Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ section of the Catalyzing Communities website will be updated periodically as new questions come in. While we cannot answer questions on the content of applications or offer advance feedback on applications, we are happy to provide any information related to the timing or logistics of submitting your application.

Have a question about our RFP opportunity or application process? Watch our informational webinar to learn more!

If you have a question that you don’t see answered here please feel free to email us at catalyzingcommunities@tufts.edu. 

What is the deadline for submitting my online application?

The short online application is due Friday June 25th 2021 by 11:59 PM ET. It can be accessed through this link. A link can also be found on the application page of our Catalyzing Communities website.

Will there be an information session when I can learn more about this partnership?

Yes! We hosted an informational webinar on the RFP and application process, which was recorded. You can view it by clicking on this link:

View the webinar!

How do I apply to be a Catalyzing Communities partner?

There are two steps of this application process: (1) a short online application, and (2) a finalist interview (virtual) and request for supplemental information. You can learn more about the application process and see a list of key dates on the application page of our Catalyzing Communities website. 

Will the Catalyzing Communities team provide feedback on all online appliations?

Due to an anticipated high anticipated number of applications, we are unable to provide individualized feedback on applications. To ensure transparency in our selection process the scoring criteria for the online application is provided on our website.

Why should my coalition apply to be a Catalyzing Communities partner?

Our partnership can energize your work and amplify your impact. 

  • Tangible engagement: Our partnership can energize your work and amplify your impact in your community. You will see tangible engagement and exciting ideas from those who haven’t been part of your coalition and those who are already participating and excited for a new way of working.
  • Positive community impact: Through our innovative three phase process you will identify high-impact, evidence-based strategies that are primed to succeed in your community.
  • A new way of thinking: Our team will provide capacity building and ongoing technical support for systems thinking, equitable child obesity prevention strategies, and data use and evaluation, to bring a fresh perspective and energy to your work.
  • Networking and connections: You will join a cohort of likeminded coalitions who are doing this work across the country and have access from top researchers and organizations working on other complex drivers of health (e.g., toxic stress, child development) to ensure the work we do is translated into meaningful impact.
  • Financial support: We invest in our partnerships to support this work. You will receive fiscal support for community changemakers, stipends for research participants, and access to up to $10,000 in catalyst grant funds for program initiatives. We will also work with you to apply for new funding opportunities to secure future funding and sustain initiatives in your community.

Read more about the full opportunity and benefits of a Catalyzing Communities partnership in our full Request for Partnerships.  

What exactly will awardees receive? Is it just technical assistance, or is there funding as well?

There is both funding and technical assistance to support selected communities. With all of our community partners we aim to match the level of support with the level of need, and to that end have up to $25,000 built into the budget over the 2-year project period to offset the approximately 5 hours/week for the two primary partners who will be leading the work. We also have funding to compensate people who are participate as research subjects in the project (i.e., community stakeholders and connectors). Finally, we also provide up to $10,000 in catalyst grant funds for program initiatives that will plant the seeds of success for future efforts.

Will multiple communities be selected through this RFP?

Yes, we are seeking to partner with 3 new communities through this RFP.

Is this a one-time opportunity or will RFP be offered again in the future?

This specific call for new partners is a one-time opportunity through which we hope to select three new communities.

Is there a maximum size of the community you would work with?

With the intense work we do and the amount of funding we have, it would be challenging to work with a very large city (ex: Los Angeles), versus one specific area within it. However, through our process communities develop a systems map that dives deeply into some particular areas that are priorities, but is meant to catalyze future work. It could be that the project starts in a smaller area of a very large city and then grows into a larger initiative. It depends on the partners, who is involved, and what additional funding looks like if there is any. If it were a very focused strategy that were being pursued it is possible that could go city-wide with the right support.

If you have specific questions about whether your community might be appropriate please feel free to email us at catalyzingcommunities@tufts.edu

Are there any budgetary needs associated with this project that community partners need to budget for?

There are no additional budgetary costs required that partner communities need to account for in their application to this RFP. 

