The concept behind the DREAM Innovation Grant, or DIG, is simple, yet brilliant. First launched in 2010, DIG is an annual competition held among Duke Anesthesiology faculty members. Competitors submit their most innovative research ideas to a panel of judges for review. Proposals that demonstrate the perfect blend of ingenuity and practicality are selected, and winners are announced at the department’s annual alumni reception.
DIG recipients can receive up to $30,000 in seed money for their innovative pilot studies, which ultimately help them apply for and obtain extramural funding. None of the funds awarded are to pay for faculty salary or overhead expenses. This grant creates an avenue for healthy competition among faculty, inspires ingenuity, promotes the careers of young physician investigators, enhances donor communication, and furthers the department’s academic mission.
Another unique aspect of DIG is that it encourages the participation of both junior and senior faculty. DIG helps to bridge the gap between training and progression to independent investigator status.