UF W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Awards

Info and RequirementsCurrent Award WinnersPast Winners


The University of Florida W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Awards Program is cosponsored by the UF College of Medicine Continuing Medical Education and the UF Self-Insurance Program (SIP). This program provides start-up support for faculty and staff to design and implement projects focused on reducing the likelihood of adverse events or claims and/or patient safety and clinical process improvements. Projects selected for funding may also address national initiatives such as the Partnership for Patients, CMS improvement programs, and IHI and NQF initiatives. Topic-specific calls for project proposals will be made by the program periodically, in response to demonstrated quality and safety enhancement opportunities; however, unsolicited Letters of Interest (LOI) are also accepted on an ongoing basis.

Project requirements:

Smith Awards-funded projects must plan and implement clinical education and process improvement initiatives designed to directly improve patient safety and clinical processes that enhance the delivery of care and minimize the opportunity for claims and litigation.

Supported projects must include plans for strong improvement implementation and evaluation of the educational intervention and process improvement effort on the relevant issue(s). In addition, projects must include a UF CME-accredited educational program and identify at least one additional anticipated objective for results to be shared in a broader peer-reviewed context, e.g., journal publication or presentation to local, national, or international forum. Any published material resulting from the project must be provided to the Smith Awards program.

Special consideration will be given to applications that include the following features:

  1. Interdisciplinary components, including physicians, residents, nurses, and other health care workers.
  2. Applicable across the educational continuum, including faculty, resident, student, and post-graduate continuing medical education components.
  3. Demonstrates sustainability after completion of the project support period and potential for expansion to other locations.
  4. Potential to serve as a foundation for further funded research.

Award amounts:

Most Smith Awards projects will be in the amount of $25,000 or less over the life of the project.

Project duration:

12 to 24 months.

Award cycles:

The selection committee meets twice a year, in February and November. Project proposals may be submitted via a “Letter of Interest” form (located in the upper left hand corner under Smith Awards Forms) to SIPSmith@sip.ufl.edu. If selected to proceed further, the Principal Investigator or designee will be contacted by an Award Program Administrator. Candidates who submit proposals between February 15 and November 14 will be contacted by the program on or before the last business day of November. Candidates who submit proposals between November 15 and February 14 will be contacted by the program on or before the last business day of February.

Award agreement:

Awardees are required to sign an Award Agreement prior to commencing the approved project.

Eligible applicants:

All faculty, employees, staff, residents, fellow, and students of the University of Florida Health colleges and at UF Health Shands in Gainesville and Jacksonville are invited to submit Letters of Interest.

Budget information:

Smith Awards may be used to support a variety of project-related items, including consumables, data analysis, and limited FTE support. They may not be used to offset capital budget expenses or support expenditures which should be submitted through the regular budget process, such as clinical equipment. Awards monies may not be used to support new FTE lines, existing FTE salaries, or ongoing expense commitments that extend beyond the grant period. The use of Smith Awards funds will be limited to those expense items listed in the Awards request budget. Proposed Travel budget expenses to conferences should only be budgeted for accepted peer-reviewed activities on completed projects, with the total amount limited to $5,000 or less. It is also important to follow State and UF Travel requirements, which can be found at: http://www.fa.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/TravelBrochure1.pdf

IRB submission:

Smith Awards projects will frequently require data collection involving human subjects (e.g., students, residents, faculty, patients, etc.). Human subject research is subject to review and approval by the UF Health Science Center IRB. Unless your submitted proposal meets the definition of a CQI project, Smith Awards projects approved for funding must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiating the project.

For answers to common questions about “When is CQI Research?” click here: http://irb.ufl.edu/irb01/researcher-information/quality-improvement-projects-vs-research.html

Many projects will likely qualify for either exempt or expedited review by the IRB, which means they can be reviewed by the Chair or Vice Chairs and do not have to be reviewed by the full Board.

To avoid federal regulation compliance issues, we suggest that the Gainesville campus contact Peter Iafrate, Chair of the IRB, at 352-273-9600 and in Jacksonville contact Sheila Austin, Administrative Coordinator of the IRB, at 904-244-9427 who will advise you about which IRB category your project falls into, the proper IRB forms you need to complete, and to whom to submit it to. It is highly recommended that you contact the IRB Chair when you have completed your award proposal, or even before, to get a head start on the IRB process and minimize any potential for delay.

Project reports:

Awardees must provide brief quarterly progress updates and a final project report at the end of the project support period. Due dates for progress reports will be determined once IRB approval is obtained. IRB approval is required prior to release of funds (see IRB Submission). Progress report schedules will be provided to you by an Awards Program Administrator once notification has been received that funds are released and available for access. Ongoing funding is contingent on the receipt of these progress reports. Principal Investigators may be required to present project progress at various UF Health enterprise forums. Please submit completed quarterly progress reports and any final reports to the responsible contacts noted below.


For more information, please contact Laurie Brown or Francys Martin at (352) 273-7006, or email SIPSmith@sip.ufl.edu.


Application Forms:

Letter of Interest Form

Smith Awards Application

Required Reports:

Quarterly Progress Report

Final Report Form

The Smith Award recipients were notified of their acceptance
on January 25th, 2016.

Principal Investigator: Azra Bihorac, MD MS, her project is titled Automated algorithm identifies and communicates risk of acute kidney injury among health care providers and patients.

Other Team Members:

Principal Investigator:  Mariam Louis, MD, her project is titled Minimizing Post-Operative Risk in Patients with Moderate-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Other Team Members:
July 2015
January 2015
July 2014
January 2014
July 2013
January 2013
July 2012
January 2012