Department of Medicine 2016 Tech Challenge

New Uses of Information Technology to Advance the Missions of the Department of Medicine


UCSF’s excellence and reputation will be increasingly determined by our ability to use technology to enhance and transform our work across all of our missions and sites. As the largest department in the School of Medicine, DOM’s success in this area will have a strong impact on that of UCSF overall. This program is designed to generate ideas to improve the use of technology in our department. The two ideas with the greatest chance to have a positive impact on our missions will receive up to $75,000 in support.

The Challenge

The UCSF Department of Medicine is sponsoring awards to faculty, staff, and trainees for proposals for IT-related interventions that have a positive impact on our mission, our patients, and our work environment. This technology (or new process or program that takes advantage of IT in new ways) must be implementable by December 31, 2016.

Phase One:

In phase one of this project, we would like to hear as many ideas as we can from our faculty, trainees, and staff. Anyone can submit an idea (or multiple ideas) – big or small – described in one page or less in any of the following areas: research, education, clinical service, administrative processes, and personal technology (social media). You do not need to plan to submit a proposal for implementation, but others may create a proposal based on your idea. Budget estimates will not be required during the initial submission phase. All ideas are due by December 14, 2015, and should be submitted to UCSF Open Proposals at All submitters of ideas that have at least three “likes” on Open Proposals will receive a$10 gift card (limit one per person), so invite your colleagues to “like” and comment on your idea/s. In the case of duplicate ideas, only the first submitted will be considered, so be sure to send your idea/s early! People submitting the ten best ideas will each receive a $75 gift card.

Phase Two:

The submitters of the 4-5 top ideas will be invited to submit a second, more detailed proposal. If the submitters do not have the capacity to develop a proposal, the ideas will be opened up to the entire department for specific proposals for implementation. The two best proposals will receive Departmental support of up to $75,000 (with additional support for app or website development, if necessary). Selection of the two winners will be made no later than March 15, 2016. Winners will also potentially receive additional support (financial and/or operational) from the CTSI’s Catalyst program, or UCSF’s Health eHeart study.

Project Support

Project support is limited to a period of nine months, from April 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Support is not renewable. Funding may include support for the project leader, depending on the scope of the project. Personnel support limits are as follows:

Faculty - Up to 10% salary support 

Staff - Up to 10% stipend 

Trainee - Up to 10% stipend

All costs in the budget must be reasonable and comply with UCSF standards.


UCSF Department of Medicine faculty, staff or trainees in any series.

Review Criteria

Project proposals will be assessed according to the following desired results:

  • Potential to measurably improve clinical service, education, research, administrative processes, or have a positive impact through social media
  • Potential for scaling the intervention within and beyond UCSF
  • Feasibility of implementation on or before December 31, 2016


The UCSF Department of Medicine’s Chair’s Council will review all proposals and select the finalists. For those proposals potentially eligible for additional support from CTSI, the Center for Digital Health Innovation, or Health-e-Heart, there may be an additional review from leaders of those programs.

Requirements of Awardees

Each funded proposal is required to have a bi-monthly progress check-in with the DOM Strategic Planning Project Manager, and submit an end-of-project report, describing the program, the successes and learnings, the sustainability, and any resulting publications or funding. Progress reports may be posted on this Open Proposal site to share with the DOM community.


  • Nov 10-Dec 16: Phase One: Open Submission of Ideas
    • Submit your idea or proposal
    • Comment on other proposals
    • Improve your proposal based on others' feedback
  • Jan 2016: Selection of Finalists
  • Feb - Mar 2016: Phase Two: Submission of Detailed Proposals
  • Mar 15, 2016: Selection of Two Winning Projects
  • Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2016: Implementation of Awarded Projects

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