The Graduate Medical Eduaction Challenge Grant Program has a new home! Please contact the Arnold P. Gold Foundation if you have any  questions of the Challenge Grant Program.


Picker Institute/Gold Foundation (2005-2012)

Challenge Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions 

When will the RFP be posted for the 2012/2013 Challenge Grant cycle?

The RFP will be posted on the Picker Institute website by January 25, 2012. Wide distribution of the RFP will occur on February 1, 2012. 

What is the timeline for the 2012/2013 Challenge Grant cycle?



January 21, 2012 Distribution of GME Challenge Grant Request for Proposal
March 2, 2012 Deadline for emailing Letter of Intent (LOI) to submit a full proposal
March 23, 2012 Notification of Request for Full Proposal
April 27, 2012 Deadline for submitting the full GME Challenge Grant Proposal via email
June 15 2012 Announcement of Awards
July 16, 2012 through July 15, 2013 GME Challenge Grant Project Cycle (subject to receipt of signed grant agreement)
July 15, 2013 Submission of GME Challenge Grant Project final report


What if I missed the deadline for LOI or proposal submission?

The Institute will accept late proposals that are submitted within 24 hours past the deadline for submission.  Any proposals received after the 24 hour window will be ineligible for award for failure to follow guidelines.


To whom should I address my cover letter?

Cover letters can be addressed to Picker Institute.


What is the required format for the professional biographies?

The Challenge Grant program requires that the Principal Investigator and co-Principal Investigator, submit a brief CV. The shortened CV needs to include education, residency, fellowship(s), positions held, publications/presentations pertinent to the project being proposed, and any other achievements that are pertinent to the proposed project.  NIH bio-sketches are appropriate for all other project staff.


What is the required format for the budget and timeline?

A budget with timetable must be included with the project proposal. Budget should include costs associated with planning, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of the project; also, the budget should display the institutions matching contribution. The budget must include a narrative.


What financial expenditures are considered indirect costs?

Picker Institute’s policy allows for grant funds to cover overhead costs at a rate not to exceed 10percent of total direct costs.  The 10 percent allowance is intended to include space rental, furniture, equipment, heat, electricity, accounting services, library services and the like. Subcontracts with an institution and direct educational support (including fellowships, scholarships, tuition and stipends) are excluded from the indirect cost calculation.


On what date should my budget timeline begin?

It is expected that the first portion of the grant award will be distributed to award winners on August 1, 2011.  The budget timeline should take that date into account.


Is there a limit to the number or type of attachments included with the proposal?

There is no official limit to the number of attachments to be included with the proposal, but it should not be expected that unsolicited attachments will be reviewed.  All relevant information is to be included in the proposal.  It is recommended that attachments be included only if they are absolutely material to the Board’s understanding of your proposed project and if they have no place in the proposal itself. 


What happens if my proposal is over the 2,000 word limit?

Proposals that exceed the word limit by more than 200 words of narrative text will be rejected for failure to follow guidelines.  Note, the narrative text 2,000 word limit pertains to the, 1) rationale for the project, 2) literature review, 3) PCC aims of the project, including Picker Principles, Gold Foundation and ACGME competencies, 3) project methods, work product, and deliverables, 4) expected outcomes and plan for evaluating work, 5) recommendation for how the institute can incorporate the work within the learning environment, 6) dissemination plan.


Does the word limit include references?

The word limit does NOT include references.


Does the word limit include a title page or headings?

The word limit does NOT include title pages or headings.


Is it required to submit the proposal in PDF form?

Submission of a PDF is not required; word or text documents are entirely acceptable.


Does submission of a proposal require a signature?

No signature is required for proposal submission.


Is it required that the proposal be submitted by a Designated Institutional Official or Residency Program Director?

It is not required that the DIO or Program Director physically submit the proposal.  It is required that the proposed initiative is supported by the DIO or Program Director.


I did not submit a Letter of Intent.  Can I still submit a proposal?

No.  Submission of a Letter of Intent is a prerequisite for submission of a full proposal.  Proposals that were not preceded by a LOI will be rejected for failure to follow guidelines.


How much money will my Institution be expected/required to provide through the matching contribution?

Institutions will be expected to provide, at a minimum, a 100% matching contribution (at least equal to the amount of the grant awarded). 


Does the 100% matching contribution include the 10% indirect costs?

No, the grantee institution is not required to provide a matching contribution that includes the 10% indirect cost.


Does the award provide for recovery of indirect costs? What is the allowed percentage or cap on indirect costs?

In the past, Challenge Grant awards have covered indirect costs. In the past, there has been no official cap on indirect costs.  The “reasonableness” of the budget will be determined at the discretion of the Board.


What are the restrictions on allowable expenses to be covered by the award?

In the past there have been no official restrictions on allowable expenses. 


Can restricted expenses be provided by the Institution as part of the matching contribution?

In the past there have been no official restrictions on allowable expenses.  The matching contribution must make a material contribution to the progress of the project.


What is considered a robust dissemination plan?

The Challenge Grant Program believes that dissemination is a very important component of the projects being funded. Picker strongly encourages a multi-faceted dissemination approach. Dissemination should occur within the institution and to key audiences in the national/international graduate medical education community.

Dissemination in the Journal of GME and online via appropriate venues is strongly encouraged.


When will the award winners be announced?

It is expected that the Picker Institute will announce Challenge Grant award winners by July 1, 2011.


What is an Always Event? And is the grantee required to align the project with Always Events?

While Always Events is a work in progress the concept has been incorporated into the Picker Institute mission as the primary operating principle. It is intended to enhance but not replace the Eight Picker Principles of Patient-Centered Care. Always Events are a new Picker Institute initiative to develop a body of procedural and substantive actions that every patient should encounter in every healthcare experience.

Always Events are defined as “those aspects of the patient and family experience that should always occur when patients interact with healthcare professionals and the delivery system.” Think of Never Events and flip that around. Instead of events that should never happen, think of events that should always happen for patients.

Applicants are  required to align their proposed projects with Always Events.


Who should I contact if I have questions about the Challenge Grant Program?

Please contact the Challenge Grant Program Coordinator, Hannah Honor. There are two options for asking questions, 1) on the CGP website, click ‘Ask a Question’ and in contact info and your question, the question will go automatically to Hannah Honor; 2) email Hannah Honor at hhonor@pickerinstitute.org.

Frequently Asked Question


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