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Dean LaVeist announces the launch of Sprinting to the Front Lines

April 03, 2020 2:30 PM
Janna Wisniewski

Man walks alone on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans, LA (Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash)

Sprinting to the Front Lines is a rapid funding mechanism for Tulane students to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak established by Dr. Thomas Laveist, Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Individuals or teams of up to five current Tulane students (Undergraduate, Master’s, or Doctoral level) are invited to propose an intervention, that will directly impact the health and wellbeing of our New Orleans community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Proposals may directly relate to COVID-19 or support needs that might otherwise not be met during this time, and projects must take place in the Greater New Orleans area.  Preference will be given to proposals that will benefit populations who are particularly vulnerable or underserved during the outbreak. If the proposal is selected for funding, the student(s) should be involved in the implementation.

Applications must include at least one public health student and have a faculty mentor. At least one member of the team must be enrolled as a student for the duration of the project. Additionally, applicants may choose to partner with community organizations for their project. This funding cannot be used for research, scholarships or interventions that primarily target students. However, the project could serve as a practicum if it meets the criteria. Groups will be required to submit brief monthly progress reports using a template that will be provided.

April 6 – Information session for interested students (see below for details.)
April 13 – Proposals due by 5 PM CST
April 15 – Awards announced
April 20 – Project start date

Review criteria
Need for the project: To what extent is the proposal responding to a public/community health need that is caused or made worse by the COVID-19 outbreak, and that would likely not otherwise be met?
Population served: Will the intervention benefit people who are particularly vulnerable or underserved? The application should explicitly make the case as to why the population is vulnerable.
Feasibility: Could the project begin on April 20th and meet its objectives in the timeframes and budget proposed?
Impact: Does the project have potential to make a strong impact (whether by reaching a large number of people or by greatly impacting a few people)? Does the proposal include simple metrics to assess that impact?
Team members: Do the applicants have the knowledge and skill sets necessary to implement the project? If necessary, have they partnered with appropriate organizations in the community?

Review committee
Applications will be reviewed by a committee of faculty members. Review will be blinded so that the committee will not know student or advisor names until after decisions have been made.

Application components
Applications should be emailed to Chauntrell Shelby at by 5 PM CST on Monday, April 13. Applications must include the following:

  1. A cover page with the project title, list of applicants (name, degree program, department, email), and the faculty mentor (name, department, email)
  2. A one-page description of the proposed project. Applicants should consider the review criteria when developing the description. Descriptions of the team should not include team members’ names.
  3. Project timeline
  4. Monthly expense budget (suggested sections: personnel, transportation, equipment, supplies, contracts, other expenses). Note that personnel can include funding for students’ time.

Information session
There will be an optional information session for interested students on Monday, April 6 at 5 PM CST. The link to the meeting is:

Forum for coordination
We understand that students’ networks may be largely limited to their departments. Therefore, we are hosting a Canvas site for students who would like to connect and form groups across departments or the University. Email Janna Wisniewski at to be added to the site.