SCCM Research Grants

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) offers several opportunities for critical care professionals seeking funding for activities that aim to improve care. The SCCM funding opportunities for fiscal year 2018 are as follows:

  • SCCM-Weil Research Grant: Two SCCM-Weil Research Grants of $50,000 each are awarded annually to SCCM members for research to be carried out in basic, translational or clinical research. The SCCM-Weil Research Grant award process is supported by the Scientific Review Committee.
    SCCM-Weil Research Grant
  • THRIVE Research Grant to Accelerate Recovery: One THRIVE Research Grant of $50,000 is awarded annually to an SCCM member conducting research aimed at improving patient and family support after critical illness. The THRIVE Research Grant award process is supported by the THRIVE Committee.
  • Discovery Research Grant: Discovery Research Grants totaling $100,000 will be awarded annually to SCCM members as new pilot grants under the auspices of the SCCM-Weil Research Trust. The Discovery Research Grant award process is supported by the Discovery Steering Committee.

SCCM seeks to sponsor research efforts that will ultimately improve patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU) and after ICU discharge. Investigator-initiated research should help advance and improve our understanding of critical illness and patient care.

Interest is broad. Applications are encouraged that focus on expanding our basic knowledge of critical illness, clinical interventions to improve patient outcomes and technical aspects such as electronic surveillance systems, as well as studies exploring cultural and educational factors among ICU staff that either impede or facilitate a climate promoting best practices and error reduction. Priority will be given to projects that have broad relevance and/or community engagement. For example, single-center projects should specifically address the potential to generalize their findings to other critical care settings.

Only one application may be submitted by each investigator. Each application should fit into one of the following key research priority areas:

General Principles: Developing and applying rigorous methodology to basic, clinical, health services and translational research experimental design and to the evaluation of evidence. Developing better models of critical illness and incorporating novel approaches in bench research to account for variations in patients, care strategies and therapeutic interventions. Integrating new areas of research, scientific disciplines and technology into the study of critical illness. 

Basic Science/Cellular Research:  Investigating the role of the host response in initiation, transition and resolution of critical illnesses. Defining the normal microbiome and investigating its role and transitions in critical illnesses. Integrating research in the biology of tissue repair with investigation into mechanisms that underlie critical illnesses.

Translational Research: Integration of studies of critical care mechanisms and interventions and application of rigorous, standardized methodology to study design. Investigating the reasons for treatment effects and management of disease progression.

Clinical Research: Developing methods for the rapid, early recognition of acute, severe disease in patients at high risk for imminent deterioration. Developing minimally invasive, biocompatible organ support, focusing on therapeutic manipulation of the neuroinflammatory state and exploring new approaches that enhance patient comfort while reducing the need to manipulate consciousness. Identifying the best process and outcome measurements for critical illness research and palliative and end-of-life care.

Health Service and Delivery Research: Identifying variables that affect outcomes and developing meaningful and reproducible performance metrics and improvement processes, including those related to quality improvement and patient safety. Measuring the effectiveness of interventions to measure and treat prevalent and/or distressing patient and family symptoms. Identifying strategies to improve communication and coordination of care delivery and determining which tools, processes and programs (e.g., checklists and multidisciplinary rounds) most effectively promote knowledge transfer and implementation. Examining factors related to establishing a positive learning environment (e.g., technological advances, minimizing cognitive overload and avoidance of burnout), strategies for preventing errors and facilitating error reporting, and assessing the effects on patient outcomes.

Education Research: Incorporating cognitive psychology, systems engineering, social science and simulations into critical care education and training. Refining team-based learning, including examining differences between high- and low-performing units and determining in which scenarios team-based learning has the greatest value.

Patients and Families: Survivorship and Recovery: Investigator-initiated research to help advance and improve our understanding of survivorship from critical illness, as well as support and improve the experiences of survivors and their families. Clinical interventions to improve patient experiences or outcomes, identification of modifiable mechanisms or testing of innovations that promote recovery or explorations of cultural and educational factors among survivors to facilitate networks and improve support.

Please check back in spring 2017 for information on submitting a proposal for the 2018 SCCM grants.​​​​​




The principal investigator must be a current SCCM member and must maintain SCCM membership throughout the life of the grant. Applications are encouraged from both junior and established investigators. Junior investigators (defined as those having no prior independent National Institutes of Health [NIH] funding of R01 or equivalent within 10 years of finishing their training) may request independent support or may include a research mentor who is also an SCCM member and can demonstrate strong research credentials in the areas of clinical and outcomes research.

In order to avoid any implication of conflict of interest, no member of a grant review committee may submit a grant application. Those committee members who are mentioned in an application as an applicant’s mentor, have written a letter of support or work in the same institution as the applicant must excuse themselves from the deliberations. [SCCM Council policy]

Special eligibility criteria for Discovery grant: Proposals that have a timeline for completion within 12 months will be prioritized. Proposals that involve collaboration among at least two institutions (multi-institutional studies) will be prioritized.


