RII Funded Campus Reopening Awardees


Research, Innovation, and Impact (RII) placed an open call on May 27, 2020 inviting the University of Arizona community to provide their research ideas to inform campus operations amid COVID-19. The call encouraged proposals that focused on research involving innovative contact tracing methods; how our built environment impacts the spread of COVID-19; the perceptions and reactions of students, faculty, and staff to social/physical distancing measures and remote operations; impact of closures, social/physical distancing, supply chain disruptions, essential worker designations on community health and wellbeing (including second-order impacts beyond infection), local economies, and work forces; or attitudes on, compliance with, and/or effectiveness of campus reopening safety measures in addition to other ideas. Proposed projects were to be short-term (3 to 6 month) efforts.

Researchers interested in participating in this call for ideas submitted the following:

  • One-page concept note describing the proposed effort 
  • One-page on the expertise needed to accomplish the proposed effort, including identified partners and fields in which additional expertise is required 
  • Short NSF or NIH biographical sketch or CV (no more than two pages) for each of the proposed collaborators
  • Anticipated budget for the proposed effort (up to $25,000), and the budget should accommodate students (undergraduate and graduate), supplies, use of facilities (including RII Core Facilities), and publication costs. Faculty salary was not allowable.

Peer Review Process

RII received over 30 applications, and all proposals went through peer review based on applicability to campus operations and feasibility of the proposed effort (i.e., timeline (3-6 months) and funding available ($25,000/project)). The peer reviewers broadly represented the campus community. After peer review, RII representatives discussed the proposals and the reviewers’ comments. Additionally, the peer reviewers and RII representatives looked for possible collaborative efforts and areas for suggested merged teams where applicants submitted similar concepts. RII sent the funding recommendations to Senior Leadership; the proposals and suggested merged teams were approved with no changes at the end of June 2020. 

RII funded 5 teams outright with their requested amounts of up to $25,000 or under. Another 8 teams were asked to merge and submit a combined proposal and adjusted budget due to synergistic efforts. RII funded these 4 merged teams with a funding amount of up to $35,000. Therefore, there are a total of 9 awarded teams who will summarize their findings for RII, the re-entry team, and submit a journal article or review based on their findings. 

Contact Program Officer
Bekah Coşkun, DrPH

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