Connect and Collaborate Grants Program

The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program incentivizes faculty, staff, students and their respective public/private sector community partners to develop proposals with the potential to catalyze engaged, collaborative teaching, research, and service activities benefiting the community with impactful, sustainable programs while advancing the scholarly goals of the university.

This program is designed to bring together multiple, available resources and leverage existing partnerships to develop programs/initiatives that achieve measurable, positive impacts in communities.

The maximum grant award for 2017-18 is $70,000.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent for the 2017-18 Connect and Collaborate Grants Program was Sept. 29, 2017.

Information Session

An information session recording for the 2017-18 Connect and Collaborate Grants Program from September 12, 2017 can be viewed at the link below.

Information Session on Carmen Connect


Program Design

Programs at the design stage are beginning to be defined with a focus on proof that the program concept has merit both in terms of value to the community and scholarship. In this stage, the needs of target population groups and program requirements are identified, program goals that are consistent with the missions of the university and program partners are specified, and a program that can meet these goals is crafted and assessed for value creation.

Program Implementation

In this stage, the initial focus is on a successful launch, then running the program in a formal fashion, but with a continual focus on improvement. New opportunities and challenges will arise – often requiring the rethinking of the program model, which in turn will necessitate a return to assessment activities such as feasibility and marketing studies. The outcome of implementation is an established program where products or services have come to fruition with their value reinforced through evidence of impact and demand.

Program Expansion

Expansion grants support scale-up, or otherwise strengthening, of a proven program's infrastructure and capacity to produce positive impacts. The goal of expansion is to add new products or services for existing customers or expand existing offerings into new geographic regions or target populations. Because expansion 'breaks new ground' it requires planning, research, and validation of new features, which should be complementary to existing experiences and capabilities, while building on the tried and true foundation established during the implementation phase.

Focus Areas

Priority will be given to proposals that align with one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Community and Economic Development
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Energy and Environment
  • Food Production and Security
  • Health and Wellness
  • Humanities and the Arts
  • Product/Service Research, Development and Commercialization; and
  • Smart City Columbus
  • Global One Health Initiative
  • China Gateway


Eligible applicants are invited to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that captures all the essentials of the proposal using the template provided. The Stewardship Partners will evaluate LOI applications for advancement to the Pre-proposal stage. Pre-proposals selected to move forward will be developed into full proposals by a Development Team consisting of applicant team members, a Steering Committee and a project development mentor.

The Steering Committee and mentor will contribute targeted networking and program development expertise. This will enable a better perspective of the challenge and the capability to devise more effective and sustainable solutions. Working with a Steering Committee and mentor to deliver a final proposal is a required activity for all selected pre-proposals. Applicants will need to set aside sufficient staff time for full proposal completion. Stewardship Partners will invest in full proposals pending final approval.

Stewardship Partners in the 2017-2018 Connect and Collaborate Grants Program include: 

  • Columbus Foundation
  • Greater Columbus Arts Council
  • Ohio Arts Council
  • United Way of Central Ohio
  • Corporate Engagement Office
  • Office of Energy and Environment
  • Office of International Affairs – Global Gateways, Global One Health
  • Office of Outreach and Engagement
  • Office of Research – Discovery Themes, Industry Liaison Office
  • Office of Undergraduate Education – Office of Service-Learning, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry
  • OSU Extension
  • OSU Wexner Medical Center

For assistance with any requirement of this solicitation, please contact Mark McCann at

Frequently Asked Questions

As stated in the Call for Letter of Intent (LOI), the proposed initiative should involve engaged, collaborative teaching, research and/or service activities benefiting the community with impactful, sustainable programs while advancing the scholarly goals of the university.

The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program is a competitive process. Past history indicates that, all else being equal, proposals with the fewest gaps and more established relationships will have the advantage.

If you are committed to the idea and feel confident that you can develop relationships quickly, you may be ready to submit a LOI. If not, consider applying for the next round of grants. The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program would be glad to assist you in building relationships if it can.  Send an email with your request to Mark McCann ( for assistance with connections.


Programs at the design stage are beginning to be defined with a focus on proof that the program concept has merit both in terms of value to the community and scholarship. In this stage, the needs of target population groups and program requirements are identified, program goals consistent with the missions of the university and program partners are specified, and a program that can meet these goals is crafted and assessed for value creation.

Activities supported by design grants include, but are not limited to:

  • Expand the existing team to include a broader variety of internal and external partners to collaborate in the design of the action plan. E.g., Host stakeholder/collaboration meetings to engage partners.
  • Assess the target audience's needs to develop a real sense of the problem
  • Scan the internal and external environment to develop strategic directives to incorporate into program design. E.g., attend professional development conferences and seminars.
  • Refine the program idea/concept and establish its merit. Challenge the proposed program with alternate program scenarios/models. Research and eliminate scenarios that are not viable.
  • Conduct a feasibility study of the proposed program, taking into account financial, technological, operational, and other factors.
  • Identify grant opportunities and develop grant proposals to support future implementation
  • Develop an implementation plan, or blueprint, outlining the program’s objectives, strategies for achieving them, and operationally how the program will be delivered to clients.
  • Develop a preliminary financial sustainability plan, assuming successful implementation of the program, growth, and future expansion.

