Innovation Discovery Grant

Program Guidelines – 2016 Program Cycle

The Innovation Discovery Grants (IDG) program aims to enhance the commercial outcomes of the Partners HealthCare community and to increase its innovative potential. It is designed to stimulate new inventive concepts, identify areas of commercially significant scientific strength, and accelerate commercialization of Partners HealthCare intellectual assets. The IDG program will fund projects that can demonstrate tangible outcomes towards commercialization licensing opportunities, or a spin-off company, based on a drug, device, diagnostic, healthcare IT, or other product or service that improves patient health or healthcare delivery.
This Partners-wide initiative is managed by Partners Innovation and is open to any full-time employee at PHS or a PHS-affiliated institution, or faculty member with a primary appointment at a PHS-affiliated institution.


  • Pre-proposals are due no later than February 19th, 2016.
  • Partners Innovation will manage a preliminary screening process and will invite selected applicants to submit full proposals prior to April 1st, 2016.
  • Full proposals will be due no later than May 13th, 2016.
  • Full proposals selected for funding will be announced in late July 2016.
  • The earliest possible start date will be August 1st, 2016.

All preliminary proposals and full proposals must be submitted through the electronic application site at
At the request of the applicant, Partners Innovation can assist with questions related to the business opportunity. Additional information and forms are posted on the website at
Each applicant receiving an award will be expected to prepare an interim progress report after six months and a final report describing project results at the end of the award period.

Preliminary Proposals will be evaluated by members of the Partners Innovation Commercialization Committee, which is made up of PHS-affiliated innovators. Full proposals will be evaluated by an independent panel of industry advisors. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria:

  • Patient or healthcare impact,
  • Probability of meeting articulated milestones within the award period and budget,
  • Likelihood that achievement of target endpoints would lead to a licensing opportunity and/or creation of a spinoff company or an industry partnership, and
  • Likelihood of attracting follow-on development investment.

Awards will be governed by the PHS Intellectual Property Policy. Each PHS-affiliated applicant invited to submit a Full Proposal will be required to provide a signed Intellectual Property Acknowledgment form, assigning the applicant’s intellectual property rights to PHS or the appropriate PHS-affiliated institution.

To be eligible for an IDG award, lead applicants must have PI privileges at a PHS-affiliated institution, or full-time employee status at PHS or a PHS-affiliated institution.
Collaborators at separate institutions within the PHS community require separate budgets.
Collaborators outside the PHS community will be supported as vendors within the prime applicant’s other costs.


  • Project periods must not exceed twelve months.
  • Applicants may request up to $100,000 total cost (inclusive of 15% indirect costs).
  • All funds must be spent at PHS or its affiliated institutions. No portion of the award may be subcontracted outside the PHS community, although budgets may include vendor costs for prototyping, CRO, or other commercial services.
  • The budget may include other costs for supporting services from an appropriate vendor or consultant, where the provision of such services is integral to performance of the project (e.g., contract research organizations or prototyping vendors). Any vendors or consultants utilized must agree that all intellectual property rights will be assigned to PHS or an appropriate PHS-affiliated institution.
  • Salaries must include appropriate fringe benefit costs.
  • Awards may not be used for capital equipment or travel expenses.
  • Full proposals must include an itemized budget and funds must be used for budgeted items.
  • The pay-line goal, the number of awards anticipated over number of full proposals invited, is roughly one third.

Questions related to IDG grants policy, procedures and commercialization strategy assistance should be directed to Olga Grinberg, Senior Grant Administrator, at / 617-954-9864.