• Robotic Surgery Fellowship Funding

    The Robotics Fellowships grant program supports clinical work and research in the field of robotics.

The Intuitive Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of grants to support Robotics Surgery Fellowships.

Purpose: The Intuitive Foundation Robotic Surgery Fellowship grant program is designed to provide financial support for institutions, programs or organizations to provide a clinical experience for a fellow to gain robotic surgical skills after completing a conventional core residency program. Fellowship programs may be flexible in design but are required to provide experience in a specific area of focus or specialty (e.g., bariatric surgery, general thoracic surgery, etc) to train primarily in robotic operative techniques and perioperative management, with some time devoted to clinical research in robotic surgery. Proposed fellowships should not be less than 6 months and not more than 12 months in duration.

There are two distinct mechanisms for funding depending on the applicant: 1) Fellowship Programs via the Fellowship Director and 2) Societies/Organizations that fund accredited minimally invasive fellowship programs.

For Fellowship Programs/Directors

This section is intended for fellowship programs that do not participate in an accreditation program by a society/organization (e.g., AAGL, MISC/FSF in US).

Programs supporting the following clinical areas are strongly encouraged to apply: Colorectal, General Surgery, Thoracic.

All grant monies are to be used to support fellow salary and benefits.

Awards are conferred on a competitive basis by submission of a grant application.

For Societies and Organizations

This section is intended for societies or organizations that fund fellowships in Management Information Systems that may include robotic surgery (e.g., AAGL, FSF in US). Check back in the early Spring for description of these programs. Grant monies are to be used to support fellow salary and benefits.

Eligibility and Application Guidelines – Fellowship Programs

Eligibility:

  1. Applicant fellowship programs must have an active robotic surgical program and use the da Vinci surgical system.
  2. Applicant fellowship programs must have an adequate clinical robotic volume to support training a fellow to the level of an independent robotic surgeon upon completion.
  3. Fellows are expected to spend a minimum of 10% of their time in clinical research activities.
  4. Applicant programs must provide a clinical curriculum with clearly defined goals and objectives and evaluation methods.
  5. Fellowship applications must be submitted by the fellowship program via the fellowship director, we do not accept applications submitted by a surgical fellow.

Selection Process: Applicants must first submit a proposal as detailed below. All grant proposal applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Robotic Surgery Fellowship Grant Committee and scored on the following criteria:

  1. Sufficient clinical robotic work to support a Robotic Surgery Fellowship
  2. Sufficient opportunity and resources for clinical research (fellows are expected to spend a minimum of 10% of their time in research activities)
  3. Sufficient mentoring to enable the fellow to meet his/her clinical and research goals
  4. Strength of Goals and Objectives
  5. Adequate Evaluation methods
  6. Strength of Curriculum

Robotic Surgery Fellowship grant applications will be handled in a confidential manner and will not be distributed beyond the selection committee at the Foundation. Due to the expected volume of proposals, we regret that the committee will not be able to provide detailed individualized feedback for unsuccessful proposals.

Grant Proposal Guidelines: A proposal should be submitted by all interested grant applicants. Submissions will consist of a detailed description of each of the following aspects of the proposed program:

  1. Program director’s qualifications
  2. Goal(s) of the fellowship
  3. Duration of the fellowship and anticipated start date
  4. Overview of the strengths of the fellowship
  5. Description of fellows’ involvement in clinical research, teaching, and administrative activities
  6. Overview of the curriculum for the program, including methods for evaluation of proficiency
  7. A list of surgeons with whom the fellow will work
  8. Robotic clinical volume at institution for the past 12 months in the specialty of the proposed fellowship
  9. Total number and types of surgical procedures you anticipate the fellow will perform during the fellowship as console surgeon
  10. Brief description of the research opportunities for the fellow
  11. Proposed weekly work schedule for fellow including conferences, clinic, and OR
  12. Proposed budget with breakdown of salary, benefits, liability insurance, and administrative overhead.

The fellowship director will be required to submit curriculum vitae with the proposal.

Submission Timing: The Robotic Surgery Fellowship grant program will have a rolling submissions process. Submission packets will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and must be completed before the last week of the quarter to be included in the reviews. Submissions completed after the last week will move into the next quarter for review. Notifications will be provided on the status of an award and will be available after the committee has completed their review. Grant funding will be available after the execution of a grant agreement and will be paid quarterly. Grant monies must be used to support fellow salary expenses during the proposed fellowship year.

Grant Conditions – Fellowship Directors

* Multiple fellowship grants to the same institution for fellowships in different specialties will be considered.

* Applications must be submitted by a representative of the institution; i.e. Program Director or designated administrative staff. Applications submitted by a fellow will not be accepted.

* Grant monies must be used to support fellow salary expenses during the proposed fellowship year. The fellowship cannot be postponed.  Overhead or indirect fees are limited to 20% of the total budget.

* The fellowship program should be designed such that transition to independent practice is emphasized.

* The fellowship Program Director must be certified by the specialty board of the proposed fellowship specialty.

* The fellowship Program Director must have been at the applying institution for at least one year and must be at minimum 3 years out of fellowship training at the time of the application.

* The fellowship Program Director must have published in a peer reviewed journal or have presented an abstract at a national or regional meeting within the past 2 years.

* All applicants selected to receive a grant are required to submit a quarterly progress report that includes:

  1. List of all research activities in progress or accomplished by the Robotics Fellow during training
  2. Number of robotic cases in which the Robotics Fellow participated as a console surgeon, including summary of types of cases
  3. Overall evaluation of the Robotics Fellowship by the Robotics Fellow and the fellowship director
  4. Accounting of how the Robotics Fellowship funds were utilized

* At completion of the fellowship, fellows will be required to submit their complete case log; lists describing their research experience, grants, and publications; and curriculum vitae.

* If the funded fellowship does not take place, all monies awarded will be refunded to the Foundation. If the fellowship is terminated early, then a partial refund, with an accounting of the funds expended up to the termination date, will be provided by the Program Director. Any unused funds at the end of the Fellowship year will be refunded to the Foundation. Please email grants@intuitive-foundation.org with questions regarding the grant process.

Disclosures

Important Safety Information

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including robotic surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: injury to tissues/organs, bleeding, infection and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction/pain.

Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including robotic surgery, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: temporary pain/nerve injury associated with positioning; a longer operative time, the need to convert to an open approach, or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure could result in a longer operative time, a longer time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications.

For Important Safety Information, indications for use, risks, full cautions and warnings, please also refer to the information provided by the makers of the relevant equipment.

Individual surgical results may vary.