In this stage, the initial focus is on a successful launch, then running the program in a formal fashion, but with a continual focus on improvement.  New opportunities and challenges will arise – often requiring the rethinking of the program model, which in turn will require a return to assessment activities such as feasibility and marketing studies. The outcome of implementation is an established program where products or services have come to fruition with their value reinforced through evidence of impact and demand.

Implementation activities include:

  • Secure financing
  • Hire management and staff
  • Create a legal structure
  • Locate a facility
  • Create a program evaluation plan to judge the program’s worth and document benefits provided
  • Recruit clients
  • Create marketing and public relations/communications plans

Expansion grants support scale-up, or otherwise strengthening, of a proven program's infrastructure and capacity to produce positive impacts. The goal of expansion is to add new products or services for existing customers or expand existing offerings into new geographic regions or target populations. Because expansion ‘breaks new ground’ it requires planning, research, and validation of new features, which should be complementary to existing experiences and capabilities, while building on the tried and true foundation established during the implementation phase.

Activities supported by expansion grants include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensure that program leadership and funders want to expand and that the existing program has the capacity to expand without compromising its value or the integrity of its operations.
  • Conduct market research to understand potential new markets or how current client needs may have changed.
  • Develop an expansion plan with specific growth objectives built on the program’s established strengths, include strategies for achieving them, and plan how operationally the expanded program will be delivered to clients.
  • Define success metrics and create an evaluation plan to assess progress toward goals
  • Assess impact of increased demand on day-to-day operations (e.g., facility, IT infrastructure and other technology; staff work requirements and benefits)
  • Determine if branding changes will be needed
  • Develop a risk management plan

No, you should only submit one to the program stage you think is most appropriate. If the Stewardship Partners think it fits better in another category they will move it there. Selecting the wrong program stage will not eliminate your proposal from consideration.

The team leader must be a current Ohio State University faculty or staff member. Team members may include other university members and/or partners from external public/private organizations. Consult the Call for LOI to verify specific team requirements for each focus area.

Community partners can be for-profit organizations (which exist primarily to make a profit); nonprofit organizations (which exist to provide a service to the community); and non-OSU universities, colleges, and schools.

No, Stewardship Partners are partners in development and funding, but they are not required to be a part of your team.

Yes, individuals may be members of more than one Connect and Collaborate Grants Program application.

Yes. An eligible application may have multiple team leads. One of these individuals must be designated as the point of contact for the grant and to facilitate communication with team members.

Yes. Student organizations must find a faculty or staff member willing to serve as team leader for the application and grant, if awarded.

As an example, if the funding request is for $50,000, then the cost share must be equal to or greater than $25,000 (50% of the requested amount) with at least 1/2 of the cost share ($12,500) in cash. In this case, the total budget for the proposed project is at least $75,000.

Cash cost share is money (funds) that can be used to purchase goods and services directly in support of the grant program. In-kind contributions are a kind of giving in which, instead of giving money to buy needed goods and services, the goods and services themselves are given (for example: use of a facility or equipment; team member time, etc.).

The source of cost share must be established before funds are awarded. The firmer the commitment beforehand, the more competitive the program. For the LOI phase of the program, an application must only show estimates of anticipated cost-share and indicate sources. If a LOI is advanced to the pre-proposal phase, teams will be asked to submit letters from specific sources stating an intent to provide funding.  These letters are not required, but make proposals more competitive.

It depends on the requirements of the existing grant. If the purpose/activities of the existing grant strongly aligns with your proposal and contributes to its objectives, it may be appropriate. If you have some flexibility with your grant dollars, it may also be appropriate. Teams should consult with the source of grant funding to ensure this is permissible.

Funds will be available in May 2018. Funded programs will receive 60% of the funding up front and the remaining 40% after completing a mid-project review.

Award funds will be transferred to an established university program account identified by the grant team. Decisions on the appropriate use of the funds will be the responsibility of the Team Lead(s) and their designated fiscal agent(s).


At the LOI stage, just overall estimates of the amount requested from the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program and cost share amounts are required. Line item estimates are not required. If teams are asked to submit a pre-proposal, then they will be required to submit budget line estimates and explanations of general uses of funds, that are sufficient enough to inform evaluators of how the funds will be allocated and used.

Yes, applicants should use the LOI template found here. The template is an editable Word document that outlines all of the information required in the LOI.

Please submit only the requested material (Cover Page and 1-page Narrative). We are not able to accept supplementary materials, such as vitas, references, and letters of support/commitment with LOI submissions.

The narrative portion of the LOI template has five sections with the headings Statement of Challenge / Opportunity; Approach; Outcomes and Impacts; Team Members; and Budget. Charts, tables, and graphics may be used in the narrative, but will be included as part of the 1-page limit.

The length of narrative sections can be adjusted to meet applicant's content as long as the entire LOI does not exceed the 1-page limit. Rows can be added or deleted from tables on the template. Template instructions and explanatory text, following narrative section headers, may be deleted to make room for content.  See the Call for LOI for further application instructions.

Yes, you are limited to five funding focus areas. It is important that you check the areas that are most appropriate for your team’s proposal.

For the purpose of the Connect and Collaborate Grant, select Central Ohio if the program serves a Franklin County population. If the population served is outside of Franklin County, select Ohio’s 88 Counties. If the program serves both regions, select both Central Ohio and Ohio’s 88 Counties.

