Healthcare Safety Research (SHEPheRD)

At a glance

The Safety and Healthcare Epidemiology Prevention Research Development (SHEPheRD) Program, managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, funds research on innovative approaches to HAI prevention.


As of October 2021, CDC awarded 25 organizations across the United States the opportunity to develop and conduct research and innovative prevention projects related to safety in healthcare settings. This is the 3rd iteration of the 5-year contract mechanism, that since 2011, has provided a significant opportunity for CDC to find innovative approaches to preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial resistance across the healthcare spectrum.

These organizations bring a diverse set of skills to the field, including traditional public health partners, academic partners, healthcare systems, and small businesses, as well as organizations with special expertise in healthcare surveillance technology and laboratories that can perform advanced molecular testing. In addition, CDC will accept research proposals focused on formative research, training HAI professionals, and preventing HAIs in international low and middle income settings.

Examples of projects

  • Development and implementation of HAI research protocols and pilot studies.
  • Advancement of surveillance and health IT systems related to antimicrobial resistance and HAIs.
  • Modeling and forecasting infectious diseases and healthcare capacity to address emerging pathogens and pandemics.
  • Lab analysis of pathogens (germs) and microbial communities (germs that share a common living space) to provide information to inform prevention strategies.
  • Implementation of innovative prevention strategies in acute and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and outpatient care facilities.