Circulation 72,683 • Volume 19, No. 4 • Winter 2004   Issue PDF

Grant Program

Guidelines for Grant Applications Scheduled to Begin on January 1, 2006
The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Grant Program supports research directed toward enhancing anesthesia patient safety. Its major objective is to stimulate studies leading to prevention of mortality and morbidity resulting from anesthesia mishaps. NOTE: The Grand Award limit has been increased to $75,000 per project. Additionally, there have been changes in areas of designated priority, in requirements for materials, and specific areas of research. For the current funding cycle APSF is placing a specific emphasis on PATIENT SAFETY EDUCATION.

To recognize the patriarch of what has become an international model for patient safety, the APSF inaugurated in 2002 the Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., MD, Research Award. The APSF Scientific Evaluation Committee will designate one of the funded proposals as the recipient of this honor that carries with it an additional, unrestricted award of $5,000.


Highest priority is given to:

  • Studies that address peri-anesthetic problems for relatively healthy patients or
  • Studies that are broadly applicable AND that promise improved methods of patient safety with a defined and direct path to implementation into clinical care
  • Innovative methods of education and training to improve patient safety.


Areas of research interest include, but are not limited to:

  • New clinical methods for prevention and/or early diagnosis of mishaps
  • Evaluation of new and/or re-evaluation of old technologies for prevention and diagnosis of mishaps
  • Identification of predictors of negative patient outcomes, and/or anesthesiologist/anesthetist clinical errors
  • Development of innovative methods for the study of low-frequency events
  • Measurement of the cost effectiveness of techniques designed to increase patient safety
  • Development or testing of educational content to measure, develop, and improve safe delivery of anesthetic care during the perioperative period
  • Development, implementation, and validation of educational content or methods of relevance to patient safety (note that both patient and care provider educational projects qualify).


Studies will be scored on:

  • Soundness and technical merit of proposed research with a clear hypothesis and research plan
  • Adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for safeguarding human or animal subjects
  • Uniqueness of scientific, educational, or technological approach of proposed research
  • Applicability of the proposed research and potential for broad healthcare adoption
  • Clinical significance of the area of research and likelihood of the studies to produce quantifiable improvements in patient outcome such as increased life-span, physical functionality, or ability to function independently, potential for reductions in procedural risks such as mortality or morbidity, or significant improvements in recovery time.

Priority will be given to topics that do not have other available sources for funding.

Proposals to create patient safety education content or methods that do not include a rigorous evaluation of content validity and/or benefit will be unlikely to attain sufficient priority for funding.

NOTE: Innovative ideas and creativity are strongly encouraged. New applicants are advised to seek guidance from an advisor/mentor skilled in experimental design and preparation of grant applications. Poorly conceived ideas, failure to have a clear hypothesis or research plan, or failure to demonstrate clearly the relationship of the work to patient safety are the most frequent reasons for applications being disapproved or receiving a low priority score.


The budget request must not exceed $75,000. Projects may be for up to 2 years in duration, although a shorter anticipated time to completion is encouraged. APSF funds may not be used for indirect costs (overhead).


Awards are made to a sponsoring institution, not to individuals or to departments. Any qualified member of a sponsoring institution in the United States or Canada may apply. Only one person may be listed as the principal investigator. All co-investigators, collaborators, and consultants should be listed. Applications will not be accepted from a principal investigator currently funded by the APSF. Re-applications from investigators who were funded by the APSF in previous years, however, will be accepted without prejudice.

Applications that fail to meet these basic criteria will be eliminated from detailed review and returned with only minimal comment. A summary of reviewers’ comments and recommendations will be provided to investigators requesting it only for those applications that are given full committee review. Please refer to the Spring 1997 issue of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter for further advice about applications, or contact the Scientific Evaluation Committee Chairman, Sorin J. Brull, MD, by phone: 386-676-1158, fax: 386-676-9872, or email: [email protected].


Awards for projects to begin January 1, 2006, will be announced at the meeting of the APSF Board of Directors on October 22, 2005 (2005 ASA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA).

NOTE: No award will be made unless the statement of institutional human or animal studies’ committee approval is received prior to October 1, 2005.


All applications and accompanying documents, including departmental chair support letter, the Institutional Review Board approval letter, and the applicant’s acceptance form, will be accepted in ELECTRONIC form only. Electronic files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Adobe Acrobat PDF format are acceptable for all text, charts, and graphics, and must be uploaded to the APSF website:


The original application must be submitted electronically to the website and a notification of application must be received by the chairman of the APSF Scientific Evaluation Committee no later than Monday, June 20, 2004:

Sorin J. Brull, MD Professor of Anesthesiology Mayo Clinic College of Medicine 4400 San Pablo Rd, JAB-4035 Jacksonville, FL 32224 Tel: 904-296-5688 Email: [email protected]