Grant Support

Office of Research Strategy and Development

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has a large and comprehensive research portfolio, spanning the behavioral, population and biological sciences. With research being conducted in nine academic departments and multiple school-wide research centers, our faculty receive funding from a wide range of federal and non-federal sources.

The Office of Research Strategy and Development (ORSD) was created in the fall of 2010 to provide strategic support for the School’s research operation by: supporting faculty to grow and diversify their research funding; increasing competitiveness for extramural research support; and catalyzing emerging transdisciplinary research, infrastructure and platforms. Since ORSD was established, the scope and scale of our work has grown dramatically – in response to both internal need and external challenges.

ORSD provides strategic support for the School’s research efforts by:

Supporting researchers to grow and diversify funding

  • Coordinate research development resources provided through ORSD, External Relations, the Office of Technology Development, Sponsored Programs Administration and the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Research Compliance
  • Deliver workshops and seminars to help faculty develop funding strategies
  • Disseminate funding opportunities through broad and targeted announcements, funding opportunity databases and customized searches

Increasing competitiveness for extramural support

  • Provide proposal development supports including: an NIH Grant-Writing Short Course, external review and editing services for applications, support for large-scale opportunities
  • Develop templates and resources to support proposal development

Catalyzing emerging and inter-departmental research

  • Maximize opportunities to develop cross-cutting, multidisciplinary research
  • Administer the Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement

Strategic initiatives and institutional advancement

  • Facilitate collaboration across and among resource-generating offices, particularly OER, ORSD, and OTD – to best align fundraising with academic needs
  • Lead efforts to engage with life science industry and relevant governmental agencies

Supporting the development of research platforms

  • Facilitate implementation of cross-departmental resources (e.g., microbiome research platform, research computing platform)

ORSD Core Activities and Resources:

Funding search support

Proposal development support

Internal Funding Mechanisms

The Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement

ORSD administers this internal competitive funding program that strives to expand opportunities for scientific advancement, pedagogical innovation and transdisciplinary collaboration across the Harvard Chan School.

The four funding mechanisms that comprise the DFSA are designed to create a pipeline of support that facilitates the exploration of early ideas, the development of strong interdisciplinary team science, and the creation of new transformative research collaborations that advance the frontiers of science (www.hsph.harvard.edu/research-strategy-and-development/acceleration-award).

Activation Award

The Activation Award provides $75,000 (direct cost) for projects that are designed to be completed in a 12-month project period and support the scientific career development of Harvard Chan School Assistant and Associate Professors on the tenure ladder.

Activation Awards are designed to encourage and support the scientific career development of Harvard Chan School Assistant and Associate Professors on the tenure ladder. To advance this goal, we will solicit proposals for pilot projects that will provide faculty the opportunity to develop their research ideas, collect pilot data, or conduct secondary data analysis to be used as pilot data. Although not required, we are particularly interested in proposals that are interdisciplinary in nature. The award is intended to maximize competitiveness for extramural funding by allowing faculty to develop innovative and novel ideas/methods.

Tenure-track Assistant and Associate Professors who have a primary appointment at the Harvard Chan School are eligible to apply.

Incubation Award

The Incubation Award offers $50,000 awards (direct cost) for projects that are designed to be completed in a 12-month project period and support innovative ideas of particular promise in addressing key public health challenges.

The goal of the Incubation Award is to support strategic investments that foster rapid innovation and advance our shared vision for a stronger, more dynamic, and more globally engaged school. The award will establish a centralized seed funding infrastructure through which a suite of philanthropic innovation funds may be administered. Although we expect the suite of funds to expand in the future, this year, Incubation Awards will be funded solely through the McLennan Family Fund.

Key priorities representing pressing global health challenges will be identified annually as the focus of the McLennan Incubation Awards. Proposals will be accepted from across disciplines and may relate to a broad range of research topics. Although applications in the selected priority areas will be given special consideration, any faculty member who has a novel approach or innovative idea that is in need of seed funding is welcome to apply

Primary Harvard Chan School faculty whose research operation is based at the Harvard Chan School are eligible to apply. Co-investigators or team members may include individuals with any academic appointment.

Acceleration Award

Awards will be made for up to $100,000 (direct cost) for projects that are designed to be completed in a 12-month project period and cultivate collaborative/transdisciplinary research, develop cross-cutting research platforms, and support pedagogical advancement. This award is open to Harvard Chan School faculty of any rank who have a primary appointment at the Harvard Chan School, but applications will require the substantial engagement of at least two Harvard Chan School Departments or Centers and must include collaboration from at least one other Harvard School.

Acceleration Awards are collaboration-focused grants supporting the advancement of research, research-enabling platforms, and pedagogical innovation. Grant applications will require the substantial engagement of at least two Harvard Chan School Departments or Centers and must include collaboration from at least one other Harvard School. Up to three awards will be distributed annually across three focal areas: Research Grants; Research Platforms; and Public Health Pedagogy. The actual number of awards distributed in each focal area may vary based on School priorities.

Research Grants will be aligned annually with two priorities with at least one overlapping with an Incubation Award priority from the previous year. The goal of the staggered, overlapping topic is to create a true pipeline structure of internal funding support. Grant applications that align with priority areas will be given special consideration. However, any faculty member who has a novel approach or innovative idea in need of funding is encouraged to apply.

Principal investigators must be:

  • Primary Harvard Chan School faculty whose research operation is based at the Harvard Chan School.
  • Co-investigators or team members may include individuals with any academic appointment.

Applications must include:

  • Coinvestigators from at least two Harvard Chan School Departments or Centers representing interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Collaboration with at least one other Harvard School (see below for more details)

For more information about any of these awards, please visit. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research-strategy-and-development/the-deans-fund-for-scientific-advancement/.

Faculty development programs

  • New faculty orientation sessions: Building your Research Portfolio – Navigating NIH; Drivers of Success Workshop – Leveraging the School’s Resource-Generating Infrastructure
  • Research funding strategies for success: A guide to Harvard Chan’s Resource-generating Offices. An informational panel with leaders from the Offices of Research Strategy, OER, OTD and Research Administration
  • Team science workshops: Designed to facilitate and advance interdisciplinary research

Sponsored Programs Administration

Established in 2000, the Research Administration Office provides pre and post-award administrative services for sponsored projects for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The office is responsible for reviewing and submitting proposals, interpreting, negotiating, and accepting sponsored awards, and providing general oversight, training and compliance monitoring.

The key services and responsibilities of the office are:

  • To assist faculty and administrators in applications to all sources of sponsored programs funding: domestic, foreign and international funding agencies and organizations.
  • To review solicitations, funding announcements, and other sponsor requirements to verify that proposals are compliant with the sponsor’s and the University’s guidelines.
  • To assure all applications comply with the policies of the Harvard Chan School and the University as they relate to issues of institutional principles and policies, financial and budgetary compliance, risk avoidance, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance.
  • To submit electronic applications on behalf of faculty member as required by sponsors.
  • To provide institutional approval and acceptance of all sponsored programs proposals and awards, under authority delegated by Harvard University Central Administration.
  • To collaborate with other Harvard Chan School and University administrative offices as needed to support the submission of proposals, negotiation of awards, and resolution of administrative issues arising in the course of sponsored projects.
  • To establish and implement University research policies governing conduct of and accountability for sponsored activities.
  • To conduct informational grant-related seminars, workshops and training sessions.

The Research Administration Office, under the direction of the Chief Research Administration Officer, Frank Urso, reports to the Executive Dean for Administration, Katie Hope. For Harvard Chan School research administration resources and a list of all staff contacts, please visit https://hcsra.sph.harvard.edu/.