Innovations Grant

Deadline Extended! Proposals due April 4, 2016


2016 Request for Proposals 
We are excited to announce the second year of the $100,000 UCM Innovations Grant Program to support projects that use research-quality methods to design, implement, and/or evaluate innovative solutions to operational problems or areas in need of improvement at the University of Chicago Medicine.  Recently, this emerging field where operational innovation and research intersect has been called healthcare delivery science in the literature [1, 2, 3, 4]. Through this grant program, UCM aims to identify and develop future innovators and create value for our patients. We will offer 2 – 3 awards in the range of $25,000 – $50,000 each for a one-year project period. This program is generously supported by a private philanthropic donor, with matching support from the Office of the President.

Types of Projects Eligible for the Program
The proposed innovation may focus on any site of care or service formally associated with UCM, including for example outpatient areas, procedural areas, pharmacy, or the inpatient arena.  Additional requirements and guidance:

  • We are broadly interested in high-quality evaluation of operational innovation – by which we mean anything from patient-facing clinical pathways to innovations in the way we manage supplies, capital expenditures, etc.
  • Projects must be clearly aligned with the operating goals and mission of University of Chicago Medicine.  We strongly encourage all applicants to review the UCM Strategic Plan and the 2016 Annual Operating Goals
  • Projects must involve a multidisciplinary team.  Projects whose team members are of a single discipline are much less likely to be funded.
  • We are interested in healthcare delivery science: high-quality science in the operational realm. Therefore, proposals that do not interface with the operational realm (e.g. basic science studies, randomized controlled trials of experimental drugs) are not eligible for funding.
  • Projects must include a strong evaluation plan that will clearly result in disseminating results in the peer-reviewed literature at the end of the project period.
  • Projects must be feasible to conduct during a one-year period.

All University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division employees and active medical and research staff with a credible track record of research are eligible to apply as individuals or as part of a team.  Under most circumstances, research teams should include members of more than one discipline. One or more members of the team must have research experience that is adequate to design and carry out a rigorous evaluation of the targeted innovation.  Trainees must work with a faculty mentor.

Partnership with and support from existing UCM resources
If the success of your project depends on use of (or change in) existing UCM resources, we encourage you to reach out to those resources early in your preparation for this proposal.  In many cases, you will find engaged and willing partnership in the work.  If you have questions, please reach out directly to Michael Howell, MD, MPH, Associate Chief Medical Officer.

2016 Key Dates
March 8:     Email expression of intent to apply due (recommended)
April 4:        Proposals due
May 12:      Awards Announced at UCM Quality & Safety Symposium

Questions-  Office Hours
We are excited to help with the process.  Please reach out to Heather Limper, MPH, Epidemiologist in Healthcare Delivery Science, to schedule a 1:1 consultation.

Please carefully read the Application Instructions before submitting your grant application. An NIH Biographical Sketch is required for each team member and key personnel to be supported by this project. For guidance, please refer to the Biosketch Example. For specifics on how your grant application will be judged, see the Grant Evaluation Criteria.

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