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Frequently Asked Questions

Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) 2019 Call for Applications

What is changing in the 2019 call for applications?

A decrease in the available award funds: under the 2018 call for applications, TRDRP awarded approximately $80 million dollars, but as revenues from tobacco product sales decrease, we anticipate less funding.  For the 2019 call for applications, we anticipate approximately $57 million dollars will be available for new grants. 

A return to focus on tobacco related diseasesall applications must include research on tobacco-related disease, treatment, prevention or policy.  Letters of Intent will be programmatically reviewed and only those that meet the criteria will be invited to submit a full application. The criteria used for this decision are:

  • Projects in which tobacco constituents or tobacco-related products are integral to the proposed study.
  • Studies focused on cancers that the Surgeon General has designated to be caused by tobacco or tobacco-related products.
  • Studies focused on oral diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and pulmonary diseases that have been causally linked to tobacco or to tobacco-related products, as reported by the Surgeon General.
  • Observational or laboratory studies of co-use of tobacco products with other substances including cannabis.
  • Health behavior and health policy research focused on tobacco prevention, treatment, or regulation.

A focus on tobacco-related health disparities or new and emerging tobacco products for High Impact Research Project Awards: TRDRP’s most generous awards ($250,000 of direct costs per year over 3 years) will be limited to those research topics addressing tobacco-related health disparities and new and emerging tobacco products (e.g., e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn and hookah).  Letters of Intent will be programmatically reviewed and only those that meet the criteria will be invited to submit a full application. 

How do I know which diseases the Surgeon General has found to be causally linked to the use of tobacco or tobacco-related products?

The Surgeon General’s Reports on Smoking and Tobacco Use serve as a reference for comprehensive analyses of those diseases that are causally linked to smoking and tobacco use. Please note that an individual report may not include information on all tobacco related diseases.  You may need to consult several volumes in order to determine whether your disease of interest has been causally linked to the use of tobacco or tobacco-related projects.

Am I allowed to add out of state expenditures to my budget? 

Prop 56 does not allow funding for out-of-state research, while Prop 99 does, if justified. However, Prop 99 funds are very limited. We therefore recommend against adding out-of-state research expenditures, such as sub-contracts with collaborators, to your budget.  If you include such an out-of-state expenditure that you feel is critical to your research, and your award is selected for funding, funding of your entire award depends on availability of very limited Prop 99 funds, and you may not be funded at all.

What resources are available to help me engage State policy makers?

If you are interested in engaging State Government, please consider partnering with the UC Center Sacramento (UCCS).  UCCS is a system-wide program of the University of California.  One of the Center's core missions is to share knowledge in the interest of better, more evidence-based public policy.  UCCS can help TRDRP investigators address the broader impacts and policy implications of their tobacco-related research.  Specific services available include evaluating dissemination strategies; helping to arrange meetings with policymakers within the Sacramento-based governmental apparatus; convening panels and conferences at the UCCS facility near the Capitol; preparing policy briefs; and assisting with op/eds for local, regional, and national news outlets.

How do I design a Community Engagement Plan for a biomedical research grant?

TRDRP believes that it is critical to engage the community in understanding research into tobacco disease prevention, tobacco use prevention, and cessation.  We require a community engagement plan to encourage investigators to think creatively how they could include community residents in their research process. Community members or community organizations could be involved at various stages of research (e.g., development, implementation, dissemination).

A few examples of how a biomedical scientist might consider including community members in their research include: community presentations of research findings in an accessible manner for a general audience; holding a community forum to better understand intended and unintended downstream effects from the community perspective; holding laboratory educational sessions to discuss the importance of bench-level science for scientific discovery that will eventually improve health at the community level. Click here for suggestions on designing your community engagement plan.

Scientists planning to engage community residents in their research should set aside funds in their budget to compensate residents for their time and involvement, as appropriate.

How is community defined?

Community is broadly defined as any group of individuals sharing a common characteristic, such as culture, language, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other attribute that might impact the effectiveness of tobacco control programs.

These services are available to both UC- and non-UC-affiliated investigators.  TRDRP investigators interested in collaborating with UC Center Sacramento should contact UCCS Director Richard L. Kravitz as early in the proposal-writing process as possible.

For the Mackay Scholar Award, does the “Pacific Rim” region include Latin America?

For the purpose of this award, Pacific Rim refers to regions and countries that are on the shores of the Pacific including those in North/East/Southeast Asia, North/Central/South America (including Alaska & Canada), and the Pacific Islands.

Would a visiting scholar at a California University who is from a Pacific Rim country be an appropriate applicant for a Mackay Scholar Award?

Providing the applicant meets the residency and effort requirements of the award, including the requirement that training experiences be based primarily in California, the applicant would be eligible to apply.  In addition, the applicant will need to demonstrate that their work during the grant as well as their subsequent policy leadership resulting from this grant support address key tobacco policy priorities of direct relevance to and benefiting California as well as the Pacific Rim region or countries.

Can’t find the answer to your question? Feel free to contact TRDRP Program Officers, we are always ready to assist you with any questions you may have in mind.

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