Alliance Awards $170K in Planning Grants

Successful research proposals

The new Alliance for a Healthier World is pleased to announce the awardees of eight planning grants totaling USD $170,000.  During summer 2017, proposals were received from research teams across the university vying for up to ten Healthier World Challenge planning grants each worth up to $25,000. 

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Key requirements for successful proposals

  • Research or innovation that would directly impact health inequities in low- and middle-income countries. There were four suggested (but not compulsory) themes to focus research including Food Nutrition & Security, Healthy Environments, Gender Equity & Social Justice, Transformative Technologies and Institutions.
  • Teams needed to incorporate researchers from beyond traditional collaborations within their field of expertise.  Proposals were to demonstrate plans for ensuring impact, sustainability and potential implementing partners

The successful teams included researchers from Applied Physics Lab, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Carey Business School, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Jhpiego, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Whiting School of Engineering.

Their research projects will focus on communities in Bolivia, India, Jordon, Lebanon, Peru, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and the White Mountain Apache & Sioux Nations in USA.

Awarded Research Proposals

Research proposals funded in the pilot round of Healthier World Challenge planning grants include:

1. “Strengthening Health Service Delivery and Building Human Capacity to Reduce Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Sierra Leone”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Medicine, Carey Business School, Whiting School of Engineering, Jhpiego, and Berman Institute of Bioethics
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Soumyadipta Acharya, Jean Anderson, Rachel Chan-Seay, Grace Chen, Jenell Coleman, Maqbool Dada, Ahizechukwu Eke, Clark Johnson, Nancy Kass, Ekene Ojukwu, John Sampson, Jeffrey Smith
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Gender Equity and Justice
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Sierra Leone

2. “Addressing health disparities impacting suicide: A systems dynamic approach for planning prevention programming with displaced populations”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, Whiting School of Engineering, School of Medicine
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Emily Haroz, Paul Bolton, Soshanna Fine, Tak Igusa, Catherine Lee, Paul Nestadt, Qi Wang, Holly Willcox
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Gender Equity and Justice
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Thailand

3. “Prioritizing gender equity in midwifery care: improving maternal and newborn health through nurse-midwifery leadership development in Tanzania”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, Jhpiego, School of Education, Whiting School of Engineering, Carey Business School, School of Nursing
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Myra Betron, Mario Macis, Julius Masanika, Rosemary Morgan, Eric Rice, William Smedick, Karen Trister Grace
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Gender Equity and Justice
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Tanzania

4. “Promoting Safe Passage from Adolescence to Adulthood for Native American Women”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Whiting School of Engineering, School of Medicine
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Kamila Alexander, Allison Barlow, Teresa Brockie, Jacquelyn Campbell, James Case, Sarah Connor, Zhaohao Fu, Charlotte Gaydos, Timian Godfrey, Novalene Goklish, Emily Haroz, Tak Igusa, Lauren Tingey, lawrence Wetsit
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Gender Equity and Justice
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: White Mountain Apache & Sioux Nations

5. “Integrating refugees into national health systems: Enhancing equity and strengthening sustainable health services for all”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Advanced International Studies
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Sara Bennett, Meaghan Charlton, Nour Jaber Chehayeb, Fadi El Jardali, Will Cragin, Mohammed Darwish, Hussein Ismail, Marwa Mahmoud, Linda Matar, Sarah Parkinson, Paul Spiegel, Alfred Tager
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Gender Equity and Justice; Transformative Technology & Institutions
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Jordan, Turkey, Uganda

6. “The DART Study - The Development of an Antigen Rapid dipstick Test for Bedside Detection of Pediatric Tuberculosis”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, Whiting School of Engineering
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Amanda Debes, Robert Gilman, Lance Liotta, Alessandra Luchini, Peter Searson, Zach Silverstein, Hannah Steinberg, Jacqueline Yang, Sameen Yusuf
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Transformative Technology & Institutions
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Bolivia

7. “Creation of an ecosystem for equitable innovation and patient care in ophthalmology”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Medicine, Whiting School of Engineering
  • TEAM MEMBERS: David Friedman, Christine Diaz, Yueheng Dou, Ailon Haileyesus, Kunal Parikh, Benjamin Ostrander, Mohit Singhala, Katherine Solley
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Transformative Technology & Institutions
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: India

8. “A novel screening tool for identifying children at risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD): feasibility to estimate prevalence in a low-resource environment”

  • RESEARCH TEAM: School of Public Health, Whiting School of Engineering
  • TEAM MEMBERS: Andrea Carcelen, Li Ching-Lee, Nicholas Durr, Paola Donis Noriega, Robert Gilman,
  • THEMATIC AREA(S): Transformative Technology & Institutions
  • COUNTRY FOCUS: Peru

Read more about each research project on our Grants Awards page

Next Steps

The summer 2017 round of research grants were the first of several to be awarded by the new Alliance for a Healthier World.  The core team of reviewers, faculty and senior staff used this pilot cycle to learn from and further refine grant expectations and processes to ensure ongoing funded research is targeted to fulfill the overarching mission of the Alliance; that is, stimulating multidisciplinary research and innovation to tackle the multifaceted hard-to-solve challenges involved with improving health equity in low- and middle-income countries.

As a result, we’ve modified the timing of and refined requirements for the next round of planning and implementation grants.  We’re also planning a series of supplementary activities and educational resources in coming months to better support multidisciplinary teams so they can connect and work together more effectively across diverse disciplines.

Upcoming Funding Opportunities

Further information is available on the Funding Opportunities section of the Alliance website. Key dates:

  • The second cycle of Healthier World Challenge Planning Grants (up to USD$25K) is now open with proposals due by November 15, 2017
  • The first round of Healthier World Challenge Implementation Grants (up to USD$250K) will open soon with proposals due by April 01, 2018

Please note, all potential research teams should refer to the updated Request for Applications documents for both planning and implementation grants – these are available via our Funding Opportunities page. 

UPCOMING Related Events

The Alliance will host its first collaborative event, Cocktails & New Perspectives: Connecting diverse expertise in health equity & social justice, at the spectacular George Peabody Library on October 26th, 2017.

Co-hosted by the Peabody Institute, the event targets faculty and staff from all Johns Hopkins Divisions. The engaging itinerary is designed to both entertain and facilitate greater appreciation of the breadth of Hopkins’ expertise and showcase diverse perspectives on global health equity.  Registration and further details are coming soon.


We welcome any questions or suggestions about our grants, events, support services or other opportunities.  Please email the team at ahealthierworld@jhu.edu