BRIght Futures Fund


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 the annual Discover Brigham event on Wed, Nov 7th, 2018. 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 5/23/18, 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 July 26th 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 7th, 2018.
February 2nd, 2018 RFA issued INTERNAL


May 23rd, 2018 Proposals due
June 23rd 2018 Semi-finalists notified & invited to July 26th ROC mtg
July 26th, 2018 Semi-finalists present at ROC; ROC chooses 2-4 finalists; Partners Innovation notified
July – Oct 2018 Prepare materials (web, print, mailers)
Sept 17th, 2018 Prep Session for Finalists
October 15th, 2018 Present at RC LIVE lunch
End of Oct – Nov 7, 2018 Polls open EXTERNAL


Nov 7th, 2018 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.
  • Finalists and winners from the previous two BRIght Futures cycles are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants MUST be available to pitch at the July 26th ROC meeting from 7:30 – 9:00 am (if chosen as a semi-finalist); MUST be available for the shooting of the BRIght Futures videos during the month of August (if  chosen as a finalist); MUST be available to attend the prep session for finalists on Sept 17th and; MUST be available to present at the RC LIVE lunch session on Oct 15th, 2018 (if chosen as a finalist). While we will try to be flexible based on circumstances, please do not apply if you know you will not be able to commit to these dates/time frames.
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.
  • 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 May 30, 2018, 10:59pm) should be submitted electronically via this link and must include the following:
  • Basic information, including:
    • Title of research project
    • Applicant’s Name, Department and Division, BWH and HMS professional appointments, telephone number and e-mail address
    • Self identify the scientific theme/field the proposal addresses
    • Scientific Abstract – limit 300 words
    • Lay Summary/Public appeal – limit to 300 words.
  • Scientific Proposal (5-page limit, excluding references), including:
    • Introduction (specify the provocative question or compelling problem the proposal addresses)
    • Specific Aims
    • Background, significance (i.e., potential impact of this work in the short- or long-term) and, if available, preliminary data (not required)
    • Research approach (include experimental details, approximate timeline, contributions of each team member)
    • Future plans, i.e., how will this project leverage funding beyond this BRIght Futures Prize
  • Biosketches of Principal Investigator, co-investigators and significant key personnel in NIH format.
  • Detailed budget for one year for a maximum of $100,000 (direct costs) and 15% indirect costs

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