Faculty Scholars Program Request for Proposals 2020-2021

Introduction

The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics is a career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research. It supports research that goes beyond current work in bioethics to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice, and creates a community that enhances future bioethics research by Scholars and Alumni/ae.

Each year, the Foundation selects approximately three Greenwall Faculty Scholars to receive 50 percent salary support for three years to enable them to carry out a specific research proposal and develop their research program.

Scholars and Alumni/ae attend twice-yearly meetings, where they present their works in progress, receive feedback and mentoring from the Faculty Scholars Program Committee and other Scholars and Alumni/ae, and have the opportunity to develop collaborations with other researchers. The ongoing involvement of Alumni/ae with the Program provides them ongoing opportunities for professional development and feedback and engages them in mentoring of younger Scholars.

The Program Committee provides oversight and direction for the Program and is involved not only with selection of the Scholars but also with mentoring and professional development activities. 

Who May Apply?

Applicants must be junior faculty members at a university or non-profit research institute that has tax-exempt status in the United States. Applicants must hold a faculty appointment (or other long-term research position outside a university) that allows at least 50 percent of their effort to perform research (often this is a faculty position with at least a 60 percent appointment in a tenure-track position or its equivalent). Priority will be given to applicants who have not yet been considered for tenure or an equivalent promotion; whose research will have an impact on clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice; and who will make important contributions to the field of bioethics over their careers.

Faculty Scholars will be selected on the basis of their achievements, the strength of their research project, their commitment to the field of bioethics, and support from their home institution, including after the end of this award. While the amount and quality of an applicant’s research in bioethics will count favorably towards his/her application, outstanding candidates with less direct experience in bioethics will also be considered when their proposed work aims to advance the bioethics field.

Within this group, priority will be given to applicants whose research addresses innovative ideas and/or emerging topics. Lower priority will be given to applicants who are primarily carrying out educational reform or theoretical work with limited applicability to practice, research, or policy. The Greenwall Foundation particularly welcomes applicants from backgrounds that are under-represented in bioethics and academia.

Please note: Only one applicant from a university or non-profit research institute will be considered in each application cycle. This is a change from recent award cycles. Institutions are requested to have an internal screening and selection process, as the Foundation will not consider multiple letters of intent received from a single institution. For purposes of this limitation, the Foundation considers the overseeing university to be the institution. Thus, a university with a law school, medical school, several teaching hospitals, and a faculty of arts and sciences may only submit one application in total. If a university system, such as a state-wide university system, comprises several universities, each university within the system may nominate one applicant.

Funding for Greenwall Faculty Scholars

The award supports 50 percent of a Scholar’s salary plus benefits for three years, up to the NIH salary cap, with 10 percent institutional costs for the salary and benefits. This funding is intended to ensure that at least 50 percent of the Scholar’s time is devoted to bioethics research. In addition, the Foundation provides $5,000 each year for limited project support and travel (no indirect costs are provided for these items). 

What does the Faculty Scholars Program Committee look for in letters of intent?

1. Quality of the proposed project. Does it address an important bioethics issue in an innovative way? Does the application show how the project will make a significant advance beyond what has already been published on the topic? Is the applicant thinking about the conceptual and normative ethical issues regarding the topic in a rigorous and creative way?

In the case of proposals to carry out an empirical study of a topic that has a bioethics component, the most successful applicants have conducted enough empirical research to be able to discuss what conceptual or normative bioethics issues they will focus on. Because the Greenwall Faculty Scholar award is intended to ensure that at least 50 percent of the Scholar’s effort and time are devoted to bioethics research, the applicant will need to show that additional funding also will be available for any data collection and analysis. Applicants will need to summarize the methods for the empirical part of the project as well. Applicants who propose to carry out empirical work on a bioethics issue, without a strong conceptual framework, normative analysis, and methods are unlikely to be successful. Applicants who are extending previous empirical research to a new population or clinical condition are unlikely to be successful unless they demonstrate persuasively how their proposed extension is innovative.

