The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics (DBHi) has developed highly valued informatics competencies to support its primary goal of enabling data for research. Certain aspects of our informatics portfolio are in constant high demand, necessitating a centrally managed approach while retaining and promoting our ideal as an independent innovator within an academically focused center.

DBHi achieves this by collaborating on projects that align with our long-term emphasis on enrichment, development, and personnel growth. In addition to the many intangibles that influence our decision to contribute to a project, there are additional attributes that indicate high value to DBHi, collaborative researchers, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the CHOP Research Institute. Many of these attributes are those that typically underlie effectiveness for any academic organization’s cross-departmental collaborations. We provide these here as a guideline to potential research partners of our desired approach and general principles.

Attributes that Align with DBHi Core Principles

  • Acknowledgement of DBHi as an independent decision-maker and voluntary participant
  • Incorporation of contributing DBHi personnel into the “research team”
  • Respect for DBHi leadership in managing our research portfolio and personnel
  • Timely transparency in progress, challenges, issue resolution, and achievements for projects
  • Appropriate professional acknowledgement of contributing project members
  • Acknowledgement and action ensuring that funding reflects true effort
  • Effective deadline management both for grant preparation and the research itself
  • Projects demanding a substantial amount of informatics activity
  • Projects requiring development of new analytical and/or technology approaches
    As DBHi continues to develop, we look forward to collaborating with researchers on projects that fundamentally benefit the PI, DBHi, and the institution, and we will necessarily prioritize our participation to these projects.

Memorandum of Understanding for DBHi collaborations

Collaborations with DBHi should be expected to adhere to the following principles:

  • To delineate accountability, DBHi-associated faculty should be appropriately provided the opportunity to serve as lead and/or co-lead of funding opportunities, and project roles should be discussed and generally agreed to before commencement of study activities
  • To align interests, the DBHi Director or a designated DBHi faculty member should pre-approve any the placement of any DBHi individual on a grant, or inclusion on a study team for any significant effort
  • To ensure appropriate resource allocation and bandwidth, DBHi key personnel should be provided with at least a two month advance notification for significant participation in any RFA and other grant opportunities, unless made impossible due to the timing of the opportunity notification, in which case the lead time notification is maximized to the greatest extent possible
  • To promote career development, DBHi personnel associated with a project should be afforded the opportunity to lead collaborative and supplied informatics activities for a project as appropriate
  • To maximize teamwork, DBHi should receive full and adequate knowledge of all activities relating to a collaboration, with full transparency and appropriate access rights for all approved DBHi project personnel
  • To ensure communication, periodic project meetings should be conducted throughout the project period, with active participation by all project key personnel
  • To promote transparency, project tasks, milestones, activities, achievements, and output should be fully documented, refreshed on a continual basis, and readily accessible to all study personnel
  • For academic fairness, DBHi faculty and staff should be fully and appropriately attributed to academic output (e.g., manuscripts, abstracts) and other dissemination of results (e.g., IP filings presentations), as stipulated by the ICMJE (, and in adherence with CHOP and Penn academic policies
  • For integrity, collaboration activities should be performed with strict adherence to CHOP and Penn codes of conduct regarding research collaborations
  • In recognition of the Center’s core research mission, DBHi maintains a right of first refusal on projects that do not expressly align with DBHi strategic goals, objectives, or capacity; with arbitration by the CHOP CSO or designee, as required for rare projects deemed by a potential collaborator to be of critical importance to the institution