Office of the Vice President for Research

Extramural Coordinated Funding

UM Submission Instructions: Healthy Connections: Building Connections and Reducing Social Isolation 2023

Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
Award Title: Healthy Connections: Building Connections and Reducing Social Isolation
Amount: $200,000
up to $100,000 per year for up to 2 years
UM Deadline: 02/21/2023
Sponsor Deadline: 04/06/2023
Description: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation’s mission is to build strong community partnerships to advance racial and health equity. The goal of this funding opportunity is to increase social connections within and across communities and generations to reduce social isolation. Increasing community connections is one way the Foundation works to build healthy generations so families, young people, and older adults can achieve their healthiest life. People experience better health outcomes when they’re connected to their community and feel a sense of belonging. Conversely, significant negative health impacts are related to social isolation — like increased stress, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and an increased risk of unhealthy behaviors, such as commercial tobacco use and excess alcohol consumption. Many factors impact people’s ability and opportunity to connect with each other, including structural racism, discrimination, age, ability and geographic location. The result can be social isolation and loneliness, which affect one in four older adults. In addition, people who identify as Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, and other historically marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by social isolation. To achieve our goals, we will fund eligible organizations working to eliminate racial and health inequities that impede social connections.
Number of Applicants University is Allowed to submit: 1
Additional Requirements: None
Sponsor Guidelines:
UM Nominations Process: The University of Minnesota Foundation and the Office for the Vice President for Research collaborate to forward proposals to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. For more information, please contact Wolfe Molitor at the University of Minnesota Foundation at 651-261-7356 or To be considered, please complete this half page concept paper and email to by the deadline.
Peer Review Coordination: Office of the VP for Research contact email
Status: The internal deadline has passed but no applicants were selected. Please contact the office coordinating the peer review for more information.
Please note: To be considered for peer review and internal selection, faculty must follow the above submission guidelines and meet the UM deadline as set by the office coordinating the peer review for this opportunity.

General Information

  • Each posting has information about the external sponsor and opportunity as well as the internal application instructions.
  • Opportunities can be sorted by column headings; just click on the heading to re-sort by that column.
  • When a link redirects you to another site, it opens in a new browser window.
  • If you know of an opportunity that is not on the list, please contact Robyn Kennedy.
Column Descriptions

  • Sponsor: redirects you to the sponsor's main website
  • Title/Guidelines: redirects you to sponsor specific information regarding the opportunity which may include description, eligibility, budget instructions, forms and other requirements
  • Amount: Maximum dollar amount awarded.
  • Add’l Req: Identifies special requirements such as cost sharing, partners, etc.
  • Sponsor Deadline: External deadline identified by the sponsor.
  • UM Submission Instructions: Contains specific internal submission requirements including internal proposal instructions, deadline, eligibility, internal nomination process, contact information.
  • # Apps: The maximum number of applications the sponsor will allow the university to submit.
  • UM Deadline: Submission deadline for internal proposal as determined by the coordinating office.
  • Status:
    • Open: UM deadline has not passed and the opportunity is open for application.
    • In Review: Peer review process is in progress for the opportunity.
    • PI Selected: The PI has been selected as the official UM nominee.
    • Closed: Sponsor deadline has passed and the opportunity is closed for application.
U of M Submission Instructions (Required)

This link includes summary sponsor information, specific instructions for internal submission and contact information for the university office coordinating the nomination process.

  • Follow the directions in the submission instructions and submit required materials by the UM deadline to the contact indicated.
  • Instructions vary according to the requirements of the sponsor and the university office coordinating the nomination process.
Registration (optional)

Registration is an optional but highly recommended feature. Perhaps you are looking for a wider audience for your proposal idea, or for potential collaborators to work with to create a stronger application. Registration allows applicants to share proposal ideas and post contact information.

Registration also provides information that helps the university office overseeing the nomination to determine the level of coordination needed and guide the review process.

To register (or view registrants), click on the UM Submission Instructions for a specific opportunity, then click on the Register Interest link.

Selection Process

  • Once the internal deadline has passed, the status will change to “In Review” and proposals will undergo review.
  • If there are multiple applicants, the office managing the nomination will determine the review criteria and coordinate the review process.
  • Once review has been completed all parties will be notified via email.
  • Nominees will be provided with a letter addressed to the sponsor from the OVPR indicating that they are the university's nominee. This letter should accompany the nominee's proposal.
  • SPA is notified of the university's nominee(s) and the status is updated to “PI Selected”.

*If you have questions about the University's process related to extramural funding opportunities requiring nomination or if you have any technical issues with the site, contact

For questions, please contact OVPR's Research Advancement group.