20th Anniversary Postdoctoral Grant Program Request for Proposals

Last updated: July 11, 2024
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The Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) is a grantmaking program within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) committed to improving health and advancing health equity in Wisconsin through investments in research, education and community partnerships. It was established at SMPH as the result of a generous endowment gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (BCBS) and approved by the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner’s Order of March 2000 when BCBS converted from a nonprofit service corporation to a stock insurance corporation. The proceeds from the sale of the company were distributed equally between SMPH and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Since WPP began making grants in 2004, its approach to grantmaking has harnessed the power of academic research combined with community knowledge to address some of Wisconsin’s most pressing and complex health challenges. Our principles and practices are integrated with the time-honored concept of the Wisconsin Idea, recognizing the tremendous opportunity to bridge the knowledge and resources of the university with the expertise of communities to improve life within the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Our mission and work are strongly aligned with the SMPH mission to advance health through innovative research, outstanding education, and remarkable service to communities.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program’s vision, mission and values as well as its goals and grantmaking strategies are described in the 2024–2029 Five-Year Plan.

Goal and Description

Wisconsin Partnership Program 20 years sealThe 20th Anniversary Postdoctoral Grant Program is designed to support the professional development of postdoctoral trainees, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and research associates at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Under the guidance of their supervising mentor, who serves as Principal Investigator, grants will support postdocs as they conduct a research or education project or pursue a professional development opportunity to advance their career with a focus on improving health, health care or advancing health equity in Wisconsin and beyond.

These career development grants should enhance and expand postdoctoral research, education, and professional development. Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Funding for an independent side project related to the postdoctoral supervising mentor’s research
  • Professional development (e.g., attend a conference or workshop)
  • Travel funding (e.g., to attend a conference or to give a presentation)
  • Open-access publication fee coverage

Funding Scope and Duration

Grants are for up to $20,000 for up to one year. The funding request should be limited to a single project or skill, learning or training activity and reflect the scope and scale of the proposal. The proposed project or activity must be completed before the postdoc leaves UW–Madison. If the postdoc leaves UW–Madison prior to the end of the award, any unexpended grant funds remaining will be forfeited and recouped by WPP. Stipends are not allowed. No-cost extensions, budget revisions, and change of scope requests will not be considered. The Partnership Education and Research Committee (PERC) anticipates allocating up to ten 20th Anniversary Postdoctoral grants this cycle, depending on the availability of funds.


The applicant must be a Postdoctoral Trainee, Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Fellow, or Research Associate with a 75 percent or higher protected time research appointment in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and a minimum of 12 consecutive months remaining in their postdoc position concurrent to the period of funding.

The postdoc’s supervising mentor serves as Principal Investigator (PI) on the grant. The PI must have a salaried appointment of at least 50 percent as professor, associate professor, or assistant professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Grant awards to a postdoc will be managed through the PI’s (supervising mentor) department.

Principal Investigators with appointments in SMPH auxiliary units that report to SMPH (e.g., Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene) must have a salaried appointment of at least 50 percent as professor, associate professor or assistant professor in an SMPH department as outlined.

Submission and Review Dates

Application Guidelines

Application Submission Deadline: July 10, 2024 at 5 p.m. CDT

The application is available in the Fluxx portal. All applicants are required to have a Fluxx account to access and submit the application.

Fluxx Portal   

Important Information for New Fluxx Users: New Fluxx users must register for a Fluxx account by completing the Education and Research Registration Form under Create your Profile. Once reviewed by our team, which typically takes one business day, new users will receive an email with their username and instructions to set their password. New Fluxx users should register by July 9, 2024 as there is no guarantee that new registrations past this date will be processed before the July 10, 2024 at 5 p.m. CDT application deadline.

Once logged in to Fluxx, click the green “Start Your 20th Anniversary Postdoctoral Grant Application” button to start your application.

Email wpp@hslc.wisc.edu with questions regarding Fluxx.

In addition to providing general information about the project, the application includes several components:

Project Overview

The project overview describes the postdoc’s professional accomplishments and career goals; the proposed project or skill, learning or training activity; and how the project or activity contributes to the career development of the postdoc. The project overview also describes how completion of the project or activity prepares the postdoc for a career focused on improving health or advancing health equity in Wisconsin and beyond.

The project overview must be uploaded as a PDF and cannot exceed two single-spaced pages with one-inch margins and a minimum 11-point font. Footnotes, references, a table of acronyms (if applicable) and up to three tables and/or figures are not included in the page limit and should be inserted after the proposal overview.

Principal Investigator (Supervising Mentor) Nomination Letter

The application must include a nomination letter from the Principal Investigator (i.e., postdoc’s supervising mentor). In addition to describing the postdoc’s qualifications, the letter is required to:

  • Assure that 12 consecutive months remain in their postdoctoral research appointment in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, including anticipated appointment end date, and 75 percent or higher protected time
  • Describe the impact that a 20th Anniversary Postdoctoral Grant Program award would have on advancing the applicant’s career development focused on improving health or advancing health equity in Wisconsin and beyond
  • Address professional support and resources, such as facilities or other appropriate resources, for the postdoc during the grant period

The letter must be uploaded as a PDF. There is no page limit for the nomination letter.

Project Budget

Using the required budget template, the project budget should clearly indicate how the grant funds will be spent. Requests should be made by expense type (services, travel, supplies, etc.) and should provide sufficient detail for individuals unfamiliar with the project.