LOIs will be selected based on alignment with funding focus areas and funding priorities of the Stewardship Partners.  Teams selected based on LOIs will be invited to submit pre-proposals. Pre-proposals will be evaluated on merit and quality of responses to questions posed on the pre-proposal narrative template in addition to funding priorities of the Stewardship Partners. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to present their pre-proposal to the Stewardship Partners. Following presentations, the Stewardship Partners will decide which proposals advance to the Development Stage based on merit and funding interests.

Teams will receive email confirmation upon receipt of their application.  Teams will be notified as soon as screening decisions are made.

The Stewardship Partners will place LOIs into one of three buckets: A) High Interest/Advance, B) Medium Interest/Do Not Advance, and C) Low Interest/Do Not Advance. You can email Mark McCann ( to find out if your LOI was placed in category B or C. Based on the feedback, you may want to consider resubmitting again during the next funding period in fall 2018.

The pre-proposal narrative will build on elements in the LOI template.  It will require more detail and covers a few new sections, such as Financial Sustainability. Pre-proposals will be evaluated by the Stewardship Partners. Teams whose pre-proposals are selected will be invited to participate in a Development Stage where pre-proposals are developed into full project plans.

The complete project plan (or full proposal) will build on elements in the pre-proposal, requiring more detail and covering additional content areas. After the plan is approved and the grant is awarded, teams will rely on the project plan for an approach to implementation and to report formally on progress and status.

The Steering Committee will work with applicant teams to develop full project plans. Each Steering Committee will include members of the Stewardship Partners or their representatives. Their role is to provide targeted networking and program development expertise. Teams in the Development Stage also will work with a program development mentor who will provide guidance on the development process.

No. But the further a program progresses through the Development Stage the more it is likely to receive funding.

Representatives from the Connect and Collaborate Grant Program's Stewardship Partners decide which LOIs and pre-proposals move forward for development. The Stewardship Partners also make the final decision on whether or not a full project plan should receive funding.

The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program will have one funding cycle per academic year.

The LOI was added to improve the return on time invested for grant applicants as a whole. With the addition of the LOI phase, the down-selection period needed to be expanded to allow adequate time for Stewardship Partners to evaluate proposals and meet to discuss selection decisions.

Yes. Each application must have a different focus and specified goals and outcomes.

In 2016-17, $742,679 was awarded. We expect to award a similar amount again this year.

During the two FY 2016-17 cycles of the Program, there were 170 pre-proposals submitted. (In 2016-17 LOIs were not required.) Following the evaluation and selection process, 25 moved through the development process and were awarded grants.

No.The 25 teams receiving Connect and Collaborate awards in FY 2016-17 represented a wide variety of subject matter areas, geography priority areas, disciplinary teams, and funding sources. A list of awarded projects can be found above under “Grant Recipients.”



Grant Recipients

Central nervous system (CNS) cancers represent the major cause of both cancer and disease-related death in the developed world in children between 1 and 18 years of age. We have made significant progress in the United States, however, for countries in South America, survival and quality of survival outcomes still lag behind. The management of children with CNS cancers demands close collaboration between pediatric oncologists specifically trained in CNS tumors (neuro-oncologists), pediatric neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pediatric neuro-pathologists and other specialists; without such intimate cooperation, misdiagnoses, delays in initiation of appropriate therapy, and the age-appropriate selection of therapies become sub-optimal, as is seen widely throughout South America. Our colleagues from IPO/UniFeSP-GRAAC Children's Cancer Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil reached out to us in 2014 to develop more formal and structured multi-disciplinary collaborations to overcome their challenges.

The program seeks to establish the following initiatives during the next two years:

  1. Conduct a second Pediatric Latin American Neuro-oncology conference in 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil attended by pertinent pediatric sub-specialists from South America;
  2. Formalize educational visits for residents/fellows from IPO/UniFeSP-GRAAC to OSU/Nationwide Children's Hospital for advanced training;
  3. Establish multi-disciplinary, real-time teleconferencing of challenging pediatric CNS tumors;
  4. Enhance their neuropathology infrastructure and expertise through educational interactions and training with our neuropathologists;
  5. Include advanced molecular profiling at OSU in the Chakravarti/Bell lab for pediatric medulloblastoma tissues; and
  6. Provide an educational experience for an OSU medical or pre-medical student to undertake a global health field project in pediatric neuro-oncology in Sao Paulo.

Team Leads: 
Jonathan Finlay, College of Medicine
Diana S. Osorio, College of Medicine

Ohio State Partners:
College of Medicine

External Partners:
Nationwide Children's Hospital

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
Global Gateways (Office of International Affairs)
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Columbus Community Teaching and Learning Consortium (CTLC): Supporting Parent-Teacher Engagement in Schools through a Research-Practice Partnership

This grant will support us in developing and delivering a Place-Based Family Involvement course with parents from our CTLC partner schools. We know that family involvement in children's education is a significant factor in their subsequent school success. Despite these benefits, barriers exist to building strong school-family-community partnerships. Parents may not engage actively because of work and family commitments and educators may feel unable or unprepared to engage with families. To better understand and overcome these barriers, this course will focus on telling and revising stories about family involvement in schools.