 Application Requirements

The application must be completed by the applicant, not by the mentor. The applicant must provide the following information. When completing your application, please note the character limits shown on the application.

Background Information: 
  • ​Applicant’s title and institution (include current and for proposed research) 
  • Title of the proposed research 
  • Current research (project title, source, years and amount funded) 
  • Other funding that has been secured or applied for to support this research activity 
  • Abstract (brief description) 
  • Whether application is being submitted as established or junior investigator (junior investigators are defined as those having no prior independent NIH funding of R01 or equivalent within 10 years of finishing their training). If application is submitted by an established investigator, to be eligible for a Discovery grant, include plan of engagement of junior investigator in the study.
  • Administrative official to be notified if award is made (official’s title, address and phone number) 
  • Attestation that there is nothing to disclose that would be a conflict of interest to this application 
Completed application must include:
  • ​Curriculum vitae or biographical sketch (maximum three pages) to include education and training, research experience, applicant’s relevant publications, mentor’s name (if applicable), personal statement (why your experience and qualifications make you suited for your role), positions and honors, and selected peer-reviewed publications (published or in press only, no more than 15 citations). 
  • Research proposal (maximum 10 pages, font Arial, size 11 point or larger), to include: 
    • Study purpose and specific aims 
    • Background and significance 
    • Preliminary data (if any) 
    • Research design and methods, including setting, sample size (including size justification), inclusion/exclusion criteria, methods to achieve each specific aim, and evaluation plan
    • Institutional review board status (whether applicable or not, with copy of status letter if applicable) 
    • ​To be eligible for a Discovery grant, include future plan for extramural funding for the study.
Attachments that must be included:
  • Budget: Detailed, justified budget, including the involvement of all personnel and their associated efforts, if personnel costs are included. The grant review committee will consider up to 10% indirect costs. 
  • Bibliography: Should not exceed 75 citations. 
  • Publications (optional): No more than five from applicant or mentor’s previous work. 
  • Description in sufficient detail to permit SCCM to ascertain that the project is consistent with its tax-exempt status, including statement that grant funds will be used solely for purposes of the project described in the application and that any funds that are unspent or spent for an improper purpose will be returned. [SCCM Council policy]
  • Institutional review board letter (if applicable)
  • Junior investigators: The following attachments are optional if you are submitting as a junior independent researcher but required if you are applying as a junior researcher who is including an SCCM member as research mentor:
    • Mentor letter indicating that adequate time will be allocated to personally train the applicant in the methods of scientific research. This letter should also document the mentor’s prior experience with research fellows, briefly indicating subsequent achievements as an independent investigator (if applicable). 
    • Department/division head letter indicating that sufficient time to perform the proposed work will be protected from other clinical or administrative responsibilities (if applicable). 
    • Recommendation letters from two to four current or prior mentors, research advisers or clinical teachers (if applicable). 
Resubmission of Previously Submitted Grant Applications
  • Any grant proposal that was previously reviewed for any SCCM grants and not selected may be resubmitted twice, with indication given that the grant proposal is being resubmitted. Grant proposals may be submitted a total of three times. A one-page overview of the recommended grant proposal changes and the modifications made to the grant must precede the body of the grant documentation. This one-page overview does not count as part of the body of the grant proposal.


 Selection and Scoring

Applications will be reviewed and scored by the SCCM Review Committees. Each application will be assigned to a group of reviewers. Proposals will be scored based on scientific merit and the potential to positively impact patient care in the ICU. No special consideration will be given to applicants on the basis of faculty rank or research experience; however, demonstration of an appropriate research environment and strong mentorship is essential for the less-experienced applicant. Applications that do not follow the administrative rules will be triaged by the chair and returned to the applicant without committee review.

Research Grant Scoring
1. Significance The project serves the mission of SCCM and the critical care community. It has broad relevance and will ultimately improve patient care in the ICU and/or after ICU discharge.​
​2. Investigator(s) ​The investigator, mentor and team are experienced enough to be successful. The necessary talents are available to complete the project.
​3. Innovation ​The project represents original and unique research and uses innovative techniques or approaches.
​4. Approach ​Hypotheses are clearly stated. The project is feasible (it can be completed within the time frame proposed). The application is clearly written and well organized.
​5. Environment ​There is evidence of departmental/institutional support. The scientific environment in which the work will be done will contribute to the probability of success. Available equipment and other physical resources are adequate.
After the review and scoring process is completed, the Review Committees selects the recipients. Final approval is then confirmed by the SCCM Secondary Review Committee. Grant recipients are expected to provide a summary of research progress and a financial report after the award is funded, similar to that required by the NIH as well as an update two years after the award is funded. Grant recipients will also be required to submit a poster abstract within three years of receipt of the grant for blind review for presentation at SCCM’s Annual Congress. A second copy of the abstract must be submitted to the Review Committees via the SCCM Executive Office.

SCCM will not permit companies to select or influence the award process or selection of recipients. SCCM will appoint independent committees to select grant recipients based on peer review of applicant proposals. [SCCM Council policy]