Call for Proposals: PA Entry-Level Doctoral Degree Research

PAEA is pleased to announce a funded opportunity to support the investigation of an alternative entrylevel doctoral degree for PAs. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to apply, as applications are due May 15.


At the 2019 PAEA Education Forum, a resolution was brought to the floor to amend the current PAEA position policy on the Terminal Degree of the Profession. The current PAEA policy states, 

Despite the adoption of clinical doctoral degrees by other health professions, PAEA is confident in the preparation of PA graduates at the master’s degree level to meet the competencies necessary for quality and cost-effective PA practice. PAEA reaffirms its endorsement of the master’s degree as the sole recognized entry-level and terminal degree of the profession.

The amendment brought to the floor at the 2019 Business Meeting would include language supporting the clinical doctorate as the alternative entry-level credential. This resolution was tabled and referred to the Board of Directors for further consideration. The Board of Directors voted to support faculty research and investigation on this topic and will use the findings and evidence to develop a policy recommendation related to the alternative entry-level degree. 

To focus the investigation, applicants are asked to answer one or more of the questions posed below: 

  1. What can the PA profession learn from other health professions that have made similar transitions to the clinical doctoral credential (physical therapy, pharmacy, nursing) through literature review.
  2. What assumptions does the PA education community have about moving from a master’s to a doctorate entrylevel degree?
  3. What are the benefits and risks of conferral of a doctorate degree for entry-level PAs?

Funded Opportunity Purpose 

This program is designed to support the research and scholarly work of PA faculty members. The goal of this program is to incentivize and focus scholarship and new research related to the impact of doctoral entrylevel degrees in health professions. This program is not designed to provide sustained support for faculty. 

The honorarium funds are to be narrowly applied (e.g., for supplies, student assistant, software, funding for a workshop to learn a new scholarly technique, or partial summer salary support for a faculty member). If the amount required for the project exceeds the maximum amount of $2,000, an awarded honorarium may be supplemented by department funds at the discretion of the grantee’s institution.   

PAEA will funup to five awards to faculty members. If selected for funding, all research and reports or manuscripts must be completed by August 30, 2020.   

Proposal Requirements and Deadline 

Applicants should submit their proposal electronically via the application portal by 5:00 p.m. ET on May 15.  

 For mini-grant applications to be considered complete, they must include two elements: 

  1. A narrative proposal including methodology 
  2. A recent CV (in any format convenient to the applicant). 

The narrative proposal must not exceed two pages (single spaced, 1” margins, no smaller than 11 pt. font size) and should briefly explain: 

  1. The project design and its importance given the context of the research questions 
  2. The potential outcomes 
  3. A brief budget summary (maximum request: $2,000) 
  4. Why these funds are expected to be critical or particularly helpful in achieving the proposed outcomes


In order to apply for this opportunity, you must be a full or parttime faculty member, from a PAEA member program. 

Proposal Review Process 

A five-member, peer-review committee will evaluate the proposals. The review committee will be comprised of PAEA staff and select Mission Advancement Commision members. To mitigate conflicts of interest, members of the evaluation committee cannot submit a proposal. 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to present the proposed project in a clear, well-organized manner that effectively communicates all elements of the proposal to the review committee. Committee members are prohibited from introducing any outside evidence or other information that is not included in the submitted proposals. 

 Proposals will be reviewed using the following 12-point evaluation rubric: 

 0-3 points for the impact potential of research (proposal). 

 0-3 points for the explanation of how the funds will be used by the researcher 

 0-3 points for the discussion of the expected outcomes (proposal). 

 0-3 points for the likelihood that the investigator possesses the skills to meet expected outcomes (CV).

The review committee will rank-order the proposals based on the sum of those points, as translated into a scale where 

12 = highest priority for funding 

 9 = fund if possible 

 6 = low priority for funding

PAEA is excited to present this opportunity, and we hope you’ll consider applying to advance this important scholarly work for our profession. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Bray,