A key innovative feature of the course is the integration of technology through digital storytelling. Parents will co-lead and -design the course and all participants will create digital stories to accomplish both course-specific outcomes and long-term, generative and sustainable outcomes. Often, we carry stories about one another that are shaped by our past experiences in different places and spaces at different times. Sometimes we carry single, stereotypical stories about one another based on language, race, ethnicity, class or myriad other factors. And sometimes these single stories limit our opportunities to learn from and teach one another. Through this course, we will work together to ask questions, tell our own stories, collect other people's stories, and create new stories that may help us to better support K-8 students in schools. Ultimately, we will each create a short, video story based on our reading, writing, inquiry, and discussions. Our time together will end with a Family Involvement Film Festival in April.

Team Lead: 
Caroline Clark, College of Education and Human Ecology

Ohio State Partners:
College of Education and Human Ecology/Department of Teaching and Learning

External Partners:
Columbus City Schools
The Graham Family of Schools
Highland Elementary School

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
The Columbus Foundation
Office of Service-Learning
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Community gardens serve many purposes in our communities, such as providing an area to grow fresh produce for those that do not have space where they live, serving as community meeting areas, and providing the opportunity for physical activity. However, community gardens often fail due to lack of leadership, community buy-in, and lack of participant knowledge, which are too often ignored in the planning and development stage. While Extension doesn't currently have the capacity to initiate and manage community gardens, Extension can play a vital role in providing education, technical support, and leadership development training in order to empower community garden leaders to maintain and sustain community gardens as important assets in neighborhoods.

This project will offer leadership training and support to community garden leaders who currently manage or are interested in developing a community garden and develop local networks in order to increase sustainability and long-term success of community gardens in Ohio. A six-week training course will piloted in several counties (Franklin, Stark, and Summit) and a Stark-Summit community garden network will be formed. A Master Gardener Volunteer Community Garden Mentor specialization will also be developed and offered to counties that maintain a MGV program. The long-term goal of this project is to sustain community garden and food projects throughout Ohio via community engagement, leadership training, and volunteer involvement and increase the amount of fresh produce grown by these projects.

Team Lead: 
Jacqueline Kowalski, OSU Extension

Ohio State Partners:
OSU Extension

External Partners:
Let's Grow Akron

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Outreach and Engagement

A significant amount of meteorological and climatological data is publically available, but it is neither tailored to the needs of public and private stakeholders nor available on an intuitive and applicable platform for resource managers, producers and policy makers to utilize effectively. Serving as data stewards, it is the mission of the State Climate Office of Ohio to connect Ohioans with weather and climate information necessary to improve lives. This collaborative endeavor will lead to a multi-platform prototype tool consisting of the "FARM" (Fertilizer Application and Resource Monitor) mobile and web app and climate database. This tool will provide farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin with the real-time weather and climate information needed to make compliance decisions concerning fertilizer and manure application.

An important facet to the FARM app will be the ability for farmers to elect to have notifications "pushed" to their mobile device(s), providing up-to-date information at their location and time of need. The development of this tool will also lead to a robust database of weather and climate information needed for compliance. In addition to being available on smart-phones and tablets, the app will have an accompanying website for use on personal computers. Our second venture is to forge a new multidisciplinary research initiative within the OSU community and upper Ohio River region to compete for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) grant. This consortium will develop and integrate climate data and inform resource management and public policy throughout the Midwest.

Team Lead: 
Bryan Mark, College of Arts and Sciences / Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

Ohio State Partners:
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
OSU Extension
Office of Energy and Environment

External Partners:
weatherUSA, LLC

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Energy and Environment
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Connecting the Dots to Economic and Cultural Revitalization in Fayette County, Ohio will use community engagement interventions with various art practices to investigate the local culture of Washington Court House and other villages in Fayette County. This planning process will bring together multiple partners from Fayette County and Ohio State to design opportunities and interventions (such as storytelling, interviews, community discussion forums, brainstorming sessions, and art making) that will lead towards sustainable economic revitalization efforts.

It is our intention that this project will result in a customized and scalable process that will enable Fayette County towns and villages to stimulate economic development using art and culture as a foundational intervention in rural areas to improve quality of life and well-being. Specifically, this project is designed to serve rural Ohioans in Washington Court House, Bloomingburg and Jeffersonville in Fayette County. In joining colleagues from around the country (including Cooperative Extension Offices from the Universities of Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, Oregon and Iowa State Universities, Imagining America's Extension Reconsidered, and, most recently, the Kettering Foundation's Rural Issue Guide) to explore rural economic development, collaborators are looking for best practices that incorporate art and culture interventions in economic revitalization efforts in rural American towns and counties.

Team Leads: 
Sonia BasSheva Manjon, College of Arts and Sciences
Godwin Tayese Apaliyah, Director, Fayette County Economic Development & Ohio State Community Development Extension Educator, Fayette County

Ohio State Partners:
College of Arts and Sciences/Barnett Center
College of Arts and Sciences/Center for Folklore Studies
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
University Extension Community Development

External Partners:
Fayette County Travel and Tourism
City of Washington Court House/Main Street Group
Fayette County Commission
Bloomingburg Mayor's Office
Jeffersonville Mayor's Office
Fayette County Public Library
Fayette County Historical Society and Museum
Fayette County Economic Development
Fayette County Geographical Information System
The Print Shop, Record Herald Newspaper
White Fence Gallery
Creative Courthouse
Anima Viva Arts
Miami Trace School

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Service-Learning
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Are animals the solution to improving health in rural children? In developing countries, livestock are a source of income and nutrition that can improve food security and opportunities for households and children within them. However, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of infant mortality in developing countries worldwide and is often zoonotic in origin, or transmitted between humans and animals. So how do the costs and benefits of human-animal interaction compare and do they vary cross-culturally? With a better understanding of the complex interplay between the costs and benefits of different interactions with different species in different settings, local and international development organizations and health-care providers could provide recommendations on the most beneficial use of animals within a particular culture and context to improve the lives and health of rural children. Through a collaborative partnership between The Ohio State University and the Autonomous National University of Nicaragua in León, we will develop tools to study this issue and put our findings into practice in rural populations around the world.

