Call for Proposals: Connecting Penn Research to Communities

The Community Engagement and Research (CEAR) Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania is making pilot grant funding available for research with public and community health relevance. We are especially interested in proposals that address prevention and management of heart disease and cancer risk.

This call for proposals is open to faculty and postdocs with significant public and community health-related experience at Penn and is intended to:

  • Foster interdisciplinary research in public health at Penn that will have meaningful results at the community level.
  • Assist in garnering external support for large-scale studies in the field of public health.
  • Encourage additional faculty and staff at Penn to become involved in public health research.
  • Identify the innovative methodologies in the field of public health that have the potential of informing local, state, and national policy and programming.

Click HERE for the Call for Proposals.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Applications for the 2022-2023 funding cycle are due Thursday, April 7, 2022 by 5pm for a June 1st, 2022 start date.

Any questions should be directed to Krista Scheffey (

CEAR Core also awards pilot grant funds through Community-Driven Research Day (CDRD). Community-Driven Research Day is a collaboration between community groups and researchers at Penn, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Temple University, Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University. CDRD is an opportunity for members of community organizations and academic researchers to come together to meet and discuss potential collaborations and community-academic partnerships.


2022 Community Driven Research Day – January 27

Community-Driven Research Day (CDRD) encourages collaborations between researchers and community-based organizations (CBOs) and community groups who have research questions that they are interested in answering, specifically in ways that address social determinants of health. The 12th annual CDRD will take place virtually on Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 9:30am-12:30pm EST.

Through virtual presentations in themed breakout sessions, CBOs and community groups will highlight their questions to CDRD participants, who will include area nonprofits, community groups, public sector partners, and researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. CBOs, community groups, academic researchers, and students will be able to virtually meet and discuss mutually-beneficial collaborations around the 12th Annual CDRD theme of “Advancing Health and Equity Through Community-Academic Partnerships.” 

Following CDRD, a competitive pilot grant program supports partnerships formed as a result of participation in CDRD between academic researchers and community-based organizations. The eight $10,000 grants are limited to faculty of The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine who have significant community health-related research experience, and are working in collaboration with community partners who present at CDRD.

CDRD Details & Additional Information

The 12th Annual CDRD will be held virtually on Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 9:30am-12:30pm EST. Registration is now open for both presenters and attendees.

Call for Submissions: CBOs and Community Groups

CBOs and community groups interested in developing partnerships to conduct research are urged to participate in an interactive virtual poster presentation that will highlight the organization’s/group’s mission, goals, and major accomplishments. Posters/Powerpoint will also display questions that they are interested in answering about partnering for healthy and safe communities.

Submissions are due by Monday, January 10, 2022. Click here to apply to present(link is external).

Register to Attend: Non-Presenting Participants

All non-presenting individuals interested in attending Community-Driven Research Day, including academic faculty, staff, students, lay community members, and representatives of non-academic institutions should register by Thursday, January 20, 2022. Click here to register(link is external).

Click here to access the 2022 CDRD flyer.(link is external)

Community Partner Training gets a new platform

Community Partner Training is an online training program for community members who are engaged in human subjects research. This training program was adapted for Penn in 2016, from CIRTification, created by Emily Anderson, PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

The Community Partner Training program was developed by  the Community Engagement and Research (CEAR) Core of the UPenn Clinical and Translational Science Awards (ITMAT) with input by the UPenn Office of Regulatory Affairs, Human Research Protections (the IRB office). The course was designed to train community members with limited research experience on the background and principles of conducting human subjects research.

The Community Partner Training has moved to the platform. The CEAR Core team has partnered with Penn Libraries to bring community research partners a free, accessible, and fully supported training program on Canvas.

Over 230 people have completed the training since its launch. The course is user-friendly and accessible within the Canvas platform.

Click here for more information and to register for the course. Please share widely with your contacts and colleagues.

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in West Philadelphia Communities

The West Philadelphia Vaccine Street Team Pilot Program is knocking on doors to encourage our neighbors to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Heather Klusaritz and Carolyn Cannuscio, along with their team, are building trust and creating opportunities for people to have conversations about their vaccine concerns in order to support vaccine decision-making.

Read the full story here

2021 CEAR Core Pilot Grants awarded

The UPenn ITMAT Community Engagement and Research (CEAR) Core has awarded pilot funding to two proposals for the 2021-2022 pilot grant cycle.

The two proposals that are being funded are:

  • “Caregiving youth: an invisible cause of inequity” led by Dr. Joanna Hart
  • “A telehealth solution to improve community access to fetal monitoring in high-risk pregnancies: a feasibility pilot study” led by Dr. Nadav Schwartz.

Dr. Hart, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics & Health Policy, is leading a project to better understand the needs of youth who are informal caregivers for ill or disabled family members. She will be working with Dr. Victoria Miller at CHOP and collaborators at Mastery Charter Schools and Temple University’s Intergenerational Center.

Dr. Schwartz, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is leading a pilot study to evaluate a novel telehealth solution for remote, in-home fetal non-stress tests for monitoring high-risk pregnancies. He will be working with Drs. Rebecca Hamm and Meghan Lane-Fall at Penn and Dr. Marjorie Mogul at the Maternity Care Coalition.

These proposals were selected from a highly competitive applicant pool. Congratulations to Dr. Hart and Dr. Schwartz!

The Community Engagement and Research (CEAR) Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania has made pilot grant funding available for research with public and community health relevance since 2014.

Watts named team leader in inaugural Projects for Progress 

The University of Pennsylvania announced its inaugural Projects for Progress prize recipients, which include three teams of Penn students, faculty, and staff. The teams, awarded up to $100,000 each to support their initiatives, all enhance and promote equity and inclusion in Philadelphia by addressing health care, education, and environmental justice, respectively.

CEAR Core Steering Committee member, Caroline Watts, is the team leader for “Bridging Gaps and Building Capacity: Student and Educator Supports for School Reopening in Learning Network 2.”

Read the full story here.

PDA Public Service Award Recipient, Dr. Joan I. Gluch

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, Chief of Penn Dental Medicine’s Division of Community Oral Health, has been honored by the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) for her public service to the community as the 2021 recipient of the PDA Public Service Award. The award recognizes her commitment to underserved communities through her insightful innovations to improve their oral health.

Dr. Glutch is a CEAR Core Steering Committee member.

Read the full story here.