2021 Request for Proposals in Health Systems and Health Policy

Applications have now closed.


The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is requesting proposals for pilot research grants in the broad category of health services and health policy research. We seek proposals that investigate emerging medical, economic, social, and policy issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered. Applications are due by Monday, November 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

This Request for Proposals Is Intended To:

Pilot proposals that help support these goals will be given preference, as will proposals that align with at least one of LDI’s priority focus areas. These areas are: (1) health care access and coverage; (2) health equity; (3) improving care for older adults; (4) the opioid epidemic; and (5) population health.

LDI Pilot Project Program Goals

The goal of LDI’s Pilot Project Program is to provide seed funding for health systems and health policy research projects to help Senior Fellows and Associate Fellows attract external support for large-scale studies. The budget for a Senior Fellow pilot project grant is limited to $20,000. The budget for an Associate Fellow pilot project grant is limited to $5,000. Proposals submitted should explain clearly how the proposed project will lead to additional external funding (specifying the funding source) or to a new program of research for the PI. 

Information about recent LDI Small Grant awards is available here and here.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

An LDI Senior Fellow or Associate Fellow must be the principal investigator for a proposal to be eligible for funding. In addition, LDI Associate Fellows applying as principal investigators must include a detailed mentorship plan. Penn faculty without LDI affiliations are permitted to be co-investigators on proposals. Potential applicants may be early-career investigators seeking to establish independent directions, or established investigators pursuing new research directions. Projects that have already received funding are not eligible under this solicitation.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Other Requirements

Use of Grant Funds

Funds may be used to support LDI Associate Fellow and project staff salaries and benefits, consultant fees, data management, supplies, and other direct expenses. Funds may not support faculty salaries, or travel to meetings to present work. Equipment purchases are discouraged but can be allowed with sufficient justification. No indirect costs are permitted. No internal service center fees tied to faculty effort are permitted unless independently justified.

How to Apply

LDI Senior Fellows and Associate Fellows should complete the online application form, which includes a combined PDF version of the following proposal elements:

Please note: Do not send this proposal to the University Office of Research Services before submitting it to LDI. As a condition of funding, PIs of all approved proposals must eventually submit a letter from ORS indicating that the project meets all regulatory standards, but these approvals need not be obtained prior to submitting the proposal to LDI.

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 1, 2021. Awards will be announced by Friday, December 17, 2021.