Funding for Community Members, Organizations

Community members and organizations interested in developing ideas and partnerships to address health in Minnesota communities now have access to two funding programs through CTSI's Community Engagement to Advance Research and Community Health.

These programs aim to enable communities to pursue collaboration with University of Minnesota researchers and research to actively engage with communities CTSI serves. 

Community Health Connections

Intended to identify community needs and generate ideas and opportunities to promote collaborative efforts to improve community health. Funding is available to support community organizations in collaborative processes to identify community needs, opportunities, and ideas. One-time funds up to $2,000 are available to support community groups organizing around a broad range of health concerns or questions. Download the RFA to learn more.

Apply for funding

The 'U' is for You: Supporting Community Engagement with the UMN

Intended to foster community/university research engagement and mutual learning to address community-identified needs for capacity building in areas such as project set-up, relationship building, research ethics, and community research roles. Funding is available to support initiatives that bring community organizations, groups, and individuals together with University researchers, faculty and staff to share and discuss information about any aspect of health research among participants from the community and university.

Those who plan to develop a proposal are encouraged to contact the CEARCH team in advance to learn whether similar efforts to address the same or related topic are already underway. One application will be awarded up to $5,000 each quarter. Download the RFA to learn more.

Apply for funding


Community Health Connections

Spring 2020

Yue Wu, MM, Music Therapist, MacPhail Center for Music

Project title: Co-design Tele-music Therapy Services with Stakeholders and University Researchers

Winter 2019

Lori Endsley, Center for Orphan Drug Research, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Project title: Rare Disease Day Patient Advocacy Group Breakfast & Networking Session

Community Partner: Chloe's Fight Rare Disease Foundation

Joseph Gaugler, Minnesota Brain Aging Research Consortium (M-BARC), University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Project title: Dementia Healthcare Advisory Board

Community Partner: Minnesota Brain Aging Research Consortium

Fall 2018

Tetyana Shippee, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota

Project title: Identifying and addressing racial disparities in long-term care

Community Partner: Sabathani Community Center; NE Seniors for Better Living; Merrick Community Services Senior Group; Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging

Summer 2018

James Verhoye, Minesota Department of Corrections (MCF-Shakopee)

Project title: Increasing the literacy of women incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee (MCF-Shakopee) through a targeted and collaborative educational approach

Community Partner: Minnesota Department of Health

UMN Partner: Rebecca Schlafer, Department of Pediatrics

Spring 2018

Cynthia Fashaw, National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota (NAMI MN) Multicultural Young Adult
Board (MYAB)

Project title: Destigmatizing mental health in cultural communities: Providing information and education to support mental wellness and increase help-seeking and accessing of mental health services

Purpose: To identify community needs and generate ideas and opportunities to promote collaborative efforts to improve community health

Community Partner: Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servico (CLUES)

UMN Partners: Asian Student Union (ASU), Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP)

Requesting a University of Minnesota partner from the School of Public Health

Sara Wahl, Southwest Crisis Center (SWCC)

Project title: Assessing the housing needs of individuals and families in southwest Minnesota experiencing domestic and sexual violence and involving stakeholders in directed conversations and listening sessions related to housing needs and potential areas of collaboration

Community Partners: Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, Continuum of Care

Requesting a University of Minnesota partner to collaborate on research methodologies and evaluation

Winter 2018

Patricia Ohmans, Frogtown Green/Health Advocates 

Project title: Analysis and community-based dissemination of Frogtown area environmental health data

Partners: Frogtown District Planning Council, Greening Frogtown, neighborhood newspaper, St. Paul Parks Department, NeighborWorks Home Partners, and Hmongtown Marketplace

With additional University of Minnesota resources from: Humphrey Center for Public Affairs, Fernando Burga, Assistant Professor, and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)

Kamala Puram, AshaUSA

Project title: AshaUSA Health Day: Promoting healthy behaviors in South Asian communities

Partners: Project SAHAT – Minnesota South Asian Health Assessment Tool Report, conducted jointly with CAREI, CURA, and SEWA-AIFW

With additional University of Minnesota resources from: Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)

Fall 2017

Darius Gray, ReConnect Rondo organizing director
Melvin Giles, Kim Club, and Lilli Post Johnson

Project title: Rondo Land Bridge HIA

Partners: Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, and Minnesota Department of Health

With additional University of Minnesota resources from: Humphrey Center for Public Affairs, Fernando Burga, Assistant Professor, and David Wilsey, Director, MDP Program

Fartun Weli, Isuroon executive director

Project title: Cervical cancer education and screening in the Somali community

Partners: Program in Health Disparities Research and Midwest Consortium for Drug Discovery and Development

With additional University of Minnesota resources from: Ever Mkonyi, graduate student, and the Medical School's Program in Health Disparities Research

The 'U' is for You

Winter 2021

Christy Boraas, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Medical School
  • Project: Assessing needs and exploring multi-generational beliefs, values, and barriers related to reproductive and sexual health among African immigrant communities
  • Partners: Olusewa Obadiya, Asha Hassan, MPH, Alison Ojanen-Goldsmith, MPH, Planned Parenthood North Central States
Helen Fu, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Medical School and Zachary Baker, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, School of Public Health
  • Project: Men's Shed Connecting Men Together To Improve Health
  • Partner: Philip Johnson, Managing Director, US Men's Sheds Association
Rebekah Hudock, PhD, LP, Assistant Professor, Medical School
  • Project: Exploring how the autism mentorship program can better serve Somali youth with ASD
  • Partner: Emily Goldberg, Autism Mentorship Program Founder

