Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can apply for a grant from the Beckwith Institute?

All UPMC employees are eligible to apply for a grant. University of Pittsburgh employees alone cannot apply for grant money, but are encouraged to partner with UPMC employees.


2. When can I apply for a Beckwith grant?

Applications are due in March for Clinical Transformation grants and in September for Frontline Innovation Program grants. See the Grant Process to learn the steps for the application process.


3. What is the difference between Clinical Transformation grant funds and Frontline Innovation grant funds?

The Clinical Transformation grant program is aimed at funding projects that are “future focused” and look toward improving clinical processes that encourage patient and family engagement. The Clinical Transformation program lends itself to projects that require a budget of approximately $25,000.

The Frontline Innovation grant program focuses on innovative and cost-effective ideas that provide a positive impact on patient care “today.” It lends itself to projects that do not exceed a $10,000 budget.


4. Where can I get an application?

You must begin the application process by filling out the interest form:

  • The Frontline Innovation Program application period is currently closed.
  • The Clinical Transformation Program Shared Decision Making application period is closed.
  • The Clinical Transformation Program Bench at the Bedside grant is currently by invite only. The formal application process is currently closed.

The Frontline Innovation Program is a one-step application process. There is no letter of intent with this grant.

The Clinical Transformation Program is a two-step application process:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Formal Application

Preview a sample of the applications below. Please first fill out the online interest form to begin the application process.


5. How are the winning projects selected?

The projects that receive grants will be selected by a review committee made up of board members. After the applications are received, the committee will review and rate them according to the five criteria listed under Award Application Requirements. Applicants may be asked to present at a Selection Committee meeting. Board approval of the proposed grants will be the final step.


6. What is the purpose of the Letter of Intent for the Clinical Transformation Grant?

The letter of Intent provides a high-level explanation of the project, ensuring the work is focused on shared decision making. It also provides an overview of the budget.

The Review Committee will notify you of your project’s status within one week of the letter of intent submission deadline.


7. Can project funds be used to purchase equipment?

Yes, but project funds should be used to support the project rather than supplement a department budget. For example, funds will not be approved to buy a new computer for a UPMC employee, but the purchase of technology to support a study is appropriate.


8. Can project funds pay the salary of an employee?

This use may be approved if an employee is needed to supplement the staff during a project’s implementation phase. No long-term salaries will be supported. Funds allocated to a staff salary are up to the discretion of the review committee and board.


9. The Frontline Innovation Program requires matching funds. What does this mean?

Matching funds are funds from your department that match the amount of money requested from the Beckwith Institute. Matching funds can come in the form of “in-kind support,” which refers to contributions other than cash, including goods, services or an employee’s time calculated at his or her hourly wage.

Matching funds are encouraged for the Clinical Transformation grant, but not required.


10. How long do I have to spend my project’s funds?

You are encouraged to design a project that will expend the funds within a year.


11. Does my project need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval?

Please contact us if you have further questions relating to IRB approval.


12. Are projects required to focus on the inpatient setting?

No, the care environment can vary (inpatient, outpatient, home care, assisted living). In fact, projects don’t need to be clinically based. For the Clinical Transformation Program, projects should support shared decision making and help bring patients and their families to the center of the care team. For the Frontline Innovation Program, they should make advancements in the patient experience.