Letter of Intent Office Hours

Attend an upcoming office hours session to receive feedback on your letter of intent.

The intent of the Big Ideas Program, presented by the Healthcare Innovation Lab and the Institute for Informatics, Data Science and Biostatistics (I2DB), is to support novel and innovative projects that are clinically relevant, technically feasible, and operationally sustainable. Annually, the program provides an opportunity for collaborative clinical, operational and research teams to develop innovations in informatics and healthcare delivery.

Applicants may request up to $50,000 in grant funding.

Get Inspired

The intent of the Big Ideas competition is to support innovative projects that are clinically relevant, rigorously evaluated and operationally sustainable. Applications should explain how their proposed project speaks to these characteristics. Successful proposals could, for example, reflect the following strategies:

  • Improve inpatient nursing turnover
  • Improve ED and hospital patient flow
  • Improve primary care patient experience and outcomes
  • Improve maternal patient experience and outcomes
  • Improve patient placement post discharge (transitions to home, home health, nursing home, etc.)

Some examples of successful project ideas might include: 

  • How might we help our patients navigate our system?
  • How might we better communicate with our patients?
  • How might we better educate our patients?
  • How might we help inpatients get home and stay home?
  • How might we help at-risk moms during their pregnancy and post-partum period?
  • How can we use AI to deliver the right information to the right provider in the right place and time and improve the quality, safety, and outcomes of care?

Hear from previous Big Ideas participants about what it’s like to get your idea funded and how it’s helped their team implement the idea in a real clinical setting.

2024 Patient Safety Technology Award

The Big Ideas grant competition is excited to announce a collaboration with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative for the upcoming 2024-25 competition. In addition to the standard $50,000 Big Ideas grant, a selected team will receive an extra $10,000 from the Patient Safety Technology Challenge. This additional award is specifically designated for projects utilizing technology to tackle patient safety issues in the following areas:

  • Medication-related
  • Medical Complications with Patient Care
  • Procedure/surgery-related
  • Infections
  • Diagnostic Errors

The first four categories are drawn from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Global Trigger Tool (GTT). In addition to the IHI GTT categories, we believe diagnostic error also should also be considered, as it is a leading cause of preventable patient harm and death and spans the continuum of care, particularly primary care. Teams should be clear about what category their idea addresses.

About the Patient Safety Technology Challenge

The Patient Safety Technology Challenge is an initiative administered by the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and funded by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and designed to fuel the engagement of students and innovators in creating solutions and envisioning transformational approaches to reduce preventable harm from medical errors. The initiative will inject PATIENT SAFETY AWARDS into existing local, regional, and national competitions and produce a documentary to help increase awareness of the patient safety crisis and to support budding tech-enabled patient safety solutions.

Guided by national partners experienced in safety technology and advanced healthcare analytics, the Challenge funds awards to organizers of existing events, from hackathons to start-up weekends.

Build Your Team

The competition encourages applications from all individuals affiliated with BJC HealthCare and/or the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), with a preference for projects that involve collaboration across the two organizations. The Lab and I2DB administrations are happy to help facilitate connections between BJC and School of Medicine partners, if needed.

  • High impact proposals that do not involve multiple sites or organizations will also be considered for funding.
  • For research fellows or trainees, the mentor (faculty member) must submit the application as the primary investigator. Please describe within the application the trainee-mentor circumstance.
  • Primary investigators/project leads may hold only one innovation award at a time and total awarded funds may not exceed $50,000 within a 12-month period. (PIs may serve as team members on multiple teams.)
  • Proposals should include at least three members in good standing in order to be considered. An example of a successful team could be: a clinician, a research investigator, and an operational champion.
  • The proposal should highlight how funding will be used to advance healthcare delivery.
Dates and Deadlines
January 22, 2024, 1-3 pm
February 6, 2024, 1-3 pm
February 23, 2024, 9-11 am
March 4, 9-11, 2024 am
Letter of Intent Office Hours.
Mar. 27, 2024Letter of Intent Due
April 19, 2024Applicants notified of Pitch Event participation
May 14, 2024Pitch Event
May 28, 2024Full Applications Due
June 13, 2024Winners Selected and Notified

Accepted intent proposals will be invited to apply.


For more information or to ask questions, please contact us at bigideas@wustl.edu.