BRIght Futures Fund

Fall 2016 Prize – Request for Applications


The BRIght Futures Prizes support investigators across the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) as they work to answer provocative questions or solve grand problems. This Fund, which is supported philanthropically, and the work it sponsors advances the mission of the BRI by catalyzing the kind of innovative translational research that is only possible at an academic medical center, where basic researchers and clinicians work side by side. The fifth BRIght Futures Prize, in the amount of $100,000, will be presented at Discover Brigham: Collaboration, Acceleration, Translation, November 10, 2016. The BRIght Futures Prize generates excitement and visibility for the BRI among the BWH research community as well as external visibility for BWH research and innovation – with patients, donors and the world. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a BWH strategic and scientific review.  Finalists will be selected based on input from a BWH review committee and recommendations from the BRI Research Oversight Committee (ROC). Ultimate selection will be based on the results of an online voting process open to anybody within and outside of BWH including the lay public around the world.




  • This year’s BRIght Futures RFA, which has a deadline of 4/25/16, will be open to all scientific themes
  • A faculty committee with expertise in the areas relevant to the submitted applications will review proposals; up to six semi finalists will be invited to present their proposals at the June 23 BRI Research Oversight Committee meeting. The ROC will select up to four finalists based on these presentations.
  • Materials (webpage with videos, a mailer) will be prepared for finalists and the online voting will be open during the months of August – October.  Outreach may include a mailer, web, social media as well as internal promotion. The entire world is welcome to cast a vote for which project should get the $100K.
  • The winner will be at Discover Brigham, November 10, 2016


Feb 26, 2016 RFA issued


Apr 25, 2016 Proposals due


June 6, 2016 Semi-finalists notified & invited to June 23 ROC mtg


June 23, 2016 Semi-finalists present at ROC; ROC chooses 2-4 finalists; Partners Innovation notified


July – Sept 2016 Prepare materials (web, print, mailers)


September 19, 2016 Present at RC LIVE lunch/Prep session post RC




September 19 – November 10, 2016 Polls open


November 10, 2016 Award presented at Discover Brigham

  • All members of the BWH research community with a rank of instructor and above or BWH professional staff (ex. nurses and other clinicians) are invited to apply. Individuals may serve as the PI of only one proposal but may be co-PIs on multiple proposals.


  • BFP recipient must remain at BWH for duration of the award, award may otherwise be forfeited.


  • This award is only open to full-time BWH/BWPO employees. The Recipient (the Principal Investigator submitting the proposal) must maintain a BWH profession staff appointment and remain a full-time BWH employee throughout the duration of the funding period. The award and any capital equipment purchased with the award funds may not be transferred to any other institution during the funding period. Capital equipment and any funds that may remain if the Recipient leaves during the funding period will be returned to the BRI.
Review criteria
  • The project must clearly address a well-defined research or clinical problem and be scientifically meritorious
  • Novel ideas that can significantly accelerate research progress in the stated field will be given high priority; projects that are an extension of ongoing work will be lower priority
  • The project should be focused and achievable, with a high potential to secure future additional funding
  • The investigators must have the requisite skills and experience to carry out the project successfully
  • The lay summary should be compelling and accessible to the lay public
  • Recipients will be obligated to provide a six month report of activity to the BRI, an oral presentation to the BRI ROC at the end of the funding period and an update at the 2016 BWH Research & Clinical Innovation Day
  • Grantees will notify the BRI when other grants are received as a result of BRIght Futures prize
  • Grantees will acknowledge the BRI in publications (posters, journal articles and grants) resulting from BRIght Futures prize support and will notify the BRI when such papers have been submitted.
Application Format

Full applications (due April 25, 2016, 11:59pm) should be submitted electronically via this link and must include the following:


1.  Basic information, including:

2. Title of research project

3.  Applicant’s Name, Department and Division, BWH and HMS professional appointments, telephone number and e-mail address

4. Self identify the scientific theme/field the proposal addresses

5. Scientific Abstract – limit 200 words

6. Lay Summary/Public appeal – limit to 200 words.

7. Scientific Proposal (5-page limit, excluding references), including:

8. Introduction (specify the provocative question or compelling problem the proposal addresses)

9. Specific Aims

10. Background, significance (i.e., potential impact of this work in the short- or long-term) and, if available, preliminary data (not required)

11. Research approach (include experimental details, approximate timeline, contributions of each team member)

12. Future plans, i.e., how will this project leverage funding beyond this BRIght Futures Prize

13. Biosketches of Principal Investigator, co-investigators and significant key personnel in NIH format.

14. Detailed budget for one year for a maximum of $100,000 (direct costs) and 15% indirect costs (Download Budget Template)



Questions about eligibility, format, review criteria and process may be sent to Anu Swaminathan, PhD, BRI Director for Scientific Programs & Partnerships, at or 617.525.8380


David Levine, MA, MD

The Home Hospital

Wilfred Ngwa, PhD

Biomaterial drones: 4G technology to enhance treatment of cancer metastasis with minimal collateral damage

Hadi Shafiee, PhD

Fighting Hiv/Aids: A Low-Cost, Flexible Microchip

Utkan Demirci, PhD

Taking Control of Epilepsy

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH

Will Newborn Genome Sequencing Become a Reality?