Each year, the Center offers internal pilot funding to UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine employees for health care innovations across a broad spectrum of interest areas including innovative care delivery models and care pathways, new technologies, new applications, advanced analytics, business model innovations, workforce development, and translational research. The 2019 Request for Proposal has been released.

2019 Innovation Pilot Awards

The Center for Innovation of UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce $50,000 Innovation Pilot Awards for 2019. All UNC SOM and HCS employees from any affiliate are eligible to apply. Applications are due January 15, 2019 and as many as four (4) awards of up to $50,000 each will be announced in March.

Since introducing the Innovation Pilot Awards in 2013, the Center has awarded 21 teams over $1,015,000 total to support innovative pilots in a variety of areas including new models of care, device development, advanced statistical research, and workforce development among others. At this time, the Center seeks proposals from UNC HC (including all affiliates) and UNC SOM employees for initiatives that support the mission of the Center.

The Center is interested in proposals within the UNC Health Care System across a broad spectrum of interest areas, including:

  • Innovative care delivery models and pathways (e.g., population health management, coordination of care, integration of care, novel patient engagement approaches)
  • New technologies and new applications for existing technologies (e.g., applications, mobile applications, mobile devices, wearables, clinical devices, decision support)
  • Advanced analytics (e.g., clinical risk assessment, event prediction and detection, health outcomes analysis)
  • Business model innovations (e.g., financial incentives, new reimbursement models, changes to cost structure)
  • Alternative staffing and new workforce development
  • Translational research

Questions can be sent to innovatehealthcare@med.unc.edu

Click Here for Cover Sheet  Click Here for Full RFP Past Winning Proposal


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Can medical students apply for the Innovation Pilot Award?

A.  Medical students can participate as members of a pilot team but the application must be submitted with a health system employee or faculty member as the Principal Investigator or project leader.

Q. Can an Innovation Pilot Award fund a project at a managed UNC Health Care entity?

A.  Each case will need to be reviewed independently to ensure that receipt of the pilot award would not violate any laws or contractual obligations.

Q.  Can the Innovation Pilot Award be used to fund a study or project already in process?

A.  Generally not.  However, if there is a discreet and separate scope of work with independent aims that can easily be distinguished from the existing project, it may be considered. In this case it is important to clearly articulate the scope of the existing project vs. the pilot in the application.

Q. Can a team re-submit a proposal that was not selected for funding during a previous cycle?

A.  Yes, absolutely.  However, each team is encouraged to review the summary of raters’ comments and consider revising the proposal as necessary.  

Q.  Can Innovation Pilot Award funds be used to pay a vendor outside of the university for services? (e.g., software development, training, etc.)

A. Yes, pilot award funds can be used to pay an outside vendor for services rendered within the scope of the pilot.  We strongly encourage teams to get an estimate or quote for any third-party services before submitting the application.

Q.  What makes a great proposal?

A.  Successful proposals contain all of the requirements listed in the “Proposal Requirements” section and demonstrate that the pilot project applies to all or most of the criteria outlined in the “Review and Selection Process” section of the RFP.   An example of the narrative section of a past winning proposal is available for your reference.  Also, applicants are welcome to meet with Center staff to review proposal ideas in advance of submission for general guidance and feedback (email innovatehealthcare@med.unc.edu).  Please note the Center for Health Innovation staff do not participate in the scoring of applications and meeting with the Center prior to submission does not factor into the scoring or ranking of proposals.  

Q.  How else can someone work with the UNC Center for Health Innovation outside of participating in the Innovation Pilot Awards?

A.  The Center’s mission is to initiate, evaluate, disseminate and support adoption of disruptive innovations in the delivery and financing of health care that are patient centered and increase value with improved health outcomes and lower costs.  We are always looking to connect with colleagues and collaborate with partners in new and exciting ways.  Feel free to submit an inquiry to innovatehealthcare@med.unc.edu at any time.