The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is sponsoring another round of the LDI Pilot Projects Program and invites applications for innovative, interdisciplinary health services research. By funding pilot studies, LDI seeks to help Senior Fellows attract external support for large-scale studies. LDI is requesting proposals for pilot research, and evaluation projects investigating emerging problems and policy issues in delivery and management of health care and for evaluation of new approaches in health care systems organization and financing, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and outcomes research. This call for proposals is intended to:
  1. stimulate research ideas among the Penn community,

  2. help Penn researchers attract support and resources from external sources for large-scale studies, and
  3. encourage the development of new collaborations between investigators of different backgrounds and disciplines.
Approximately five pilot projects up to $20,000 each will be competitively awarded under this solicitation. Projects will be awarded for a nine-month period. Projects must be completed by
December 31, 2007.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria
An LDI Senior Fellow must be the principal investigator in order for a proposal to be considered; however co-investigators can be non-Senior Fellows. Potential applicants could be young investigators seeking to establish independent directions, or established investigators pursuing new directions. Pilot funds should be seen as "venture capital" leading toward greater funding opportunities through traditional sources, and will be evaluated in part by their explicit discussion of the pilot project's ability to increase the likelihood of attracting externally funded proposals. Investigators who have already received funding for their proposed projects are not eligible for this solicitation.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The scientific merit of the study, including the quality and availability of the data to be used, and the strength of the proposed methodology;
  • The uniqueness and innovativeness of the study and potential for new insights into methodological, ethical and/or health policy issues in health services;
  • The project's potential for developing into larger projects that attract external sponsorship;
  • The investigative team's experience and qualifications for conducting the project.
  • The relevance and timeliness of the project for informing public policy

Other Requirements
All investigators receiving Pilot Project grant funds must submit a final report to the Leonard Davis Institute at the end of the funding period. Investigators may also be requested to present their results at a research seminar series at LDI. Investigators must acknowledge LDI support on all publications and other products of the program and send copies of all products to the LDI.

Use of Grant Funds
Funds may be used to support project staff salaries and benefits, consultant fees, data management, supplies and other direct expenses. Funds may not support faculty or fellow salaries, travel to meetings to present work, or equipment.

How to Apply
LDI Senior Fellows should submit an electronic version of the proposal and one paper copy of the proposal (including signed cover sheet) to LDI. This proposal must contain the following items:

  • A completed, signed paper copy of the LDI Pilot Projects Program cover sheet. Click here for cover sheet: http://www.upenn.edu/ldi/2006.pilot.form.html (Complete on-line, print out for signatures.)
  • A project abstract (not to exceed 250 words)
  • A project description (up to four pages, single-spaced) which contains the following information:
         A synopsis of the proposed research
         A statement of the project's principal objectives, significance and impact
         A description of the research plan and methodologies to be employed
         A clear discussion of how the data will be collected (if relevant)
         An explicit discussion of how this pilot project will enhance the investigator's ability to
         attract additional external sponsorship, specifying future potential funding sources
         A timetable
  • Project budget that justifies the specific items requested and assigns a priority to each item (not to exceed one page)
  • Principal Investigator's (PI's) biosketch with selected relevant publications (not to exceed two pages)
  • Amount of PI's current research support
  • Other pending proposals for the same project
  • List of PI's research support received during the past three years
  • Co-Investigators' biosketch(es) with selected relevant publications (not to exceed two pages)
  • One copy of appendices (if included).

Do not send this proposal to the University Office of Research Administration before submitting it to LDI. As a condition of funding, PIs of all approved proposals must submit an affirmative letter from ORA indicating that the project meets all regulatory standards, but these approvals should not be obtained prior to submitting the proposal to LDI.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 15, 2006.
Awards will be announced by June 30, 2006.

Applications should be submitted electronically to: levyj@wharton.upenn.edu
One hard copy of the application should be submitted to:
     3641 Locust Walk/6218
     Attn: Joanne Levy

For additional information, please contact Joanne Levy by telephone (215) 898-1655, fax (215) 898-0229 or e-mail levyj@wharton.upenn.edu. Visit us on the World Wide Web at www.upenn.edu/ldi.

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The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.
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