Team Leads: 
Rebecca Garabed, College of Veterinary Medicine
Jiyoung Lee, College of Public Health
Barbara Piperata, College of Arts and Sciences

OSU Partners:
College of Veterinary Medicine - Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Anthropology
College of Public Health - Division of Environmental Health Sciences
College of Nursing

External Partners:
Center for Demography and Health (CIDS) at the Autonomous National University of Nicaragua in León (UNAN-León)

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
Infectious Diseases Discovery Theme
Global One Health
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Team Lead: 
Patty Cunningham, Office of Student Life (Social Change)

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
Office of Service-Learning
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Prescription medications are among the most misused substances in the United States, and this phenomenon has resulted in myriad health, social, fiscal and legal consequences. For example, drug overdose is our country's leading cause of accidental death, and Ohio now leads the nation in the number of these deaths. Generation Rx is a medication safety initiative established by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Cardinal Health Foundation to help address this phenomenon. This Connect and Collaborate Grant proof-of-concept project creates a new vision for a partnership between Generation Rx, OSU Extension, and the Kroger Company. We believe that it will engender long-term and sustainable relationships that will benefit the people of Ohio and beyond through activities to promote "safe medication practices for life."

Our initial efforts will focus on combating the opioid epidemic, which is one of Ohio's (and America's) most pressing public health concerns, using a two-pronged approach. First, the Opioid Patient Education Program will engage Kroger pharmacists in patient education activities when opioid medications are dispensed. Secondly, support will be provided in K-12 schools through OSU Extension for opioid safety instruction. These efforts will begin in Southeast Ohio to assess impact, plan for programmatic expansion, and establish a framework for addressing other medication safety issues moving forward. Ultimately, these relationships will take different forms to address the many medication-related issues that impact the drug-taking culture in which we live. The project will begin in January 2017 and conclude in December 2018.

Team Leads: 
Kenneth Hale, College of Pharmacy
Nicole Kwiek, College of Pharmacy

Ohio State Partners:
College of Pharmacy
OSU Extension

External Partners:
Cardinal Health Foundation
Kroger Pharmacy

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Outreach and Engagement

LiFEsports is a comprehensive youth development Initiative at The Ohio State University serving over 600 youth ages 9‐18 annually through its flagship summer camp, year-round sports clinics, and the Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). The Initiative targets programming to reach vulnerable youth in the Columbus community, as over 80% of youth live in households at or below 200% of the poverty line. With the support of the Connect and Collaborate Planning Grant, the LiFEsports Initiative will focus efforts on improving the sustainability of the LiFEsports YLA. First developed in 2013, the YLA is designed to serve LiFEsports youth who have aged out of traditional summer camp programming.

The YLA promotes college and career readiness by engaging high school youth in year‐round programming focused on building financial literacy, enhancing leadership skills, promoting college access, and fostering 21st-century skills. The YLA strives to support youth in enrolling in post-secondary education upon completion of high school. In 2016-17, 50 high school youth are enrolled in the YLA. Over the next two years, LiFEsports hopes to grow this program to serve 75 youth and provide more extensive programming. Through this planning grant, LiFEsports will begin a collaborative planning process with its community and University partners to determine effective avenues and opportunities to support LiFEsports in developing and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for the YLA and the LiFEsports Initiative at large. By increasing the sustainability of the YLA, the LiFEsports Initiative and its partners hope to continue to impact the lives of vulnerable youth in the Columbus community.

Team Lead: 
Dawn Anderson-Butcher, College of Social Work

Ohio State Partners:
College of Social Work
Department of Athletics
Office of Student Life, Recreational Sports
OSU Extension
The Sports and Society Initiative
Undergraduate Research Office

External Partners:
Huntington National Bank
Columbus City Schools
Camp Mary Orton

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Food insecurity is a persistent problem with staggering health implications. Over 14,000 Marion County residents (15.9%) are food insecure; the childhood food insecurity rate is 25.7%. Without affordable nutrition, Marion county families are forced to choose between food quantity and quality lending to untoward health outcomes: 32% of adults are obese; 47% of third graders have BMIs of 25 or greater (> 95th percentile). The objective of our project is to develop a replicable and sustainable model that can be instituted locally to address the food insecurity crisis. We will create a comprehensive plan for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pay-as-you can restaurant, marketplace, and meal delivery service to be located in a renovated facility in downtown Marion, Ohio.

