Call for Applications: The AI Health Proposal Studios

November 11, 2020

Duke Design Work Shop


The mission of Duke AI Health is to enable discovery, development, and  implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) at Duke and beyond. A key  component to achieving this goal is to foster high-impact, rigorous, and  competitive proposals for scientific awards.

The AI Health Proposal Studios will provide a structured opportunity for investigators to engage with Duke’s top data science expertise and thought leadership, and to receive review and feedback of the scientific components of their proposals.

Who Should Participate?

Clinical and non-clinical investigators from any department at Duke are invited to apply.

Our goal is to foster health data science across Duke. We will welcome participation from non-School of Medicine investigators, with the goal of building more collaborations between faculty from the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and campus faculty.

We hope to see participation by a mix of investigators representing various levels of experience. We especially encourage investigators who are at the assistant professor/early associate professor level.

What Types of Proposals?

We are interested in research that is aligned with the mission of AI Health at the intersection of data science and clinical/translational science, especially predictive modeling, machine learning, and comparative effectiveness research (CER). Topics of interest include:

      • Use of existing data and/or merging sources
      • Developing/applying advanced quantitative methods with big data
      • Research taking place within health systems, such as prospective use of  predictive models

National Institutes of Health R21 (Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant) and R01 (Research Project Grant) proposals are examples of the types of applications that may be especially well-aligned with this initiative.

We would particularly like to support research teams who have results from small, internal data science projects (such as department-sponsored analyses or Duke Forge demonstration projects) that are ready to bridge into larger cohorts and populations.

What Are the Proposal Studios?

After a cohort of applications are accepted (in mid-December), each project will have the following:

      • Introductory meeting (30 minutes) to discuss the goals, concept, and team
      • Scientific design workshop (1-2 hours) to substantively engage with the specific aims and research strategy, especially significance, innovation, and approach
      • Review of near-final written scientific content (will require minimum of 3 days)

We also expect that engagement with AI Health will be tailored to each individual proposal, and may include facilitating introductions to potential collaborators and helping applicants connect with other resources for proposal development at Duke.

There is no charge to the investigator for participation in the Proposal Studios, but participants will be asked to confidentially share information about their proposal scores and outcome metrics so that the program can be strengthened over time.

You do not need to have a full research team in order to apply. We expect that the proposal studios can help “match-make,” including making introductions between potential clinical and quantitative collaborators.

How to Apply

Applications will consist of a 1-page scientific overview (draft summary and specific aims) and a 1-page project overview (including team members, identified proposal opportunities, and specific requests). A template is available here.

To submit your application, please send the 2-page document in an e-mail to Michael Pencina ( and Shelley Rusincovitch ( with the subject line “AI Health Proposal Studio Application.”

The deadline for submitting applications is 5:00 PM Eastern time on Monday, December 7, 2020.