Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

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NMEDW Pilot Data Program

The Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse (NMEDW) Pilot Data Program is an initiative to help less-established investigators jump-start unfunded research projects.

The goal of this grant is to provide these investigators with feasibility or early pilot data so they may seek sustained funding. The seed grant provides EDW analyst time to obtain data ​in support of a project proposal. Any subsequent EDW work should then be funded by an external grant.

Eligibility and Pre-Requisites

  • Eligibility is limited to investigators who lack other funds to cover early-stage data analysis.
  • This grant may not supplement or expand projects which are already funded.
  • This grant will not fund entire research projects.

Application Considerations

The following things should be considered by the investigator when submitting:

  • The scope of the data being requested should be limited or targeted so that the number of analyst hours falls within a reasonable range.
  • An average NMEDW data request takes eight to 12 hours of analyst time. Though we will consider exceptions, expect any awards to fall somewhere within this range.
  • The turnaround time for submissions is subject to the availability of analyst time. Requests will be considered in the order in which they are received. Please consider this and allow adequate lead time before any deadlines.
  • Seed grant funds are limited. Funding is not guaranteed.

The following things will be considered in evaluating submissions:

  • We anticipate that the majority of pilot grants will be used to obtain prep-to-research data for grant proposals.
  • Proposals addressing specific a specific hypothesis or a well-defined feasibility question will be favored over open-ended queries or "fishing expeditions."
  • Department chairs may be asked to affirm that alternate funding is not available.
  • Projects that best take advantage of the strengths of the NMEDW will be favored.
  • Proposals from early-stage investigators (assistant professor or postdoctoral fellow) will be favored over more senior investigators.

Application Process

Submit your application for the NMEDW Pilot Data Program through NITRO Competitions. The template, to be included with your submission, can be downloaded here.

The abstract should describe your project in non-technical terms (remember, NMEDW data analysts do not have your domain expertise). Be sure to address the following:

  • Describe the project in high-level terms, including hypotheses.
  • Describe the data you need, including the subject population and data points. Be reasonably detailed with these descriptions (don't say "I need all labs"; say "I need hemoglobin A1c values from 2005 to present").
  • Any request for PHI must be well justified and may require prior IRB approval.
  • Provide information about the planned grant submission, including any due dates or specific data requirements.

Within 10 business days, you can expect to hear from a representative of the NMEDW team confirming receipt of your submission and following up with any further questions. You will be notified via email once a decision has been made. If your project has been selected, you will meet with an NMEDW analyst to scope the data requirements and determine the actual number of analyst hours awarded. The analyst will then provide a service agreement, describing the requirements you’ve agreed upon, for you to sign.

For more information, contact Dan Schneider.

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Participating Institutions: