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 or the proposed innovation and identify gaps?
  • Is there a conceptual framework or theoretical perspective identified to support the work?

2. Project aims:

  • Are the project aims clearly stated, feasible, and appropriately focused and narrow?
  • Is the project timely and does it address a gap in the literature/field?

3. Methodology:

  • Are the methods clear (study design, participants, setting for the research/innovation)?
  • Do the methods align with project aims?
  • Does the project use ScholarRx/USMLE-Rx components?
  • Are interventions/innovations clearly described (e.g., faculty development, etc).
  • Is the planned analysis/evaluation appropriate for the project aims?
  • Are the types of instruments or techniques planned for measurement detailed, with rationale for selection?

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, 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.