Request for Proposals for Health Equity Data Lab Grants



The Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society (LFIDS) aims to adventurously collaborate on data-driven convergence research to ethically address society’s wicked problems and bridge the last mile challenge. 

LFIDS has launched the Health Equity Data Lab (HEDL) to identify and address obstacles to enable equitable community health and well-being. We will advance interdisciplinary research and translation at the intersection of health equity and data science / AI, identified through a collaborative process. HEDL will develop a comprehensive framework for co-creation and co-innovation in tackling health and healthcare equity challenges. This Lab will take a data-driven approach to address important questions like, what health inequities are measurable and also actionable to help prioritize resource allocation?

With the support of a gift from Accenture, the first undertaking for this HEDL is an initiative (“Initiative”) that works with industry and community partners that aims to have a cross disciplinary, cross industry group of companies that will collaborate and co-innovate together inclusive of Health payers, providers, health technology, retailers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical, government and community health organizations. As an inaugural activity for the Initiative, LFIDS organized a Forum that brought together leaders from industry, government, and community organizations, along with Notre Dame leadership, faculty, and staff to convene on topics of interest and help develop a charter of collaborative work towards addressing health equity gaps. This RFP is in response to the needs and challenges identified through that Forum. 

 In particular, we hope to address to following topics:

  1. Health Literacy 2.0: Responsible use of AI and Empowering the Workforce of the Future
  2. Beyond HR: Benefits to Community Organizations
  3. Precision Social Determinants of Health
  4. Health Equity Index

Successful proposals will be funded either with a postdoctoral scholar or graduate students’ support. The proposing teams will have an opportunity to work with Industry partners / healthcare systems / community organizations  to develop their ideas, and also have potential access to data from both industry and healthcare providers. 

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Health Literacy 2.0: Responsible use of AI and Empowering the Workforce of the Future. Healthcare providers collect and store large quantities of data, but they often do not have the skill sets, tools, and/or technology to utilize these data most effectively. How can we establish a universal and centralized understanding of (the biases within) common data and clinical platforms? How can AI be used responsibly to augment the current healthcare workforce and enable providers to focus on patients rather than paperwork? We invite proposals that aim to create accessible technology and/or facilitate knowledge exchange between healthcare providers and data professionals with the goal of empowering the workforce of the future.

2. Beyond HR: Benefits to Community Organizations. There is a 10% gap in access to medical coverage between high and low wage earners. The majority of employees who are most in need of health and well-being support from their employers are the least likely to be able to access them. How do we understand which employee groups utilize benefit offerings and where disparities lie? We invite proposed interventions for health literacy access, engagement, and participation and develop a framework for measuring impact to an organization and the surrounding communities.

3. Precision Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). Major companies are interested in investing in social programs for the benefit of the communities they serve. However, there is often a data gap to develop the mechanism for connecting social need to social intervention to health outcomes. We invite proposals that seek to integrate health care data with retail and local community data through an SDOH-centered approach (precise to individuals and communities) to help target actionable interventions related to SDOH elements such as nutrition and food insecurity, healthcare access, and community health challenges such as childhood lead poisoning in our local communities with measurable outcomes. Depending on the focus of the project, we may consider projects that have an international outlook, if there is a demonstrable reciprocal application in the local communities. 

4. Health Equity Data Index. Organizations and health providers want to take more proactive measures to enable their employees to manage their health (within the context of SDOH and health equity). To inform these decisions, we envision creating an annual Health Equity Data Index that combines data-driven metrics and indicators to inform corporate decision-makers of the initiatives that are most worth investing in to ensure health equity within their employee population. Proposals to identify metrics, develop models, and study the policy implications and impact of an index are encouraged. 

Award Information:

Health Equity Data grants are an opportunity for Notre Dame community members to work for up to two years towards addressing one of the Health Equity Data topics mentioned above. 

Proposers may request 1-2 graduate student salaries (commensurate with standard departmental rates) or the opportunity to recruit a co-mentored postdoctoral scholar (with LFIDS) for up to two years. Year 2 funding (must be for the same trainees) will be contingent upon significant progress in the first year made towards project milestones. The postdocs will be residential scholars at LFIDS but will work with the PIs of the successful proposals. The graduate student(s) will also be designated as LFIDS Scholars but will be resident in their home department(s). It will be mandatory for both postdoctoral scholars and students to participate in all HEDL activities. 

If the project involves significant community engagement for the PI, the proposal may ask for up to one month of summer salary. The proposal must include specific justification for this in their budget justification document. 

LFIDS will also provide support necessary for data collection and management. LFIDS will provide administrative support towards recruiting and hiring postdoctoral scholars. Postdoctoral scholars will be given office space within LFIDS and will be expected to co-locate and collaborate closely with LFIDS faculty and staff.


Primary applicants must be LFIDS faculty affiliates. Each applicant may only be a PI or Co-PI on up to two proposals. 

If you would like to become an LFIDS affiliate, please fill out this affiliation form.

Key Dates:

Proposals are due May 18, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET. Funded proposals will be announced on May 31, 2023. The funding period is anticipated to begin on June 1, 2023. 

Proposal Requirements:

  1. Cover Sheet: Proposing team, including name(s), department / affiliation, and expected contribution to the proposal (1 page).
  2. Project Description (4 pages max, single spaced, 11 pt font)
    1. Title & Abstract: one paragraph summary of your proposal, impact, and expected outcomes.
    2. Clearly stated objectives and goals in response to the four topics. 
    3. Description of your proposed approach and methods. Include background, rationale of approach, data / analytics / AI framework, validation, and also how societal outcome would be measured. References are not included in the page limit.
    4. Targeted societal impact: Who is the intended audience? Who will your proposal impact?
  3. Project Timeline and Milestones (1 page).
  4. Project Management and Engagement Plan with HEDL and the Accompanying Initiative (1 page).
  5. Budget and Budget Justification (1 page). If you have already identified a candidate (graduate student or postdoc), please provide a copy of their CV.

Selection and Award Processes:

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Responsiveness to the stated purpose of the RFP
  • Ideas for industry / community engagement
  • Potential for translational impact on society
  • Interdisciplinarity of the team
  • Engagement plan with HEDL and the accompanying Initiative

Acceptance Conditions

By accepting a grant, awardees agree to submit a final report to LFIDS at the conclusion of the award period. Foundation and grant proposals that result from these funds must be affiliated with LFIDS in Cayuse, and any publications must acknowledge Institute support. It is also expected that each team will present a summary of their progress and findings at the Annual Lucy Symposium and Health Equity Data Lab forum events.


Please direct any questions to the LFIDS Research Program Manager, Dr. Katie Liu ( If you would like to become an LFIDS Affiliate or sign up for the LFIDS mailing list and event announcements, please fill out this form.