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. For the 2016 calendar year, two Vision Grants of $50,000 each will be awarded. Funding is provided by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the SCCM-Weil Research Trust.

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. 

The deadline for the 2016 Vision Grant has passed. Please check back in Spring 2016 for submission details for the 2017 Vision Grant.




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). The applicant must provide the following information (please note the character limits listed below when logging on to complete your submission):

Background Information: 

  • Applicant’s title and institution (include current and for proposed research)
  • Title of the proposed research 
  • Present 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)
  • Indicate if submitting as established or junior investigator (junior investigator is defined as no prior independent NIH funding, RO1 or equivalent, and within 10 years of finishing training)
  • 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/ Biographical Sketch (no longer than three pages to include education and training, research experience, relevant publications of the applicant and the mentor (where applicable), 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).
  • Research Proposal (10 page maximum and Arial font size 11 pt or larger) to include:
    • Study Purpose and Specific Aims 
    • Background and Significance 
    • Preliminary Data (if any) 
    • Research Design/Methods (design, setting, sample [size, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and size justification], methods to achieve each specific aim, evaluation plan) 
    • Status of IRB (whether applicable or not applicable and copy of status letter if applicable) 

Additional Attachments That Should 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 entertain 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 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]
  • IRB letter (if applicable)
  • Junior Investigators: the following attachments are optional if you are submitting as a Junior independent researcher and 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. In addition, this letter should document the mentor’s prior experience with research fellows, briefly indicating, if possible, 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 Vision Grant Application

  • Any grant proposal that was previously reviewed and rejected may be resubmitted a total of three times, with indication that the grant proposal is being resubmitted
  • 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 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 selects the recipients. Final approval is then confirmed by the SCCM Executive Committee. 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. A second copy of the abstract must be submitted to the Scientific Review Committee via SCCM Executive Office.
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 2016. The maximum level of funding is $50,000 for one year. 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 2015, with the official announcement made at SCCM's Convocation and Award Ceremony during the SCCM Critical Care Congress, to be held in February 2016 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
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 2016 and are expected to be used calendar year 2016. 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.