AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship

Applications for the 2022-2023 AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship are being accepted between April 26 – June 5, 2022.

PAEA and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) offer three one-year research fellowships annually to help lower barriers to faculty participation in research and build the pipeline of PA research leaders. This program provides a substantial investment to strengthen the research skills and productivity of qualified PA faculty to conduct high-quality, publishable research.

The Fellowship seeks to:

  1. Fund protected time to allow fellows to conduct research and expand their research agendas.
  2. Broaden the fellows’ knowledge of the medical research community, data sources, and build their professional networks with prominent medical research organizations.
  3. Build a strong cohort of research leaders who mentor future PA researchers and become PA research experts who advance the profession.

The AAPA-PAEA Fellowship provides 20 percent of the recipient’s base salary up to $30,000 to each fellow’s institution to secure protected time for research. This gives the fellows a 20 percent time release from teaching and other activities to allow them to focus on their scholarly activity of interest to the PA profession and PA education.

The Fellowship will include a two-to-four-day seminar at the PAEA offices in Washington, DC, and a two-to-three-day seminar at the AAPA offices in Alexandria, Virginia. Fellows will participate in exclusive Fellowship sessions and earn more than 40 Category 1 CME hours. Travel expenses to Washington, DC, will be covered in full; however, the COVID-19 pandemic may alter these plans and require virtual components.

Fellows are expected to use the release time to develop their research skills by completing and providing to PAEA a research project under the guidance of a 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 completed their research and have their findings prepared for publication and presentation.

Individuals selected for the Fellowship will be conferred the title of PAEA Research Fellow.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 5. Applications must be submitted through the PAEA Research online application platform.

For more information about eligibility, applicant evaluation criteria, and application requirements, please download the 2022-2023 AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship Submission Guidelines or contact us at Research@PAEAonline.org or 703-651-8540. To learn more about our current and former fellows, visit the AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship web page

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If you have questions concerning this grant program, please contact the Research team.

Current Fellows (2021-2022)

Learn more about our current fellows and their research topics. 

Alice Eggleston, MPH, PA-C

Clinical Research Scientist AllianceChicago

Alice Eggleston the first non-faculty fellow. Her public health education before PA school and her interest in the big-picture perspective of health prompted her to pursue clinical research since becoming a PA in 2014. Through her research and clinical experience, she found that the PA workforce needed to explore the clinical research PA characteristics to develop new opportunities and standards in the field. Ultimately, Eggleston hopes PAs who have considered shifting their practice to a non-traditional role or non-clinical role can learn more about the research sector as an opportunity for professional growth. Understanding the breakdown of research PAs in the country will help characterize the gaps and opportunities in the research industry.

Eggleston is working with the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) on her project, Physician Assistants in the Clinical Trials Setting. The study aims to understand what roles PAs play in clinical trials, the characteristics of PAs practicing in clinical research, and what benefits or barriers PAs encounter while working in the clinical trials setting. The topic is essential to describe the PAs working in these non-traditional capacities and highlight an aspect of the PA identity. There is an increased demand for clinical research professionals. PAs do outstanding work in many areas of medicine, but it is not widely known how PAs contribute to the clinical research field.

Yolonda Freeman-Hildreth, PhD, PA-C

Assistant Professor and Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair University of Detroit Mercy PA Program

Yolonda Freeman-Hildreth is an assistant professor and chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the University of Detroit Mercy PA program. Dr. Freeman-Hildreth also serves on the AAPA Commission on Research and Strategic Initiatives committee. She has practiced internal medicine as a PA for over 16 years.

In her project, Singled out: The Influence of Implicit Bias on Underrepresented Minority Student Recruitment and Retention, Dr. Freeman-Hildreth is exploring the influences of implicit faculty bias and students’ perception of inclusiveness on underrepresented minority (URM) recruitment and retention. The current demographics of the PA profession do not reflect the diversity of the US population. Recent research indicates that healthcare providers and educators, similarly to police officers, are not immune to implicit bias. Moreover, recent news stories have highlighted incidences where implicit bias has influenced clinical decision-making where treatment decisions were made based on stereotypical unconscious attributes among minority patients. Dr. Freeman-Hildreth seeks to provide best practices for improving PA program diversity, increasing self-awareness regarding existent biases and stereotypes among PA faculty, providing insight into how implicit bias impacts the perception of inclusivity among URM students, and providing recommendations for improving URM recruitment and retention within the profession. This research has implications for standardizing the recruitment and interview processes within programs by implementing protocols to reduce bias and creating an inclusive climate throughout PA education.

Nick Hudak, MPA, MSEd, PA-C

Associate Professor Duke University School of Medicine

Nick Hudak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Duke University School of Medicine. He is a faculty clinical coordinator with the Duke Physician Assistant (PA) Program, a practicing PA in the Department of Neurology, and an Assistant Director in the Duke Center for Interprofessional Education and Care.

Mr. Hudak is studying the relationships between mistreatment policy factors (i.e., policy presence, content, dissemination) and the frequency at which students report mistreatment to their programs. Findings from his study, Policy Effect on Physician Assistant Student Mistreatment Reporting, will establish an evidence base to inform policy-driven practices to better support students and improve clinical learning environments. From a policy perspective, they will assist PA educators in revising, implementing, and evaluating mistreatment policy within their programs and establishing a foundation for future research.