Continuation Funding and Selection Process/Criteria

Continuing a project?

If projects require more time than originally planned, continuation applications may be submitted.  Continuation applications normally do not make substantial changes to the project aims or approaches.   (Projects that build on previous projects, but add on to the aims or extend the work in other ways, may also be submitted.  In these cases, the application should note links to previous work where relevant, but applications are not considered “continuations” of the previous project.)

Continuation applications should be very clear about the reasons that a continuation is needed. The committee generally does not view it as appropriate to fund continuations where there are not compelling reasons for extending the project timeframe beyond the project originally proposed.

When submitting the original application with revisions, you will be asked the following questions on the cover page:

  • Have you have ever had a MedScholars project funded before? YES
  • Is this project related to any other MedScholars project you have had funded in the past? YES

Minimally you have to ask for 25%, but the committee likes to see 50%+.

Additional considerations apply in the case of applications to continue research previous funded by the Medical Scholars program.

  • If the project is with a new mentor or in a different research group, the application should make reference to the previous project and describe the reasons for a transition.
  • If the project encompasses an extension of a previous project into a new area, building from the previous project but not continuing to pursue the aims of the previous project, the project will normally be treated as a new project application.

Continuation proposals also require an updated letter of support from the mentor, which comments on the student’s performance and whether s/he has been meeting the aim, timeline, and objectives previously agreed upon.

Copies of all proposals received by the quarterly deadline are distributed to each member of the Research Review Committee that best fits the research topic. Committee members read the proposals, contribute to the discussion, and rank the proposal. The Chairs of the research review committees meet as a Steering committee to make the final decision on the allocation of funds.

Criteria used to rank the proposals are specific to the discipline and include:

General:

  • Is the project well described and achievable?
  • Does the project off the student the opportunity to make a meaningful intellectual contribution?
  • Would the project, if successful, contribute valuable information about an important question?

Specific:

  • Is the overall goal important and clearly stated?  Are the specific aims clear and achievable?
  • Does the student state why the problem selected is important in the context of other research that has been carried out?  Is relevant literature cited?
  • Does the Experimental Design section convey a clear understanding of the methodology?  Is the methodology appropriate for the questions being asked?  Are the possible outcomes of the experiments or investigation outlined and a workable plan for interpretation identified? Does the proposal consider other interpretations and possible pitfalls? If questionnaires are being used are examples attached?
  • Is the method of data gathering and analysis sufficiently clear and sound?  Are issues of study design (e.g. retrospective, case-control, etc) appropriately considered?  Are appropriate statistical tests specified?
  • Is the research setting appropriate? Are techniques established/equipment or subjects available/advisor oversight sufficient?
  • Is the time-line for the project realistic?