Criteria used by the MERIC Small Grants Committee to evaluate proposals are listed below. Note that not all projects need address every area listed.

1. Background/rationale:

  • Is the problem statement clear and well defined?
  • Does the literature review clearly identify what is known about the problem and identify gaps?

2. Research question/hypothesis:

  • Is a research question and/or hypothesis clearly stated?
  • Is the question timely and address an identified gap in the literature/field?
  • Is the research question appropriately focused and narrow?
  • Are the objectives reasonable and achievable?

3. Methodology:

  • Is the description of the research design (study design, participants, and settings for the research) clear?
  • Are the methods appropriate for the project’s hypothesis/research question?
  • Does the project use ScholarRx/USMLE-Rx components?
  • Are the variables selected for analysis appropriate for the research design?
  • Are the types of instruments or techniques planned for measurement detailed, with rationale for the instruments selected?
  • Does the project employ appropriate statistical methods and have a clear plan for statistical analysis?

4. Anticipated outcomes/impact:

  • Is this work likely to advance our knowledge or practice in medical education, and/or open additional areas for further exploration?
  • Are potential outcomes discussed and are they reasonable?
  • Is there a clear plan for dissemination at the regional or national level, including through conferences or publications?

5. Timeline:

Is the timeline for completion feasible and likely to succeed?

6. Budget:

  • Are the budget itemizations reasonable and appropriate?
  • Are monies dedicated to approved costs? (see FAQs)

7. References:

Are the references appropriate and well curated?

8. Personnel:

  • Does the study engage trainees as co-investigators?
  • Has the project engaged personnel with the appropriate expertise to make successful completion of the project in the specified timeline likely?

9. Human Subjects:

Educational research projects involving human subjects require IRB approval. It is not necessary to obtain approval prior to submitting a proposal, but documentation indicating approval or exemption will be required before receiving funding.