Unlike other food access options, the downtown location is accessible by public transportation to those most in need. Other social service and education providers will be recruited to occupy space and share services. The benefits of the project are far-reaching. Statewide and nationally, the project and its learnings will further development of this proof of concept for possible replication. This includes development of strong evaluation methods that can be offered as a service to new or existing initiatives. Once constructed, the restaurant and marketplace can contribute to improved health of adult patrons, including increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. The economy will be strengthened from greater commerce, added jobs, on-site employment training, and the drawdown of federal USDA cash reimbursements for meals catered to surrounding Head Start programs.

Team Leads: 
Gail L. Kaye, College of Public Health
Whitney Gherman, Marion City Schools
Winnie Brewer, Marion City Schools

Ohio State Partners:
OSU Extension
Ohio State Marion
College of Public Health

External Partners:
Marion City Schools

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Outreach and Engagement

The Ohio Land Exchange (OH/LEX) program seeks to connect city and county land banks to the resources of The Ohio State University and its Extension educators. In Ohio, more than 20 cities with a population over 20,000 have seen significant declines in population, land use and economic activity over the last 30 years, making them "shrinking" or "legacy" cities (Greater Ohio Policy Center, 2016). In 2015, an Impact Grant from the Office of Outreach and Engagement funded the OH/LEX pilot-project in Lima, Ohio. This initial effort produced new forms of data on vacant land in Lima and advanced innovative approaches to engage stakeholders and highlight potential forms of vacant land reuse through the development of arts-based events and displays.

The OH/LEX program expands this approach by engaging city, county land bank and OSU Extension staff throughout the state to implement sophisticated social, technical and environmental strategies for the (re-)use of vacant land, especially in small- and mid-sized legacy cities. The OH/LEX team will organize a series of workshops for Extension and land bank staff to familiarize them with this new approach. In addition, the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis will assist with the development of an online portal that enables easy access to information about vacant and abandoned land. The goal of these two activities is to enable OSU Extension staff to deliver the OH/LEX approach to interested jurisdictions, supported by faculty and staff at Ohio State's Knowlton School of Architecture, School of Environment and Natural Resources and Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.

Team Lead: 
Tijs Van Maasakkers, Knowlton School

Ohio State Partners:
Knowlton School - City and Regional Planning
Knowlton School - Landscape Architecture
School of Environment and Natural Resources
OSU Extension
Center for Urban and Regional Analysis
Lima Campus

External Partners:
City of Lima – Department of Community Development
Allen County Land Bank
Downing Community Advisors

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
OSU Extension
Office of Outreach and Engagement

There are 700,000 annual deaths worldwide attributable to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens called 'superbugs" and if left unchecked will increase to 10 million by 2050. The world has overused, misused, and abused antibiotics in humans, animals, and agriculture. Human health takes the spotlight with superbugs now highly prevalent in common infections. Almost 50% of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary. Every unnecessary dose of antibiotics contributes to the escalating rate of superbugs. To improve the health of people, animals, and the environment we need a scalable and proven solution that can be implemented on a global basis. The United Nations issued a call to action for countries to implement antibiotic stewardship programs to address the spread of superbugs and overuse of antibiotics. In South Africa, a shortage of trained pharmacists in infectious diseases creates a challenge. OSU and South Africa implemented a train-the-trainer antibiotic stewardship pharmacist mentoring program in 2014. The six South African mentored pharmacists trained an additional 47 pharmacists. The results, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases show how pharmacists decreased antibiotic use in 47 hospitals across South Africa by 18%. The planning grant will assist in identifying sources to scale up the existing program and to answer key scalability questions.

Team Leads: 
Debra Goff, College of Pharmacy
Julie Mangino, College of Medicine

Ohio State Partners:
College of Pharmacy
College of Medicine
Discovery Themes Infectious Diseases
Fisher College of Business

External Partners:
University of Cape Town Groote Schuur Hospital
Ampath National Lab
Netcare Hospitals Ltd
Sefako Makgatho University

Connect and Collaborate Funders:
Infectious Diseases Discovery Theme
Office of Outreach and Engagement

Weather is one of leading causes of power outages and these outages can result in significant economic losses. Ohio ranks 3rd nationally in significant weather related power outages. As a result, we seek to develop more accurate tools for predicting weather-related power outages though collaboration with electrical utilities. Our long-term goal is to establish an industry-university center that is focused on developing better power outage models by bringing together university researchers and industry practitioners. This planning grant will be used to build stronger collaborations with the electrical utilities that serve Ohio. This will be accomplished by hosting an industry workshop, providing students with career-relevant training and then placing these students in internships with our industry partners, and developing improved power outage models for the utility industry.

Team Lead: 
Steven Quiring, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences

Ohio State Partners:
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geography

External Partners:
University of Michigan
Texas A&M University
Purdue University
First Quartile Consulting
Beck Consulting
American Electric Power
First Energy
Duke Energy

The growth of online coding tools has made it easier than ever to incorporate computer programming into introductory STEM. However, for certain subjects like physics there is little in the way of content to draw from for this level and even less research on what activities amplify student learning of scientific concepts. OSU Marion Prof. Chris Orban developed a large set of programming exercises for freshman physics classes that are being implemented in high school physics classrooms. One of the key barriers for introducing more computer programming into introductory STEM courses is that few STEM teachers are comfortable with computer programming. The proposed program will include a summer continuing education course that teachers will complete, which includes observing high school camps during summer 2017 where our computer programming content is being used. For more information about this program, please go to

Team Lead: 
Chris Orban, Ohio State Marion

Ohio State Partners:
College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Education
Physics Education Research Group
OSU Extension (4H)

