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2015 Call for Collaborative Project Proposals

I. Overview

Note: This section was modified on 4/13/15 to clarify the priority topics of interest. 

The EDM Forum, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), provides support on an annual basis for up to four investigator-initiated projects to stimulate creative strategies that address shared challenges and foster collaboration among a diverse set of national leaders, with the overall goal of improving health for patients and populations. Descriptions of past and current projects are available on the EDM Forum website.

The EDM Forum is seeking proposals for projects that provide novel, collaborative approaches to address the analytic, technological, and governance challenges of using electronic health data in learning health systems. Projects must seek to contribute generalizable knowledge to the community, including the implementation of approaches to translate and disseminate, to test the scale and spread of local innovations, or the development of new strategies for disseminating knowledge to improve patient outcomes. Projects will be collaboratively designed and executed, drawing on the perspectives of multiple initiatives and stakeholder groups.

Priority Areas of Emphasis
Priority will be given to proposals that focus on addressing challenges in the following areas:

  • Tools to facilitate collaborative science and promote more open and rapid translation and dissemination of PCOR
  • Knowledge management techniques to improve dissemination of PCOR methods and evidence. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the EDM Forum repository and resources as a test case for generalizable knowledge management strategies.
  • Improving the ability to show and share individual-level data among patients, caregivers, clinicians, and communities. This may include efforts to improve accessibility and usefulness of data such as strategies to increase the efficiency and informedness of consent; improve shared decision making; capture patient’s goals and preferences for their own care in the EHR; and approaches to visualize patient data or information.
Award Information
The EDM Forum will support 2-4 projects for approximately $220,000 total annually. Because the nature and scope of the proposed collaborative projects will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size of each award may vary also. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the number, quality, and costs of the applications received. The expected range of funding is $25,000 to $100,000 per project.

The EDM Forum will not fund research activities currently ongoing at the sites, or undertake proof of concept studies for disciplinary or disease-specific research studies. Rather, the EDM Forum will focus on projects that synthesize or integrate the perspectives of key stakeholders to generate new insights into research and quality improvement (QI). At the conclusion of the awards, the projects will contribute actionable, generalizable, and timely tools to the health care community.


Complete information and instructions are provided in the sections below.

Questions? Please contact the EDM Forum.


Letter of Intent Deadline

(optional, highly recommended)
10:00 pm EDT on May 4, 2015

Submission Deadline

10:00 pm EDT on June 4, 2015

Notification of Award

August 2015

Project Start

October 1, 2015


Funding Opportunity Announcement

Download a PDF version of the full funding opportunity announcement

Budget Template

Download the PHS 398 budget template

Submission Form

Visit the online form to complete and submit your proposal

Past and Current Collaborative Projects
View information about past and current collaborative projects supported by the EDM Forum


Coming Soon!

II. Project Requirements

A general overview of the project requirements and aims is provided below. For more information about past and current collaborative projects supported by the EDM Forum, please visit:

A. Collaboration Among Diverse Stakeholders

On principle, EDM Forum Collaborative Projects bridge efforts and foster relationships across multiple institutions and experts to collectively address shared challenges and achieve project goals.

To achieve this aim, the projects will do the following:

  • Clearly demonstrate collaboration among investigators and responsiveness to a priority challenge for using electronic health data in learning health systems, where the combined perspectives can make the application of evidence more user-centered and scalable.
    At least two institutions/organizations must participate on a collaborative project submission. Project partners must represent diverse (more than one) disciplines or sectors (e.g., academia, industry, health care delivery). All partners must be meaningfully involved in all phases of the design and execution of the project.

  • Work closely with the EDM Forum to engage a variety of perspectives in the project’s activities. The EDM Forum will promote efforts to facilitate the exchange of information and collaboration across disciplines and sectors (including researchers, policymakers, health care professionals, vendors, payers, and patients).

Applicants should use the “Collaborative Approach” section of the project narrative to explain the role of participating initiatives and individuals. The unique contributions and expertise of all partners should be explained, and it should be made clear how the collaborative approaches involving the specified stakeholder groups are necessary to advance the understanding and dialogue on the use of electronic health data to improve patient care and outcomes.

