2019 Health Section Research Annual Request For Proposals

Announcement of the Society of Actuaries’ Health Research Funding Opportunity

Purpose and overall process

The Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Health Section Research Committee announces its 2019 health research funding to support health actuaries in their daily work responsibilities and advance knowledge in health actuarial science research. Intended audiences may include non-actuarial stakeholders such as other health care finance professionals and the public.

This document describes the process for submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) and then if invited, a full Proposal. The first step in the process is the LOI submission only. The LOI will be reviewed and a decision will be made as to whether there is interest in receiving a full proposal. Applicants should not submit proposals unless an invitation is received after the LOI is reviewed. 

Who may apply

Individuals and teams may apply. LOIs are expected to come from:

  1. consulting firms
  2. individual practitioners, often where the research project is not part of their employment
  3. individual academics and academic institutions
  4. professional research organizations and other non-profit institutions
  5. partnerships of the above

LOIs from other types of entities will also be considered. 

Teams may find it helpful to have both practitioner and academic researchers involved in the LOI.  Such partnerships are encouraged. Graduate and undergraduate students are not eligible to apply individually but may be part of a team in one of the above categories.

Selection criteria and topics of interest

Projects are primarily intended to be practical in nature and of immediate use to applicable audiences. Theoretical projects may also be considered depending on the relevancy of a topic to current health care issues.  A key criterion for the Health Section is that the project should have the potential to significantly benefit health actuarial practitioners.

Health topics of interest include:

  1. Current health care reform initiatives
  2. Public health issues
  3. Analysis of pharmaceutical costs and future projections
  4. Long and Short Term Disability product costs and experience
  5. Provider payments
  6. Population health
  7. Measurement of outcomes or quality

Conditions

The Health Section Research Committee will appoint Project Oversight Groups (POG) to oversee funded projects.  The Health Section Research Committee is responsible for recommending the proposals to be funded.  Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, but the Health Section Research Committee will make the final recommendation, subject to SOA leadership approval. The SOA's Research Actuary will provide staff actuarial support. 

The selection of a proposal is conditioned upon and not considered final until a Letter of Agreement is executed by both the Society of Actuaries and the researcher.

The Society of Actuaries reserves the right to not award a contract for this research. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The Society of Actuaries also reserves the right to redirect a project as is deemed advisable.

The Society of Actuaries plans to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s).

The Society of Actuaries may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the Society of Actuaries in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The Society of Actuaries may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties.  You agree to perform promotional communication requested by the Society of Actuaries, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, presenting the research at a Society of Actuaries meeting, and/or writing an article on the research for a Society of Actuaries newsletter.

Letter of Intent to propose

Interested parties must submit a brief Letter Of Intent (LOI) providing the proposed title, a description of the research project and how it might be used by practicing health actuaries now or in the future, a description of whether a literature review has been undertaken and its findings, a rough estimate of the funding requirements, the ability of the applicant(s) to access any data needed,  and the qualifications (including any actuarial designations and any relevant experience in industry) of the applicant(s). LOIs should be no more than 2 pages, with no less than 1-inch margins, no less than 11-point font, and no less than a space and a half. Quality of writing in the LOI will be a decision factor. Letters should be submitted to Barbara Scott, bscott@soa.org, by October 15, 2018. Decisions on whether an applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal based on the LOI will be communicated by December 1, 2018. 

Proposals

If you are invited to submit a full proposal as a result of your LOI, please include in the proposal the items listed above for the LOI plus a thorough description of your research, the purpose of your research, and a description of other research or literature that your research may build upon. The budget should be reasonable and justifiable. Proposals are due by February 1, 2019.

Awards

Funding awards will be announced by March 15, 2019, upon completion of proposal reviews. 

Questions to

Steven Siegel, SOA Research Actuary, ssiegel@soa.org