Project Call

University of Minnesota COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants

The OVPR COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants aim to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the risk associated with the coronavirus pandemic, including cascading impacts in communities.

The primary focus of the grants is to fund research that informs near real-time decision making for professionals tasked with making operational response decisions. Researchers outside of the UMN Medical School are strongly encouraged to apply. Medical researchers are encouraged to consider opportunities from the Office of Academic and Clinical Affairs (OACA).

Awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000, with grants lasting 12 months (no extensions permitted).


Funding is available starting March 19, 2020 and will continue to be available until funds are expended or until April 30, 2020, whichever comes first.


The applicant(s) must be full-time faculty or P&A researchers at the University of Minnesota.

OVPR will match funds for applicants coming from a single college or center (up to $5,000); investigators, deans, and directors are responsible for the other matching funds.

OVPR will fully fund applications with teams from more than one college or across centers (up to $10,000).

Eligible expenses include:

  • Salary support for research staff, postdocs, students, and other trainees
  • University-based core and other support services
  • Supply purchasing

How to Apply

Submit your application through the OVPR COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants form.

This is an expedited application process. All complete applications will be reviewed by OVPR leadership. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applicants will receive a response within two business days.

Awards Made to Date 

Abdennour Abbas, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
Rapid Assay for RNA Extraction and Concentration for COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostics

Ryan Demmer, Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health
Asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance and transmission among the healthcare workforce

Arthur Erdman, Bakken Medical Devices Center
Copper-Composite for Face Masks

Dan Knights, Computer Science, Biotechnology Institute
Evaluation of saliva-based COVID-19 testing

Shalini Kulasingam, Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health
Social contact patterns in the Greater Twin Cities to inform COVID19 mitigation strategies

Rebekah Nagler, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Perceptions of conflict, controversy, and politicization surrounding COVID-19: A population-based survey of U.S. adults

For more information:

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