Text: Big Ideas Grant Program - COVID-19 Edition

The Institute for Informatics (I2) and Healthcare Innovation Lab (the Lab) are pleased to announce a new Big Ideas Program “spin-off” competition to support and accelerate informatics and care delivery innovations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community and mitigating negative clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

The Big Ideas Program is open to the Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare communities to support novel and innovative projects that are clinically relevant, technically feasible, and operationally sustainable. Annually, the program provides an opportunity for collaborative clinical, operational and research teams to develop innovations in informatics and healthcare delivery.

Applicants may request up to $50,000 in grant funding.

Deadline now extended to Oct. 9, 2020.

Get Inspired

Applications must include specific and measurable project aims, a concise explanation of the methods to be used, and a statement concerning scholarly outputs the project team anticipates generating (e.g., publications, funding proposals, intellectual property disclosures).

Successful projects will focus on addressing monitoring and detection (both within the health care delivery environment and at a population level), prevention, treatment and/or control of the COVID-19 virus. For example, the focus of such projects could include (but is not limited to): 

  • Population-level data capture, analysis and visualization to support disease “hot spotting” and to inform precision intervention strategies 
  • The use of mobile technologies to support symptom screening and to connect individuals with health care services and/or testing based upon appropriate clinical guidelines 
  • The delivery of digital contact tracing capabilities to support public health response for individuals identified as contacts of COVID-19 patients
  • Evaluating the clinical impact of predictive algorithms for triaging and managing the care of COVID-19 patients in both ambulatory and inpatient settings
  • The development and demonstration of models that can inform the allocation of clinical capabilities, supplies, testing and other resources that are constrained or otherwise require dynamic management

Build Your Team

The competition encourages applications from all individuals affiliated with BJC HealthCare and/or the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), with a preference for projects that involve collaboration across the two organizations. The Lab and I2 administrations are happy to help facilitate connections between BJC and WUSM partners, if needed. Teams require a WUSM member but other Washington University schools can be represented as well.

  • High impact proposals that do not involve multiple sites or organizations will also be considered for funding.
  • For research fellows or trainees, the mentor (faculty member) must submit the application as the primary investigator. Please describe within the application the trainee-mentor circumstance.
  • Primary investigators/project leads may hold only one innovation award at a time and total awarded funds may not exceed $50,000 within a 12-month period. (PIs may serve as team members on multiple teams.)
  • Proposals should include at least three members in good standing in order to be considered. An example of a successful team could be: a clinician, a research investigator, and an operational champion.
  • The proposal should highlight how funding will be used to advance healthcare delivery.

Dates and Deadlines

Dates Milestone


Call for Applications


Applications Due


Notification to Advancing Project Teams


Virtual Pitch Session (11am-12:30pm CT)


Phase II: Final Project Review Session and Selection


Team Award Notification


Funds Distribution

10/26/20 – 1/1/21

Competition Timeframe (10 weeks)


Final Findings Presentation


Full online applications are due no later than 10/9/20 at 5pm CT.


For more information or to ask questions, please contact us at bigideas@wustl.edu.