 Historical, theological, psychological, qualitative sociological, normative, legal, comparative, and policy research projects are welcomed, provided they are tightly tied to bioethics. Pure advocacy is not supported.

 2. Importance of the topic. The Faculty Scholars Program supports research to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice. The topic of the proposed research should be timely and relevant, and the proposed project should seek to meaningfully contribute to its understanding. Successful applicants often demonstrate their commitment to the topic through prior related work or a clear professional trajectory.

3. Potential of the applicant to further the field of bioethics and contribute to and benefit from the Program. The Program Committee carefully considers a candidate’s personal statement and goals at the letter of intent stage; if a full application is invited, the Program Committee considers, among other things, an institution’s commitment to the candidate and the candidate’s plans for professional development and mentorship.

The Program Committee also considers whether an applicant has demonstrated an ability to carry out innovative bioethics research. At the full application stage of the selection process, the Program Committee carefully reads a first- or sole-authored book chapter or peer-reviewed bioethics article written by the applicant that has been published or is in press. Because this demonstrated publication of bioethics research is given great weight, applicants who have not yet published an innovative bioethics article will not be successful. The Program Committee assesses candidates on their potential; prior work is used to assess future creativity, productivity, and prospect of becoming a leader in the field. 

What bioethics activities does the Foundation not fund?

The Foundation does not fund:

  • Scholars to carry out bioethics teaching, institutional change, or quality improvement on bioethics issues. We expect, however, that Greenwall Faculty Scholars, and the students they teach, will do such activities during their careers.
  • Theoretical ethics research without clear application to pressing, real-world problems in clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice.
  • Survey research or qualitative research that touches on a bioethics issue unless there is a strong conceptual analysis of the bioethics issue or thoughtful analysis of the bioethics implications of the empirical findings. We are, however, interested in bioethics researchers who want to work on conceptual or normative analyses linked to their empirical findings.
  • Basic science research that has implications for a bioethics issue.
  • Bioethics work directed towards predetermined conclusions.

As a nonprofit organization, we do not support or engage in political advocacy. 

Please e-mail inquiries about this program to jbrownell@greenwall.org. Please also review the Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Timeline

9/21/2020

Letters of intent due by September 21, 2020, 11:59 pm ET

1/11/2021

Invited full applications due by January 11, 2021, 11:59 pm ET

6/9/2021

Scholars announced on or after June 9, 2021

Directions for Submitting a Letter of Intent

Go to https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=greenwall. Once there, please bookmark the site, create an account, and complete your application. To create an account, you must enter your institution’s EIN, which you may need to obtain from your Contracts and Grants Office; please do not input a placeholder or invalid EIN, which may delay consideration of your application. Please note, The Greenwall Foundation updated its online grants management system in June 2017. If you applied for a grant with the Foundation before that time, you will need to create a new account for this new system.

If you have any technical questions or concerns regarding the online application process, please contact support@foundant.com. If you continue to experience difficulty with the online application process, please contact Johanna Brownell by email at jbrownell@greenwall.org. We will not accept late applications because of technical issues with the online application portal, so please try logging in and entering your information in advance of the deadline.

Please note: in order to be fair to all applicants, the Foundation cannot give feedback on specific proposals or drafts before a letter of intent is submitted and reviewed.

You will need to upload:

  1. A three-page, single-spaced letter of intent, with one-inch margins and font size no smaller than 12 point, that includes:
    • A description of the research proposal, particularly its significance
    • How the research will be carried out and how it is likely to have an impact on clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice
    • A personal statement describing the applicant’s goals in the field of bioethics
  2. A CV, no more than five single-spaced pages

Letters of intent must be submitted online by 11:59 pm, ET on September 21, 2020. We strongly encourage applicants to submit letters of intent earlier, so that they have time to correct any technical errors that might arise during the application process. Approximately 12 applicants submitting letters of intent will be invited to submit full applications, which will be due January 11, 2021. Approximately six applicants will be invited to in-person interviews in March 2021. More information about the review process can be found here.