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New Investigator Award



May 15, 2019          
Download the 2019 New Investigator Award RFP Here

Download the Submission Templates Here

July 11, 2019         

NIA RFP Q&A (webinar viewable on-demand) - Register here for webinar.

September 20, 2019    Application Submission Deadline

November 5, 2018       

NIA Award Recipient announced at the 2019 Healthcare Design Expo &  Conference                                

January 1, 2020         

The NIA recipient joins the Research Coalition for a one-year membership

November 2019    

The NIA recipient presents findings at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference



About the Award

The Center for Health Design’s Research Coalition's New Investigator Award (NIA) supports high quality research by new investigators around the world in the field of evidence-based healthcare facility design. The award is open to graduate students, and other recent research degree recipients whose contributions reflect their potential to conduct original, empirical research to improve our understanding of the relationships between the physical environment and health-related outcomes & wellness. The goal of the award is to support new researchers whose research is likely to fill critical gaps in the field of evidence-based design (EBD).
All applications will undergo a thorough peer-review process, conducted by The Center’s Research Coalition (RC) members. 

The Center for Health Design will present one award up to $10,000 to a researcher in the early phase of their research career. Additionally, the award recipient will receive complimentary registration to attend the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, where they will have the opportunity to present their completed study; travel and lodging expense will also be covered by The Center. The award recipient will be designated a member of The Center’s Research Coalition for one year.

Award Eligibility  

Investigators from research and academic institutions, and professional practice, are encouraged to apply. Applicants should be either a current graduate student or someone who has graduated with a research degree within the past three years and is currently engaged in research in either a practice setting or academic institution. Applicants may have extensive professional experience, but must be in the early stages of their formal research career to qualify (i.e., no more than three years following the degree year). Age is therefore not a factor in eligibility consideration.

Applicants may be involved in a research study that is part of a larger research agenda.  However, if this is the case, applicant must clearly articulate how their individual study scope is identifiable as a separate “sub-project” from larger agenda. These applicants should describe how their individual research is contributing to the body of knowledge apart from the larger research scope. These applicants should also define how this study increases their individual skillset in the context of the larger opportunity. There should be no doubt that the applicant is the lead investigator for the study described in the application. As such, the award is not intended for a research team although the candidate may include industry experts/academic advisors in an advisory role. It should be clear that advisors are not conducting the research.

All applicants should submit a fully developed research proposal meeting the page limits as detailed in the Application Requirements. Only the approved templates are to be used. The proposal should not be developed in design software or with a Word format using different fonts, sizes, and layouts. This is to ensure a consistency of applications for the reviewers. Deviations from the provided template and page limits are grounds for disqualification.


Award Areas of Focus

This request for proposals (RFP) seeks to fund studies in all healthcare settings, including hospitals, ambulatory care, behavioral health settings, senior living facilities and home-based models of care. The setting of research can range from academic medical centers to community based care initiatives, as well as simulation laboratories.

This RFP stipulates that the proposal examine the relationship between the built environment and healthcare outcomes for the following areas of focus:

  1. Patient, resident, or staff
    1. Safety
    2. Experience and/or satisfaction
    3. Health & wellness
  2. Population health management (defined as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group”). In the context of the built environment, we broadly seek to address how healthcare organizations use design of the built environment (hospitals or ambulatory care facilities) to support patient activation/engagement and related measurable outcomes.
  3. Design to support behavioral health in a variety of settings (i.e., not limited to secure psychiatric units). We acknowledge the broad spectrum that encompasses behavioral health and the proposal must specify both which segment of the behavioral health population is to be considered and which environments are proposed for study.
  4. Impact of technology on built environment design and how these innovations improve healthcare outcomes, organizational outcomes, and/or communication in formal healthcare settings (e.g., hospitals, ambulatory care centers) or the home. To be eligible, the focus of the study must directly relate to the impact of technology on a tangible design aspect of the built environment, not just the use of technology to improve access to care or use of technology in a space.
  5. The development of innovative tools, techniques, and approaches to support healthcare design research.


