Congratulations to the 2019–2020 AAPA–PAEA Research Fellows

We are pleased to announce the 20192020 AAPA-PAEA Research Fellows.

Kari Bernard, MS, PA-C, faculty and site director at the Anchorage campus of the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA Training Program.

Kari’s research topic is: “Physician Assistant Burnout and the Role of Career Development and Physician Relationship.” Her work with PA burnout is aligned with AAPA’s work including burnout publications from AAPA’s Research Department.


Vanessa Bester, EdD, MPAS, PA-C, associate program director of the Augsburg University PA Program.  

Vanessa will tackle the topic of research in her project “Rigorous and Valid Qualitative Research: African American PA Student Success.” Bester serves on PAEA’s Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission and has published articles related to HIV and infectious diseases, military PAs, and the retention and barriers of minority PAs, faculty, and students.

The AAPAPAEA Research Fellowship provides financial support for selected PAs with a strong interest in research. A grant covering 20 percent of the recipient’s base salary up to $25,000 will be allocated to the fellow’s institution to permit a 20 percent time release from teaching and other activities to allow them to focus on scholarly activities of interest to the PA profession and PA education.

Launched in 2017 by PAEA’s Research Mission Advancement Commission, the AAPA–PAEA Research Fellowship seeks to build the research capacity of PAs and PA faculty and develop leaders to represent, advance, and elevate PAs in health professions research.

The objectives of the AAPAPAEA Research Fellowship are to:

  • Develop a cadre of PA leaders who are skilled in PA education and workforce research
  • Encourage the use of of PAEA and AAPA data to generate research of interest to the PA profession and community of PA scholars
  • Provide future research mentors for early career PA researchers in order to sustain the PA workforce and education research pipeline