New RFA: Grants to support research innovations that address challenges of family caregivers

Published by CTSI on March 15, 2019

A new CTSI funding opportunity is available for University of Minnesota researchers to support the development of innovations that address challenges faced by family and unpaid/informal caregivers.

Grandmother and caretaker's hands on a table

“Informal caregivers ensure their loved one’s basic care and medical needs are met and are often the liaison between medical care providers and the patient,” said Tucker LeBien, PhD, Director of CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation.

“The demands of this role can take an emotional, physical, and financial toll on caregivers. Through this targeted funding mechanism, we aim to help improve the health of caregivers and patients through technology innovations," he said. 

Funding through the Translational Grant Program funding, which helps drive research that translates research discoveries into patient benefit to improve human health, is also available to those from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Hennepin Health, Regions Hospital, and Children’s Minnesota with University of Minnesota faculty appointments.

Supporting innovation

Funded projects will support innovation of new products or services that improve the experience of unpaid caregivers, who play a critical role in the delivery of care that is often invisible in the healthcare system, including:

  • Managing communication between multiple medical specialties
  • Coordinating care and scheduling medical appointments
  • Monitoring patient safety
  • Ensuring patient compliance with recommended care or home-based therapies
  • Communicating with patients that have limited/declining speech and/or cognitive ability
  • Assisting with care transitions between various care settings (e.g. inpatient to home health)
  • Managing symptoms and medications
  • Caregiver tools, training and education 

Projects also should positively impact patient health in Minnesota and beyond with priority given to those focused on developing novel innovations that will lead to new products or services that are not already commercially available.

CTSI anticipates funding up to four projects, with each project receiving as much as $50,000 in direct costs for one year. Additionally, each funded project will receive the assistance of a project development team with the appropriate expertise to determine critical project milestones, identify key gaps, and strengthen the likelihood for progress toward eventual development into a new product, service, or treatment approach. Teams may include both University of Minnesota and external members.

CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) manages this program as well as five others that help put promising ideas and discoveries on the path toward improved human health.

Mandatory Letters of Intent are required by 5pm, April 17, 2019—the extended deadline.

View the request for applications

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