal stage will be required to submit a detailed budget at that stage. 

In addition, AHW funds may not supplant funds or resources otherwise available. Please see AHW Supplanting Criteria (PDF) for details. 

Further details on AHW financial compliance requirements can be found in the full RFA.

  How long does the application process take? When will award announcements be made?

The Call for Collaborative Research for Improved Health application is a two-step application process:

  • Application Stage 1: Letter of Intent (LOI) applications due by 5 PM (CST) on November 16, 2020. Applicants will be notified in January 2021 of invitation to move to stage 2. 
  • Application Stage 2: Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal application by 5 PM (CST) on March 15, 2021. 
  • Award Determination: Award determinations will be made in May 2021, with funded projects beginning their work in July 2021. 

Please see the full RFA for review criteria and details regarding each application stage.

Contact us

For further information or to schedule a pre-application consultation, contact Kristen Gardner-Volle, at (414) 955-4754 or kgardnervolle@mcw.edu.

Please note that AHW staff are currently working remotely and email is the preferred form of communication.

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350