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Catalyst Fund Announcement



The Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health (SSSH) Catalyst Fund, a project of the International Consortium on Psychosocial Stress, Spirituality, and Health, invited paper proposals in June 2023 for analyses on the topic of religion and/or spirituality (R/S) and health. The SSSH is a multi-ethnic study, directed by the Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, formed to conduct and promote high-quality, prospective analyses investigating the role of R/S in human health, examine the direct influences of R/S on risk of developing various chronic conditions, and explore the stress pathway as a mechanism through which R/S may operate to influence disease etiology. The SSSH dataset is a unique resource for empirically investigating the intersection of psychosocial stress, racial/ethnic disparities, and positive mediating resources for resiliency such as spirituality and religious coping.

Data Available: The SSSH dataset currently includes cleaned and harmonized de-identified survey data (R/S beliefs, practices, and experiences; childhood and adulthood psychosocial stressors), biomarker data (telomere length, candidate gene DNA methylation, and epigenome-wide DNA methylation from a subset of participants), and associated covariates from a highly diverse cohort of 6,926 white, South Asian, American Indian, and Latinx participants across four longitudinal prospective cohort studies: Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII), Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA), Strong Heart Study (SHS), and Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Note: Catalyst Fund collaborators may obtain cohort data only after receiving manuscript approval and completing data use agreements with the relevant cohorts.

Paper Proposals: The application period has now closed; however, Catalyst Fund applicants proposed analyses utilizing data from (1) the SSSH dataset and/or (2) the R|S Atlas (an interactive database noting all R/S measures collected by 20 NIH-funded cohort studies). Additional data resources outside the SSSH are allowed to be used in conjunction with SSSH data. SSSH and prospective analyses were encouraged and will be prioritized. Typical proposals were eligible for honoraria of $5,000 - $10,000, while proposals involving more complex analyses or utilizing data from multiple cohorts were eligible for honoraria of $10,000 - $20,000.

Deadlines & Additional Information: The Catalyst Fund Guide provides details on the data available, and the processes and timelines for applying for and carrying out the analyses. The timeframe is short, with papers are due by Feb 1, 2024.

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