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COVID-19 Research Catalyzer Funding for Faculty

The Institute for Global Health is pleased to share this call for applications for COVID-19 research support for affiliated Northwestern faculty.

COVID-19 is a growing pandemic that affects every country. The global impact has been profound making COVID-19 a major global health threat not seen since the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1918. Award topics must be directly related to the treatment, diagnosis, monitoring, prevention or modelling of COVID-19 disease.

The Global Health Research Catalyzer Fund is supported by the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Global Health Initiative, which is generously supported by Northwestern Medicine Primary & Specialty Care, its patients, and Feinberg’s donors.

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The purpose of this grant is to provide COVID-19 research support to Northwestern faculty who are a) collecting preliminary data to support a future grant submission and/or b) supplemental support for ongoing sponsored-research for work outside the aims and/or scope of work of the funded project. The fund is not meant to support the same aims of an existing study or projects that lack a specific plan to obtain sponsor-support. For example, investigators are encouraged to cite a specific RFA from NIH (or other sponsor) to which the catalyzer funds would build the case for a future grant submission. Faculty must have a full-time appointment at Northwestern University and be an active member of the Institute for Global Health for at least the past six months. IGH's current members are listed here.


While the typical Catalyzer Award has been in the range of $25,000 for a one year project, based on the significance of the project and its innovative attributes, larger amounts may be considered. International collaborations are strongly encouraged and will be prioritized. F&A to NU is not allowable. Requests may be made for less than $25k.

Budget Period

1-2 years


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Funding decisions will be swift.

Review process and notification: All eligible applications will be peer-reviewed. Review criteria will include overall impact, investigator(s), significance, innovation, approach, environment. 

Application Materials

To complete this application, you will need to be prepared to upload the following materials.

1. Abstract (Max 500 words)

2. Research plan (Up to 5 pages)

  • Aims
  • Background/significance
  • Innovation
  • Approach
  • Timeline and anticipated challenges
  • Track record of collaboration with partner institution

3. Budget (Excel format)

Budget may include the following direct expense categories - Salary, fringe benefits, medical & lab supplies, equipment, travel, meeting expenses, IRB expenses, patient incentives, laboratory services, books, conference fees, publication expenses. Unallowable expenses include computers and F&A to Northwestern.

4. Budget justification

5. Does the study involve human subjects research? 

If yes, include IRB determination.

6. Letters of support (2 required, up to 5)

It is required that an institutional letter of support come from the LMIC institution where the research will be conducted as well as from the NU PI's division chief and/or department chair.

7. NIH style biosketches for key personnel


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