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Funding Opportunity Flyer

The Leahi Fund for Pulmonary Research was established at Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) in 1994. The purpose of the Leahi Fund is “to support programs of research and education in, and the prevention of, pulmonary disease.” Interested organizations or individuals may submit a Cover Letter, Abstract, and Biosketch/CV for a research project for consideration. The Leahi Fund Advisory Committee will review all abstracts and make recommendations for full applications that are most consistent with the priorities of the fund. Full applications will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on a competitive basis and make recommendation for grants.

Historic Priorities of the Fund
• Highest priority will be given to research or education programs with foreseeable clinical application to pulmonary problems that exist in Hawai‘i.
• Scientific research in the prevention or treatment of pulmonary diseases and infirmities.
• Scientific research conducted as part of a collaborative team consisting of researchers within the State of Hawai‘i.
• Preference will be given to seed funding for emerging investigators, and to new areas of investigation for established researchers.
• Investigators or programs that have received funding for two consecutive funding cycles will be given a lower priority.

The Pandemic and Post-pandemic Priorities
From the World Health Organization website: “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus….The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe.” Although COVID-19 may cause a wide multiorgan symptom complex, the respiratory system provides the portal of entry for the virus with the infection manifesting in a varying degree of upper and lower respiratory tract involvement. Severe cases result in pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS which can lead to multi-organ failure and death. While COVID-19 is not solely a respiratory disease, the portal of entry and frequency of the respiratory symptomatology emphasize the importance of the respiratory tract in the pathophysiology of this infection.

The events of the last three years since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused unimaginable morbidity and mortality. Affected individuals have suffered complications and long-term disabilities that not only involve the lung and heart, but also many other systems that have only begun to be studied, i.e., psychosocial, language, hearing, behavioral, etc.

To respond to the aftermath of COVID-19, the Leahi Fund, in addition to historic priorities, will dedicate this funding cycle to support the following areas of research:
• Clinical research with foreseeable application to pulmonary diseases and infirmities that exist in Hawai‘i. Basic research study applications will not be considered during this funding cycle.
• Any clinical, behavioral, and/or epidemiological research study involving any organ system or human behavior and function that is directly or indirectly related to the consequences of COVID-19 infection. Each study proposal must be adequately justified and linked to COVID-19, as well as a priority health concern for Hawai’i, consistent with the priorities of the Leahi Fund. Studies may be a community- based or hospital-based.
• Studies that leverage funding with another source grant funding or those providing significant infrastructure support will be given preference.
• Studies may be exploratory, interventional, or descriptive. Studies that presage future studies/programs/policies that provide follow-up and further depth/dimensions in the area of the defined research and/or strategies of sustainability will be given preference.
• Proposals must be innovative and relevant to Hawai‘i, and not duplicate the plethora of existing studies of COVID-19.

Applicants must be an active assistant/associate/full professor from an accredited university in Hawai’i working in pulmonary diseases and infirmities, or in the area of the proposed research as defined above. The grant period is for 18 months totaling a maximum of $60,000 direct costs only. There will be provisions for indirect costs.

Process and Timeline
Applications are invited from eligible investigators in a two-stage process. The first stage calls for the submission of a cover page, project abstract, and biosketch/CV.

• ABSTRACT DUE DATE: Monday, August 22, 2022 @ 5:00pm
• Notification of request to submit a full application will be sent by Friday, September 9, 2022. Detailed instructions for the full application will accompany the letter of invitation.

Abstract Submission instructions
Submission must include the following sections: Cover page, Project abstract, and Biosketch/CV. Please email all completed documents to Nanda Freeman, Sr. Program Associate at Incomplete submissions will be administratively declined.

  1. Cover Page (1 page) Include project title, principal investigator(s), and any mentors or community collaborators as applicable.
  2. Project abstract (1 page) Include brief statements about the study background, objectives/specific aims, hypothesis, significance, methodology, and expected results.
  3. NIH Biographical Sketch (5-page limit, principal investigator only) or Curriculum Vitae: The Personal Statement Section of the NIH Biosketch should briefly describe your academic and/or non-academic qualifications, background and life experiences, include your interest in research, and your research career goals.

If you have any questions about the required documents or the Leahi Grant Fund, please contact Tricia Mabellos at or 808-566-5523.

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