Research Focus grants

Focus grants are targeted, innovative and potentially high impact studies that seek to inform and even transform suicide prevention efforts.

Short-term risk

The Focus grant for short-term risk is open to innovative, potentially high-yield proposals that focus on short-term risk for suicide.

Goal

To develop identification and/or intervention strategies for short-term suicide risk that can be implemented in clinical settings.

Funding

Up to $500,000 per year for up to three years.

Requirements

  • The outcome measures for baseline and follow-up must include suicidal behavior.
  • The assessments should include multi-modal, clinically relevant measures.
  • The study must be based in the U.S.
  • Evidence for the feasibility of data collection must be provided.

We encourage collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  Matching funds or partnering with a large healthcare system is encouraged.

For information see how to apply.

Reaching 20% by 2025

AFSP has set a goal to reduce our nation’s suicide rate 20% by 2025. We believe that by targeting areas known to contribute to suicide burden we can reach this goal. This Focus Grant RFA seeks applications that address potential biological, psychological, social and/or environmental pathways and interventions that can significantly reduce the national suicide rate if ultimately implemented on a large scale.

Goal

Universal, selective or indicated interventions that target suicide prevention in healthcare systems, emergency departments, corrections settings, or among the gun owning community, that, if implemented on a large scale, would reduce the annual U.S. suicide rate.

Funding

Up to $500,000 per year for up to three years.

Requirements

  • The study rationale must address feasibility to measurably reduce U.S. suicide rates with widespread implementation.
  • Consistent with AFSP grant policies, the study must include measurement of suicide or nonlethal suicide attempts at baseline and follow-up assessments. However, in a study of this size, a change in suicidal behavior may not be robust enough to detect. In addition, therefore, investigators may use a conceptual logic model linking a measurable proxy behavior (such as adherence to the intervention) to suicide in order to demonstrate that the intervention could have an effect on suicide if widely disseminated.
  • A conceptual model and quantitative analysis demonstrating the potential impact on U.S. suicide rates if the study were implemented broadly are requested. Important considerations include population based attributable risk, acceptability, feasibility, and ease of dissemination.
  • The study must be based in the U.S.
  • Evidence of feasibility to conduct the study must be provided.

We encourage collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  Matching funds or partnering with a large healthcare system is encouraged.

Hypothetical Examples (for illustrative purposes only)

  1. Building barriers on bridges and adding and training bridge staff is an hypothesized pathway to reduce suicide deaths. In an application that proposed to test that hypothesis, the investigators would explain the proportion of suicides that are due to jumping from bridges, estimate the reduction that should result from the proposed prevention strategy if it were found effective, and indicate on that basis the impact that the intervention would have on suicide deaths and rate nationally.
  2. Suppose there is a gene that is uniquely found in 30% of people who die by suicide and is associated with a positive treatment effect with a specific medicine. A new rapid genetic test has been developed that can be used to identify the presence of the relevant gene allele suggesting that the medication should be started immediately. One could calculate how many lives would be saved if the test were available in emergency departments. If successfully treating this subgroup could prevent suicide, then the impact of the test would depend on how many potential suicides had the test. If 30% of future suicides had the genetic test and then one would predict that 30% of those would test positive for the risk genotype, then about one ninth of all suicides would be prevented and that is over 4000 deaths per year being prevented or 11% of all suicides.

For information see how to apply.

Blue sky research grant

Supports an innovative, impactful study in an area of suicide research that will achieve significant goals. This mechanism is intended for studies that, by their very nature, are clearly beyond the financial scope of our Innovation Grants.

Goal

Innovative projects in new areas of investigation with potentially high impact for the understanding and prevention of suicide. Open to all fields of inquiry.

Requirements

  • The study must be highly innovative.
  • The impact for suicide prevention must be clearly described. If impact will not be in the near term, please describe the path from discovery to implementation.
  • The study is clearly beyond the financial scope of our Innovation Grants for reasons other than only increased sample size.
  • The study must be grounded in a conceptual model.
  • Evidence for the feasibility of data collection must be provided.
  • The outcome must include suicidal behavior.
  • This is not a mechanism for local program evaluation.
  • Not limited to studies conducted in the U.S.

We encourage collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  Matching funds or partnering with a large healthcare system is encouraged.

For information see how to apply.

How to apply

Letter of Intent due August 1, 2020

Full application for invited applicants due December 7, 2020

All applicants must submit a Letter of Intent that includes:

  1. Descriptive title of proposal.
  2. Name, title, institutional affiliation, and address and telephone number of the PI(s).
  3. Names, titles, and institutional affiliations of other key personnel.
  4. List of participating institutions.
  5. A brief two-page project description that includes:
    • Objectives
    • Sample
    • Outcome measures
    • Procedures (including approach to data analysis)
  6. References may be included on a separate page

Letter of Intent should be emailed to:

Jill M. Harkavy-Friedman, PhD
Vice President of Research
JHarkavyFriedman@afsp.org
Phone: 212-363-3500 ext. 2039

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