ABSTRACT: Needles and Haystacks: Finding Funding for Medical Education Research
Medical education research suffers from a significant and persistent lack of funding. Although adequate funding has been shown to improve the quality of research, there are a number of factors that continue to limit it. The competitive environment for medical education research funding makes it essential to understand strategies for improving the search for funding sources and the preparation of proposals. This article offers a number of resources, strategies, and suggestions for finding funding. Investigators must be able to frame their research in the context of significant issues and principles in education. They must set their proposed work in the context of prior work and demonstrate its potential for significant new contributions. Because there are few funding sources earmarked for medical education research, researchers much also be creative, flexible, and adaptive as they seek to present their ideas in ways that are appealing and relevant to the goals of funders. Above all, the search for funding requires persistence and perseverance.