Call for Proposals for the Carolina Center for Total Worker Health® and Well-being Pilot Project Program

The Carolina Center for Total Worker Health® and Well-being announces the availability of funding for 2 pilot research projects. The Pilot Projects Program (PPP) will provide seed money (up to $12,000) for investigators to conduct short-term projects (12-18-months). Download the full Request for Proposals here.

Our goal is to cultivate innovative research that builds an evidence base for Total Worker Health (TWH), which is defined as “policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness-prevention efforts to advance worker well-being”. The TWH approach “prioritizes a hazard-free work environment for all workers” by addressing prioritized, unresolved, and critically important occupational health and safety (OHS) issues. In short, the TWH approach integrates the areas of occupational safety and worker health into a single framework.

For investigators interested in expanding their research into the area of social determinants of health (SDOH), the TWH approach offers opportunities for doing so.

The pilot projects are intended to (1) support research related to current and emerging worker health issues and threats, (2) engage post-doctoral fellows, junior faculty, and experienced investigators new to TWH to develop or extend their programs of research using a TWH framework, with a special emphasis to support researchers from underserved and underrepresented groups, (3) test a new method or approach for building new knowledge in TWH, (4) test new approaches for building capacity for TWH in the workforce, and (5) engage communities to improve worker health and well-being.

Eligibility:
Investigators from the universities and/or research institutions in North Carolina listed below are eligible to apply. Postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty are eligible to apply as PIs so long as they have included a mentor with expertise in TWH and OHS. These pilot funds may be used by new investigators to collect data needed to successfully apply for other larger grants. Senior faculty who want to pursue a new interest in TWH are also eligible to apply because we want to encourage investigators from other fields of study (e.g., economics, law, politics, health services, business, and more) to apply their expertise to TWH research. Investigators who identify from an underserved or underrepresented group, such as Black, Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native American ethnicities, are particularly encouraged to apply.

To assist investigators who might be less familiar with TWH, and who may need some initial guidance in directing a project idea that aligns with TWH, Drs. Kneipp & Nylander-French will host Zoom “open hours”, where you may drop in to explore ideas you have for a project and receive some initial guidance. The Zoom link for each of these sessions is in the full Request for Proposals (Download Here)

The dates & times for drop-in are:
Tuesday, July 5, 3-4p.m.
Tuesday, August 2, 3-4p.m.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak with us about your ideas but are unable to attend the above open sessions, please do not hesitate to reach out to either Dr. Leena Nylander-French, at leena_french@unc.edu or Dr. Shawn Kneipp at snkeipp@email.unc.edu .

A letter of intent with a 1 paragraph description of the project must be received electronically by August 1, 2022.

All proposals must be received electronically by the due date of August 31, 2022.

LOIs and proposals are to be submitted to Dr. Leena Nylander-French, at leena_french@unc.edu and Dr. Shawn Kneipp, at snkeipp@email.unc.edu.

Universities Eligible to Apply:
UNC-Chapel Hill
Duke University
NC State University
Appalachian State University
East Carolina University
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
North Carolina A&T University
North Carolina Central University
RTI
UNC-Asheville
UNC-Charlotte
UNC-Greensboro
UNC-Pembroke
UNC-Wilmington
Western Carolina University
Winston-Salem State University
Wake Forest University