2023 BRIght Futures Prize Request for Proposals


The BRIght Futures Prizes support investigators across the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) as they work to answer provocative questions or solve grand problems. This Fund, which is supported philanthropically, and the work it sponsors advances the mission of the BRI by catalyzing the kind of innovative translational research that is only possible at an academic medical center, where basic researchers and clinicians work side by side. The 11th BRIght Futures Prize, in the amount of $100,000, will be presented at the annual Cambridge Science Festival in 2023.The BRIght Futures Prize generates excitement and visibility for the BRI among the BWH research community as well as external visibility for BWH research and innovation – with patients, donors and the world. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a BWH strategic and scientific review.  Finalists will be selected based on input from a BWH review committee and recommendations from BRI leadership. The final round involves an online voting process open to anybody within and outside of BWH including the lay public around the world.

Brigham & Women’s Hospital is strongly committed to its foundational value of elevating the health status of the communities it directly serves especially the most vulnerable among them as well as others beyond these communities. With this in mind, the 2023 BRIght Futures Prize call for applications strongly encourages the submission of projects across all life sciences research domains with the evidence-based potential to preserve and/or promote health equity in local, national and international populations. Projects addressing health equity issues such as healthcare/clinical trial access, poor health/life expectancy outcomes, morbidity and mortality among underserved populations and others are welcome.


  • This year’s BRIght Futures RFA, which has a deadline of 01/09/23, will be open to all scientific themes.
  • A faculty committee with expertise in the areas relevant to the submitted applications will review proposals; up to three finalists will be invited to present at the Cambridge Science Festival celebration (Date TBD).
  • Materials (webpage with Q&A, headshots) will be prepared for finalists during June/July and the online voting will be open during a specified window (TBD) in August.  The entire world is welcome to cast a vote for which project should get the $100K.
  • The winner will be announced at the annual Cambridge Science Festival (Date TBD).


Dates are subject to change

Nov 8th, 2022RFA issuedINTERNAL PHASE
Jan 9th, 2023Proposals dueINTERNAL PHASE
Feb 9th, 2023Semi-finalists notified & invited to pitchINTERNAL PHASE
Feb 16th, 2023Semi-finalists pitch; ROC chooses up to 3 finalistsINTERNAL PHASE
Feb/Mar 2023Prepare materials/Prep call with finalistsINTERNAL PHASE
Mar/Apr 2023External Voting PeriodEXTERNAL PHASE
Apr 17th – Apr 21st, 2023Finalists present at Cambridge Science Festival & BRIght  Futures Prize winner determinedEXTERNAL PHASE


  • All members of the BWH research community with a rank of Instructor and above or BWH professional staff (ex. nurses and other clinicians) are invited to apply. Individuals may serve as the PI of only one proposal but may be co-PIs on multiple proposals.
  • BFP recipient must remain at BWH for duration of the award, award may otherwise be forfeited.
  • Winners from the previous two BRIght Futures cycles are not eligible to apply.
  • If chosen as a finalist, applicants MUST be available to help in the preparation of any relevant promotional materials/events; MUST be available to attend the prep call for finalists and; MUST be available to present at the Cambridge Science Festival and the BRI Research Oversight Committee. While we will try to be flexible based on circumstances, please do not apply if you know you will not be able to commit to these dates/time frames.

Review criteria

  • The project must clearly address a well-defined research or clinical problem and be scientifically meritorious.
  • Novel ideas that can significantly accelerate research progress in the stated field will be given high priority; projects that are an extension of ongoing work will be lower priority.
  • The project should be focused and achievable, with a high potential to secure future additional funding.
  • The investigators must have the requisite skills and experience to carry out the project successfully.
  • The lay summary should be compelling and accessible to the lay public.


  • Recipients will be obligated to provide a 1-year report of activity to the BRI, an oral presentation to the BRI Research Oversight Committee at the end of the funding period.
  • Grantees will notify the BRI when other grants are received as a result of BRIght Futures prize.
  • Grantees will acknowledge the BRI in publications (posters, journal articles and grants) resulting from BRIght Futures prize support and will notify the BRI when such papers have been submitted.

Full Applications (due Jan 9th, 2023, 10:59pm) submitted through INSIGHT

All applications (due Jan 9th, 2023, 10:59pm) must be submitted through INSIGHT

1.  Basic information/Cover Page including:

  • Title of research project
  • Applicant’s Name, Department and Division, BWH and HMS professional appointments, telephone number and e-mail address
  • Self identify the scientific theme/field the proposal addresses
  • Scientific Abstract – limit 300 words
  • Lay Summary/Public appeal – limit to 300 words.

2. Scientific Proposal (5-page limit, excluding references), including:

  • Introduction (specify the provocative question or compelling problem the proposal addresses)
  • Specific Aims
  • Background, significance (i.e., potential impact of this work in the short- or long-term) and, if available, preliminary data (not required)
  • Research approach (include experimental details, approximate timeline, contributions of each team member)
  • Future plans, i.e., how will this project leverage funding beyond this BRIght Futures Prize

3. Biosketches of Principal Investigator, co-investigators and significant key personnel in NIH format.

4. Detailed budget for one year for a maximum of $100,000 (direct costs) and 20% indirect costs. MUST use budget template here:


Questions about eligibility, format, review criteria and process may be sent to Anu Swaminathan, PhD, BRI Director for Scientific Programs & Partnerships, at aswaminathan@bwh.harvard.edu or 617.525.8380


The BRI and BWH reserve the right, in their sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify (including process, selection of finalists and winners, award amount etc) or suspend the BWH BRIght Futures Prize. The BRI and BWH also reserve the right to select the awardee(s) in lieu of the voting process described in the RFA. Further, the BRI and BWH reserve the right at their sole discretion to disqualify any participant who attempts to tamper with the entry/selection/voting process of the BWH BRIght Futures Prize. Please note that we additionally reserve the right to not disclose the voting results data.

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