Smart and Connected Health (SCH)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The goal of the interagency Smart and Connected Health (SCH): Connecting Data, People and Systems program is to accelerate the development and integration of innovative computer and information science and engineering approaches to support the transformation of health and medicine. Approaches that partner technology-based solutions with biomedical and biobehavioral research are supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of this program is to develop next-generation multidisciplinary science that encourages existing and new research communities to focus on breakthrough ideas in a variety of areas of value to health, such as networking, pervasive computing, advanced analytics, sensor integration, privacy and security, modeling of socio-behavioral and cognitive processes and system and process modeling. Effective solutions must satisfy a multitude of constraints arising from clinical/medical needs, barriers to change, heterogeneity of data, semantic mismatch and limitations of current cyberphysical systems and an aging population. Such solutions demand multidisciplinary teams ready to address issues ranging from fundamental science and engineering to medical and public health practice.

The SCH program:

  • takes a coordinated approach that balances theory with evidenced-based analysis and systematic advances with revolutionary breakthroughs;
  • seeks cross-disciplinary collaborative research that will lead to new fundamental insights; and
  • encourages empirical validation of new concepts through research prototypes, ranging from specific components to entire systems.

The purpose of this interagency program solicitation is to support the development of technologies, analytics and models supporting next generation health and medical research through high-risk, high-reward advances in computer and information science, engineering and technology, behavior and cognition. Collaborations between academic, industry, and other organizations are strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science, medicine and healthcare practice and technology development, deployment and use. This solicitation is aligned with national reports calling for new partnerships to facilitate major changes in health and medicine, as well as healthcare delivery and is aimed at the fundamental research to enable these changes. Realizing the promise of disruptive transformation in health, medicine and/or healthcare will require well-coordinated, multi-disciplinary approaches that draw from the computer and information sciences, engineering, social, behavioral, cognitive and economic sciences, biomedical and health research. Only Integrative proposals (INT) spanning up to 4 years with multi-disciplinary teams will be considered in response to this solicitation.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: December 11, 2019; December 11, Annually Thereafter

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

An investigator may participate as Principal Investigator (PI), co-Principal Investigator (co-PI), Project Director (PD), Senior Personnel or Consultant in no more than two proposals submitted in response to this solicitation. These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation may not duplicate or be substantially similar to other proposals concurrently under consideration by NSF or NIH programs or study sections. Duplicate or substantially similar proposals will be returned without review. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past 37 months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

  • To an NIH Requests for Applications (RFA) of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an NIH investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an NIH application with a changed grant activity code.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 16 per year, subject to the availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,000,000 to $20,000,000 will be invested in proposals submitted to this solicitation in FY 2018, subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the proposals received.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

December 11, 2019