External Partners:
Marion Technical College
University of Mount Union
Reynoldsburg STEM High School

Ensuring that all children arrive to kindergarten ready to learn and prepared for its academic and social rigors is a critically important issue in early childhood education and policy. In reality, many children arrive to kindergarten without the requisite skills needed to succeed. Children from low-income families, facing poverty, homelessness, and associated challenges, are at greater risk for poor kindergarten readiness. The current proposal seeks implementation grant funding to address gaps identified during a pilot instantiation of "Summer Success," a kindergarten readiness camp developed through a community research partnership serving 4-year-olds in the local Weinland Park community, a predominantly low-income urban community in Columbus, Ohio. The four-week, 140-hour program is designed to systematically and explicitly develop a comprehensive set of critical skills that help children arrive to kindergarten ready to learn, including core academic skills in literacy, math, and language, social-emotional skills, motor skills, and interest in creative arts.

Team Lead: 
Laura Justice, College of Education and Human Ecology

Ohio State Partners:
College of Education and Human Ecology, Department of Human Sciences & Department of Educational Studies
Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy

External Partners:
Schoenbaum Family Center
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Columbus City Schools
Franklin Park Conservatory
Godman Guild

Planting Urban GEMS Youth Work in South Columbus will engage approximately 100 vulnerable youth to empower them in partially addressing food insecurity in their own community by growing healthy foods and contributing to community wellness/healthy eating movement. Planting Urban GEMS will establish an aeroponic food production facility to provide positive youth development opportunities for 14-22 year olds in South Columbus. This Connect and Collaborate funded project melds the innovations and youth engagement of the Urban GEMS initiatives with work of the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association to create greater potential for sustainability and larger community impacts.

Team Lead: 
Deanna Wilkinson, College of Education and Human Ecology

Ohio State Partners:
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Department of Biomedical Engineering
College of Education and Human Ecology
OSU Extension

External Partners:
Men for the Movement
Ministries 4 Movement
Local Matters
Southside CAN (delete AUS)
Family Missionary Baptist Church
Parson's Avenue Merchant's Association
Pure Motion Creative
Franklin Park Conservatory
Juice Plus/Tower Gardens
Africentric Personnel Development Shop
Nationwide Children's Hospital Gardens

The Ohio State University is committed to addressing food insecurity in Central Ohio. Currently, two interdisciplinary teams at the university focus on understanding and engaging with communities on food insecurity: the Food Mapping Team (FMT) and The Food Opportunity Research Collaborative (FORC). To date, the work of the FMT has focused on developing a quantitative and spatial description of food insecurity while FORC focuses on qualitative depictions of the lived experience of those who are food insecure. The primary purpose of bringing these teams together is to integrate and expand their individual work and to provide a holistic description of food insecurity in Central Ohio, fill a gap in the current food insecurity work/literature, and engage communities.

Another purpose is to enable these two teams to create a shared theoretical framework and agenda, which will improve the likelihood of securing additional extramural funding. The teams plan to pursue a Geographic and Spatial Sciences NSF grant. Utilizing Community-Based Participatory Research methods, both the FMT and FORC incorporate the community in the research and engagement process. This planning grant allows the teams to deepen existing community partnerships and expand into new communities throughout Central Ohio. Through additional partnerships with Columbus Public Health and Celebrate One, an initiative targeting infant mortality in Central Ohio, another aim of this new collaboration is to develop methods in which data generated from this work can inform food and health policies at the local, state and federal levels.

Team Leads: 
Glennon Sweeney, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Michelle Kaiser, College of Social Work

Ohio State Partners:
College of Social Work
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension
College of Education and Human Ecology, Department of Human Sciences
Office of Academic Affairs, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
College of Engineering, Knowlton School of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning
John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Medicine, School of Health & Rehab Sciences Division of Medical Dietetics
Arts and Sciences Comparative Studies and Anthropology

External Partners:
Columbus Public Health
Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministry
Worthington Resource Pantry (WRP)
Smoky Row Church and Food Pantry
North Interfaith Coalition
Franklinton Gardens
Fresh Foods Here a United Way Healthy Corner Store initiative
Broad Street Pantry
Get Cr8v

The proposed culturally responsive bilingual leadership project uses community-based participatory approach to research. The program, distinct in recognizing and utilizing community assets, will focus on the leadership development of Bhutanese Nepali refugee women in Central Ohio as a core component to address mental well-being and building community resilience among the refugee population. Participants will attend two-hour training sessions every two weeks for four to six months, focused on five key areas: (1) political literacy, (2) economic/financial literacy, (3) legal literacy, (4) health literacy, and (5) school system literacy. This empowering project will be implemented in two cycles and provides an opportunity for refugee women to build their leadership skills so that the participants can be active citizens within and outside of their communities.

Team Leads: 
Binaya Subedi, College of Education and Human Ecology
Arati Maleku, College of Social Work

Ohio State Partners:
College of Education and Human Ecology
College of Social Work

External Partners:
Bhutanese Nepali Community of Columbus
Ethopian Tewahado Social Services

There is an opportunity for the Materials Innovation Lab to serve both industry partners and undergraduate students by providing real-world, experiential, community-engaged learning through the application of innovation theory to problems and challenges posed by industry. Our goal is to establish an Engage and Innovate program to enable a community-engaged environment benefiting students and OSU and industry partners in an impactful and sustainable manner while advancing the scholarly goals of the university. Our approach is to leverage learning, success, and momentum from initial innovation experiments to expand scope and reach. These experiences will form the basis for creation of a portfolio of offerings that provide real-world, experiential learning through externships and curriculum development for our students while generating student touch-points and valuable outputs for our partner's product development programs.