Expenditures must:

  • Be limited to a single project, fully justified, reasonable and clearly related to the project’s goals
  • Reflect the activities listed in the proposal
  • Explain the sources and amounts of any cost share
  • Be allowable, reasonable and applicable in accordance with WPP Cost Principles

Allowable and Unallowable Expenses

Applicants should review the WPP’s Allowable and Unallowable Grant Expenses Policy when creating their project budget.

Funds must be used for project-related costs. Examples of how funds may be used include:

  • Professional development
  • Conference travel
  • Childcare (limited to one-time related conference attendance)
  • Open-access publication fees
  • Services, such as consultant or contractual services
  • Supplies and other expenses, such as participant support costs

Funds, as outlined in the Unallowable Grant Expenses Policy, may not be used for:

Additionally, for this grant program, funds may not be used for:

  • Direct salary support, such as stipends, salaries and fringe benefits or graduate student tuition
  • Equipment, which is defined as items costing more than $5,000 with more than one year of useful life
Budget Justification

The budget justification describes in detail the major budget line items: services, supplies, travel and other expenses. The justification provides specific information about why an expense is necessary to achieve the project goals and objectives. The budget justification must be uploaded as a PDF with one-inch margins and a minimum 11-point font.

Biographical Information

Applications must include a biographical sketch for the postdoc and the Principal Investigator in NIH format, including a personal statement, positions, scientific appointments and honors, and contributions to science. Biographical sketches, each up to five pages in length, must be uploaded as a single PDF.

Designation of Confidential and Proprietary Information

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is required to operate in accordance with Wisconsin’s public records and open meetings laws. See the Wisconsin Partnership Program terms and conditions for more information.

Indicate whether the application includes proprietary and/or confidential information, and using the form provided, identify and request confidentiality for any trade secrets or proprietary information.


Indicate whether the project requires approval by the Animal Care and Use Committee, the Madison Campus Biological Safety Committee, UW–Madison Institutional Review Board, and/or the University Radiation Safety Committee. See the Wisconsin Partnership Program terms and conditions for more information.

Non-Supplanting Questionnaire

Complete the required non-supplanting questionnaire (form provided) by responding to the questions and providing explanations as necessary. The non-supplanting questionnaire must be signed by the PI. See supplanting review for more information.

Review Criteria
  • Proposed project or skill, learning or training activity has the potential to advance the career development of the postdoc, in particular in the health or health equity space in Wisconsin or beyond
  • Principal Investigator (postdoc’s supervising mentor) is highly engaged and committed to support the professional development of the postdoc
  • Postdoc is qualified to successfully complete the proposed project or skill, learning or training activity
  • Proposal appears feasible with high likelihood for completion within requested funding period
Review Process

Technical Review: Wisconsin Partnership Program staff will review each application to confirm eligibility of the postdoc and the Principal Investigator (supervising mentor) and to ensure that all requirements are met. This will include confirmation that the PI nomination letter assures that 12 consecutive months remain in the postdoc’s research appointment in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health with 75 percent or higher protected time. Applications that do not comply with the eligibility or submission requirements will not be reviewed, and the applicant will be notified. Applications that include multiple projects will not be considered.

Content Review: The Review Panel, which is advisory to the PERC and includes UW School of Medicine and Public Health faculty members, will review the applications. Each application will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. Faculty reviewers typically are from SMPH basic and clinical science departments with experience mentoring postdocs and expertise in biomedical research, health services research, health policy, community-based population health research and/or education. The reviewers will independently review assigned applications based on the review criteria. The review panel will share their scores, comments and feedback with each other, allowing for diverse opinions. The ranking of the applications and the de-identified reviewer comments will be shared with the PERC. PERC will take up the top-ranked proposals for review.

The PERC will make a final decision to select the grant award recipients based on rank, discussion of the application and review materials, additional information from the applicant team (if requested by PERC or WPP’s Administrative Leadership Team) and the project’s alignment with the goals of the 20th Anniversary Postdoctoral Grant Program. Applicants will be notified of whether they are selected for a grant award no later than September 13, 2024.

Supplanting Review: Supplanting means to replace, to take the place of, or to supersede. The Wisconsin Partnership Program prohibits any funds from being awarded that will supplant funds or resources otherwise available to applicants from other sources for the proposed project.

PERC’s award decisions are conditional on a review of non-supplanting by the Wisconsin Partnership Administrative Leadership Team. The Administrative Leadership Team’s decisions regarding non-supplanting are final and cannot be appealed. Applicants selected for awards by PERC are required to provide information for review by the Wisconsin Partnership Program:

  • An up-to-date non-supplanting questionnaire
  • Postdoc and PI signed Other Support pages in NIH format with three sections: Project/Proposals by status (Active and Pending); In-Kind Contributions; Overlap

The committee’s decisions at each stage of the review are final and cannot be appealed.

Terms and Conditions

By applying for a Wisconsin Partnership Program grant, applicants agree to the Partnership Program’s terms and conditions. Please refer to the Memorandum of Understanding for teams and conditions of the award.

Contact Information

Please note that our team is not allowed to review a draft of your submission.

General Inquiries

Kattia Jimenez
Program Officer

Evaluation Inquiries

Lindsay Barone, PhD

Budget or Supplanting Inquiries

Jon Thomas
Finance Associate Director