What is the Clinical Needs Competition?

The Biodesign and Innovation Committee of the SIR Medical Student Council is hosting the first annual Clinical Needs Competition, where students are challenged to identify and articulate pitfalls in the current healthcare delivery paradigm. Teams will begin by submitting a written proposal document outlining an identified clinical need. From these proposals, 5 finalists will be selected by an evaluation committee composed of IR Residents, Fellows, Attendings, and other biodesign experts. These finalists will be given the opportunity to present their proposal via video presentation at the biggest conference in IR, SIR 2021.

Reasons to Participate:

  • ● Gain exposure to the process of need identification and biodesign and innovation through a case-based approach
  • ● Develop strong relationships with attendings on your team, potentially continuing with the project in next year’s SIR Biodesign Competition
  • ● Chance to speak and present at the biggest stage in IR: SIR 2021!


  • December 15, 2020

    ● Proposal Submission form opens

  • November 1, 2020

    ● Registration opens

    ● Generating Clinical Needs module emailed with registration.

  • February 1, 2021

    ● First Round submission deadline

    ● Upload up to 2-page written proposal

  • February 1, 2021 - February 15, 2021

    ● Team submissions due

  • March 10, 2021

    ● Final Round Submission Deadline

Proposal Guidelines:

Each proposal should be a written document that encompasses the following sections. (max 2 pages)

  • Defining the IR problem: What is the issue for the clinician and/or patient that you want to address? Again, it may be an assessment, treatment or information system area.
  • Current approaches, including deficiencies in the approaches: explain what is currently done for the identified problem. Why isn't it sufficient?
  • Perceived clinical impact of improvements: What are the potential benefits of a successful solution to this problem?
  • Feasibility of improvements/innovations: Is addressing the identified problem achievable given the current state of technology?

Resources for Teams:

Identifying an IR Mentor
  • ● From your own institution.
  • ● Find IR Mentor via SIR Mentor Connect
  • ● Ask us! We have IR attendings and residents to match you with for mentorship.
  • ● Consider having faculty in engineering and/or entrepreneurship to mentor your team in addition to your IR mentor.
Online Resources
  • ● Stanford Biodesign Book Companion
  • ● NSF I-Corps
Self-Paced Modules
  • ● One-page modules outlining clinical need finding methods will be made available to teams between check ins leading up to final submission as outlined below.
  • ○ Generating Clinical Needs
  • ○ Critiquing Clinical Needs
  • ○ Selecting & Presenting Clinical Needs