The Intuitive Foundation grant program is active and is accepting applications for grant funding to support Training and Human Performance Research Grants for Robotic-assisted Surgery in 2023-2024.
Overview: The purpose of these grants is to support training and human performance research in the field of surgery and robotic-assisted surgery. Successful proposals will address important questions about assessing intraoperative performance, accelerating skill acquisition while preserving patient safety, and maintaining skill proficiency of surgical team members. The Intuitive Foundation also supports proposals that apply scalable technology to improve global access to surgical training. Grants will be awarded to researchers at non-profit institutions worldwide.
Awards are conferred on a competitive basis by submission of a grant application.
Available Grants: Applicants may apply for total costs up to $75,000 (US) per grant starting with the 2023-2024 grant cycle. The grant funding can be used to support salaries for statisticians, lab technicians, fellows, research coordinators and other support personnel, equipment, supplies, and/or travel required to support the proposed research project for a period of up to one year. The grant funding may not be used to support physician salaries.
Research areas of interest
The Foundation has identified three key areas of interest for the 2023-2024 Training and Human Performance Research Grants. Principal investigators are encouraged, although not required, to submit proposals that fall into one or more of the following areas:
Introducing robotic-assisted and computer-assisted technologies to surgeons, surgical teams, and surgical departments in ways that minimize disruption and maximize productivity.
- Validating curricula that reduce the cost or time to progress through the learning curve for new technology.
- Quantifying skills throughout the technical and clinical learning curves for surgeons and members of the surgical team, with a focus on applications of advanced analytics.
- Identifying correlations between objective performance indicators of surgeon skill – as recorded in simulated environments and/or intraoperatively – and patient outcomes.
- Validation programs for maintenance of newly learned skills, particularly for surgeons or team members whose procedure volumes are low.
Enhancing teamwork in the operating room.
- Implementing surgical teamwork best practices in ways that are sustainable, reproducible, and scalable.
- Helping Operating Room departments identify workflows and processes that improve patient care and operational efficiency.
- Measuring and improving non-technical skills among surgical team members, especially in stressful situations.
- Assessing ergonomics and cognitive load of surgical team members during robotic-assisted surgery to develop improved training and performance support approaches.
Addressing shortages of surgeons and surgical staff.
- Extending the longevity of healthy and productive careers in the field of surgery.
- Using innovative, scalable approaches to delivering surgical education in low- and middle-income countries where trainees have limited access to faculty and training materials.
At this time, the Training and Education Grants program is not focused on curriculum implementation for individual surgical residency programs in high-income countries.
Selection Process: Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Propose as detailed below. Grant LOIs will be reviewed and ranked by an Intuitive Foundation selection committee. LOIs reaching a predetermined scoring threshold will be invited to submit a full grant. All LOIs, as well as invited full grant applications, will be reviewed and scored on the following criteria:
- Clarity of research goals and objectives
- Novelty (building on existing literature)
- Clinical relevance and value
- Evidence of feasibility
- Strength of evaluation methods and measures including statistical power analysis as appropriate
- Availability of required resources
- Appropriately defined research scope, timeline, and budget
LOIs and full grant proposals will be not be distributed beyond the grant selection committee at the Foundation. Due to the expected volume of proposals, the Intuitive Foundation regrets that its committee will not be able to provide detailed individualized feedback for unsuccessful proposals.
LOI Guidelines: A LOI to propose should be submitted by all grant applicants. Submissions should consist of 5 parts:
- Summary: one- or two-sentence proposal overview.
- Description of Problem/Background.
- Purpose, Hypothesis, and Methods of Research.
- Capabilities: Indicate the identities, capabilities, and credentials of investigators as well as any participating institutions. Include contact information for the principal investigator.
- Budget: Include a specific request for funds that includes permanent hard equipment, statistical analyses, consumable equipment, salaries to staff, and other direct expenses. No more than 20% of the total budget can be allocated for indirect costs.
- Hard equipment purchases should not exceed $5,000.
- The budget should not include salaries for physicians, although salaries for statisticians, lab technicians, fellows and other support personnel may be included.
Deadlines for All Training and Education Research Grants:
Grant Cycle for Funding in July 2023 – June 2024:
- Interested applicants should submit a Letter of Intent by Jan. 6, 2023. Invitations to submit full grant applications will be sent by the week of Feb. 13, 2023 (this invitation will include grant application guidelines and forms).
- The deadline for submitting a full, invited grant application is April 7, 2023. Only complete application packets will be considered. Awardees will be notified by the week of June 5, 2023. Grant monies must be used to support research expenses during the 2023-2024 calendar year.
Grant Cycle for Funding in January 2024:
- Interested applicants should submit a Letter of Intent by June 9, 2023. Invitations to submit full grant applications will be sent during the week of July 17, 2023 (this invitation will include grant application guidelines and forms).
- The deadline for submitting a full, invited grant application is September 8, 2023. Only complete application packets will be considered. Awardees will be notified during the week of November 13, 2022. Grant monies must be used to support research expenses during the 2024 calendar year.
Eligibility and Grant Conditions
- Multiple grants will not be funded simultaneously to any principal investigator.
- Multiple grants to the same institution for different principal investigators will be considered.
- Awards must be used to fund research at not-for-profit institutions. Grants are not to be used to fund for-profit activities.
- Grants are awarded to principal investigators at their institution. If there are any changes in the principal investigator or group’s ability to conduct the proposed research, the Foundation reserves the right to reconsider the award.
- Grant monies and loaned equipment must be used to support research expenses and activities, which occur from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024 only.
- Total costs may include no more than 20% indirect costs and the total budget, including both direct costs, indirect costs and any applicable taxes, should not exceed $75,000 USD.
- Grantees will be invited to present their work at our headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA (travel costs covered by Intuitive Foundation).
- All applicants selected to receive a grant are required to submit a mid-year progress report, as well as a final status report that details study results and conclusions.
- If the funded project does not take place, all monies awarded will be refunded to the Intuitive Foundation. If the project is terminated early, then a partial refund, with an accounting of the funds expended up to the termination date, will be provided by the Principal Investigator. Any unused funds as of December 31, 2024, will be refunded to the Intuitive Foundation.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding the grant process.