We currently have many of the pieces in place to accomplish this objective in our Innovation Lab, but need to expand our approach to better integrate with our OSU partners, develop and formalize our process, and improve efficiency and effectiveness of the program. The outcomes and impacts will provide students with real-world, experiential learning though externships, qualified industry contacts, potential industry-sponsored internships, and experience in interdisciplinary collaborations and innovation methods. Industry partners will gain better access to the university, undergraduates, and high-quality outcomes enabling long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships with a trusted partner to develop innovation talent as an extension of their R&D organization.

Team Lead: 
Jay Sayre, Institute of Materials Research

Ohio State Partners:
Institute of Materials Research
Fisher College of Business, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Education
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

External Partners:
Erdos Institute
Worthington Industries
FORJAK Industrial
Select Sires
Procter & Gamble
Black and Decker

High demand charges can dramatically increase the electricity prices for many commercial and industrial electric consumers. While the impact of demand charges on electric bills is significant, many electric consumers are uninformed of these costs, how their demand charges are calculated, and the impact of their usage patterns. The overriding goal of this project is to assess how electric peak demand affects agricultural facilities and, in turn, the manner by which farmers can implement energy management plans, production strategies and make investments in equipment to minimize cost associated with demand charges, fostering long-term positive and sustainable benefits for their operations. Until we have a record of when individual motors are running throughout the course of a year, we cannot fully understand the situation or effectively explore solutions with the agricultural sector. We will leverage university and private farms to facilitate research that addresses current knowledge gaps related to electricity usage in agriculture.

Team Lead: 
Eric Romich, OSU Extension (Wyandot County)

Ohio State Partners:
OSU Extension
OSU Western Agricultural Research Center
College of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

External Partners:
Energy SOS

Food and Agriculture as a Systems Intervention in Rust Belt Communities” is an ambitious new collaborative project that seeks to leverage a local sustainable food system (including urban and nearby rural agricultural diversification) as a full-system approach to addressing the systemic crises of deindustrialization in Mansfield, Ohio. It aligns community needs and ambitions directly with key Ohio State Discovery Theme goals within the Food and Agricultural Transformation and Sustainable and Resilient Economy themes. This program’s long-term goal is to create functioning, productive RUSS Garden classrooms in all of the Mansfield City Schools and across Richland County, as sites of cross-curricular learning, near-peer education, health and wellness practices, and small plot, high yield production that will eventually provide fresh produce to school meals.

Team Lead: 
Kip Curtis, Department of Environmental History, Ohio State Mansfield

Ohio State Partners:
OSU Extension
Department of Education, Teaching and Learning, Ohio State Mansfield
Department of Development and Community Relations, Ohio State Mansfield
Department of English, Ohio State Mansfield
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State Math Literacy Initiative
The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)

External Partners:
North End Community Improvement Collaborative
Mansfield City Schools

The opiate problem in the nation has grown immensely, and Lake County, Ohio, is no different. In 2016, the number of opioid-related overdoses more than doubled from the year before. The causes of the epidemic of both opioid-related deaths and misuse span the social ecological model, and therefore interventions need to address the individual, the family and social networks, healthcare and paramedical care, and policies and systems. This project will implement strategies that address key components of the social ecological model focusing on education and awareness in teens of the risk of opioid use. We will recruit youth from 4-H in Lake County and from two Lake County school districts to participate in the Lead & Seed training program, focusing on the SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework.

These youth and adult leaders will then be trained in to present the Youth-to-Youth pHARMING Effects presentation to their school-aged peers and parents. Finally, the youth and adult leaders will use Generation Rx tools to continue brief, tailored messages over the course of the semester. The value of this approach comes through alignment of evidence-based, youth development programming with promising tools already in use in the state to test the impact of putting the pieces together. We will evaluate our work and plan for both local sustainability and state dissemination.

Team Lead: 
Andrew Wapner, College of Public Health

Ohio State Partners:
College of Public Health
OSU Extension (4H Youth Development)

External Partners:
Lake Co. General Health District
Lake County Extension Office
Lake Co. Educational Service Center
Mentor Schools
Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools
Lake County ADAMHS Board

This proposal for a Connect & Collaborate implementation grant seeks bridge funding to support innovations emerging from a two-year, partnership-based research study focused on diversifying participation in engineering. The original study received funding by grants from Battelle and The Ohio State University Office of Outreach and Engagement. This proposed project involves adapting two different middle school engineering curricula (one arts-infused and one conventional), which the OSU team has piloted in Hilltonia Middle School (a Columbus City Schools [CCS] district identified high-need school). Currently, we are implementing the two curricula as weekly extracurricular activities for 6th grade students.

Team Lead: 
Deborah Grzybowski, Department of Engineering Education, College of Engineering

Ohio State Partners:
College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Education
College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
College of Education and Human Ecology, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Outreach

External Partners:
Columbus City Schools
Beta by Design
Ohio Department of Education