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Important Dates for 2020 RFA

  • Massachusetts General Hospital

The CRICO project created an important and rare opportunity for inter-professional training among team members working in the MGH Emergency Department. Staff uniformly agreed that the mere opportunity to learn, discuss, and debrief together in dedicated training sessions was very valuable.

  • Cambridge Health Alliance

Staff feel more empowered to speak up and we are seeing evidence of this during clinical shifts. Additionally, the training has been well received. Staff have been very outspoken in regard to the novelty of this course (i.e. “we’ve never seen anything like this before.”).

Grants RFA Details

This page walks you through the materials that were required for the recent RFA: application, important deadline dates, the review process and expected timeline for award.

New RFA details expected in Q3.

There’s an RFA: Can I Apply?

CRICO’s grant team seeks proposals containing designs that further impact organization-wide risk related to patient safety issues. We encourage both young investigators and senior researchers to apply for funding and we support CRICO-member partnerships among potential investigators during our annual RFA period. 


Rules for Grant Awards

  • Applications must meet one of the designated focus areas.
  • The total budget and project period may not exceed 24-months per award.
  • The total budget cannot exceed $200,000 per award including all indirect costs. (max 15%)
  • Indirect costs may not exceed 15% of Direct Costs per Award. Note: Indirect costs may be issued to subcontractors at a rate of 15%, but do not qualify as an additional Direct Cost for the applicant/prime institution administering the grant.
  • Principal Investigators must dedicate a minimum of 5% annualized effort.
  • Salaries cannot exceed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) salary cap in effect at the time of the grant’s commencement.
  • CRICO grant funds do not support the purchase or maintenance of capital equipment, as defined by the NIH.


Grant Application Submission Guidelines

  • Only CRICO members may apply. CRICO is the largest medical professional liability carrier in Massachusetts, distinguished by the varied size and structure of our member organizations. Coverage is limited to employees of, and physicians sponsored by, a member institution, each of whom must meet CRICO’s eligibility criteria.
  • All research must be conducted at CRICO-member health care organizations with written support from the head of the department approving the Principal Investigator’s proposed project and request for funding.
  • Applicants must indicate any co-funding obtained if the proposed project requires greater than $200,000 to meet the aims of the project.
  • Applicants must provide all active Other Support for Key Personnel.
  • Grant proposals are accepted only during the official application time frame. Our online application portal will not allow applicants to complete and submit applications after the deadline of 9/19/19 at 5:00 p.m.


Project Scope

The RFA is offered to CRICO-insured members at all levels of experience. Partnerships across CRICO-insured organizations are encouraged. Submissions that contain designs to further impact enterprise risk and emerging patient safety issues are also encouraged.

Funding priority will be given to proposals that are original, evidence-based and directly aimed at improving patient safety and reducing malpractice risk in one of our designated priority areas. This includes proposals that:

  • Examine specific domains of malpractice risk and patient harm while assessing the factors at various levels that contribute to such risks.
  • Investigate strategic interventions at individual, systems, and organizational levels to help reduce and eliminate specific patient harm and malpractice risk.
  • Disseminate proven solutions to reduce malpractice risk. It is anticipated that knowledge gained from these projects will positively affect care delivery and promote risk reduction.


Focus Areas

CRICO is interested in funding projects that examine patient safety risks, investigate strategic interventions for those risks, and/or disseminate proven solutions in the following areas:

  1. Patient Assessment: We are interested in proposals that address “clinical situations which present vulnerabilities to front-line clinicians and predispose them to diagnostic errors” (Reyes, 2016). Issues to be addressed include:

    • Factors (system or individual) that contribute to a provider’s failure or inability to identify, address, or synthesize relevant clinical information—e.g., symptoms, history, physical findings, diagnostic tests, imaging results—leading to missed or delayed diagnosis. This category also includes failures or delays in ordering or interpreting diagnostic studies.
    • Factors related to narrow diagnostic focus (includes reliance on previous assessment or diagnosis, atypical presentations, and inadequate patient assessment).
    • Failure to rescue, defined as a clinician’s or provider’s delay in or lack of appropriate and timely response to a patient’s deteriorating clinical condition.

    We are interested in applications that explore risks in Patient Assessment for the following clinical domains: Emergency Medicine, Radiology, General Medicine, Obstetrics, and Nursing.

  2. Management and Performance of Medical Treatment/Procedural Safety: (i.e., procedures performed outside the operating room): We are interested in proposals that address the management and performance of medical treatment (procedures performed outside the operating room) by Emergency Medicine, General and Internal Medicine, Interventional Radiology, Radiology, and Nursing. Issues to be addressed include:

    • Ways to reduce the risk of improper technical performance of specific procedures or treatments, e.g., cardiac catheterization, endoscopy, and procedures performed in interventional radiology.
    • Risks associated with improper management of a patient’s medical treatment course before, during, or after a procedure, e.g., delays, failure, or mismanagement of acute and/or chronic conditions, improper medication management, or improper monitoring.
  3. Other Areas of Clinical Focus:
    • Emergency Medicine
      We are interested in proposals that address risks and challenges associated with patient throughput, capacity management, care transitions, and the management of complex patients.
    • Surgery
      We are interested in proposals that address risks associated with, and potential interventions for, the technical performance and management of general, orthopedic, neuro, and plastic surgery procedures.
    • Emerging Health Care Delivery Models
      We are interested in proposals that examine and evaluate the application of innovative health care delivery models including: the expanding role of advanced practice providers in various clinical settings, the impact of telehealth, virtual visits, urgent care, and alternatives to acute hospital admissions.



CRICO RFA Timeline and Review Process

Announce Request for Applications  August 9, 2019
Letter of Intent deadline  September 19, 2019; 5 p.m.
Invite applicants to
submit Full Proposal 
October 9, 2019
Full Proposal deadline
November 14, 2019; 5 p.m.
Full Proposals reviewed
November 19, 2019–March 2020
Final Proposals presented to board March 2020
Notice of Grant Awards June 1, 2020



CRICO’s Review Process

  1. CRICO reviews the Letters of Intent to determine alignment with our mission and targeted areas of funding interest.
  2. Next, CRICO will invite those Principal Investigators with project intentions deemed the most congruent with CRICO’s objectives to submit a full length, detailed proposal.
  3. The initially submitted Letter of Intent, proposed budget and other Required Appendix materials then become part of the Principal Investigator’s full application to be submitted for funding consideration.
  4. Upon full review, final applications will be selected and the PIs notified by email of their award.


Required Application Materials

  • Letter of Intent & Required Appendix Instructions 
  • Budget Spreadsheet: Download and fill

Please include identifying information such as PI Name, Institution and Project Title in the header or footer of all pages of your grant application.

Read or print this document for all of the budget guidelines and restrictions. Budget Guidelines



If you have any questions regarding this announcement, priority areas of focus, or requirements for the Letter of Intent, please contact Jeff Timperi, Grants Manager, at 617.450.6887. You may also email our grants team at [email protected].



Reyes, H. Diagnostic Pitfalls: A New Approach to Understand and Prevent Diagnostic Error.

Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine 9th International Conference. Hollywood, CA. 2016.