Requests for Proposals

  • Medicaid: Currently open. RFP closed at this time.

  • Controlling Health Care Costs: RFP closed at this time.


Submitted Questions as of 7/23/20

1. Are there any restrictions to doctoral students submitting letters of inquiry?

A terminal degree is not required when applying. Our focus is on new investigators, and we expect that applicants may be early in their careers.  We will  consider LOIs from doctoral students. Additional information on research experience may be requested.

2. In the RFP, it states that typical Medicaid program grants range from $50,000 to $120,000.  Are there specific requirements for submitting a proposal for the $120,000 budget, and does the $120,000 include direct and indirect costs or only direct costs?

A full budget is not requested at the LOI stage, but the total amount of a project should be no more than $120,000 including indirect costs.   

3. What is the maximum project period?

12 months (or shorter) is the target timeline so that projects can inform policy windows in 2021, but projects with longer periods will not be eliminated from consideration.  

4. Do principal investigators need to be historically underrepresented researchers, early-career researchers, and researchers that have not previously received Fund support, or are those who are early-career researchers but are not from underrepresented groups eligible?

While we do want to diversify our pool of grantees, the only requirement is that applicants have not been the PI on a previous Fund grant.

5. Should applications address both health disparities and the impact of COVID-19, or are proposals that address just one of these appropriate?

Applicants can apply with a project idea under either bucket or address the intersection of the two. The key factor is that Medicaid needs to be a central lens in the research – what role has/can Medicaid play? What Medicaid policies have contributed to successes? What policies have created barriers or contributed to poor outcomes?

6.Can the award be used to support the stipend or salary of the primary investigator?

Yes, project funds may be used to support the principal investigator and other project staff.

7. Is the Fund interested in proposals that examine Medicaid populations within a single state, or must it include multiple state Medicaid programs/populations?

We will consider proposals examining Medicaid populations and policies in a single state or multiple states as long as they clearly address a policy question(s) consistent with the stated RFP priority areas.

8. If a PI has never led a Fund grant, but the organization for which they work is a current grantee, is the individual PI eligible to apply?

Yes, the only requirement relates to the individual project director being a first-time applicant, not the institution.

9. Can one researcher submit two different LOI's or only one per researcher?

We are limiting submissions to one per researcher/PI for the Medicaid RFP.

10. Can that LOI be submitted on behalf of a tax-exempt organization 501(c)(3) where the researcher is not employed but serving as an elected board of director?

The Fund requires a project director to be employed by the grantee institution, so a director/trustee  would not be an eligible. They could work on the project as an advisor, but not as the named project director.

11. Can a project have multiple PIs?

The Fund will allow a single PI or two co-PIs.

12. Are you requiring CVs of all team members or just the PI(s)?

CVs are only requested for PI(s) at this stage.

13. Is this grant opportunity exclusively for early-career investigators, or will you also consider senior faculty?

The only requirement relates to the individual project director being a first-time applicant, so senior faculty may apply.

14. Can the grant be awarded to an organization, or if it would go to an individual personally?

Fund grants are awarded to institutions, with a named project director, and not to individuals without an institutional affiliation.

15. Does a reference page need to be included with the two pages?

A reference page may be included in addition to the two pages but is not required or expected.


16. Is there a citizenship or green card requirement for the application?

There is no citizenship or green card requirement, we just ask that applicants are employed by a US 501(c)3.

17. I would like speak with the Fund Staff member responsible for this program. Is there currently a staff member assigned to this program with whom I could speak?

In the spirit of fairness and transparency we are not having phone calls with applicants at this point. We will be happy to answer all questions in writing so that we can post answers on our website for all applicants to see. Applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will be able to have phone conversations with program staff.   

18. The application asks for the name of the project director. I am confused by this title - does this refer to the PI, name of the applying early career investigator (if different) or the data manager?

The term Project Director is used interchangeably with PI.  

19. The RFP requests a short description of key costs. Does this include indirect costs? Or, should I instead focus on the primary costs of personnel and research activities?

This section should focus on the direct costs. The Fund covers indirect costs at 10% of direct costs, and direct and indirect costs cannot total more than $120,000.

20. Are multiple applications/LOIs are allowed from one institution?

Yes, multiple investigators from the same institution are welcome to apply.

21. I will serve as the PI, but am I allowed to have other co-investigators on the grant with me?

We will consider up to two co-PIs, but others may be included on the project.

22. Is the expected start date 1/1/2021?

Start dates can be on or after November 1st.

23. Is the Commonwealth Fund interested in secondary data analysis of Medicaid data, primary data collection, or is there no data collection preference?

We have no preference on type of data collection.

24. Can a researcher who is a PI in an application be included in a 2nd application (led by other researchers) as a co-I or supporting staff?

We are limiting submissions to one per researcher/PI for the Medicaid RFP. A researcher who is a PI or co-PI on a project could be included as part of the project team on a separate LOI.