Deadline for Submission April 1, 2021

The Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery (CMHRR) and the Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education (VPREDGE) request proposals for research on COVID-19 effects on mental health.  Funds will support acquisition of preliminary data or new research methods that are intended to launch subsequent extramural proposal submissions.  Research teams may apply, and cross-disciplinary proposals are encouraged. Full time faculty (tenure, tenure-track and research) at Montana State University who have earned terminal degrees are eligible to apply.


A faculty committee with a history of external funding will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria:

  • The project’s alignment with an external federal agency or other funding sponsor(s).
  • The project’s intellectual significance and its potential impact and contribution to the field.
  • The appropriateness of the project’s methodologies and approach, as well as the feasibility of the work plan.
  • The qualifications and expertise of the researcher in relation to the project goals and the stage of the applicant’s career.
  • The potential for success, including the likelihood that the project will be completed within the projected timeframe.
  • The appropriateness of the budget and alignment of the budget with proposed activities.

Please address each criterion in your proposal and write in a way that is accessible to your Montana State University colleagues who may not be in your discipline.

Each applicant may submit only one application to this program. Preference will be given to the following: 1) tenure-track faculty that have spent their start-up as originally intended and are on good trajectory toward tenure; 2) soft-funded researchers within the first five years of their appointment that have demonstrated success with external funding and scholarship; 3) tenured faculty and senior research faculty with consistent and demonstrable success and are aiming to scale their research or transition to a new and promising research direction.

Within three months of completion of the project, successful applicants shall provide a written

report of grant activities and outcomes to the VPREDGE Office, their dean, their department head and CMHRR Director, and the chair of the COVID-19 Mental Health Grant Review Committee. This report must include a brief description of the external grant submitted (or in progress toward submission) to fund research on COVID-19 and mental health. The submission of this final project report is required as a criterion for future funding as resources allow.

Questions about program requirements and expectations may be directed to Dr. Michele Hardy ([email protected]), while questions concerning electronic submission and budgets can be directed to Shana Wold ([email protected]).


Applicants may request funds for supplies, an approved course buyout, travel, personnel, and other expenses at a level that is necessary to complete the proposed project. Funds from this RFP will not support summer salary.  The maximum budget allowed is $40,000.

Unused funds will expire and revert back to the VPREDGE Office after 12 months from award activation.

  • If a course buyout is requested, the application must include a letter of support with the cost of the buyout from the department head. This cost should cover only the salary for someone to teach the course rather than based upon the faculty member’s salary. In the budget narrative, please explain need for the time granted by the buyout to complete the proposal activities.
  • For travel expenses, explain projected travel expenses in the budget narrative, being as specific and realistic as possible about the cost of transportation, lodging and other expenses. When budgeting for travel, please follow State approved In-State, Out-of-State and International rates regarding per diem, mileage and lodging found on the Travel Recap Sheet available at
  • Budgets must include the 6% admin fee that will be assessed to your award by the Vice President for Finance and Administration Office.
  • The following items are unlikely to be funded unless specifically justified: computers; equipment, unless it has a direct and clearly explained relation to the proposed project; post-production costs of books, articles or other creative activities; travel to professional conferences regularly attended by the applicant.


Please submit your proposal using the Office of Sponsored Programs Electronic Proposal Clearance Form (ePCF). A Full Proposal needs to be submitted with MSU Vice President of Research (MONVIC001) selected as the Sponsor. Please enter the Program ID CMHRR COVID19 2021.  Instructions and a link to the forms can be found on the OSP website

Applicants must submit the following as a single PDF document, which will be distributed to

COVID-19 Mental Health Grant Review Committee members. Attach the PDF to the “Required Program Document” section of the ePCF. 

  • A cover sheet, including a brief abstract of the project (see below).
  • A narrative of no more than five single-spaced pages that addresses the criteria above through a project description of specific goals and objectives, proposed methods used, expertise of the PI or research team, and a timetable for completion of the project.
  • A budget, including a budget narrative.
  • A maximum 3-page curriculum vitae/bio-sketch. Include both internal and external funding in current and pending grant support.

Review Timeline

Once a proposal is submitted in ePCF, it will be forwarded to the chair of the COVID-19 Mental Health Review Committee.  With assistance from the Office of Sponsored Programs, the chair of the committee will identify three reviewers for the grant, with at least one reviewer being from a different department/college.

Reviewers will be asked to provide their comments and recommendation within three weeks. After receiving the independent reviews, the review committee chair will share comments and recommendations with the executive review committee. The executive committee will review comments and make a recommendation to the VPREDGE within approximately one week. When coupled with administrative review time on the front and back end of the review process, applicants can expect to receive feedback approximately four weeks after submission. Project extensions beyond the 12-month period are highly unlikely. Accordingly, applicants should submit when they are able to devote effort and proposed expenditures for a 12-month grant period.

Cover Sheet

COVID-19 and Mental Health


Department or School:


Applicant’s Email Address:

Title of Project:

Amount Requested:

Award Period Requested:

Abstract of Proposal (not to exceed 250 words)