I'm having trouble deciding if my coalition or organization should apply. Are there specific eligibility criteria for applicants?

Yes. You can find a full list of eligibility criteria for both your coalition or organization and your community here. If you have any questions about eligibility please email us at catalyzingcommunities@tufts.edu. 

What other communities are you currently working with in this project?

See what our current partners are up to on our Communities Page!

I have a question that wasn't answered on this page. How can I get in touch with the Catalyzing Communities team?

If you have additional questions please email us at catalyzingcommunities@tufts.edu. We hope to hear from you, and to see your application by June 25!

Where is catalyzing communities based?

Catalyzing Communities is an initiative at ChildObesity180, at the Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. 

Does Catalyzing Communities work internationally?

No, Catalyzing Communities is seeking to partner only with coalitons and organizations that lie within the 50 United States.

Are groups that have been working together for a couple of years, that already have funding and have been focusing not specifically on childhood obesity but on several determinates thereof, eligible to apply?

Yes. We expect that coalitions that apply have some history of working together and have had some funding in the past. We don’t expect that the groups applying will be forming for the purpose of applying for this opportunity.

Can we work together even if my group is working with an external evaluator?

Likely yes. We would have to figure out together when the applications came in whether there would be a conflict between our evaluation and the external evaluation; however we are open to applicants that are currently working with external evaluators.

How focused will this opportunity be on childhood obesity prevention versus food security and access?

Through our 3-step process we aim to focus on a trend (or trends) that have changed over time (ex: childhood obesity, food security, poverty), and can focus on more than one trend at a time. Our process is iterative, and while we want to make sure that the main trends we are focusing on are related to childhood obesity in some way, we also work with you to make sure that the process resonates and makes sense for you and your community.

Are you considering applications in places where you’re already working through Catalyzing Communities?

Yes, we are considering all applications at this point. Geographic location is one consideration among several that we will be considering in the review process. We recognize that there is ongoing work in cities and states across the country in obesity prevention so there may be some overlap.

That said, we are not looking to partner with another organization or coalition in any of the specific communities where we are currently working: Cuyahoga County OH, Greenville SC, East Boston MA, Tucson AZ, or Milwaukee WI.

Are communities in Puerto Rico eligible to apply for this opportunity?

No, this RFP opportunity is limited to communities that lie within the 50 United States.

If I do not quality for this opportunity, are there other opportunities to be connected to your work outside of these formal partnerships?

We have a number of ongoing projects at ChildObesity180, so there may be an opportunity partner even if you are not selected for this opportunity. Our Catalyzing Communities work is evolving and growing, and we have lots of ideas about future funding and a potential community of practice. We will stay in touch with people who apply and express interest through participating in the webinar.

Visit the ChildObesity180 website to learn more about other work we have ongoing! 

Have you done any work with research on weight bias and how language greatly impacts obesity prevention?

While our own research at Tufts is not focused on that, we rely on great research from colleagues at places like the Rudd Center and many others who are doing great work across the country. Dr. Economos, the Principal Investigator of Catalyzing Communities, is the Vice Chair of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions at the National Academies of Medicine, which has focused on and held different national workshops addressing the topic. We will bring that research into the community as much as possible.

We work hard with our community partners to ensure that we are all using person-first language, and visuals and communication tools that are appropriate and resonant in the specific community. We have ongoing conversations with community partners about the language and words that resonate with the community members they serve.

How can national organizations working to address childhood obesity partner with the community organizations selected for this opportunity? How can nonprofits with reach across the country support this sort of community-based work?

Much of our work relies on national organizations that have specific presence in one community – an example may be the YMCA, a national organization that has a specific presence in one community. There are lots of ways that national organizations could elevate the work of communities that we partner with through Catalyzing Communities, and we encourage you to be in touch.

Historically we have had partnerships across the country at the national level and continue to seek them out through this work. Organizations that work in areas related to complex drivers of health (ex: toxic stress or child development) that are not nutrition or obesity prevention-specific could also provide content expertise to Catalyzing Communities partners.

If you have questions about how you can get involved, please contact us at catalyzingcommunities@tufts.edu!