B. Project Objectives

The projects are designed to tackle shared issues and promote best practices, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Comparing approaches for research and QI;
  • Collecting case studies or comparative case examples of promising practices;
  • Developing conceptual guidance, best practices, and frameworks, with empirical work to test proposed approaches;
  • Building community-developed and curated toolkits and shared resources;
  • Building wikis or other portals to facilitate input; or,
  • Developing strategies or tools to advance collaboration or the ability to conduct cross-team comparisons.

Projects focused on data analytics or informatics may pilot and test new tools and methods to advance discovery, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Collaboratively testing protocols, tools, or novel approaches across diverse settings; or,
  • Enhancing access to tools, models, and data.

Throughout the project year, project collaborators are required to complete the following activities or deliverables:

  • Participate in a kick-off call with the EDM Forum and AHRQ.
  • Participate in regular calls with EDM Forum staff to provide updates on progress.
  • Provide an interim progress update to the EDM Forum and AHRQ.
  • Participate in or present work in at least three targeted outreach efforts or small meetings to promote the project and the EDM Forum, which may include conference calls, small face-to-face meetings, dissemination webinars, and large conferences.
  • Submit a final deliverable to the EDM Forum Repository, eGEMs, or another open access resource to be mutually agreed upon.
  • Present a final project summary of accomplishments to date, as well as lessons learned, challenges, and next steps for EDM Forum and AHRQ staff via a web-enabled call.

C. Stakeholder Workshop

All funded projects will include additional support for convening stakeholders in an in-person workshop (with approximately 15-20 people) designed to promote exchange and collaboration across disciplines and sectors. Submissions should discuss the most effective, innovative ways to execute convening activities that will advance the field. Patient engagement and involvement of non-traditional stakeholders is highly encouraged where relevant.

The cost of travel and administrative support for such activities is covered under a separate line item through the EDM Forum. For this reason these costs should NOT be included in individual submissions.

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III. Eligible Applicants

A. Eligible Institutions, Organizations, and Individuals

This funding opportunity supports collaboration by bridging efforts across multiple disciplines and stakeholder perspectives, and is open to all users or producers of evidence using electronic health data to improve care and outcomes.
  • Eligibility is not restricted to certain types of institutions or organizations, or to individuals with certain areas of expertise.
  • Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the project lead is invited to work with his or her organization and collaborating organizations to develop an application for support.
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IV. Assessment Criteria

A. Review Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  • Importance and Potential Impact: The concept or topic of focus is appropriate to the EDM Forum’s mission and has potential to contribute meaningful and important strategies or solutions to address priority topics or cross-cutting challenges for research and QI.
  • Collaboration The proposed project successfully demonstrates a strong integration of relevant perspectives from multiple projects and stakeholder groups; key stakeholders are meaningfully involved.
  • Technical Approach and Feasibility: The proposal’s methods or activities are strong. The project is feasible within the proposed timeframe
  • Generalizability: The approach is generalizable and has potential for scale and spread through further collaboration with EDM Forum partners

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V. Application and Submission Information

A. Letter of Intent (Optional – Highly Recommended)

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows EDM Forum staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

Applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that provides a brief description of the following aspects of their project:
  • Primary aims;
  • Collaborating institutions;
  • Corresponding challenges to be addressed;
  • Collaborative approach and project activities; and,
  • Key outcomes.
Letters should be sent to by 10:00 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2015.

B. Proposal Requirements

To submit a collaborative project proposal:

1) Proposal information 
2) Project narrative 
3) Budget 
4) Budget justification 

You will receive an email confirmation with a summary of your abstract once your submission has been received.

1) Proposal Information 

Applicants must provide the following information into section 1 of the online form:

  • Investigator information including names and work affiliation of all co-investigators, contact information, and biosketches or brief biographies for primary contributors.
  • Descriptive title of the proposed project
  • Abstract (no longer than 150 words) that briefly describes the problem/challenge statement, highlights the types of stakeholders engaged and the value that this collaboration will bring to address the shared challenge, and describes the approach and outcomes of the project, highlighting the innovation and usefulness of the project to the community.
2) Project Narrative 
Submissions must provide a project narrative for the proposed work. Applicants must upload the project narrative into section 2 of the online submission form.

