Social and Behavioral Research Grants Program
Building trust in vaccines requires an understanding of the unique social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of vaccination anxieties, avoidance and refusal. The complexity of the behavioral dynamics driving vaccine acceptance inspires calls for social science perspectives to understand and address the challenges across local-, sub-national and national-level settings. We need on-the-ground research from diverse regions to inform community-appropriate interventions.
The Social and Behavioral Research Grants Program provides funding to researchers and implementers from interdisciplinary fields exploring vaccine acceptance amongst communities in low- and middle-income country settings. Through this program, Sabin encourages collaborative local partnerships between academic researchers, health officials and local communities. Grant partners conduct innovative research projects that utilize appropriate and rigorous methods to illuminate the social and behavioral dimensions of vaccination at multiple levels and then examine potential solutions to address those dimensions.
Grant Cohorts To-Date
Vaccine acceptance, demand & delivery challenges are complex and context-specific, varying across time, place and type of vaccine. One size does not fit all when it comes to appropriate and effective interventions to address these challenges. Since 2019 we have had the opportunity to award over $600,000 to 18 research projects across 10 countries.
Sabin awarded funding up to $50,000 to 10 research projects from eight countries. This cohort is working to apply a range of social and behavioral science approaches to investigate and inform locally suitable solutions that support acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination—inclusive of strategies for addressing the misinformation within the COVID-19 infodemic and assessing the impact of the pandemic on routine vaccination—particularly among the hardest to reach communities and ‘zero-dose’ populations. 352 eligible applications were received from institutions in over 50 countries.
Sabin received 119 proposals representing 36 countries. Sabin awarded grants of up to $30,000 to five research teams to explore the social and behavioral drivers of COVID-19 misinformation, and its impact on routine immunization and the acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Established in 2019, the Social and Behavioral Research Grants Program initially provided a mechanism to fund on-the-ground research to explore childhood and routine vaccination acceptance among communities in low- and middle-income countries. Its pilot year awarded up to $25,000 to three projects spanning ten-months in India, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Grant proposals undergo a three-phase peer review process—consisting of internal and external multidisciplinary experts—evaluated proposals based on several key criteria, including:
- Novelty of methodologies and the related potential impact on the field
- Substantive demonstration of collaborative partnerships with locally based health programs and policy and practice communities to foster a community-centric approach
- Expected impact on the field of actionable project outputs that can constructively address the socio-behavioral dynamics influencing vaccine uptake within the localized context
Watch this space for the 2023-2024 Call for Proposals!