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Community Health Initiated Research Partnership (CHIRP) Fellowship Awards

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Program Manager: Leonetta Thompson – MD Anderson Cancer Center - LBThompson@mdanderson.org – 713-745-3359

The Community Health Initiated Research Partnership (CHIRP) Fellowship Awards support collaboration between faculty members and community-based collaborators/organizations to conduct research and pilot studies that will address community-identified needs. The goal of the CHIRP program is to increase the capacity of community-academic partnerships to conduct community research with mutual ownership of the processes and products and, ultimately, to improve the health of our communities. The CHIRP program defines health broadly, intending to take into account factors such as systemic racism, food insecurity, housing instability, etc. that may affect health or result poor mental or physical health. Through the CHIRP Fellowship, community-engaged partnerships are expected to develop innovative, exciting, and impactful research projects that are conducted in community-based and clinical settings. Each CHIRP team will receive training and resources for the development of a community-engaged study proposal and mentorship from experts in their field of study, to refine a protocol and submit it to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Upon completion of the training and IRB approval, each team will receive up to $25,000 to implement their research. After successfully completing the CHIRP Fellowship, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the concepts and components of CHIRP and other methods for community-engaged research
  • Apply CHIRP principles in the conduct of research
  • Communicate with audiences in both community and academic settings about CHIRP principles and components
  • Implement a CHIRP project to address a shared community health priority
  • Incorporate CHIRP principles and approaches in funding applications
  • Develop a plan for subsequent CHIRP funding

Each team must consist of at least one Community Partner and one Academic Partner. Collaborations with multiple partners across institutions or locations (Houston, Brownsville, Tyler) are welcome, and partnerships can be either new or established.

A Community Partner is defined as an individual who maintains a primary affiliation, whether employee or volunteer, with a community organization. For the purpose of this program, community organization is defined as an organization that has:

  1. a documented interest in improving the health of the relevant community (e.g., a mission statement); and
  2. a history of serving the health needs and interests of the relevant community. 

These organizations may include, but are not limited to, public schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, community-based health provider organizations, and advocacy groups. If you are unsure if your organization qualifies as a community organization, please inquire at this link.

An Academic Partner is an individual with a research or clinical faculty appointment at a CCTS partner institution (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Tyler Health Science Center, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, or Rice University). Students and postdoctoral fellows may be included, but a faculty member will be required to be the Principal Investigator (in collaboration with the community). If you are unsure if your role qualifies you as an Academic Partner, please inquire at this link.

If you would like to be added to the CHIRP listserv or to view the current request for applications, please visit this link. We encourage you to visit our FAQs page or submit any questions at this link.