The application deadline for this request for proposals has passed. Stay tuned for other funding opportunities.


Penn LDI and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation seek proposals for one-year projects that have the potential to lead to valuable and enduring innovations in health care delivery through research, demonstration projects, new educational initiatives, or community service and engagement.

The funding for this initiative comes from a partnership between Penn Medicine and OptumLabs to support activity toward shared goals in research, training, patient care, community health, and innovation. OptumLabs is the R&D arm of UnitedHealth Group, an organization that spans an insurance company (UnitedHealth Care) and a clinical delivery and data arm (Optum). Proposals under this initiative will be judged according to their ability to meet shared goals:

The purpose of this initiative is to advance these goals. Work may be conducted in our local health care environment (i.e., Penn Medicine, CHOP, the VA) or at other US settings alone or in combination. We will not consider projects based on retrospective analysis of existing data, basic cellular or molecular science, or, in general, work less relevant to immediately improving health care. We aim to emphasize impact, for example, prevalent problems, programs likely to have a large effect, and approaches that are logistically and financially feasible enough for others to adopt if successful.

Each proposal, whether research, demonstration project, educational initiative, or community engagement, should touch upon at least one of the identified areas, and each must include a strong evaluation—one sufficient to convince a skeptic whether the project works, does not work, or is worthy of refinement and further evaluation.

We expect most acceptable projects will request between $10,000 and $100,000. Larger awards are possible but would need considerable justification and offer significant promise.


Individual proposals must be led by faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine at the Assistant Professor level or above. Engagement with members of the broader Penn faculty (e.g., from Nursing, Engineering, Wharton, Design, etc) or staff (e.g., from the University of Pennsylvania or its Health System, CHOP, the Philadelphia VA) is encouraged when it can make proposals better.

Proposal Requirements

Describe the project in two single-spaced pages or less, attending to the following points:

Include an NIH format biosketch for the key members of your team if you have those handy. If you don’t already have an NIH format biosketch, don’t bother putting one together just for this proposal—as a replacement, provide no more than a quarter page paragraph about each of the key members of the team.  This section is also excluded from the two-page limit.

Other Requirements

What To Expect

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.