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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Call for Proposals

Saving of Lives from Drowning Grants Initiative

DEADLINE: Now Closed



Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths among children worldwide.[1] According to the Global Burden of Disease 2011, more than 359,000 people die from drowning annually.1 Among these deaths, 97% of drowning deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In South-East Asia and Western Pacific region (in Asia), drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children under 15 years of age.1

Existing interventions such as fencing, swimming programs, lifeguards and personal flotation devices are widely used in High Income Countries (HICs) to reduce the burden of drowning related to recreational sports. However, such interventions may not be applicable for LMICs, and yet a specific research agenda has not been implemented to identify efficacious interventions to prevent drowning in LMIC.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) at  the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center responding to the growing burden of injuries worldwide. Through research, collaboration and training, JH-IIRU strives to identify effective solutions to the growing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income populations, influence public policy and practice, and advance the field of injury prevention throughout the world.

Saving of Lives from Drowning Grants Initiative:

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), with funding provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is pleased to announce the Saving of Lives from Drowning Grants Initiative. As part of our drive to facilitate and promote research in drowning prevention, JH-IIRU will fund 2-3 projects focusing on innovative interventions for drowning prevention in LMICs.

  • The purpose of the initiative is to support projects that are implementing or planning to implement interventions to address drowning in LMICs. The evaluation of these projects should form a critical piece of the proposal and preference will be given to projects from low-middle income regions/countries with known high burden of drowning and that are innovative in nature, either testing innovative interventions or using innovative methods to evaluate existing interventions (even if they have previously been tested in HICs).


  • Applications are currently restricted to institutions (not individuals) based in Low and Middle Income Countries (defined by the World Bank classification system) where the burden of drowning is high. Each application should identify a lead project director, who must be a citizen and resident of the low or middle income country.
  • Eligible institutions may submit only one application per receipt date. Applicants must document active relevant research at their LMIC institution which can support the proposed project.
  • Eligible institutions can involve other research institutions (e.g. universities), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or civil society organizations (CSOs) as part of their proposal. Government organizations, U.N. offices, and for-profit private companies are not eligible for funding at this time.  
  • Applicants must be recognized legal entities in their country capable of entering into contractual arrangements, receiving foreign funds, and assuming legal and financial obligations.
  • Applicants must be able to accept international wires from the U.S.  

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by an expert review committee (ERC)including professionals with skills in public health, engineering, child health, implementation science, injury prevention, etc. All conflicts of interest will be declared by reviewers and be excluded from review of related applications.

Evaluation will be based upon the following criteria (% grade allocated):

1) Proposed Program Approach (40%) – Does the proposed study address the burden of drowning in a LMIC? Are the goals and objectives clearly stated? How will the goals and objectives of the study advance the field of drowning prevention? How does the study add to the scientific evidence base for drowning? What are the policy implications of this study? Importance will be placed on quality of study design, including appropriate research methodology and data analysis. Are the objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) in nature? Are the planned activities clearly described? Has the applicant acknowledged potential challenges and considered alternative tactics? Is the project likely to be completed in the stated time period? Is there an appropriate work-plan which is linked to the planned activities?

2) Monitoring and Evaluation (25%) –Has the need for M&E been addressed in the study? Is it appropriately linked to the stated objectives? Have enough funds been allocated?

3) Institutional Capacity (20%) – Does the applicant institution have the technical capacity to carry out the work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principle investigator (P.I.) and other researchers?

4) Budget (15%) – Is the proposed budget within the stated limit of $50,000 - 75,000 USD? Is it cost-reasonable? 

It is expected that the JH-IIRU will be involved in providing technical assistance during the course of the project.


Grants will be typically in the range of $50,000 - $75,000 USD (inclusive of all costs) for a period of no more than 12 months for each award. All grants will be given in USD – any currency fluctuations will the responsibility of the recipient.

Program Requirement:

This fund may only be used by recipients to cover the cost of research related activities such as: intervention development; field work and salaries of field staff; purchase of equipment, software, books and research materials; other research related expenses (including travel to field sites, dissemination activities, publications). Funds may not be used for attendance at conferences, support tuition or other academic fees.

This initiative is designed to facilitate and support innovative interventions that respond to the burden of childhood drowning in LMICs. Therefore, principal investigators and/or lead investigators must be citizen and resident in the LMICs where the proposed project will be implemented. Also, these grants are not intended for completion of theses or graduate studies related research. Hence, application from graduate students as lead investigators will not be considered.

Recipients will be required to submit an interim report of progress of the project within six (6) months and a final report in twelve (12) months of the agreement signing. All applicants must submit ethical and institutional approvals (as required by institutional and national policies) to JH-IIRU prior to the start of the project. For projects that are ongoing, proof of IRB approval will be required. Failure to secure local approvals on time may lead to rescindment of an earlier favorable decision.

Submission of Proposals

The application can be downloaded here. Budget template can be found here.

Applications must be submitted no later than 5pm Eastern Standard Time (USA) on Monday 6 January 2014 via email to (to see what time that is in your country please check ).

Applicants will be required to submit a proposal, budget, and supporting documentation (i.e. CV of key personnel, supporting letters from the heads of institution etc). 

Only applications written in English will be accepted. Submission of a proposal does not guarantee that you will be funded.

Applicants will be informed of the review decision via email by February 17th 2014. Successful applicants will be expected to commence the proposed study by March 1st, 2014 with a final report due by March 15th, 2015. 

All decisions will be final and feedback on individual unsuccessful applications may not be possible.  

[1]World Health Organization. World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease (WHO GBD). Available at: Updated 2012. Accessed October 4, 2013.



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