Spark Grants


The purpose of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Office of IDEas Diversity Grants is to “spark” the collective creative minds in our department. Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity are important in every aspect of our lives and work. The responsibility of creating a cross cultural workplace and clinical environment falls to all of us. The spark grants are intended to provide financial and technical assistance as well as support to faculty, clinical, and non-clinical staff in fostering ideas of Diversity, Health Equity, and Social Justice.

The RFP will award 1 grant for each category, for a total of 3 awards.

Category 1

Diversity & Inclusion

Proposals that fall into this category involve internal-facing efforts to foster and maintain a diverse working environment. These include, but are not limited to, novel efforts to recruit, retain, support, and educate faculty and staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Category 2

Health Equity

The principle of Health Equity recognizes that everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, and culture deserves the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Proposals in this space are patient-facing and should be aimed at promoting equitable care in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Community. A wide range of applications are possible, and we favor projects that have near-term impact. We encourage applications from all providers, as well as those that are interdisciplinary.

Category 3

Social Justice

The committee for social justice focuses on initiatives that promote fair and equitable access and social rights for underrepresented and underserved people in the community. While healthcare is a part of social justice, this committee will look primarily at community efforts through a lens of economic, civil, and social reform. The committee will engage its healthcare leadership and partners to bridge the gaps in equal rights, opportunity, and treatment of different groups from the walls of BWH out to the community. As a healthcare organization, we are aware of health equity reform needs, as a group or committee, we hope to expand reform beyond healthcare and beyond our internal community.

How to Apply

Guidelines for Spark Grants

Budget Justification

The detailed budget must be on the IDEaS provided spreadsheet and list all direct and indirect costs associated with the proposed project for the entire project period, including a breakdown of these costs and how the total requested award amount was determined. See the Budget Justification Template.

Project Leads (PL) eligibility and funding recipients

Current Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine faculty, residents, fellows, and physician assistants are eligible to apply for diversity spark grants as PL’s. Nurses and administrative staff may be collaborators but are not eligible to be project leads on spark grant projects. We encourage projects that involve multiple groups.

Eligible projects

Any type of non-research project. The department currently has Seed grants and the Spark grants are not intended to compete with them. Projects should impact one of 3 domains: diversity and inclusion in the workspace, health equity in our patient community, and social justice within our community. Please identify which area your project is focused on. Projects are meant to be completed within 6 months.

Diversity Spark grant usage

Unless specifically excluded in the Spark grant guidelines and procedures, grant funds may be used for justifiable, necessary and reasonable project-related costs, including:

  • consultancy fees
  • travel to research site for data collection, etc.
  • research assistant time/salary
  • statistical analyses
  • participant incentives
  • laboratory materials

Download a PDF with information about Spark Grant Guidelines and Restrictions.

Award offering schedule

For 2023, three Spark grants  will be offered (one per committee).

Proposal review process

Selected proposals will present to the IDEaS core prior to project initiation.

Proposal review and presentation dates

Submitted proposals must be accepted by the vice-chair for diversity and inclusion or designee for review by the IDEaS core team. For 2023, Spark grant proposals will be due by November 10th, 2023, and awarded by December 2023 for a January start date of your project. Target start date January 2024..

Exclusions & Limits

Spark Grant Restrictions

Diversity Spark grant use exclusions:

Salary support of project leads, fellows, or residents; conference fees, presentation costs or travel; publication fees

Diversity Spark grant application limits:

A faculty member may be a project lead on only one Spark grant per one-year period.

Diversity Spark grant amounts:

An applicant may request up to $10,000 per project. 3 total projects.

Diversity Spark grant proposal submission:

Proposals may be submitted at any time using ONLY the Spark grant proposal form prior to the November 10th 2023 deadline. Submissions without this form will not be accepted.

Download a PDF with information about Spark Grant Guidelines and Restrictions.