New NBME Grant Supports Emerging Innovators in Medical Education and Assessment

Posted August 16, 2023

Call for Proposals is open until Oct. 8, 2023:

Seeking research and program implementation proposals to advance equity and inclusion in assessment and medical education

The NBME® Emerging Innovators Grant Program is designed to empower early- to mid-career faculty, researchers, and program leaders to explore their visionary ideas and make a lasting impact on the medical education landscape. Submit your applications to the Emerging Innovator Research Grant Portal.


This new grant program pilot is designed to support early- and mid-career medical education faculty or staff who share our commitment to advancing equitable practices which foster a diverse and inclusive medical community. We seek projects that promote innovative thinking and push the boundaries of medical education and assessment locally and/or nationally.

NBME believes equitable assessment practices and educational programs can support a stronger and more equitable health care system that has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care disparities, while also enhancing the educational experience of learners. For this grant program, NBME views diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within medical education and assessment broadly to encourage creativity in the proposal design, allowing individuals and teams to determine the most meaningful ways to pursue and investigate change. Proposals could range from implementation of an innovative program designed to measurably support learners who are minoritized and/or marginalized in medicine to the development of a new and equitable assessment of competencies required for the care of a diverse patient population.   

NBME will fund up to $25,000 in total for each accepted proposal. Four proposals that can be completed within a 1–2-year timeframe will be selected. Grants will be awarded to medical schools accredited by the LCME or the AOA/COCA; applications are accepted from principal investigators with appointments at LCME- and AOA/COCA-accredited medical schools.

The projects should focus on enhancing assessment practices and medical education programs within the selected theme of Promoting Equitable Assessment in Medical Education. Whether the proposed research or program implementation is completely novel, or new in the context of your own setting, we encourage emerging innovators to apply for this new grant opportunity.

Applications are currently being accepted through Oct. 8, 2023.  

Theme for Current Call for Proposals

The 2023 call for proposals focuses on the theme of Promoting Equitable Assessment in Medical Education. We are seeking proposals that advance one or more of the following: 

  • Innovative assessment design with an emphasis on equity and fairness.
  • Bias investigation and bias mitigation in existing assessments.
  • Innovative program implementation to advance DEI.

We encourage proposals from individuals and/or teams which include individuals who are minoritized and/or marginalized in medicine. Teams are encouraged to include learners or trainees among the membership.

About the Application

Eligibility: This program is currently open to principal investigators with appointments at LCME- and AOA/COCA-accredited U.S. and Canadian medical schools.

The following elements constitute a complete proposal:

  • Abstract (350 words) which summarizes the project.
  • Statement of the problem being addressed or investigated, including literature review and any existing pilot data. 
  • Specific aims and methods of the proposed project.  
  • Anticipated outcomes and impact.
    • For program implementation proposals, please include information on intended program evaluation.
  • Potential for sustainability and/or scalability at the end of the funding period. 
  • Research or project implementation plan, including timeline, 2-year maximum.
  • Existing IRB approvals or any IRB applications in process, as applicable.
  • Itemized Budget, limited to 10% indirect costs.  
  • Biographical sketch/curriculum vitae of principal investigator (PI) and associated team.
  • At least one letter of support from institutional leadership (e.g., Division/Department Director, Dean, other program leader, etc.). The letter should convey leadership support for the project and address PI’s available time to complete the project. 
  • Identification of mentors/mentees, as applicable.

Additional Documents

Directions for Applying for an Emerging Innovators Grant

The Application Guide explains the requirements and format that should be followed for your application submission.

When you are ready to submit your application, please visit the Emerging Innovator Research Grant Portal.

  1. Login or create an account on NBME’s Submittable page.
  2. Select the 2023 Emerging Innovators Grant hyperlink or the “Submit” button.
  3. Read the Guidelines and complete the form.
  4. Follow the instructions for submitting your application and attach any required documents.
  5. You may save your online application at any time and return to complete it later by scrolling to the bottom of the submission form and selecting “Save Draft.” 
    • When you are ready to return to complete the form, log into your account, click on your name at the top right of the internet browser, select “My Submissions” and select the desired draft.

Reach out to our Grant Program team at with questions.

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