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NOTE: Due to covid-19 finance freezes, we are unable to offer the Education Scholarship Grant process for 2021. We look forward to accepting your proposals in 2022.


The Academy of Educators (AOE) seeks proposals from AOE members for educational research grants. Resident members are encouraged to work with Faculty Primary Investigators (PIs) on proposals. We encourage proposals from individuals but will give preference to teams. Proposals must involve participants or curriculum within the UNC School of Medicine. We will prioritize proposals that seem likely to yield publications and other methods of broad dissemination to the larger academic community. We will also give preference to interdepartmental or multi-institutional proposals. Awardees will be required to present their findings at an annual research event and provide verbal and/or written updates to the AOE Leadership Council. Awardees can submit proposals for projects requiring funding between $500 and $7000.

The AOE has two grant categories:  Educational Innovations and Educational Scholarship.

Educational Innovations

Educational Innovation grants support the development of innovative educational CME, GME, or UME programs to fill curricular gaps through changes in delivery or methodology.  Educational innovation grants can also support novel pilot programs in medical education. The Educational Innovations category is not intended to provide on-going support for curriculum but rather to help create proof of principle for educational interventions. This could include significant adaptations of teaching practices that warrant testing to determine if they would accelerate achievement, improve participation, or greatly increase the efficiency of an educational project or curricula.  Educational innovations will be assessed on innovation, feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and the evaluation plan. As such, metrics that focus on objective measures of success such as improvement in skill acquisition or retention must be included as a part of the data collected. Projects that focus solely on subjective measures such as learner comfort or perception of improvement will not be funded.

Educational Scholarship

Educational Scholarship grants include evaluation of the transfer or acquisition of knowledge, attitudes or skills relevant to CME, GME, or UME programs. Educational Scholarship grants can address contemporary issues and questions in medical education and/or assess and reform the culture of medical education. The Educational Scholarship grants can investigate the impact on patient care outcomes. In thinking of medical education as a complex ecosystem, factors that can be studied include curriculum design, instructional format, learning delivery models, faculty selection and efficacy, learning environment and culture. Educational Scholarship grants will be assessed on research design and methodology, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness. As such, metrics that focus on objective measures of success such as improvement in skill acquisition or retention must be included as a part of the data collected. Projects that focus solely on subjective measures such as learner comfort or perception of improvement will not be funded.


Application & Review Process:

The AOE will convene a grant review sub-committee, and it will use NIH-style criteria to evaluate letters of intent and full applications for significance, appropriateness of research strategy, and likelihood of success.

The sub-committee may ask award recipients to modify their proposals or research questions, or to work with other award recipients on joint projects. If we make such requests, we will do so in the spirit of collaboration with the goal of generating the most valuable work for all stakeholders.

The AOE strongly encourages applicants to form multidisciplinary teams of faculty who can bring different strengths to the application, such that each application benefits from synergy.

The AOE encourages consultation with our educational scholarship experts Drs. Fei Chen or Gary Beck Dallaghan to provide guidance and critique on letters of intent. This guidance is provided solely as a service for all AOE grant application members and will have no bearing on review process or outcome.


Timeline:

We anticipate awarding the grants no later than early April of 2022 (see “important dates” below). The project should be completed and reported by April 1, 2023, so applicants should develop practical, modest, do-able projects that can be finished quickly.

Award Period:

One calendar year

Important dates:

January 2022: Release of RFP
Early February 2022: Letters of intent due; Leadership Council notifies top applicants and requests full proposals
Mid-March 2022: Full proposals due (no extensions or exceptions)
Early April 2022: Awards announced

Application Format:

The Letter of Intent (LoI) should be:

  • 1-2 pages (references and budget not included in page count)
  • Single spaced
  • Arial font, size 11

The Letter of Intent should include:

  • Title of Project
  • Team Members
  • Category of Project
  • AOE Consultants (i.e. list of AOE members who consulted on project)
  • Review of literature and background info
  • Study objectives and research question/hypothesis
  • Methods
  • Anticipated Outcomes
  • Funds and Budget
  • References

Full Applications (by invitation only, after evaluation of the LoIs) should be:

  • Limited to 5 pages
  • Single spaced
  • Arial font, size 11

Full Applications should include:

  • Abstract (150 words; does not count in page total)
  • Introduction of Topic, Research Question, and Specific Aims
  • What the research will produce (be clear about products)
  • Methods (describe fully, such that review team can clearly identify your team’s strengths and capacities)
  • Analysis and reporting plan (include publication plans)
  • References (does not count in page total)
  • Budget and Budget justification (does not count in page total)

*Note – Full Applications should address feedback provided by the review committee during the Letter of Intent stage

Funding Restrictions:

The entire budget must be devoted to actual research expenses. No PI or Co-I salary support is allowable, although proposers could ask to fund a research assistant or project manager. We cannot allow support for travel to meetings, the purchase of equipment (except for equipment dedicated to the research project) or office supplies, or anything other than any costs truly necessary for the execution of the research project. We encourage applicants to use the School’s and the University’s extant data-gathering resources and research tools.

Additional Resources:

Odum Institute

NCTracs

Sheps Center