Three Tips for a Successful FGRG Letter of Intent

PAEA is committed to supporting PA researchers in conducting high-quality, original research. The Faculty-Generated Research Grant (FGRG) is the most significant funding opportunity that PAEA offers for faculty researchers to pursue rigorous, sophisticated methods and analyses to address novel research questions. To accomplish these goals, PAEA provides a substantial investment of up to $50,000 for a study that meaningfully expands the existing body of knowledge on PA education and/or the PA profession. 

The Call for Letters of Intent is open until 11:59 pm ET on September 30, 2023, and we encourage interested PA researchers to apply. To support potential applicants, we are sharing three tips from successful FGRG awardees.

Find Your Passion 

As a growing profession, PA researchers are encouraged to delve into a broad range of topics, especially burning questions surrounding issues such as the underrepresentation of students from diverse backgrounds in admissions. However, it is not possible to investigate every topic. Developing familiarity and expertise in specific research topics makes the process more enjoyable and helps you advance your career. 

“Future researchers should investigate topics that they are very passionate about. We attribute our success to having a diverse group of people with different viewpoints and backgrounds, however with similar ethos.”  

– Carolyn Bradley-Guidry, DrPH, MPAS, PA-C

In her project, What’s Working? A National Assessment of Best Practices in Diversifying the Physician Assistant Workforce, Dr. Bradley-Guidry and her team are using their different experiences across various regions of the country to bring unique perspectives to diversity. 

Start with Your Why 

Once you have found your passion, the next step is to develop your research question. Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPH, PA-C recommends that researchers consider pain points and challenges in PA education and beyond. In Building a Regional Center of Excellence for Optimizing Clinical Education: A Randomized-Controlled Crossover Study of an Innovative Telehealth Model for PA Programs (The BRITE Study), Professor Fleming and her colleagues are tackling the challenge of creating regional collaborations and partnerships to foster collaboration, pool resources, and share of clinical sites among PA programs. 

Dr. Ritsema agrees with Fleming’s assessment and notes that there are many opportunities to collaborate outside academia and government. 

“For many years, we have been decrying the lack of analyzable data on PA practice. Market consolidation of health care, combined with the ability to generate large datasets that didn’t exist ten years ago, will mean that more useful large datasets are in private hands. Consider collaborating with these private entities to access high-quality data.” 

 -Tami Ritsema, PhD, MPH, MMSc, PA-C/R  

Look for Opportunities to Collaboration 

Dr. Bradley-Guidry’s research team possesses more than 30 years of combined research experience involving quantitative and qualitative analysis and is highly experienced in project implementation, data analysis, and dissemination of study results. All the investigators have a history of collaboration throughout their professional careers, and each brings their professional networks to the table. 

After you have considered all of these tips, Professor Fleming encourages researchers just to do it!  “So often, we talk ourselves out of research. Throw your hat in the ring. Leverage your capabilities, beta test your ideas, and question your assumptions,” she said. 

Innovative researchers are willing to leap into research, expand the PA literature, and grow their careers. Upon completing her project, Measuring the Value of Physician Assistants in Emergency Medicine Practice, Dr. Ritsema was able to publish her manuscript, “The Impact of Advanced Practice Provider Staffing on Emergency Department Care: Productivity, Flow, Safety, and Experience” in Academic Emergency Medicine in July 2020. The manuscript was also presented at the 2020 PAEA Virtual Education Forum.  

So, dive into it! If you have questions or need advice on your application, review the submission guidelines or contact PAEA Research at or 703-651-8540.