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March 23, 2021

Required Elements for Letters of Inquiry NIHCM Foundation Grants to Support Investigator-Initiated Research

Required Elements for Letters of Inquiry

Letters of Inquiry must be submitted using NIHCM’s online entry system. This system will require the following information:

  • Complete contact information for one person designated as the Principal Investigator
  • A working title for your study
  • Anticipated start and end dates for the project
  • The approximate total budget you will be requesting (including overhead at a maximum of 12% of direct costs other than subcontracts). The detailed budget derivation is not required at this stage, but the budget you indicate here should be close to what you expect to request if a full proposal is invited.
  • A high-level summary of what you intend to study, your proposed study methods, and the expected outcome of the work (approximately 100 words)
  • A .pdf file containing a full narrative description of the proposed study

The detailed project narrative must be organized around the 7 points below and is limited to no more than 1000 words (including section headings). This document must be double-spaced.

Detailed Project Narrative

1. Statement of Project Significance and Potential Impact

Why is the issue you propose to study important for our health care system? How do you expect your proposed work to have an impact? A detailed review of the literature is not required here; rather, put your topic into the context of the larger health care system and the existing knowledge base and explain why your proposed study needs to be conducted.

2. Research Questions/Study Objectives

Use an enumerated or bulleted list to specify the research questions and/or study objectives that you will tackle in your work. If your proposed study complements or extends other studies for which you are currently (or expect to be) receiving funding, please clarify how the research questions/objectives of the project proposed to NIHCM are distinct from those already being addressed with support from other sources.

3. Research Design: Data and Study Methods

Describe the measures, data and empirical or qualitative methods that you intend to use for your work. Clearly link the activities described here to each of the study research questions or objectives articulated above. Indicate whether the requisite data are currently available to you; if data are not currently in-house, describe your plans, expected cost and timeline for obtaining the data.

4. List of Key Personnel

Provide a bulleted list of members of the study team considered essential to the completion of the study, and indicate the main position (job title) and organizational affiliation for each. It is not necessary to provide information on proposed roles or qualifications of study personnel at this stage; you will have an opportunity to present staff qualifications if you are invited to submit a full proposal.

5. Dissemination Plans: Anticipated Products and Target Audience(s)

What audiences do you want to reach with your work? What products and dissemination methods will you use to transmit your research findings to relevant stakeholders so that your work has optimal chance of being used to improve health or the health care system?

6. Other Support for the Proposed Study

Describe any other relevant support you have obtained or are/will be seeking for this study. If no funding other than through the NIHCM grant will be needed, please state that this is the case. If other support is pending, please indicate when determination of that funding is expected and how the study proposed to NIHCM would be impacted if this other support is not obtained.

7. Prior/Ongoing Research Directly Related to the Proposed Study

Briefly describe relevant prior or current research conducted by your study team and indicate how it lays the groundwork for the new analyses in your proposed study. If no such work has been conducted, please state that this is the case.


Citations to published articles referenced in the narrative should be placed on single-spaced pages placed after the study narrative and do not count as part of the 1000 word limit.

Letters of inquiry must be submitted by 5:00PM EDT on July 12, 2021. We welcome submissions any time before this deadline. You will receive an email confirmation that your LOI has been received. Please add nihcm@nihcm.org to your contact list to ensure delivery. If you do not receive this confirmation, please check your spam folder and then follow up directly with Carolyn Myers at nihcm@nihcm.org.