2024 Innovation Fund: Request for Proposals

We are at a critical inflection point in our efforts to eliminate health inequities. Across the conditions that our medicines treat, there are significant barriers for patients at every point in the care journey. Often, these unjust and avoidable barriers are the result of systemic racism, and cannot be overcome by individual behavior change alone.

At Genentech, we prioritize health equity in everything we do – from clinical study design to our access/policy priorities to our philanthropic investments. That’s why, in 2019, we launched the Genentech Health Equity Innovation Fund to catalyze efforts to eliminate inequities in patient health outcomes. Through the 2024 Innovation Fund, we are seeking to fund teams focused on measurably and sustainably closing racial/ethnic inequities in healthcare to create a future where:

  • All patients – especially those marginalized by our healthcare system – define and attain their highest levels of health supported by a system that is accountable for delivering high-quality competent care.
  • The medical/scientific workforce is diverse, inclusive, thriving and accountable to all patients.

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RFP Outcomes

Below are the high-level outcomes we invited applications for, and examples of projects that would advance progress towards those outcomes. Note: These examples should not be considered an exhaustive list of the kinds of programs Genentech will consider.


1) Increasing rates of screening and diagnosis while promoting care continuity

  • Community-driven approaches that not only raise disease awareness but also enable community members to address the structural barriers to screening with their partners (e.g., policymakers, healthcare organizations, public health agencies)
  • Team-based (clinical and non-clinical, such as CHWs and navigators) and patient-engaged approaches to promote continuity at each stage of the patient journey (from awareness to ongoing care and beyond), based on a comprehensive understanding of patients' clinical and social needs and community-based assets

2) Widening the capacity and accessibility of specialty care services and linkages to critical non-clinical services

  • Models to deepen the integration of primary care and specialty care services and promote shared accountability between providers
  • Delivery of integrated services with community-based organizations and human services providers
  • Community-engaged processes to reduce social risk factors and address patients' health-related social needs

3) Enhancing the quality, safety, and experience of care for patients and promoting adherence and satisfaction

  • Building practical capabilities among physicians and other clinicians to address the root causes of unequal treatment in care (e.g., through improvement science)
  • Participatory processes with communities for service design and delivery
  • Embedding personalized care into clinical policy and practice, marrying a comprehensive understanding of racism in outcomes with the delivery of evidence-based care (e.g., biomarker testing)

4) Shifting institutional and system-wide policies and practices to deepen long-term accountability for equity

  • Redesigning payment policies to incentivize improved access to high-quality providers across specialties and geographic shortage areas
  • Enhancing and sustaining the resourcing of safety net providers (e.g., through innovative financing or reimbursement mechanisms that enhance equity and clinical quality)

5) Increased training program capacity and matriculation/completion rates for practitioners/clinicians* who are underrepresented in medicine and clinical care delivery (with a priority on specialty care)

*Practitioners/clinicians may include a variety of healthcare practitioners that support a multi-disciplinary care team (e.g,. specialty care, community health workers, nurse practitioners, and other allied healthcare professionals)

  • Programs that allow medical schools and other training programs (e.g., nursing) to expand their capacity to train more students, support policy change related to training capacity or pilot more expansive models for medical school education
  • Policy and practice changes that address/mitigate opportunities for bias and structural inequities in faculty assessments of residents, reducing dismissals of clinicians/trainees of color
  • Advancements in industry-wide mechanisms that address barriers to entry for clinicians that are underrepresented in medicine and clinical care delivery and hold training institutions accountable to care for and retain trainees of color

6) Increased retention, reduced turnover and increased satisfaction of physicians, researchers* and clinical support staff

*Researchers may include clinician scientists, clinical trial coordinators and more

  • Programs that provide mentorship, advocacy, networks and community development designed to help diverse groups of clinicians thrive, grow and lead 
  • Systems of accountability for the growth and development of practitioners/clinicians of color, efforts to mitigate the “minority tax” imposed on students and faculty of color
  • Evidence generation and activation on efforts to inform strengthened student or trainee advocacy networks to build inclusive communities and effectively advocate for change

For the 2024 Innovation Fund, we sought applications that bring a systemic lens to this work, cutting across multiple outcomes with a focus on root causes. We were specifically interested in seeking applications that address inequities in patient outcomes and healthcare workforce experiences in the following areas:

  • Neuroscience and brain health, including but not limited to multiple sclerosis
  • Oncology, including but not limited to breast, lung and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • Ophthalmology, including but not limited to diabetic macular edema
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic disease, including but not limited to diabetes, hypertension and obesity

Application Process & Timeline

Initial applications for the 2024 Innovation Fund are now closed. Please visit funding.gene.com to learn about our open funding opportunities.

Executive Advisory Group

We brought together the following Genentech advisors to support the aims of the Innovation Fund by providing strategic input and guidance on the RFP process, reviewing and providing input on high-potential applications, and informing the design of the Innovation Fund Learning Cohort.

Sonali Chopra, MPH, MBA
Executive Director, Alliance and Advocacy Relations Team

Rajni Dronamraju
Senior Director and Head of Giving and Social Impact

Jennifer Kim, PharmD
US Head Ophthalmology Squad Leader

Shalini V. Mohan, MD
Head, Health Equity and Inclusive Research, U.S. Medical Affairs

Nicole Richie, PhD
Vice President, Portfolio & People Leader

Suzie Tam Porter, JD
Vice President, Channel and Contract Management

Erica Taylor, PhD
Chief Marketing Officer

Pierre Theodore, MD
Head of Patient Inclusion and Health Equity