AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship

PAEA and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) are pleased to offer three one-year-long research fellowships beginning November 1, 2017. This program will provide substantial investment to strengthen the research skills and productivity for qualified PA faculty and to develop the next generation of PA researchers. The AAPA-PAEA Fellowship will provide up to $25,000 to the fellow’s institution to secure protected time for research as well as a travel stipend of up to $7,500. The Fellowship will run from November 1, 2017, through October 31, 2018.

The deadline for applications is July 21, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Description of the Fellowship

The AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship provides support for PAs with a strong interest in research. A grant of up to $25,000 will be provided to the fellow’s institution to permit a 20% release from teaching and other activities to allow them to focus on scholarly activity of interest to the PA profession and PA education. Fellows are expected to use the release time to develop their research skills by completing a research project under the guidance of an institutional mentor at their institution or PA program as well as an external mentor, engaging in educational activities, and broadening their knowledge of PA education and the PA profession. By the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows should have their research concluded and have their findings prepared for publication and presentation.

The fellowship will include two five-day-long onsite experiences at the PAEA national office in Washington, DC, and at the AAPA offices in Alexandria, VA. During these visits, fellows will interact with research teams from the AAPA and PAEA as well as individuals at other organizations such as the Association of American Medical Colleges, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, American Dental Education Association, Office of Minority Health, and others to be determined. Individuals selected for the Fellowship will be conferred the title of AAPA-PAEA Research Fellow.

Goals of the Fellowship Program

The goals of the AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship are:

  • To develop a cadre of PAs who are skilled in PA education and workforce research
  • To encourage utilization of PAEA and AAPA data to generate research of interest to the PA profession and community of PA scholars
  • To provide future research mentors for newer faculty to sustain the PA workforce and education research pipeline

Recommended Research Topics

Applicants are highly encouraged to submit a proposed research plan that addresses one of the following topics:

  • Workforce readiness of PA program graduates
  • Ways to advance the PA identity
  • Challenges and solutions to clinical site availability
  • How to equip PAs for expanded opportunities in health care
  • Diversity and the PA student pipeline
  • Challenges to the creation of progressive work environments for PAs

Applicant Eligibility

An applicant must be a PA, employed full-time at a PAEA member program in good standing for at least one year and be a current AAPA member.

Preference will be given to candidates who have been in education for less than 10 years and have received their doctorate within the past 5 years. Only one candidate per college/university will be accepted each year. While fellows are expected to be at an early stage of their research careers, there should be evidence of scholarly work accomplishments. Candidates must possess faculty rank. PAEA and AAPA strongly encourage applications from qualified minority candidates.

Evaluation Criteria

PAEA recommends reviewing the evaluation criteria to guide the preparation of successful application materials.

Work Requirements for Fellows

  • Commitment to scholarly activity for the equivalent of one day per week (0.2 FTE)
  • Completion of a research project, preferably using PAEA or AAPA dataset(s), including submission to a peer-reviewed journal or other project approved by the Joint Advisory Board
  • Attendance at an orientation session at the PAEA Education Forum (October 25-29, 2017) in Denver
  • Attendance at AAPA 2018 (May 19-23, 2018) in New Orleans for a mid-program check-in
  • Attendance at the PAEA Education Forum (October 24-28, 2018) in Anaheim, California, for “graduation”
  • Monthly calls with Fellowship administrator and/or mentor
  • Two, five day, in-person Fellowship experiences in the Washington, DC area in January and July 2018
  • The fellowship will run from November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018.

Required Application Components

Your personal statement and proposed research plan should be paginated, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and have one-inch margins with single-spaced or greater line spacing. Citations or footnotes should be in 10-point Times New Roman font. Tables and figures are permitted as long as they do not impinge on the margins.

Your AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship application submission should consist of five parts:

  • Cover letter
  • Personal statement (two-page limit)
  • Proposed research plan including timeline (three-pages limit)
  • Letters of commitment and support (three required)
  • Blinded CV

Cover Letter (not blinded)

  • Please complete the cover letter that includes:
  • Name and credentials
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Title
  • Institution
  • Academic rank
  • Number of years as a PA educator
  • Number of years as a PA
  • Number of years engaged in PA research

Personal statement (two-page limit and blinded – see blinding requirements section below)

Please provide a narrative that includes the following elements: education and work background, area(s) of research interest, and personal goals to be accomplished as part of the research Fellowship, as well as reasons candidate should be selected.

