AACOM Research Grants

AACOM's Research Grant cycle is closed and will reopen in November 2024.

AACOM's Grants Program includes awards for medical education research and institutional research. Institutional research is a broad category of work done at colleges (and across colleges within a profession) to inform decision-making and planning. While collaborative, multi-institution research studies are desirable, the grant could support a pilot study or serve as the basis for seeking matching funds at individual institutions.

Proposals about technology or artificial intelligence (AI) are of importance this year. Additionally, topics related to workforce issues—such as the implications of the expansion of osteopathic medical colleges, branch campuses, additional teaching sites, and class sizes—are of continued interest.  

The AACOM Research Grant is for a period of eighteen (18) months. Funds will be issued in July 2024 and work should be completed by December 31, 2025.

Available Awards

  • Up to $5,000 for single campus study or small collaborative study within single institution across multiple programs
  • Up to $10,000 for larger collaborative study across multiple institutions or multiple educational programs 

Theme Examples

Please refer to the AACOM Strategic Plan for greater detail on each theme below:

Reimagine the recruitment and admissions process for osteopathic medical students

  • The impact of agreements with undergraduate institutions, community colleges, high schools or communities that provide bridges from pre-medical education to osteopathic medical education.
  • The impact of new technology, like natural language processing or large language models, on selection of medical students or residency programs.

Strengthen our community of osteopathic role models

  • Recruiting and developing diverse faculty
  • Special contributions or challenges of the community-based, distributed model of osteopathic medical education

Develop an environment that supports and promotes osteopathic medical education

  • Developing a better understanding of the dispersion of osteopathic medical students and faculty into traditionally ACGME-accredited postgraduate training programs; and/or the dispersion of US and IMG MD students into traditionally AOA-accredited programs

Strengthen osteopathic representation, voice, and influence to demonstrate the distinct value of OME and osteopathic medicine

  • Linking osteopathic medical education to patient outcomes
  • The value of the contribution of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and their graduates to the community and/or the country

Enhance the diversity of osteopathic medical students to contribute to the development of a culturally competent workforce

  • Exploring the barriers to admission to colleges of osteopathic medicine for students from traditionally under-represented groups
  • Describing campus experiences of students from under-represented groups, especially in rural communities

Improve trainee readiness to help every osteopathic graduate successfully place into residency.

  • The impact of changes to the residency match (virtual interviews, standardized letters of evaluation, signaling, etc.)
  • The prevalence of degree bias in the residency match for US DO students

Expand GME programs and graduate-level osteopathic training opportunities to help create a physician workforce able to meet the needs of all patients

  • Describing the characteristics of institutions that have started postgraduate training programs with at least 33% enrollment of osteopathic graduates over the past 5 years
  • Exploring obstacles faced by Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine as they work to establish or expand affiliated postgraduate training programs

Expand opportunities for faculty and trainees to participate in academically rigorous research to contribute to the evidence base for OME and osteopathic medicine

  • Describing characteristics of successful faculty research support programs
  • Understanding the supports and obstacles for faculty research


Proposal narratives must be uploaded into the application portal as a Word (or PDF) document with margins of at least 1” on all sides.  The text portion of the application materials must be in 12-point font, with 1.0 line spacing.


Primary Investigator (PI) must be affiliated with an AACOM member College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). Funds will be issued to the COM.  

Proposal Narrative

The entire document should not exceed 15 pages.  Any proposals exceeding this limit may be automatically rejected.

  • No more than 8 pages for items A-J
  • No more than 7 pages for items K-M

The proposal narrative should be organized as follows:

  1. Specific research aims
  2. Background and significance
  3. Statement of specific research question
  4. Research design and methods
  5. SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-delimited)
    Download  How to Write Smart Objectives for effective writing tips.
  6. Plan for ‘publication’ of results (journal submission or to Educating Leaders, the AACOM Annual Conference)
  7. Sustainability
  8. Literature cited
  9. Budget (see budget note)
  10. Brief Bio (see brief bio note) 
  11. IRB decision or evidence of submission to IRB (from each institution involved in study)
  12. Letter(s) of commitment from department chair(s) and external collaborator(s) on institutional letter head, if relevant 
  13. Approval by osteopathic college or hospital research office (from each institution involved in study), if relevant


In the application portal we ask for the contact information of the COM’s Grant Management/Financial official. If accepted, funds are issued to the COM.

The budget is part of the proposal narrative and should detail how the budget. Download sample Excel budget sheet.

  • Program budget: Include only direct cost related to the research project.
  • Travel Budget: If a travel budget is included, the projected expenditure must represent less than 50% of the total budget and the budget narrative must clearly state how the travel directly relates to the proposed research. Be sure to itemize the expenditures based on destination, number of researchers, etc.
  • Funding support cannot be used for capital expenditures such as salaries, rent/utilities, or other indirect costs.

Reminder: Research grants will be supported to the maximum amount of $5,000 for single educational program study or small collaborative study, or to the maximum amount of $10,000 for larger collaborative studies across educational programs.

Brief Bio

Brief bio of investigator(s) should be limited to no more than 250 words per person.

Key elements to consider including:

  • Full name
  • Credentials
  • Graduate/postgraduate education
  • Current position, program, institution
  • Experience relevant to the proposed grant research
  • Research and/or publication accomplishments relevant to the proposed grant research 

Selection Information

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators (NAOME) Fellows.

Priority will be given to projects that provide the potential for inter-institutional collaboration.  Proposals with specific, feasible strategies for continuing or sustaining the project/activity beyond the grant period will also be given preference.


Key Dates

  • Proposal Portal Opens
    Early November
  • Proposal Portal Closes
    January 31
  • Proposals Distributed for Review
  • Reviewers Return Proposals
  • Notification of Grant Award Status
  • Checks Sent 
  • Grant Work Begins 


Contact: meded@aacom.org or Lynn Bragan