The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

sherita trainingThe Detroit URC's Small Planning Grant program aims to foster the establishment of new community-academic research partnerships and new collaborative health research efforts in Detroit through two types of grants: 1. Partnership Formation and Maintenance and 2. Project Development. 

Partnership Formation

These grants are intended to support newly developing or potential partnerships in, for example, relationship building, exploration of shared areas of interest, creation of partnership structure, and identification of potential research collaborations. Example activities include:  

  • Building relationships between partners (e.g., facilitating formal and informal meetings for partners to learn more about each other, explore the involvement of other potential partners, and discussing how the partners will adopt and use equitable collaborative principles and operating norms);
  • Exploring shared research interests and identifying capacity building needs (e.g., to identify partnership research priorities, delineate capacity-building needs, participate in trainings and/or ongoing mentoring opportunities);
  • Developing a Steering Committee and/or other partnership infrastructure mechanisms (e.g.,
    defining roles and responsibilities, develop communication and decision-making mechanisms, 
    policies and procedures; developing a set of collaborative participatory research principles to 
    guide decisions regarding various aspects of the research process)

Project Development

These grants are intended to support established partnerships in, for example, the development of specific new collaborative research efforts, analysis of existing data, enhancing capacity for conducting collaborative research, the dissemination and translation of research findings, and the evaluation of the partnership process. Example activities include:

  • Conducting community assessment(s) to inform new collaborative research efforts (e.g., focus groups to gather data to inform the research question and/or methods);
  • Analyzing existing data to help inform future collaborative research (e.g,. collaborative analysis, review and interpretation of previously collected data);
  • Disseminating and translating research findings (e.g., development and implementation of appropriate dissemination tools, such as fact sheets and policy briefs, to community and academic audiences and to policy-makers); and
  • Evaluating the partnership process (e.g., to collect data to assess how and to what extent the partnership is achieving its goals, and the challenges and facilitating factors associated with developing, maintaining and sustaining the partnership, and to indentify future directions for the partnership based on the assessment conducted).

The program has funded 23 projects in 10 rounds of funding since 2010 averaging $4,000 per award; a total of $91,982 has been allocated overall. Past funding sources include the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), and the University of Michigan Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs. Funded partnerships addressed issues including: youth violence, chronic disease prevention, environmental health and justice, mental health, homelessness, Native American empowerment and culture, and faith-based care. Visit this page for more information about past projects


The Detroit URC Community-Academic Research Network (CAR-Net), as well as academic researchers and community entities who are not CAR-Net members but are committed to engage in collaborative research, are eligible to apply.

Funding Level and Project Period

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded, with a grant duration period of one year (February 1, 2020 - January 31, 2021). The number and amount of awarded grants is based on the quantity and quality of the submitted proposals. Most recently (Round 10), a total of $15,000 was dispersed across three grant recipients. 

Funding Support 

This program is funded with support from the University of Michigan (U-M) and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Communities Engagement Program. Please note that small planning grants for partnerships that are NOT based in Detroit are available through the MICHR Community University Partnership Seed (CUPS) Program. Partnerships with U-M School of Social Work faculty will be supported by the U-M School of Social Work.

Selection Criteria 

Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff from the Detroit URC, U-M SSW, and MICHR, composed of both community and academic partners with extensive experience in and understanding of community-based participatory research. The Detroit URC is seeking proposals with the potential for creating new or developing existing effective collaborative research efforts that will address the social and physical environmental factors that contribute to health inequities of relevance to Detroit communities.

Partnership Formation & Maintenance Grant selection criteria are:

  • Evidence of the rationale for the need for this collaborative
  • Evidence of responsiveness to the community partner’s needs/interests
  • Extent and feasibility of community and academic partner involvement
  • Potential for future research collaboration
  • Potential of funding for future collaborative research effort(s)
  • Clear, detailed and reasonable budget
  • Clear, detailed and realistic timeline
  • Evidence that the budget has been developed and discussed by all partners and allocated equitably as appropriate

Project Development Grant selection criteria are:

  • Relevance of proposed research effort to Detroit communities involved
  • Extent and feasibility of community and academic partner involvement
  • Extent to which basic collaborative research principles are applied through the current project and in past efforts
  • Evidence of responsiveness to the community partner’s needs/interests
  • Potential positive impact on the goals of the project (e.g., new research priorities identified, dissemination materials developed, capacity building workshops conducted, partnership process improved)
  • Potential of funding for future collaborative research effort(s)
  • Clear, detailed and reasonable budget
  • Clear, detailed and realistic timeline
  • Evidence that the budget has been developed and discussed by all partners and allocated equitably as appropriate

Recent Awardees

Three community-academic partnerships have been selected for Round 10 to receive awards of $5,000 each that supports research that improves the health and quality of life of Detroit residents. These partnerships feature two schools at the University of Michigan (Schools of Nursing and Social Work) along with Wayne State University. These academic entities are partnered with organizations representing diverse identities, geographies and focus areas in Detroit. Visit this link to learn more about these partnerships.

How to Apply:

The 2020 Round 11 funding opportunity is now closed. Please watch this space for further details. 

Download the application form. Detailed instructions regarding contact information and submitting your application are included on the form. All applications must include the following:

  1. Application Cover Page (Contact and Organization Information)
  2. Proposal Narrative (project rationale, goals/objectives and proposed outcomes)
  3. Budget and Justification (last page of application packet)
  4. Letter(s) of Commitment: One from each of the participating community organization(s) involved and one from each of the participating academic researcher(s) involved, which address the interest and commitment of the partners to engage in the proposed collaborative research effort.
  5. (Optional) Up to 5 additional items that illustrate the intent to establish a participatory collaborative research partnership or the degree to which such a partnership is already established may be included as appendices with the application submission.

Format Specifications

Please type applications in Arial Font and Font Size 11. Text should be single spaced on standard size (8.5” x 11”) paper.

Round 11 Timeline:

Planning Grant Announcement

October 22, 2019

Proposal Submission Deadline

December 16, 2019

Anticipated Notice of Awards

January 20, 2020

Anticipated Award Start

February 1, 2020


Related Links: 

Winter 2019 Grant Recipients (Round 10)

All Small Planning Grant Recipients

Grant Opportunities

Get Involved

We offer opportunities for community organizations, health and human service agencies, and academic researchers: 

Barbara Zachary Class      CamrynDanielle NorthCarolina

Join the CAR-Network 



Build CBPR Partnership Capacity
policy   calc
 Advocate for Policy Change



 Apply for a Grant

Highlights & Headlines

Information and Resources Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

In this challenging and unprecedented time, Detroit URC affiliated and linked partners…

Detroit URC, Poverty Solutions award $79,500 to 3 community-academic research projects

Three collaborative teams of University of Michigan researchers and community partner…

Congratulations Amy Schulz and Angie Reyes!

University of Michigan News recently featured the research of Detroit URC Board Members…

Video: Advancing Partnerships, Research, and Equity in Detroit

 video cover


Detroit URC Partner Organizations

  • CHASS best
  • DetroitHealthDepartment-Logo_125pixels
  • Zachary
  • [USE THIS] 2017 DWEJ logo_Horizontal
  • bsph-125pixels_high
  • communities-in-schools_125pixels
  • dhdc-125pixels_high
  • ecn-125pixels_high
  • friends-of-parkside_125pixels
  • gUMSNsignature-vertical-4C
  • hfhs-125pixels_high
  • iph-125pixels_high
  • latino-family-services_125pixels
  • nso-125pixels_high
  • socialwork-125pixels_high


The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DetroitURC RevisedLogo Orig