National Board of Medical Examiners Edward J. Stemmler, MD, Medical Education Research Fund (“The Stemmler Fund”) 2013-2014 Call for Letters of Intent
The goal of the Stemmler Fund’s 2013-2014 Call for Letters of Intent (CFLOI) is to provide support, through a program of annual grants, for research or development of innovative assessment approaches which will enhance the evaluation of those preparing to, or continuing to, practice medicine. Expected outcomes include advances in the theory, knowledge, or practice of assessment at any point along the continuum of medical education, from undergraduate and graduate education and training, through practice.
Pilot and more comprehensive projects are both of interest. Collaborative investigations within or among institutions are not only eligible but encouraged, particularly as they strengthen the likelihood of the project’s contribution and success.
The eligible applicants for Stemmler Fund grant awards are the medical schools accredited by the LCME or the AOA. Additional eligibility requirements include:
-- The number of Letters of Intent submitted by any eligible school is not limited. However, an individual may not be principal investigator on more than one Letter of Intent. The designated principal investigator must represent the primary applicant institution and must be responsible for project oversight and reporting. (The applicant institution’s rules apply regarding eligibility of their faculty, staff, or associates to serve as investigators.)
-- A maximum of two applications representing a revised Letter of Intent previously submitted to the Fund program will be accepted by the NBME. That is, applications addressing the same substantive study topic by the same investigators may be submitted for Fund consideration no more than a total of three times.
-- The primary investigators of prior Fund grants are eligible to reapply and compete (with new applicants) for one additional award through the Stemmler Fund Call for Letters of Intent for the same line of study. Current award recipients are eligible to compete again only if any current NBME support is expected to terminate satisfactorily by the beginning of the 2013-2014 project period (usually around July 1, 2014).
In the 2013-2014 cycle, applicants may request up to $150,000 of NBME funding support for a project period of up to two years. While a detailed budget should not be submitted as part of the Letter of Intent, applicants are required to include estimates of funding requested and project length on the application cover sheet submitted as part of the Letter of Intent process, and should be prepared to provide a detailed budget and descriptive narrative if they are invited to submit a full proposal.
Although only a budget estimate should be included in Letters of Intent, applicants who wish to be prepared to submit an Invited Proposal should consider the following regarding funds requested from NBME:
-- Both pilot and more comprehensive or large-scale studies which meet the Stemmler Fund’s goals are eligible; the amount of funds requested should reflect the scale of the proposed project.
-- A request for support, to purchase or lease equipment or for travel, is acceptable if the request has a unique
association with the proposed project, is required to meet project aims, and represents a limited portion of the total request.
-- The institutional administrative costs requested for each year of the proposed project is limited to 10% of the total direct costs requested for each year. As an example, $68,180 (direct) + $6,818 (admin) = an annual NBME request of $74,998.
1. All submitted Letters of Intent will be reviewed by NBME staff to ensure eligibility and completeness.
2. Committee members will then evaluate Letters of Intent using the following criteria:
-- The extent to which the proposed research is innovative or will advance assessment in medical education or practice
-- The extent to which the proposed research addresses an important problem or issue in medical education or practice
-- The extent to which the proposed research is likely to be successful given the described design and methodology
3. The Stemmler Fund Steering Committee will then review all Letters of Intent and select a subset of Letters of Intent (e.g., 10-15) to be invited to submit full proposals.
4. All Invited Proposals will be reviewed by NBME staff to ensure completeness.
5. Peer reviewers with expertise in measurement, research design and methodology will then evaluate Invited Proposals using the following criteria:
-- The relevance and significance of the proposal to the purpose and goals of the Stemmler Fund program
-- The adequacy and completeness of the research design or methodology
-- The qualifications of the principal investigator and primary project staff
6. The Stemmler Fund Steering Committee will then review all proposals and peer reviews, giving careful consideration to the adequacy of the budget, timetable, and other key project resources in each proposal, and select awards.
The process for consideration of new proposals and competing renewals will be identical. The number of grants awarded will depend on the nature, quality, and level of the requests received in the 2012-2013 funding cycle. The NBME will provide feedback detailing the comments provided by reviewers of applications not selected for funding.
2013-2014 Application and Award Cycle
July 1, 2013 Deadline for receipt of Letters of Intent
November 2013 Invited Proposals Notified
Peer Review Feedback Provided to Letter of Intent Applicants
January 2014 Deadline for receipt of Invited Proposals
April 2014 Awards Announced
July 1, 2014 2012-2013 cycle project start date