Summer 2020

Abigail Gadea, MSW, MPP, LISW, Prevention Research Center
  • Project: Assessing parenting needs and well-being of Latinx families during COVID-19
  • Partner: Katia Lopez-Petrovich, MS, NCC, LMFT, Multicultural Psychotherapy and Consulting Service
Sarah Hoffman, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • Project: Developing the intergenerational healing circle intervention to address symptoms of community and intergenerational violence in North Minneapolis
  • Partner: Yolonde Adams-Lee, MA, LISW, Lighten Your Load Counseling

Spring 2020

Caroline George, MD, Associate Professor, Masonic Children's Hospital
  • Project: Characterizing the Declination of Prophylactic Vitamin K for Newborns in Minnesota
  • Partners: Children’s Minnesota

Angie Mejia, PhD, Assistant Professor, Civic Engagement Scholar, Center For Learning Innovation, University of Minnesota - Rochester

  • Project: The Village Community Garden and Learning Center

Fall 2019

Katie Querna, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (DOGPAH), University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Project: Restorative Justice approaches to reduce violence and promote gender equity 
  • Purpose: To determine the feasibility and develop practice recommendations for using and evaluating restorative justice approaches to gender-based violence in the Twin Cities.
  • Partners: Michele Braley, Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice; Barbara McMorris, University of Minnesota (DOGPAH); Kara Beckman, University of Minnesota (DOGPAH)
Laura Palombi, College of Pharmacy, UMN Duluth
  • Project: A Needs Assessment for Rural Northeastern Minnesota: Identifying Community Strengths and Opportunities for Substance Use Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery 
  • Purpose: To determine how a community can best support individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder in order to inform the work of recovery organizations, health care systems, treatment facilities, and public health in northeastern Minnesota. 
  • Partners: Beth Elstad, Recovery Alliance Duluth; Keri Hager, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy - Duluth; Emily Becher, University of Minnesota Extension; Robyn Tomaszsewski, AmeriCorps VISTA (Iowa Campus Compact)

Summer 2019

Amira Adawe, The BeautyWell Project
  • Project: Immigrant Salon Project
  • Purpose: To gain an initial understanding of health and safety knowledge among employees of immigrant salons in the Twin Cities, through focus group and key informant interviews.
  • Partners: Susan Arnold, Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Spring 2019

Patricia Ohmans, Frogtown Green
  • Project: Reducing Food Waste in Frogtown
  • Project summary: A food waste reduction outreach and education project in Frogtown, a low-income neighborhood in St Paul. 
  • Purpose: To raise awareness of both the environmental and financial cost of food waste, and to offer residents ways to greatly reduce such waste. 
  • Partners: Collaboration with Jackie Billhymer, MPH, RD - Regional Coordinator, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) - University of Minnesota and other members of EFNEP staff. Technical consultation with staff from the University of Minnesota’ Center for Family Development.  University of Minnesota MPH student Audrey Seligman is the project coordinator.

Winter 2019

Anthony Stately, Native American Community Clinic
  • Project: Native American Community Clinic Research Meeting (Disparities in health outcomes related to chronic pain management and the use of opioids)
  • Purpose: To co-develop research proposals that balance creating new knowledge with building capacity within NACC and its community partners to improve patient health outcomes, and to serve as a resource for other communities by sharing information about our research and programmatic activities
  • Partners: Erin Krebs, Minneapolis VA; Gavin Bart, Hennepin County Healthcare; Paulette Baukol, Mayo Clinic/Hennepin County Spirit of the Eagles Program; Bonnie Duran, University of Washington; Milton Eder, University of Minnesota

Spring 2018

Robert Clarence Jones, Hue-MAN Partnership Project
  • Project: Opioid use in the community: Utilizing MyStrengths+MyHealth (MSMH) app to help communities self-describe whole-person health including problems and strengths
  • Purpose: To foster community/university research engagement and mutual learning
  • Partners: Karen Monsen and Robin Austin, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing

Winter 2018

Brenna Greenfield, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth
  • Project title: "Pop-Up” Research with Native American women who used opioids during pregnancy
  • Purpose: To pilot “pop-up research”, a new method of community engagement in research, in the context of listening sessions with Native American women in Northeastern Minnesota who used opioids during pregnancy.
  • Partners: Rebekah Dunlap, BSN, in a northeast Minnesota city

Fall 2017

Motohiro Nakajima, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth campus
  • Project title: Stress and coping in East African communities
  • Purpose: To create opportunities for East African immigrants to share their stressors and develop social connections in a supportive, informal environment, and to identify strategies to foster resilience in this community.
  • Partners: Mustafa al’Absi, PhD, Oromo Community of Minnesota, and the Brian Coyle Center


      Contact Us


      Application deadlines

      Applications for both programs are accepted on a continuous basis with the following deadlines:

      Spring: April 29, 2021
      Summer: Jul 29, 2021
      Fall: Oct 28, 2021
      Winter: Jan 27, 2022

      Review process

      Applications are reviewed within 45 days of submission by the CEARCH Management Council, a group of more than 20 stakeholders from the U of M, healthcare systems, and local community organizations.