Our Foundation

Clinical Innovation Fund

Supporting innovative research to address clinical issues in organ and tissue transplantation.

Mid-America Transplant Foundation's Clinical Innovation Fund (CIF) supports research projects seeking to improve the lifesaving impact of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Through the CIF, we are investing in research that could reduce the need for organ and tissue donation and help hundreds and thousands of people waiting for lifesaving transplants.

Areas of Interest

The CIF is focused on supporting innovative research that will address clinical issues in the area of organ and/or tissue transplantation that will have a measurable impact in the field. Research proposals submitted should address the following: reduce the need for organ and tissue transplantation; increase the availability of organs and tissue for transplantation; and achieve better health and financial outcomes for transplant recipients.

For the 2024 awards cycle, special consideration will be given to applications addressing an increase in organ utilization, specifically: deceased donor management research and DCD organ utilization; decreasing kidney discard rates; and increasing the utilization of marginal or extended criteria organs. The Foundation is also interested in applications focused on bioengineering and regenerative medicine initiatives that will impact the field of organ and tissue transplantation.

At this time, the Foundation is not accepting applications in the following areas: national, multi-centered studies, living donation, or applications from outside the donation service area (DSA) of Mid-America Transplant.

Types of Research

The National Institutes of Health defines “clinical research” as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual.

Clinical research includes:

  • Patient-oriented research: This type of research involves a particular person or group of people, or uses materials from humans. This research can include 1) mechanisms of human disease, 2) therapeutic interventions, 3) clinical trials, and 4) development of new technologies.
  • Outcomes and health services research: These studies seek to identify the most effective and most efficient interventions, treatments, and services.

Award Amounts

Grants will be made up to $150,000 per year for three years. Total awards will not exceed $450,000 over a three-year period.


Nonprofit corporations that are exempt from Federal income tax under provisions of section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code are eligible to participate. At this time, nonprofit corporations must be located in Mid-America Transplant’s designated service area (DSA) which consists of 84 counties and the City of St. Louis. 

Costs Allowed

Permitted costs include salary and fringe benefits for Principal Investigator, key personnel, and other essential personnel, equipment and supplies, publications and miscellaneous costs, contract services, and travel expenses. Indirect costs of 15 percent are permitted. These are defined as facility and administrative cost.

Letter of Inquiry

To initiate the application process, download the Letter of Inquiry and submit to Haley Ormsby by Friday, February 9, 2024 at 5 p.m. CST. Email to  hormsby@midamericatransplant.org. Applicants will be notified of their status in February 2024. Full applications will be due Friday, March 22, 2024. Notifications of the awards will be issued in June 2024.