Physician Investigator Research Award Program


The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is interested in innovative and evidence-based research grants that address urgent health issues, health inequities, social determinants of health and health care access, quality and cost.

This grant program provides seed money to Michigan physicians who want to explore the merits of a particular, evidence-based research idea through pilot studies, feasibility studies or small research projects.

This award offers up to $10,000 in funding.


We accept applications from physicians based in Michigan. Their organizations must be non-profit.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees and their immediate family members are ineligible. Employees of any BCBSM affiliate and their immediate family members also are ineligible.

Grant application process

  1. Submit a concept paper
    The concept paper is an opportunity to provide a brief summary of your idea and the goals of your program. We accept concept papers at any time. However, if you’re targeting a specific grant deadline, the concept paper must be received at least 60 days before an application deadline.

    Concept paper (PDF) This is a fillable PDF form that can be downloaded to any device (computer, tablet, phone). Complete the form, save it, then email it to the Foundation.

  2. Feedback from a Senior Program Officer
    Senior Program Officers review concept papers throughout the year. Once your concept paper has been reviewed, a Senior Program Officer will contact you with information on the next steps.

  3. If you are invited to submit a proposal
    A Senior Program Officer will provide instructions on submitting a proposal package to meet one of our three application deadlines (January, April or August) for funding consideration at one of our three board meetings (April, July or November).

  4. Decision notification
    After reviewing the application at one of our three board meetings, you will receive an email with the funding decision within 10 business days.

Grant application timelines

All deadlines end at 11:59 p.m. Applications are reviewed up to the date indicated, which is when the board meets for discussion. After the application is reviewed at our board meeting, applicants will receive an email with the funding decision within 10 business days.

Oct. 23, 2023

Jan. 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Feb. 12, 2024

April 24, 2024

July 31, 2024

May 28, 2024

Aug. 7, 2024

Nov. 13, 2024

Oct. 23, 2023 Jan. 10, 2024 April 10, 2024

Feb. 12, 2024 April 24, 2024 July 31, 2024

May 28, 2024 Aug. 7, 2024 Nov. 13, 2024

Proposal requirements

The application process is comprehensive, so it helps to understand what's involved at the outset of applying. Here is what you will be expected to deliver if your concept paper is approved and you move onto the proposal process.

Your proposal package narrative should range between 2,000-4,500 words and include the following sections: 

  • Background
  • Hypothesis(es)
  • Significance of research
  • Innovation of research
  • Research design and methods 
  • Expected outcomes
  • Addressing health equity and social determinants of health
  • Addressing how the work is valuable to the population, increases the quality of care and improves the access to health care
  • Conclusion

Please use AMA 10th Edition or APA 7th edition citation style. Citations do not count towards the recommended word count.

Other materials you'll be expected to deliver or review, sign and submit:

  • Signed Terms and Conditions of the Grant
  • Planned Participant Enrollment Table
  • Detailed budget and budget justification documents, including:
    • Funds requested, anticipated or provided by other sources for the same or similar project must be described in detail on an attached sheet and referenced in a cover letter.
    • The Foundation does not pay for indirect costs except for limited fringe benefits, including health, personal and/or medical benefits. The allowable fringe benefit expense may not exceed the lesser of 25 percent of the salary subtotal figure or the actual cost of the fringe benefits.
    • The Foundation does not pay for tuition expenses or continuing education units for the PI, project staff, or students.
    • The following are not supported by this funding program: computer equipment, including hardware and software; one-time use consumables, such as medical and office supplies; furnishings; and capital expenses, such as phone, rent, building insurance.
    • Conference travel is limited to $1,000.
  • Letters of support from collaborators
  • Project Timeline
  • Resume/CV of the Project Director(s) and other key personnel/staff
  • Copy of most recent Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) tax determination letter
  • If applicable, Letters from Co-funder(s)
  • If applicable, figures and tables


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Mailing Address
BCBSM Foundation | Mail Code X101 | 600 E. Lafayette Blvd. | Detroit, MI | 48226-2998