PAEA Expands Research Programs and PA Research Community

As a profession, PAs and PA faculty are adding to the body of PA literature and becoming research leaders in the medical education field. PAEA is committed to promoting PA research and growing the PA research community through our research grant programs. Two programs, the Don Pedersen Research Grants Program and the AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship are vital to building the next generation of PA researchers.  

The Don Pedersen Research Grant provides early-career PA faculty researchers and full-time PA program staff an opportunity to conduct research in PA education and workforce development. Since 2001, grant recipients have used the funding to contribute to the PA literature in the following ways. 

In previous years, grants of up to $7,000 were awarded, with a total possible allotment of $21,000. After conducting a thorough return on investment (ROI) analysis, we proposed reducing the number of grants from three to two grants and increase the funding $7,000.00 to $10,500 per grant. This would provide greater funding while still offering multiple grants for applicants to pursue. Therefore, we are piloting this new funding formula by offering Samuel Paik, MSPAS, PA-C, $10,500 for his project this year. In addition, Professor Paik’s award demonstrates our work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is the first recipient from a minority serving institution, Charles Drew University. As we move forward, we will continue to attract researchers from diverse backgrounds through our marketing and collaboration with the HBCU Consortium and the PAEA-IAMSE Scholars Program.  

Because our grant tracking was inconsistent before 2011, our knowledge of grant outcomes is incomplete. Since 2011, 28 researchers received funding. Overall, 19 of 28 grantees have submitted and/or given at academic or professional conferences or have a manuscript published and/ or under review in academic journals directly related to grantees’ projects which has produced 14 manuscripts published and/or under review, 13 presentations, and 17 poster presentations. In addition, 10 of 19 of the researchers who applied to present at a conference, submitted a manuscript for publication, which is a 52.6% conversation rate. This is comparable to the 47% overall conversation rate from presentation to publication that Mitchell Peake et al found in five-year review of abstracts from the American Association for Hand Surgery Annual Meeting. Because PAEA requires grantees to apply to present or publish their work, we only measure whether they submit their abstract and manuscript for presentation and publication. Learn more about the grant’s goals and accomplishments in the ROI report

The AAPA-PAEA Fellowship provides 20 percent of the recipient’s base salary up to $25,000 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. Our fellows have used this opportunity as a launching pad for their careers with a long list of accomplishments including: 

  • Three fellows used the Fellowship to complete their doctoral dissertation, which helped to advance their academic careers. 
  • Two former fellows served as fellowship mentors.  
  • Seven manuscripts published and/ or under review in academic journals directly related to their projects. 
  • One discussion paper published for the National Academy of Medicine 
  • Three presentations at academic or professional conferences. 
  • One fellow is a reviewer for Academic Medicine

As the Fellowship advances, we are focusing on attracting more applicants and fellows from diverse backgrounds and providing more incentives to attract faculty such as CME credits for seminar sessions and inviting potential applicants to remotely attend the seminars as a recruitment tool. As far as recruitment is concerned, the 2021-2022 cohort is the most diverse in the Fellowship’s history. It includes the first African American fellow, Asian American fellow, and non-faculty fellow.  In terms of professional development, following a positive response a pilot conducted during the 2021 AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship Summer Seminar, we will continue to open many of the informational sessions to non-fellows and offer CME credits, which has empowered PAs and PA faculty to conduct research. Finally, both PAEA and AAPA are also interested in increasing the fellow salary reimbursement to up to $30,000.00 for the upcoming 2022-2023 cycle. PAEA has already budgeted $30,000.00 for each fellow in FY2023. For more on the Fellowship’s goals and accomplishments read the ROI report

We would like to thank the PAEA Board of Directors, the Research Mission Advancement Commission, the Grants and Scholarship Review Committee, and the Pedersen family for their support of PA research. If you are interested in applying or need any guidance about PAEA research funding contact us at or call 703-651-8540.