An objective of the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) at CSU is to increase engagement in public health related research through funding pilot research projects conducted by ColoradoSPH faculty. The pilot seed grant program is currently in its third year on the CSU campus. Each year, after an application and review process, funds are awarded to faculty members. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the program provided $99,793 to ColoradoSPH faculty at CSU. Since the program was implemented, 23 public health research projects have been supported.

One of this year’s recipients, Dr. Nate Riggs from the Human Development and Family Studies Department, plans to use funding to expand his neuroscientific research to test strategies for adolescent mindfulness practices. “ColoradoSPH at CSU has been critical for the translation of my research in neurocognitive development and mindfulness to school-based adolescent substance use preventive interventions. This funding has allowed me to test innovative strategies which facilitate implementation of program content. Data from this pilot seed project will be crucial for future large-scale grant proposals testing prevention program efficacy.”

In the Department of Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences, the seed grant program is helping to address global health issues. Grant recipient Dr. Elizabeth Ryan is using funding to support public health training in Cambodia. “The ColoradoSPH at CSU pilot seed grant program has been instrumental to building collaborations with a local non-profit called Sustainable Schools International that has been working in Cambodia for over 10 years, and has helped to provide training of public health students in school-based water, hygiene and sanitation efforts.  We have expanded this effort to also include field- based water quality testing to reduce diarrheal diseases in children in developing countries.”

Dr. Lorann Stallones, director of the ColoradoSPH atCSU, sees this as an opportunity for faculty to become more actively engaged in public health research.  “This program offers faculty who are part of the ColoradoSPH at CSU an opportunity to expand the research they are conducting related to public health issues. The goal is to provide financial support for faculty to collect data needed to submit larger research grants and to engage the MPH students in research being conducted by the ColoradoSPH at CSU faculty.”