Intuitive Surgical Clinical Robotics Fellowships

Intuitive Surgical Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of grants to support Clinical Robotic Fellowships for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Purpose: The purpose of this grant program is to support clinical work and research in the field of robotics. The Clinical Robotics Fellowship grant program has changed for fellowship programs located within the United States for certain specialties.  Intuitive Surgical is funding certain robotic fellowship grants through neutral clearinghouses for the application, review, selection and support of surgical fellowships which are not directly linked to commercial concerns.

* Requests for fellowships to support Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)/ Bariatric / Hepatobiliary/ Thoracic / and Colorectal fellowships should apply for funding through The Foundation for Surgical Fellowships (FSF).
* Requests for fellowships to support Gynecologic fellowships should apply for funding through the  American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL).

All Fellowships located outside of the United States and fellowships located in the Unites States for the following specialties (cardiac, OHNS and urogyn) can apply for funding through Intuitive Surgical Clinical Robotics Fellowship grant program.   Awards are conferred on a competitive basis by submission of a grant application.

Available Grants: The grant amount for each fellowship is $62,500 for the 2017-2018 academic year. The grant monies are to be used to support fellow salary, benefits and travel. Programs supporting the following clinical areas are strongly encouraged to apply: Colorectal, General Surgery, Thoracic.
Grant Guidelines: Institutions with programs which meet the following guidelines are eligible to apply for the Clinical Robotic Fellowship program:

  1. Applicant institutions must have an active robotic surgical program and use the da Vinci surgical system.
  2. Applicant institutions must have an adequate clinical robotic volume to support training a fellow to the level of an independent robotic surgeon upon completion.
  3. Fellows are expected to spend a minimum of 10-15% of their time in research activities.
  4. Applicant institutions must provide a clinical curriculum with clearly defined goals and objectives and evaluation methods.
  5. Fellowship applications must be submitted by the institution, we do not accept applications submitted by a surgical fellow.

Selection Process: Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent to Propose (LOI) as detailed below. Grant LOIs will be reviewed and ranked by an internal selection committee. Those LOIs meeting a predetermined scoring threshold will be invited to submit a full Fellowship grant application. All initial Letters of Intent to propose, as well as invited full grant applications will be reviewed by the ISI Clinical Robotic Fellowship Grant Committee and scored on the following criteria:

  1. Sufficient clinical robotic work to support a Clinical Robotic Fellowship
  2. Sufficient opportunity and resources for research (fellows are expected to spend a minimum of 10-15% of their time in research activities)
  3. Sufficient mentoring to enable the fellow to meet his/her clinical and research goals
  4. Strength of Goals and Objectives
  5. Adequate Evaluation methods
  6. Strength of Curriculum

Letters of intent and full grant applications will be handled in a confidential manner and will not be distributed beyond the selection committee at Intuitive Surgical. Due to the expected volume of proposals, we regret that the committee will not be able to provide detailed individualized feedback for unsuccessful proposals.

Letter of Intent Guidelines: A letter of intent to propose should be submitted by all grant applicants. Submissions will consist of a brief description of each of the following 6 aspects of the proposed program:

  1. Goal(s) of the fellowship
  2. Overview of the strengths of the fellowship
  3. A list of surgeons with whom fellow will work
  4. Robotic clinical volume at institution for the past 12 months
  5. Total number and types of surgical procedures you anticipate the fellow will perform during the fellowship
  6. Brief description of the research opportunities for the fellow

The fellowship director should submit curriculum vitae with the Letter of Intent to Propose.

Click here to submit a letter of intent on-line for the Clinical Robotic Fellowship Grant.

Deadlines: The deadline for Letters of Intent is August 15, 2016. Invitations to submit full fellowship grant applications will be sent by September 9, 2016. (This invitation will include fellowship grant application guidelines and forms).

 The deadline for submission for the full fellowship grant application is November 4, 2016. Only complete application packets will be considered.  Awardees will be notified by December 17, 2016. Grant monies must be used to support fellow salary expenses during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Grant Conditions:

* ISI strongly encourages institutions who have not previously received funding from the company to apply.
*Institutions outside of the United States are encouraged to apply.
* Priority weighting will be given to programs in emerging robotic specialties, not to surgical specialties where there are already significant established numbers of procedures.
* Multiple fellowships will not be funded simultaneously to any fellowship director.
* Multiple fellowship grants to the same institution for fellowships in different specialties will be considered.
* The fellowship grant monies are for 12 months only and must be used in the 2017-2018 academic year. The fellowship cannot be postponed.
* All applicants selected to receive a grant are required to submit a one-page mid-year progress report, as well as a final status report that includes:

1. List of all research activities accomplished by the Robotics Fellow during training
2. Number of robotic cases in which the Robotics Fellow participated including summary of types of cases
3. Overall evaluation of the Robotics Fellowship by the Robotics Fellow and the fellowship director
4. Accounting of how the Robotics Fellowship funds were utilized

* If the funded fellowship does not take place, all monies awarded will be refunded to Intuitive Surgical. If the project is terminated early, then a partial refund, with an accounting of the funds expended up to the termination date, will be provided by the Principal Investigator. Any unused funds as of December 31, 2018 will be refunded to Intuitive Surgical.

To submit a letter of intent, use our on-line application process 
Click here to submit a letter of intent on-line for the Clinical Robotic Fellowship Grant.

Please email with questions regarding the grant process.  If you do not have email access, please send a hardcopy of your letter of intent to:

Dale Bergman
Project Manager, Medical Research
Intuitive Surgical, Inc
1266 Kifer Road, Bldg. 102
Sunnyvale, CA 94086