Evaluation Criteria

Proposal submissions will be reviewed and scored by the Research Coalition members (and Research Coalition Alumni if necessary) based on the following weighted criteria (listed in order of importance):

  1. Scientific quality of the proposal (including study purpose, significance, research question/hypothesis, anticipated outcomes, practical implications, literature review, conceptual or theoretical framework (optional), study design and methods)
  2. Readiness (including researcher’s capabilities and experience, project feasibility as described in the proposal, Human Subjects protection/Administrative approval)
  3. Industry contribution (including innovation & new knowledge, dissemination plan)
  4. Logistical Administrative (including budget justification, task schedule/timeframe)
  5. Writing Quality (grammar, spelling, clarity, appropriate use of research terminology)
The award decisions will be made at the discretion of The Center based on the recommendations of the RC. Reviewers are required to respect the confidentiality of the information provided in the proposals. Applicants will receive written feedback from the jurors following the announcement in November 2018.


New Investigator Award Recipient Deliverables

NIA recipient will submit quarterly progress reports to The Center and a member of the Research Coalition, who will act as a mentor. Recipients are expected to complete the research project, according to the timeline outlined in their proposal. Any adjustments to the timeline must be coordinated with and approved by the RC.
At the conclusion of the project, NIA recipients are expected to:

  1. Prepare a manuscript describing the study in a format that can be submitted to a peer reviewed journal. Submission to a peer-reviewed journal is at the discretion of the researcher, but please acknowledge the support of The Center.
  2. Complete a Key Point Summary of their study using The Center’s Knowledge Repository format.
  3. Provide a 20-minute presentation about their study during The Center’s Innovations in Research session of HCD’19 or ‘20.
  4. The researcher will coordinate with an RC mentor to write the final deliverable, which is a paper (approx. 5 pages, excluding references and appendices) that summarizes the design implications of the study. The paper should be written for an audience of designers, and will be published via The Center’s website. 


New Investigator Informational Webinar

Applicants for the New Investigator Award are required to view an informational webinar. The webinar will cover:

  • The Center for Health Design’s Research Coalition Mission and purpose of the NIA RFP
  • A step-by-step discussion of each section of the proposal and what it tells the reviewers
  • Keys to success and common mistakes to avoid
A question and answer session will be held on July 11, 2018 for any questions that may arise from the RFP. Click here to register for this 30-minute Q&A session. To view the recorded webinar, email Catherine Ancheta at cancheta@healthdesign.org.  


Conflict Of Interest


Reviewer Conflict of Interest
Research Coalition members, The Center staff, and consultants are not eligible to serve as principal investigators. In addition, they may not participate in the review of proposals that are submitted by his or her colleagues or if he or she is asked to serve in a consulting capacity. All proposals must adhere to the application process of the RFP. All research results will be broadly disseminated and therefore are required to be non-proprietary. Only one proposal per applicant is eligible for the award.

Applicant Review of Interest
Applicant must acknowledge any real, perceived, or potential COI that raises questions of research integrity (i.e., circumstances in which research may be influenced by a secondary interest of the applicant.) This includes an existing or potential financial or other material interest and/or a relationship that impairs or might appear to impair the individual's independence and objectivity in conducting the study. If there is no COI the applicant must explicitly state, “I have no conflicts of interest” in the template, in addition to indication in the application checklist.

Please direct questions to:

Catherine Ancheta, Project Manager, 1850 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 1083, Concord, CA 94520   925.521.9404 x122 cancheta@healthdesign.org.


The 2018 Winner: Kathryn Peditto Awarded New Investigator Award

The 2017 Winner: Deborah Wingler Awarded New Investigator Award

The 2016 Winner: Lori Reynolds Awarded New Investigator Award

The 2015 Winner: Lorissa MacAllister Awarded New Investigator Award

The 2014 Winners: Two Winners Awarded New Investigator Award

The 2013 Winner: Young-Seon Choi Awarded New Investigator Award
The 2011 Winner: Rana Zadeh Awarded New Investigator Award