The Greenwall Foundation Bioethics Grant Program
New Bioethics Program, Spring 2014
Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemma
The Greenwall Foundation will fund a bioethics grants program, Making
a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemmas to support research to
help resolve an important emerging or unanswered bioethics problem in
clinical care, biomedical research, public health practice, or public
policy. We hope these grants will have a real-world, practical impact.
These grants will be of modest size and short duration; one-year grants
of up to $60,000 that do not involve primary data collection will
receive priority. Additionally, in this funding cycle we will also
consider larger bioethics projects that collect primary empirical data.
Four types of bioethics grants will be funded
- Mentored research projects. Awards to a senior bioethics researcher
to carry out a mentored bioethics research project with a post-doctoral
fellow or junior faculty member. The close mentoring will help ensure
that the project is completed within a year. The Foundation will provide
salary support for the effort of the mentor on the project. Projects
where the mentee already has salary support will receive priority.
Proposals in which the mentee has other responsibilities that compete
with carrying out such a research project, like courses for a degree
program and clinical responsibilities by resident physicians or fellows,
will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. For projects that
involve secondary analysis of existing data sets, the team must include
expertise in the obtaining, merging, and analysis of such datasets. For
mentored projects, primary data collection will be considered only in
exceptional circumstances. Proposals to collect pilot or preliminary
data for a larger project will not be considered.
- Senior collaboration projects. Grants to allow innovative biomedical
or clinical researchers or leaders of health care organizations or
government agencies to partner with an established bioethics scholar to
carry out research on the intersection of their primary work with
bioethics. For example, a leading researcher in an innovative biomedical
field could bring deep knowledge of that field to help analyze
important unresolved bioethics problems in it. As another example, a
physician-leader in a safety-net hospital or a public health agency
could analyze ethical problems she or he had encountered and struggled
with. Both collaborating senior scholars are eligible for salary
- Analyzing the normative implications of empirical research you are
conducting with other funding (new). Some researchers are able to obtain
funding from other sponsors to carry out empirical research on a
bioethics dilemma or issue, but lack protected time to write about the
conceptual or normative implications of the findings of this empirical
research. We will fund investigators to write conceptual or normative
analyses, providing that the empirical study is well-designed and the
findings interesting. These grants may have only one investigator.
- Empirical bioethics research involving primary data collection
(new). We will consider projects that involve the collection of primary
data, are tightly linked to an active real-world bioethics problem or
policy dilemma, and likely to contribute to its resolution. The research
team must demonstrate the ability to carry out such projects within the
proposed time frame. Methodology should be rigorous, with attention to
response rates, representativeness of the sample, and bias in survey
questions. Projects will receive priority if they show contained costs,
for example by adding questions to already-funded survey projects or
using research trainees whose salary is supported from other sources
(provided that trainees do not have conflicting classwork or clinical
responsibilities). Proposals to collect pilot or preliminary data for a
larger project will not be considered. Partial salary support may be
requested for staff to manage the budget/finances for very complex
We expect grantees to disseminate their research through practical
articles in one or more peer-reviewed journals that reach the
appropriate audience for the topic studied, through presentations in
relevant national and international professional meetings, and in other
ways that will increase real-world impact.
Examples of the kinds of real-life bioethics problems grantees might address include:
- Dilemmas raised by innovative biomedical research and new communication technologies.
- Dilemmas from major changes in the delivery of U.S. health care
resulting from the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Acts and
- Dilemmas that are particularly salient -- and particularly ripe for
analysis -- in certain cultural and ethnic communities, although they
also involve people across the population.
In evaluating proposals the Foundation will consider:
- The real-world importance of the bioethics problem to be studied and
the likelihood the project will have a constructive real-world impact.
- The innovative nature of the project's approach.
- The professional background of the proposed investigators, and their
close, working familiarity with the practical bioethics problems to be
- The previous success of the principal investigator in carrying out
similar projects (mentoring, collaboration, normative implication of
empirical research, or primary data collection).
- The success of the investigators publishing practical bioethics
articles, similar to what is proposed, in top-tier journals with a broad
- The reasonableness of the budget. All things being equal, projects with smaller budgets will receive priority.
While we will give strong preference to proposals that meet these
criteria, we will also consider exceptional proposals that meet our
strategic goal of supporting bioethics research that will have a
real-world impact. More than one applicant may apply from each
Projects with the following characteristics will not be funded:
- Projects that implement or make incremental improvements in
established approaches to bioethics problems, build institutional
infrastructure, or provide bioethics education, training or course work.
- Projects that simply describe or analyze bioethics issues or provide
a conceptual framework, without making practical recommendations for
resolving the issues. However, projects that present normative
recommendations that are based on previous empirical research are
- Proposals to gather pilot or preliminary data for a larger project.
- Projects whose main goal is to convene or enhance a meeting.
- Projects to support or extend ongoing or core activities of an
organization. Applications from unaffiliated individuals and from
institutions outside the U.S. The Greenwall Foundation awards grants only to tax-exempt institutions in the U.S.
Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:00pm ET – Deadline
for email inquiry. We encourage applicants with projects already in
development to submit their inquiries before the deadline. Please direct
all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject “Primary investigator’s last name, first name, title
of proposal, either ‘Mentored’, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Normative’, or
‘Empirical’ Making a Difference LOI”. Please send a 400-600 word e-mail
of inquiry including:
- Type of project: senior collaboration, mentored project, normative implications, or primary data collection
- A one sentence summary of the project for a lay audience
- The bioethics problem to be addressed
- The specific aims of the project
- The nature of peer-reviewed publication(s) from the project and how
the journal audience includes key individuals who can change practice or
policy regarding the problem.
- How the proposed project is innovative and goes beyond the current
work on the problem, particularly in its potential to have a real-world
- Names of the proposed research team. Please attach copies of CV's
(no more than 3 pages each, highlighting publications relevant to the
this application) of the two main investigators (or mentee and mentor).
- The amount and duration of funding requested.
Selected applicants will be encouraged to submit a full application. Some applicants will receive
feedback on issues to be specifically addressed or clarified.
Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:00pm ET– Deadline for full applications, by invitation only.