SHEA Epi Project Competition

SHEA is pleased to announce the availability of funds to support research in the field of healthcare epidemiology in 2018.  The SHEA Epi Project Competition is seeking bright and dedicated young investigators in the field of healthcare epidemiology research. Funding for project grants is provided by the SHEA Research and Education Foundation.  The grant competition is organized by the SHEA Research Committee.

Key Dates:

  • November 1, 2017 – December 13, 2017: Upon submission of a letter of intent, SHEA leaders are available to prospective submitters for feedback on proposal and research methods development. This step is an option extended to competitors that is highly encouraged
  • December 18, 2017 – January 18, 2018: Formal proposals for the competition are accepted during this time period. All proposals must be received no later than 11:59 pm ET on January 18. Submitters must be registered for the SHEA Spring 2018 Conference by January 18 to be eligible for participation in the competition.
  • March 1, 2018: Finalists of the competition will be announced. Reviewers will select between 4-5 proposals to move forward to the final competition hosted at SHEA Spring 2018 Conference. Finalists will receive a $1,500 travel stipend.
  • April 19, 2018: Competition takes place at the SHEA Spring 2018 Conference. The competition winner will be announced on site. Judges have the option of awarding multiple grants to multiple winners of the competition if more than one novel proposal meets or exceeds the expectations of the competition

Eligibility: Grant funding is available for early investigators with an MPH, Ph.D. or an MD degree within 5 years of completion of training. Grants will be awarded to applicants early in their career and seeking support for new initiatives in healthcare epidemiology that align with SHEA priorities. Participants must be registered for and plan to attend the SHEA Spring 2018 Conference April 18 – 20, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

Funding:  We expect to fund about $20,000 awards this year. Projects are supported for one year.  Individual awards will not exceed $ $20,000 per year.  Judges have the option of awarding multiple grants to multiple winners of the competition if more than one novel proposal meets or exceeds the expectations of the competition, and the combined budgets fall within the $20,000 award limit. The grant is administered by SHEA with no indirect costs available to the grantee department/division.  Funds are generally not made available for the applicant’s salary or for major equipment purchases.

Review criteria:  The primary criterion for evaluation of applications is the likelihood that the studies proposed will answer an important question relevant to preventing healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance.  Approaches that involve lab based research projects, clinical research, social and behavioral questions, and problems in health policy are equally likely to be considered for funding.  In addition to scientific merit, we will also consider several other secondary criteria in making awards, including whether the research is likely to provide pilot data that may result in the submission of a later application for extramural research support, whether the project is highly relevant to the problems in epidemiology and whether support is likely to be valuable to the applicant in developing a career as an epidemiologist.  Most, but not all, awards typically go to faculty members who have not yet reached the rank of associate professor.  Proposals may involve lab-based microbial epidemiology projects, clinical epidemiology, testing of pilot interventions or health outcomes research.

Reviewers will evaluate and score all proposals received by the deadline. Finalists for the competition will be announced March 1, 2018. Reviewers may select up to four finalists to advance to the live competition at SHEA Spring 2018. Finalists selected to advance to the SHEA Spring 2017 competition will receive a $1,500 stipend to assist with conference registration and travel expenses. Finalists must deliver a 3-5 minute oral presentation of their proposal at SHEA Spring 2018, which will be scored by a panel of judges. Winner(s) will be selected and announced based on the combined proposal submissions and oral presentation scores.

Judges have the option of awarding multiple grants to multiple winners of the competition if more than one novel proposal meets or exceeds the expectations of the competition, and the combined budgets fall within the $20,000 award limit. Although use of the SHEA Research Network is strongly encouraged, eligible proposals are no longer required to use of the Network for their studies.

Interactions with reviewers: Successful applicants are eligible to make use of resources and mentorship provided by the SHEA Research Committee.  Participants may submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) not to exceed 300 words, for the purpose of seeking consultation on the feasibility of submitter’s full proposal and research methods development. Submitters should include in their LOI specific questions for reviewer feedback. LOIs must be submitted to for consideration no later than December 13, 2017.

Application Procedure:  Final proposals in the form of a PDF or Word DOC file, and financial support information must be submitted to no later than January 18, 2018, 11:59 pm ET. Eligible proposals must include the following information:

  1. Project name
  2. Specific aims and hypothesis or hypotheses
  3. Background and significance of the project
  4. Description of research design, methods, analytic plan, and preliminary results (if any) not to exceed 750 words.
  5. Brief description of the environment (including mentors) where work will be done
  6. If using the SHEA Research Network, a brief description of how it will be used (this is optional; not required for the project)
  7. A budget estimating the costs to carry out the project. The budget must not exceed  $20,000.
  8. Brief description of the investigator’s qualifications to accomplish the work
  9. Attestation of independence by mentor/faculty adviser

All applications will be reviewed for scientific merit by at least two reviewers with expertise in proposed area of inquiry.  Review of applications will be evaluated based on alignment with SHEA’s Research Agenda, use of SHEA Research Network if applicable, investigator, project feasibility and the likelihood of a future funded project.  Applicants will be notified of the finalists selected by March 1.

Questions regarding administration of the Epi Project Competition should be directed to Lynne Batshon.

Past Epi Project Competition Winners

Information about past winners can be found in the SRN Studies and Information Resources Section of the Website.