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Northwestern Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering Collaborative Research Catalyst Awards

Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering are committed to expanding the strong ties that exist between institutions. One component of this effort is the joint sponsorship of a $55,000 Collaborative Research Catalyst Award. This new collaboration opportunity will continue to maximize research capabilities between Northwestern Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering. Eligible teams of physicians and faculty are invited to apply for a $55,000 seed grant to pursue new healthcare research.

The application deadline has been extended to March 29.
Eligibility and allowable costs
  • Funding is available only to teams consisting of at least two members, including:
    • A full‐time, tenured or tenure‐track faculty member with at least a 25 percent appointment in McCormick
    • An employed physician of Northwestern Medical Group, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group, Marianjoy Medical Group or Centegra Physician Care, with at least 25 percent time spent clinically
  • Individuals may participate in up to two proposal submissions, but a unique team must submit each proposal.
  • Funded teams may not submit proposals in subsequent rounds.
  • Submitted projects must reflect new initiatives.
  • Funding is available in any area of innovative research that spans people, processes and technology, and that is relevant to the goals of Northwestern Medicine and its Patients First mission. Projects that will be considered include, but are not limited to:
    • High-risk, high-reward projects that are difficult to fund through traditional mechanisms
    • Projects for which preliminary data are necessary before applying for federal funds
  • The maximum award for this program is $55,000, though smaller amounts are acceptable.
  • Funds will typically be used for graduate student or post-doc support, materials, supplies, prototyping, user fees and lab services.
    • Graduate student and/or post-doc support may not exceed a total of 12 months.
    • RAS tuition rates for graduate student support should be used.
  • Funds must be expended within 18 months of funding notification. No‐cost extensions will not be allowed.
  • Research Catalyst Award funds may not be used for faculty salary, travel, conferences, publication fees, entertainment of visitors, alcohol, capital equipment, teaching activities or outreach activities (symposia, academic visitors, etc.).
Submission instructions

Each proposal should consist of the following items:

  • Cover sheet including the names of the investigators, the departments, a title and the total funding requested
  • Research plan, limited to two pages
  • Citations and references to research are not included in the two-page limit
  • One-page budget and justification using the standard McCormick template found at

Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF file to Paula Straaton at Grant proposals are due by close of business on Friday, March 29. Questions should be directed to Richard Lueptow, Senior Associate Dean at McCormick, at

Review and post‐award requirements
  • The McCormick Office of the Dean and the Northwestern Medicine Department of Innovation will jointly manage the proposal submission and review process.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of leaders from Northwestern Medicine and McCormick. The McCormick Dean and the Northwestern Medicine Chief Innovation Executive will make the final funding approval.

Post-award deliverables should be specified in the proposal and are expected to include at least:

  • One to two journal papers
  • One to two proposals submitted to external funding agencies
  • A one‐paragraph, non‐technical executive summary of the research accomplishments
  • A short, two- to three-page final report at the end of the grant describing research results
Interested and in need of a research partner?

If you are interested in collaborating and/or have a research idea but don’t have an identified team, please reach out to Jodi Rosen, Director of Innovation, at We will do our best to connect you with other individuals across McCormick and Northwestern Medicine who have similar interests.