Vision Grant

The Society's Vision Grant offers up to $50,000 in funding to members conducting basic, translational or clinical research specifically related to the organization's mission to secure the highest quality care for all critically ill and injured patients.

SCCM seeks to sponsor research efforts that will ultimately improve patient care in the ICU. 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, 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 practice and error reduction. Priority will be given to projects that have broad relevance. Single-center projects, for example, should specifically address the potential to generalize their findings to other critical care settings.

Submission and Deadline

The submission period for the 2015 Vision Grant has now concluded. Check back in 2015 for an announcement on date submission for the next grant cycle. (See Notification and Funding tab for 2015 grant information).




The principal investigator must be a current SCCM member and maintain SCCM membership through the life of the grant. Applications are encouraged from junior and established investigators. Applications from junior investigators (defined as no prior independent NIH funding - RO1 or equivalent - and 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. Previous recipients of the Vision Grant may not reapply for a period of five years from the date of the previous grant award.

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]


 Application Requirements


The application must be completed by the applicant (not the mentor) and typed with a font size no smaller than 11 point and single-spaced. The applicant must provide the following information:

Cover Page 
An Application Form that includes:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s title (at initiation of the grant funding) 
  • Applicant's institution 
  • Title of the proposed research 
  • Administrative official to be notified if award is made (official’s title, address, and phone number)
  • Other funding that has been secured or applied for to support this research activity 
  • Applicant’s signature and the signature of the administrative official to be notified if the award is made 
  • Notification if this grant proposal was previously submitted
  • Please indicate attestation to the following: I attest that I have nothing to disclose that would be a conflict of interest to this application. If yes, please list the relationships.
  • Indicate if established or junior investigator (junior investigator is defined as no prior independent NIH funding, RO1 or equivalent, and within 10 years of finishing training)

Completed Application

  • Biographical sketch (no longer than four pages) describing the education and training, research experience, and relevant publications of the applicant and the mentor, where applicable. Include the following information: name, position/title, education/training, personal statement (why your experience and qualifications make you particularly well-suited for your role), positions and honors, selected peer-reviewed publications (published or in press only, no more than 15 citations). The biosketch format should mirror the standard NIH biosketch.
  • A letter from the mentor indicating he/she is prepared to provide adequate time to personally train the applicant in the methods of scientific research (if applicable). In addition, this letter should document the mentor’s prior experience with research fellows, briefly indicating, if possible, subsequent achievements as an independent investigator. 
  • A letter from the applicant’s department or division head indicating that sufficient time to perform the proposed work will be protected from other clinical or administrative responsibilities (junior investigators only). 
  • The body of the grant proposal should be no longer than six pages, single spaced, typed with a type size no smaller than 11 point, including figures and tables but excluding references. The narrative description of the proposal should be divided into: Study Purpose and Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Data (if any), and Research Design/Methods (design, setting, sample [size, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and size justification], methods to achieve each specific aim, evaluation plan). 
  • All proposal information the applicant wishes reviewers to consider in terms of the study development, implementation and evaluation must be contained within the body of the grant proposal, not in appendixed information. 
  • The bibliography should not exceed 75 citations. 
  • Up to five publications from the applicant’s or the mentor’s prior work in the field can be attached as an appendix. 
  • Institutional approvals (human investigations and/or animal studies). 
  • Letters of recommendation from two to four current or prior mentors, research advisers, or clinical teachers (if applicable). 
  • Detailed, justified budget including the involvement of all personnel and their associated efforts, if personnel costs are included; the grant review committee will entertain up to 10% indirect costs.
  • Description in sufficient detail to permit SCCM to ascertain that the project is consistent with its tax-exempt purposes. Confirmation stating
    that use of grant funds is solely for purposes of the project described in the application and that any unspent funds or funds spent for an
    improper purpose will be returned. [SCCM Council policy]

Reapplication of Previously Submitted Grant

  • Any grant proposal that was previously reviewed and rejected may be resubmitted a total of three times
  • Indication that the grant proposal is being resubmitted must be clearly visible on the grant application form. 
  • 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 six-page body of the grant proposal.

 Selection and Scoring


Applications will be reviewed and scored by the members of the SCCM Scientific Review Committee. Each application will be assigned to a group of three 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 applications on the basis of faculty rank or research experience, but 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.

Vision Grant Scoring

1. Significance Describes a project that serves the mission of SCCM and the critical care community. 
Has broad relevance and will ultimately improve patient care in the ICU.​
   2. Investigator(s)​ ​Is the investigator, mentor or team experienced enough to be successful?
Are the necessary talents available to complete the work as proposed?
3. Innovation​ ​Represents original and unique research and uses innovative techniques or approaches.
4. Approach​ ​Hypotheses clearly stated.
Feasibility - can be completed within the time frame proposed.
Clearly written and well organized.
5. Environment​ ​Evidence of departmental/institutional support.
Scientific environment in which work will be done will contribute to the probability of success.
Available equipment and other physical resources are adequate for the project proposed.

After the review and scoring process is completed, the Scientific Review Committee will discuss the applications and select a recipient. Grant recipients are expected to provide a summary of research progress and financial report at the conclusion of the funding, similar to that required by the NIH as well as an update two years from award funding. 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 the SCCM Annual Congress. Abstracts will be due at the beginning of August. A second copy of the abstract must be submitted to the Scientific Review Committee via SCCM Executive Offices.
SCCM will not permit companies to select or influence the award process and selection of recipients. SCCM will appoint independent committees to select recipients of grants based on peer review of applicant proposals. [SCCM Council policy]

 Notification and Funding

Grant support will begin in January 2015. The maximum level of funding is $50,000.00 for one year. The grant is funded by SCCM. Research funds may be used by the investigator for salary support (either the principal investigator or research support staff), database development, consultant costs, or other resources required to complete the project. Any indirect costs included in the budget must be capped at 10% of the total grant amount. The home institution must contractually agree to this requirement for the grant to be awarded.
Grant recipients will be notified by late October 2014, with the official announcement made at SCCM's Convocation and Award Ceremony during the Critical Care Congress, to be held in January 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.​
Special Circumstances

No Cost Extension Request
If it is determined that a no cost extension is needed while in the midst of the research, please contact SCCM for this request. A maximum of a one year extension beyond the anticipated completion of the research shall be granted. If, after the extension expires, the research project is still not completed, any further extension of time shall be decided by the SCCM Executive Committee with the recommendation of the Chair of the Scientific Review Committee. [SCCM Council policy]
Budget Modification
If it is determined that a reallocation of funds may be needed while in the midst of the research, please contact SCCM for this request.
Return of Unused Funds
Funds are disseminated by January 2015 and are expected to be used calendar year 2015. If it is determined at the end of the grant year that the funds will not be spent as outlined in the budget, the balance of unused funds should be returned to SCCM.