The Innovator-in-Residence Program brings new ideas and expertise into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to tackle a critical problem of shared interest between the Department and not-for-profit organizations.
Through the program, not-for-profit organizations can sponsor a paid fellowship to be filled by an individual with a background in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Innovators-in-Residence leverage the resources and expertise of both organizations – HHS and the sponsoring organization – during their appointment to work on a critical problem of common interest to HHS and the partner organization.
History of the HHS Innovator-In-Residence Program
In 2012, the first Innovator-in-Residence partnership was established between the West Health Institute and HHS. The first Innovator-In-Residence, Pierce Graham-Jones, helped to develop and release the first set of standards for Blue Button data sharing, establish the Health Data Consortium’s Health Data Affiliates network, and assist in the development of a Million Hearts Challenge.
At the outset, the IDEA Lab works with the IIR, his/her supervisor (the sponsor), and designated HHS mentors to develop a project concept and establish project goals that are mutually agreed upon.
Innovators-in-Residence are employees of the sponsor organization and participate in government activities through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). The IPA enables the exchange of talent between government and organizations for a wide array of practices. If an organization has not previously participated in an IPA employee exchange with HHS, an application is submitted and reviewed for approval before the project is started.
What Do the Application and Selection Process Look Like?
Step 1: Sponsoring organization proposes to the HHS IDEA Lab a common area of interest in which the Innovator-In-Residence would focus.
Step 2: HHS and the sponsoring organization finalize an agreement.
Step 3: The HHS IDEA Lab and the sponsoring organization solicit applications for the position.
Step 4: Applicants are reviewed by the HHS IDEA Lab and sponsoring organization. Together, the HHS IDEA Lab and sponsoring organization make a final selection.