Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

Research Grants Application Information

The 2019-2020 round of grant making for this program is now underway. NIHCM Foundation is making approximately $500,000 available and expects to fund 8 to 9 studies from this amount.

Winning studies will be selected using the following process:

  • Interested researchers must submit a brief letter of inquiry (LOI) outlining their study idea by 5:00 PM EDT on July 9, 2019. Applications are welcome at any time prior to that deadline. LOIs must conform to the required structure and must be submitted using NIHCM’s online entry system (see below).
  • Full (10-page) proposals will be invited from a small number of applicants in August and will be due in September 2019.
  • NIHCM will notify grant winners in November 2019, for project start dates as early as January 2020.

LOI Requirements Online Entry System

2019-2020 Funding Cycle

Purpose: To support innovative research that will advance the existing knowledge base in the areas of health care financing, delivery, management and/or policy. Studies must have strong potential to yield insights that can be used to have a positive impact on the U.S. health care system by reducing spending, improving quality of care, and/or expanding access to insurance coverage and health care services. 

Funding Level and Number of Awards: NIHCM is making approximately $500,000 for this funding cycle and expects to fund eight to nine studies from this amount. We are seeking high-value projects, and the efficiency of the proposed budget will be assessed relative to expected impact and project scope. Past awards have been highly competitive on price.

Qualified Applicants: We welcome applications from individual researchers as well as from all types of organizations and institutions, including both non-profit and for-profit entities. Multiple organizations may apply jointly, but one must be named as the principal organization and others will have a subcontract relationship with that organization. There is no limit to the number of project ideas that may be submitted by a given applicant, organization or academic department.

Study Duration: Applications will be judged on their potential to produce timely results. Projects that can be completed within one year (2020) are preferred, but studies requiring a longer timeframe may be proposed. Applicants with longer-term studies should consider the feasibility of organizing their work so as to yield interim findings and products that will maximize study impact. Projects would normally begin in January 2020 unless there is a reason to delay the start (e.g., availability of data or key personnel).

Application Process and Timeline: The awards will be made using the following process:

  • All interested researchers are required to submit a brief letter of inquiry (LOI) by 5:00 PM EDT on July 9, 2019.  Applications are welcome at any time prior to that deadline. LOIs must be submitted using NIHCM’s online entry system and must conform to the required structure.
  • Full (10-page) proposals will be invited from a small number of applicants in August and will be due in September 2019. Other applicants will also be notified at this time of the status of their LOI submissions.
  • NIHCM will notify the grant winners in November 2019, for project start dates as early as January 2020.

Acceptable Budget Items and Costs: Allowable direct costs include salaries and fringe benefits for project personnel and the direct cost of data, supplies, other incidental expenses and any subcontracts required to conduct the project. Domestic travel for the purpose of sharing results with policymakers and researchers at professional conferences and other venues is a permissible expense. Costs for items such as rent, utilities and other costs of doing business must be included as part of overhead and not billed separately as a direct cost. Indirect costs (overhead) are limited to 12 percent of the budget, excluding any subcontracts. Your expected overhead charges (up to the 12 percent limit) should be included in the anticipated budget figure that you provide as part of the initial letter of inquiry. NIHCM will not cover expenditures for patient care, case management services, capital purchases including computers, international travel or lobbying. Additionally, NIHCM will not accept a budget that includes an additional “fee” beyond the labor expenses, other direct costs and overhead.

Selection Criteria:

Full proposals will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Significance – Are the research questions or study objectives proposed by the project important and significant?
  • Expected Impact – Is the study likely to produce findings or products that will advance knowledge and impact health care spending, quality or access? Will study findings be disseminated to relevant target audiences in ways that can maximize study impact?
  • Timeliness – Will the study be completed in a timeframe that enables it to have sufficient impact? Is the proposed timeline realistic and feasible?
  • Research Design – Are the proposed methods sound and appropriate to the stated research questions/study objectives? Are the requisite data available, or can they be obtained within the study timeframe and budget? How will the research team deal with anticipated challenges in carrying out the study plan?
  • Budget – Is the level of resources requested commensurate with the anticipated project impact and consistent with the proposed project scope? Does the budget adhere to the funding restrictions? Is the budget request justified in sufficient detail to permit reviewers to understand the derivation of the proposed costs and relate them to the work required to complete the study?
  • Qualifications of Key Personnel – Do the key personnel have the necessary training and prior research experience to complete this study successfully?

NIHCM Staff Contact: For questions related to this initiative, please contact Julie Schoenman at 202-296-4192 or nihcm[at] Please specify “RESEARCH GRANT QUESTION” in the email subject line.