ACGME Announces New Round of Funding for Resident- and Fellow-Led Projects through the Back to Bedside Initiative

December 4, 2023

The ACGME has announced its Request for Grant Proposals for the 2024-2026 cycle of Back to Bedside, an initiative designed to empower residents and fellows to lead and develop transformative and innovative projects to foster meaning and joy in their work and increase connection with their patients. Awardees will join a Learning Collaborative that meets throughout the two-year award period where they will receive mentorship and education from the ACGME to build necessary skills for project management and implementation. These interactive gatherings also facilitate opportunities for networking and collaboration with other awardees and with ACGME leaders.

Since its inception in 2018, Back to Bedside has funded more than 80 projects. Accepted project proposals span specialties and locations, with the ultimate goal of improving the clinical learning environment in equitable and impactful ways and with lessons that can be widely disseminated and solutions that can be implemented broadly.

In its fourth funding cycle, Back to Bedside has two options for applicants to consider: Open Innovation proposals and, new this year, Project in a Box - Focused Innovation proposals.

The Open Innovation option is intended to provide flexibility for novel proposals. The ACGME seeks proposals for resident- and fellow-developed and -led, innovative, grassroots strategies to improve, foster, or cultivate meaning in clinical learning environments by increasing opportunities to build connections with patients and improving the physician-patient relationship.  

The new Project in a Box – Focused Innovation option aims to reduce barriers to project success by offering residents and fellows from all specialties a successful project example to use as inspiration for further innovation. The ACGME is soliciting project proposals that innovate based on the successful Cycle 1 project, “Resident Trading Card Program,” featuring resident cards similar to baseball cards that residents used to introduce themselves to patients and exchange information with each other about who they are. Successful Project in a Box proposals will include a tangible item delivered to the patient, such as a memento, token, or any imaginative item that aims to foster connection between the patient and resident/fellow.

Project proposals are due by April 22, 2024.

Examples of past projects have focused on increasing the patient-physician connection by engaging patients in deeper understanding of their care through education; taking part in art projects or other activities together; reducing communication barriers; and sharing personal photos, mementos, or details that create better understanding of both the patient and the physician. View the funded projects from the 2022-2024 award cycle.

To submit a proposal, visit the Back to Bedside page on the ACGME website.