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Frequently Asked Questions

Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) 2017 Call for Applications

What is the TRDRP definition of “impact”?

For TRDRP, impact refers to the potential for the research findings to have a significant contribution to the scientific field, communities in California, and/or state and local policy efforts. A proposal need not necessarily demonstrate the potential to impact science, communities, and policy, but should make a strong case to impact at least one of the areas.  Applicants should consider that innovation does not necessarily translate to impact. An innovative study may or may not have potential to impact science, communities, and/or policy. Reviewers will consider the potential for a project to have high, medium, low, or no impact based on a review of all application materials.

Do biomedical studies need to demonstrate how the results will directly benefit “communities, or state and local policies related to tobacco use and control” in order to be considered high impact?

A biomedical science study does not need to demonstrate near term impact on California communities to be considered “high impact.” The emphasis on community engagement across TRDRP research priorities and mechanisms is to encourage investigators to thoughtfully consider and articulate how their proposed project if successful could have downstream identifiable benefits for either most Californians, community organizations in California that use research findings to further tobacco control activities, and the local and state policymaking process in California. The ability to describe field-specific scientific results and scientifically driven mechanisms in a manner that is meaningful and usable for the general public is increasingly important for decision making at the local, state, and federal level. Applicants are encouraged to refer to the TEROC Master Plan to determine the current critical tobacco control issues in California.

Are references/citations required for the LOI?

Citations are not required for the LOI. However, should you choose to include them, they must fit within the two page limit of the LOI.

How do I incorporate community engagement into my study as a biomedical scientist? 

TRDRP’s new emphasis on community engagement across our priorities and mechanisms is to encourage investigators to think creatively how they could include community residents in their research process. Community members or community organizations could be involved at various stages of research (e.g., development, implementation, dissemination). A few examples of how a biomedical scientist might consider including community members in their research include: community presentations of research findings in an accessible manner for a general audience; holding a community forum to better understand intended and unintended downstream effects from the community perspective; holding laboratory educational sessions to discuss the importance of bench-level science for scientific discovery that will eventually improve health at the community level. Scientists planning to engage community residents in their research should set aside funds in their budget to compensate residents for their time and involvement.

How is community defined?

Community is broadly defined as any group of individuals sharing a common characteristic, such as culture, language, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other attribute that might impact the effectiveness of tobacco control programs.

For the Mackay Scholar Award, does the “Pacific Rim” region include Latin America?

For the purpose of this award, Pacific Rim refers to regions and countries that are on the shores of the Pacific including those in North/East/Southeast Asia, North/Central/South America (including Alaska & Canada), and the Pacific Islands.

Would a visiting scholar at a California University who is from a Pacific Rim country be an appropriate applicant for a Mackay Scholar Award?

Providing the applicant meets the residency and effort requirements of the award, including the requirement that training experiences be based primarily in California, the applicant would be eligible to apply.  In addition, the applicant will need to demonstrate that their work during the grant as well as their subsequent policy leadership resulting from this grant support address key tobacco policy priorities of direct relevance to and benefiting California as well as the Pacific Rim region or countries.

Can’t find the answer to your question? Feel free to contact TRDRP Program Officers, we are always ready to assist you with any questions you may have in mind.

Social Behavioral Sciences and Public Health

Norval Hickman, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Biomedical and Environmental Sciences

Anwer Mujeeb, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Cancer, Neuroscience, and Health Economics

Tracy Richmond-McKnight, Ph.D.

Inquiries regarding LOI/application forms and instructions may be directed to the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO):

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