Please use the following bolded section headers in the narrative to describe the proposed project. The Project Narrative should be no longer than 1000 words (not including section headers). The narrative is intended to concisely capture the key elements, objectives, and desired outcomes of the proposed project. Specific tasks, timeline, and detailed information about roles and expertise of the collaborating investigators should be provided in the budget and budget justification.
  • Primary Aims: Please describe the aims and objectives of the project.
  • Challenge Statement: Please describe the shared challenges to be addressed by the project.
  • Methods: Please describe the approach, including data sources, analytic methods, or expert resources required.
  • Collaborative Approach: Please describe the value of bringing together the diverse expertise of the various investigators participating from specific teams. Please explain how the proposed project is integrative in nature and draws on perspectives from multiple projects and stakeholder groups to advance understanding, dialogue, or collaboration.
  • Key Stakeholders: The EDM Forum is committed to bringing new groups of stakeholders to participate in discussions and activities. Please specify the intended audience or stakeholders, how these individuals or groups will be engaged in the project, and how their perspectives will bring value to the EDM Forum community.

  • Convening Activities: All funded projects include support for convening activities to promote exchange and collaboration across disciplines and sectors (including one in-person workshop with 15-25 people). Please elaborate on ways in which these activities will advance the goals of the team’s proposed project, and how the workshop will be used to enhance the utility and generalizability of the project to the communities the team aims to inform, influence, or activate.
  • Key Outcomes: Please describe the specific products and deliverables as key outcomes of the project, as well as a description of the project’s potential for impact and generalizability. Please explain how the proposed work will contribute to the community of stakeholders who participate in the EDM Forum (e.g. researchers/QI analysts, government, policymakers, health care delivery systems, industry, business/payers, and patients/consumers).
3) Budget​ 
Submissions must provide a budget for the proposed work specifying the amount of time required to complete the project and rate for each potential co-investigator and each staff member. Applicants must download, complete, and upload the budget template into section 3 of the online submission form.

Please review the following information and requirements regarding the budget:
  • Mechanism of Support: Projects are awarded to the lead investigator’s institution as a subcontract to the AcademyHealth EDM Forum grant, AHRQ #U18 HS022789-01. Subawards and contracts to collaborating institutions must be made by the lead investigator’s institution.
  • Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards: It is anticipated that the EDM Forum will support 2-4 projects for approximately $220,000 annually. Because the nature and scope of the proposed collaborative projects will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size of each award may vary also. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the number, quality, and costs of the applications received. The expected range of funding is $25,000 to $100,000 per project.
  • Budget and Project Period: The total funds for the collaborative projects must not exceed $100,000 for the one-year project period. An application with a total award request that exceeds $100,000 will not undergo peer review.
    Indirect costs may be requested, but are not required: Any requested indirect costs must come from the total award amount.
  • Do not include any costs related to the convening workshop (including travel), or publication: The EDM Forum will support travel to the convening workshop separately. Any requests for additional travel support must be justified. Proposals with total cost estimate exceeding $100,000 will not be considered.
4) Budget Justification​ 
Submissions must provide a budget narrative for the proposed work to describe the specific tasks, timeline, and detailed information about roles and expertise provided by the collaborating investigators. Applicants must upload the budget narrative into section 3 of the online submission form. 

The Budget Justification should be no longer than 1,000 words (not including section headers) and should describe the following items: 
  • Personnel and their expertise, time allocation, and responsibilities;
  • Project tasks (a general timeline may be provided here); and
  • Other direct costs, if applicable

D. Proposal Deadline

Proposals will be accepted online at until 10:00 p.m. EDT on June 4, 2015. Investigators will receive an auto-generated email confirming receipt of the submission, including a copy of the proposal. EDM Forum staff will follow up with investigators via email to confirm receipt of all required documentation by close of business on Friday, June 5, 2015. In the email message staff will also note any missing materials.

E. Contact Information

All questions regarding the submission process and scope of work should be directed to the EDM Forum or phone 202.292.6700


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