Global Health Seed Grants

Photo courtesy of Stephan Schwander

Rutgers Global Health Institute awards Global Health Seed Grants to faculty conducting collaborative, interdisciplinary activities that address health inequities in New Jersey and around the world. Our aim is to help faculty pursue new ideas and seed expanded research and funding. Grants are awarded in one of two categories: 1) Education, Training, and Capacity Building or 2) Research.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Global Health Seed Grants, awarded up to $10,000 each in partnership with Rutgers Global. These five faculty-led projects, which will be funded and implemented during the 2021–2022 academic year, address issues related to public health capacity building, lifesaving bleeding control, food insecurity and poverty, suicide, and HIV stigma.


Enhancing Capacities of the Believe in a Healthy Newark Coalition by Engaging Rutgers University–Newark Students

Jesse Liss, PhD, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Rutgers University–Newark

Bernadette So, PhD, Career Development Center, Rutgers University–Newark

Grant Category: Education, Training, and Capacity Building

Collaborative Partners: Believe in a Healthy Newark; Center for Public Health Workforce Development, Rutgers School of Public Health; Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health

This project establishes an undergraduate internship program at Rutgers University–Newark (RU–N), whereby students will be trained and matched with community organizations that are leading public health initiatives in Newark’s underserved neighborhoods. The goals are twofold: augment the capacities of the public and nonprofit organizations that comprise the Believe in a Healthy Newark coalition, and create experiential learning opportunities in public health so that RU–N students can gain exposure to career pathways in this field and enhance their professional skills.


Expanding Train-the-Trainer Programs for Lifesaving Bleeding Control Techniques in Resource-Limited Settings

Ziad Sifri, MD, FACS, Department of Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Grant Category: Education, Training, and Capacity Building

Collaborative Partners: Centro de Salud Carabamba, Julcán; College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone; Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; International Surgical Health Initiative; Office of Global Affairs, Rutgers School of Health Professions

The COVID-19 pandemic has stunted New Jersey Medical School’s Stop the Bleed training series, which teaches individuals who are not otherwise medically qualified how to stop bleeding in severely injured people and potentially save their lives. In low- and middle-income countries, where emergency medical resources are incredibly lacking, there is tremendous need for more people to become certified in these lifesaving techniques. This project will support the creation and promotion of virtual teaching resources to recruit and certify Stop the Bleed instructors in Ghana, Peru, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere, while also providing medical-grade tourniquets for training and real-world use in these resource-limited settings.


Exploring Scalable Multimodal Approaches to Identify Vulnerable Populations in the Congo 

Woojin Jung, PhD, MPP, MSW, Rutgers School of Social Work

Grant Category: Research

Collaborative Partners: Microsoft, World Food Programme

This project will use artificial intelligence technologies to more accurately and rapidly identify areas of extreme poverty in the Republic of the Congo, informing humanitarian responses to the country’s surging food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19. The research will incorporate daytime satellite imagery, nighttime luminosity, and social media data to create algorithms that estimate the wealth and livelihood of geographic regions. The robust and objective information that is produced will allow for more precise targeting of social safety net programs.


Real-Time Monitoring of Suicidality in Depressed Adolescents: A Smartphone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study 

Vincent M. B. Silenzio, MD, MPH, Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health

Grant Category: Research

Collaborative Partners: Central South University; Xiangya School of Public Health; The Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University

To gain a highly nuanced understanding of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors among adolescents who are experiencing depression in China, this research will use smartphone-based survey apps and wearable monitoring devices to collect real-time data from study participants over a 28-day period. These data-collection methods will provide the interdisciplinary research team with a high volume of contextually specific data points and information that can influence the development of new national protocols for suicide prevention and intervention.


Youth and Family HIV Stigma: Examining Potential Barriers to HIV Services and Stigma-Reduction Interventions 

Emilia Iwu, PhD, RN, APNC, FWACN, Division of Nursing Science, Rutgers School of Nursing

Grant Category: Research

Collaborative Partners: Institute of Human Virology Nigeria; Association of Positive Youths in Nigeria

Through focus groups comprising adolescents and youth living with HIV (AYLHIV) and their adult caregivers in Nigeria’s River State, this research explores the impact of stigma on this population with respect to their physical and mental health and health care engagement, especially adherence to HIV treatment regimens. Additionally, the study will examine how AYLHIV and their caregivers feel about interventions to reduce stigma’s impact on their wellbeing and what they would recommend for a future intervention.

Because global health places a priority on health equity, rather than on geographic location, the Global Health Seed Grants program is designed to address health disparities anywhere in the world, including Rutgers’ surrounding communities. Past seed grant awards have supported efforts in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as well as BrazilIndonesiaKenya, Nepal, and Uganda, among other locations. Brief descriptions of all projects funded by previous Global Health Seed Grants are available at these links:

For more information about the Global Health Seed Grants, contact Angela Senger-Mersich, senior program coordinator at Rutgers Global Health Institute. Additional funding opportunities also are available through Rutgers Global.

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