Student Award Program


The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Student Award Program supports medical and doctoral students in Michigan who aim to improve health care within the state. Past successful programs have included applied research, pilot programs, demonstrations and evaluation projects.

The award offers up to $3,000 for research projects. If multiple students are working on the same project, they will divide the grant award amount equally.


We welcome applications from doctoral students in good academic standing who are either U.S. residents, Resident Aliens, or Holders of Student Visa enrolled at any of Michigan’s accredited universities.

Projects for Student Award grants are ineligible if:

  • The project already has results (e.g., completed dissertation, poster presentation(s), publication(s) distributing established results)
  • The student (grant applicant) has previously received this award
  • The student is a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee or an immediate family member of an employee. Students who are employees of any BCBSM affiliate or who are immediate family members also are ineligible
  • The proposed project is a drug trial
  • The proposed project takes place outside of Michigan
  • The proposed project includes any research involving non-human subjects

How to apply

We review potential projects for their ability to achieve real outcomes. Successful projects will show a direct impact on health and/or health care.

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:

  • Completed application form
  • Project Proposal (1,000 to 3,000 words, double-spaced) outlining:
    • Background
    • Hypothesis(es)
    • Methods
    • Expected outcomes
    • How health equity and social determinants of health are addressed
    • How this work is valuable to the population, increases the quality of care, and improves access to healthcare
    • Conclusion
    • Note: citations are not included in the word limit (use any format, e.g., AMA, APA, MLA, etc.)
  • Letter of support from advisor
  • Detailed line-item budget and justification for each line item (not included in the word limit) 
    • 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.
    • Budget for the Student Award Program can include hourly wage/stipend for the student, other research assistants, study participant compensation, software directly related to the project, and other costs directly related to accomplishing the submitted research project.
    •  The Foundation doesn't 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 doesn't pay for tuition expenses or continuing education units for the student or other staff.
    • This funding program doesn't support the following: computer hardware; one-time use consumables, such as medical (e.g., medications, bandages), and office supplies (e.g., printing paper, writing instruments); furnishings and capital expenses, such as phone, rent and building insurance.
    • Conference travel is limited to $1,000.
  • If your application is awarded and you are using human subjects or otherwise protected data, a copy of Human Subjects Review Committee approval is needed before we start your award
  • Applicant's CV


The application period opens on September 30 every year. Applications must be submitted by January 31 of the following year.


Please check the FAQs in our help section. If you don't see what you're looking for, email us your question and a member of our team will respond.

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