Proposed research plan (three-page limit and blinded – see blinding requirements section below)

Detail a research project that you would like to undertake as part of your Fellowship. Research questions should fall within at least one of the following topic areas:

  • Workforce readiness of PA program graduates
  • How to equip PAs for expanded opportunities in health care
  • Challenges and solutions to clinical site availability
  • Advancing the PA identity
  • Diversity and the PA student pipeline
  • Creating progressive work environments for PAs

The proposed research plan should contain the following elements:

  1. Problem statement and research question(s)
  2. Background and citations for your research question
  3. Methodology and analytic plan
  4. Statement of how your specific project will advance knowledge in the topic area(s)

If you plan to use PAEA data, please detail which datasets you will use. If you plan to use AAPA data, please detail which elements you will use. If you plan to collect your own data or need specialized resources and/or training, describe what you will require to accomplish your research goal. Accepted fellows will work with PAEA, AAPA, and mentors to further refine their research question, methodology, and plans.

Letters of commitment and support (not blinded)

Three letters of support are required. They must be from the following sources:

  • One letter of commitment by a mentor from their institution (internal mentor) — not required to be a PA — with research experience who agrees to provide mentorship over the course of the Fellowship
  • One letter of commitment from a mentor external to their institution (external mentor) — not required to be a PA — with research experience on PA education, health workforce research, or health services research, who agrees to provide mentorship over the course of the Fellowship
  • One institutional commitment letter signed by your program director and the program director’s immediate supervisor that specifically confirms 0.2 FTE release time

Blinded CV

Please submit a CV, blinded according to the following requirements:

All application materials, excluding cover sheets, must be fully blinded (i.e., no identifying information may be included). Identifying information includes mentions of participating institutions in the letter of intent and full proposal as well as the following information commonly found in CVs:

  • Researcher’s name and contact information
  • Institutions from which researcher received degrees
  • Institutions where researcher has been employed
  • Membership in and presentations given at regional conferences or organizations (e.g., Texas Association of Physician Assistants)
  • Researcher’s name in publications and awarded grants
  • Geographically or institutionally identifying information in publication titles (e.g., “Health outcomes among a sample of women in Philadelphia”)

Unblinded applications will not be reviewed.

Overlaying a shape and/or changing the font or background of identifying text within a word processor application is not sufficient. This guide contains useful information on how to appropriately blind your application materials. Additionally, you may manually black out all identifying information with a heavy black marker and then scan the paper document into a digital format as long as the underlying, blinded text is not searchable, readable, or identifiable. You may also email researchfellowship@PAEAonline.org with questions.

Application Review and Selection Process

Phase 1: Blinded review

All applications will be reviewed by a peer review panel according to the following evaluation criteria:

  • Candidate meets eligibility requirements
  • Strong interest in research and alignment of research interests with supporting organizations
  • Beginning yet demonstrable research expertise, agenda, and accomplishments
  • Strength of letters of support/commitment
  • Strength of methodology and analysis plan
  • Written communication skills

Phase 2: Interview

Candidates who pass Phase 1 of the review will be interviewed either in person or via video conferencing software. All application materials will be shared, unblinded, with the review panel at this phase of the review process.


The final selected fellows will meet the basic requirements of the AAPA-PAEA Fellowship. Additional criteria including internal and external mentors’ research experience and expertise as well as fellow’s potential contribution to the cohort of fellows will be considered in the selection process. Fellows will propose work that is aligned with the supporting organizations’ goals and is accomplishable within the one-year time frame.

Submission of Application

Applications must be emailed to researchfellowship@PAEAonline.org no later than Friday, July 21 at 5 p.m. ET. Please include “Research Fellowship” in the subject line of your email. All decisions of the selection committee are final. If confirmation of receipt of submission is not received within two business days, please call 703-667-4335.