Short-Term Research Management (STReaM)

Researchers working on documents
Through Short-Term Research Management (STReaM), a program offered by J-PAL North America, experienced research management staff are available to help researchers navigate implementing randomized evaluations, including study design, piloting, and early implementation.

*Updated April 9, 2020* Please note the following changed in response to the COVID-19 crisis: In addition to the changes to our request for proposal processes, we recognize that ongoing research projects are navigating new challenges in response to COVID-19, and many researchers are designing new evaluations to evaluate and support response efforts to the pandemic. Through STReaM, our team offers hands-on support to ongoing projects as they think through modifications to the project, such as impact to timelines, navigating conversations with research partners, and adapting to phone or virtual research methods. We encourage researchers whose North America-based projects have changed as a result of COVID-19, or who are designing new research related to the virus or response efforts to apply for STReaM.

Introduction

Launching a new randomized evaluation requires significant time, resources, and expertise. Our staff at J-PAL NA can help address these challenges by providing research management support through STReaM. STReaM support will have a defined scope of work and be delivered with the goal of successfully passing off project management responsibilities to permanent research staff. The duration of STReaM support is typically up to six months, with the possibility of extending timing depending on project needs. Researchers are invited to apply for STReaM support through applications for funding, and may inquire about the possibility of STReaM support outside of the RFP cycle. 

Eligibility

J-PAL NA invites studies applying for funding through J-PAL NA RFPs to concurrently apply for STReaM. We also welcome applications from projects that have received funding in a prior round but that are interested in receiving short-term research support. Selected studies will be led by Principal Investigators (PIs) who have relatively limited prior RCT experience and who have limited access to other options for full-time research staff. Graduate students are not eligible for STReaM support.

Project Guidelines

STReaM will include part-time, remote support from research managers and research associates with prior experience managing randomized evaluations. While engagement durations will vary depending on the study's needs, we expect that STReaM may take the equivalent of 20-50% of one staff member's time over a period of up to six months, with a possibility of extending this time based on project needs.

J-PAL NA staff can provide support in a number of areas, which include but are not limited to: coordinating communication across stakeholders; refining randomization implementation design and consent procedures; pilot design and implementation; study process monitoring. The full description of STReaM includes more information about potential types of research support.

Budgeting

The cost of STReaM depends on the level of support needed from J-PAL North America staff. PIs can select the level of engagement they need within the activities shown in the STReaM questionnaire application (described in the full description of STReaM). Estimates will be refined in conversation with J-PAL North America staff after the application is sent and before award decisions are made.

Once an application is received, J-PAL NA staff will reach out to researchers to plan project support in more detail. These conversations are intended for planning purposes. The review board will consider the STReaM proposal alongside the project to make a funding decision.

Selection

Projects selected to receive support through STReaM will be:

  • Led by Principal Investigators (PIs) who have relatively limited prior randomized evaluation experience and have limited access to other options for full-time research staff.
  • Strategically aligned with J-PAL NA's mission
  • Able to demonstrate the value-add of STReaM, including how and what kinds of project management support will contribute to the success of their work.
  • At or near the stage of launching randomization
Table  1 Timeline for Current RFP
Review process description Deadlines

STReaM questionnaire. Studies interested in applying for STReaM will submit a brief questionnaire with their RFP application.

 

State and Local Innovation Initiative: July 17, 2020

US Healthcare Delivery Initiative: August 28, 2020 

COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience InitiativeOctober 9, 2020

Social Policy Research Initiative: October 9, 2020

RFP application review. STReaM applications will not impact RFP funding decisions. The review board will not have access to the STReaM questionnaire until after funding decisions have been made. 

RFP review process

Notification. Studies that are eligible for STReaM will be contacted by J-PAL NA staff.

 

State and Local Innovation Initiative: Week of August 24, 2020

US Healthcare Delivery Initiative: Week of October 26, 2020

COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative: Week of November 23, 2020

Social Policy Research Initiative: Week of November 23, 2020

 

Introductory phone calls. J-PAL NA staff will coordinate an initial conversation with PIs to define what support would entail for their specific studies.

State and Local Innovation Initiative: August 24-September 05, 2020

US Healthcare Delivery Initiative: October 26-November 06, 2020

COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative: November 23- December 04, 2020

Social Policy Research Initiative: November 23- December 04, 2020

STReaM review. STReaM applications will have a review board comprised of J-PAL NA staff leadership. Decisions about STReaM allocations will be released within approximately 4 weeks of the RFP notification date.

State and Local Innovation InitiativeSeptember 08-September 18, 2020

US Healthcare Delivery Initiative: November 09-November 20, 2020 

COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience InitiativeDecember 07, 2020-December 18, 2020

Social Policy Research InitiativeDecember 07, 2020-December 18, 2020

How to Apply

Please complete and submit a brief questionnaire with your RFP application and include a placeholder budget for STReaM in your project budget. The questionnaire includes questions about your project's goals, progress to date, and areas in which you could use support. The RFP review board will not have access to the questionnaire as they make funding decisions. After the RFP decisions are released, eligible applicants will be contacted by J-PAL NA staff to clarify project needs and discuss next steps. 

Full information about STReaM can be found in the full description. Responses to common questions about the program can be found in our FAQ document.

For further information and questions, please email us at [email protected]