Hillman Emergent Innovation Program: 2018 Request for Proposal (RFP)

The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation invites proposals for 2018 funding from the Hillman Emergent Innovation Program. The Request for Proposal (RFP) below will provide details on how to apply. You can also download the RFP here.

To read the press release about this opportunity, please click here

To apply, please register and log into the Grants Portal

The Hillman Emergent Innovation Program provides $50,000, one-year awards to accelerate the development of bold, nursing-driven interventions targeting the needs of vulnerable populations.

We seek creative, early stage (pre-evidence or untested) innovations that target health and health care problems in new ways.

The annual program—a complement to the Hillman Innovations in Care initiative—will award up to four, one–year grants of $50,000 each.

Priority consideration will be given to proposals that include one or more of the following:

  • Engagement of patients, families, caregivers, and/or community organizations
  • Inter-professional or multidisciplinary collaboration
  • Institutional and community partnerships
  • Provision of care in non-hospital settings
  • Measurable goals and outcomes

We will not consider:

  • White papers, literature reviews, or support for publishing
  • Basic science or research
  • Interventions with an established evidence base
  • Capital projects or improvements
  • Projects outside the United States and its territories

The program will award up to four, one-year grants of $50,000 each. Projects are expected to begin January 1, 2019, and end December 31, 2019.

We welcome applications from a broad range of institutions, care settings and practitioners (including postdocs, adjunct faculty and interdisciplinary faculty). We believe that transformative ideas are as likely to come from small community care settings as they are from major academic research centers.

The application consists of three parts: (1) project profile, (2) letter of intent, and (3) supporting materials.

1. Project Profile
Please provide:

  • Organization/Institution contact information
  • Primary Investigator contact information
  • Brief description of your organization or institution (500 words maximum)
  • Executive summary of your project (250 words maximum)

2. Letter of Intent (1,000 words maximum)
While the substance and style of narratives will vary depending on the nature of the proposal, all letters of intent should accomplish the following:

  • Describe the main issue, problem, or subject and why it is important
  • Identify the target vulnerable population or populations  
  • Describe the proposed intervention/model of care/approach/prototype
  • Explain how the proposed intervention/model of care/approach/prototype relates to others in the field and why it is “bold” and “innovative”
  • Explain how the award would be used
  • Explain why you, your organization and your collaborators are uniquely qualified to address the issue or subject
  • Explain briefly the anticipated measurable outcomes and benefits of the project, including potential long-term impact

3. Supporting Materials
Documents include:

  • Short bios (½ – 1 page) of the project team. Full CVs are discouraged.
  • Up to two (2) letters of support

Applications must be filled out and submitted online at http://www.rahf.org/grants

Program staff will contact you via phone or email should we require more information about your application. If your project is selected to move forward in the review process, we will request a full proposal.

Grant funds may be used for the following cost categories:

  1. Personnel
  2. Travel
  3. Consultants
  4. Direct Supplies
  5. Equipment: Please note, partial or full support for equipment may be requested. Funding for infrastructure will be limited.
  6. Other Research Costs
  7. Sub-grants/ Subcontracts
  8. Indirect costs: Please note, the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation will provide a limited amount of indirect costs, based on the nature of the applicant organization, to a maximum of 15% of direct costs of the grantee’s administered grant value (Items 1–7 outlined above). This amount will be included in the $50,000 of direct costs (i.e., total value of the grant will be $50,000).

Who is eligible?

  • U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are not classified as private foundations. (The Foundation will consider only organizations that can provide proof of qualifying non-profit status, including a tax-exempt determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service.)
  • International organizations that are the equivalent of U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations that are submitting a project that focuses within the United States
  • Government entities
  • Faith-based organizations that welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

To help us in the evaluation and analysis of projects, all proposals, documents, communications, and associated materials submitted to the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation (collectively, “Submission Materials”) will become the property of the Foundation and will be shared with other members of the Advisory Committee, Board of Directors, and other funding partners or potential funding partners. We will report publicly on the number of applications received.

The proposals, in addition to analysis by our staff and consultants, may be subject to confidential external review by independent subject-matter experts, potential co-funders, and (for educational purposes only) participants in the Hillman Scholars Program for Nursing Innovation. Please carefully consider the information included in the Submission Materials. If you have any doubts about the wisdom of disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we recommend you consult with legal counsel and take any steps you deem necessary to protect your intellectual property. You may wish to consider whether such information is critical for evaluating the submission, and whether more general, non-confidential information may be adequate as an alternative for these purposes.

We respect confidential information we receive. Nonetheless, notwithstanding your characterization of any information as being confidential, we may publicly disclose all information contained in Submission Materials to the extent as may be required by law and as is necessary for potential co-funders and external reviewers to evaluate them and the manner and scope of potential funding, consistent with appropriate regulations and their internal guidelines and policies.

The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of patients, families, and communities through nursing-driven innovation. To this end, the Foundation cultivates nurse leaders, supports nursing research, and promotes new models of care that are critical to making the U.S. healthcare system more patient-centered, accessible, equitable, and affordable.

2018 Hillman Emergent Innovation Schedule*


Request for Proposals (RFP) Announced

Mar 19

RAHF Grant Portal Opens

Mar 19

Applications due

Apr 30

Applicants invited for full proposal                             

Jun 11

Full proposals due

Jul 23

Awards announced

Sep 10

* Schedule is subject to change


For questions that have not been addressed on this webpage, please contact us at innovationsincare@rahf.org.