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Date Updated: October 3, 2019

The deadline for submissions for the SEEF Fellowship Fund Program has passed.


To support our mission and in recognition of the valuable collaboration with the medical education community, NBME is pleased to announce the NBME Strategic Educator Enhancement Fund Program.

The Fellowship’s primary goal is to provide an opportunity to medical school faculty who are interested in developing skills in medical education and assessment research, and who have a commitment to working with a team of interested colleagues.

Program information:

Goals of the Program
This Fellowship is a project-based faculty development program that has been established to:

  • foster professional development
  • promote assessment-focused scholarship about innovative approaches that will enhance the assessment of individuals across the continuum of medical education and in active independent practice
  • support a cohort of individuals who will work with a senior mentor and NBME staff to identify and develop questions and a research project that falls within one or both of the following themes:
    • assessment of clinical reasoning/critical thinking
    • diversity/bias and disparities in assessment

To achieve the Fellowship goals, eight (8) individuals will be selected to form an education and assessment-focused research cohort that will be led by a senior mentor. Each member of the cohort will be expected to make meaningful contributions to the project team.

The Fellowship will train the cohort of faculty to operate effectively in an educational team, to communicate outcomes to a broad range of audiences, and to work as a community to conceptualize new approaches to assessment.

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Faculty who are early in their medical education research career (up to rank of associate professor) and from medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) are encouraged to apply.

Limit of one application per school.

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  • 24-month commitment
  • Commitment for travel four (4) times per year to Philadelphia
  • Attend every cohort session and participate in interim conference calls
  • Contribute to the work of the fellowship team to develop research questions and a scholarly product
  • Present at an NBME conference or symposium
  • Conduct a formal presentation within their institution, for example:
    • educational ground rounds
    • institutional education symposium
    • educational research day

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How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit the required application components in the following order as a single Adobe PDF document:

  1. Letter of intent in 12-point type, double spaced (no more than 500 words) that:
    • Explains how you would engage with one or both of the designated themes and how you would contribute to the team;
    • Includes an example of a professional situation that demonstrates your self-awareness, leadership, and communication skills as well as ability to manage conflict and leverage networks; and
    • Explains how one or both of the themes aligns with your current professional responsibilities and would contribute to your career development.
  2. Forms signed by the Academic Chair and Dean confirming allocation of .1 FTE in-kind support plus time away to participate in the Fellowship program.
  3. NBME Demographics Questionnaire
  4. Your CV (Curriculum Vitae)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the required components to apply? What is the application deadline?
A: The application includes the Letter of Intent (LOI), the applicant’s current CV, the NBME Demographics Questionnaire and the required sign-off forms from the medical school dean and the department chair or designee. The deadline is September 30, 2019. No applications or application components will be accepted after 8:00 am eastern standard time, October 1, 2019.

Q: Will late applications be accepted?
A: No. The deadline is firm.

Q: Are fellows at medical schools eligible to be considered for the program?
A: Yes.

Q: I have a colleague in another department that has the same interest. Would it be possible for us to share our project idea?
A: The program is set up for eight fellows to participate; there can be only one application from each school. The plan is to have fellows work on the projects at their schools so your colleague could certainly be involved with the project, but not as a fellow.

Q: Do you happen to know the approximate dates for travel to Philadelphia?
A: The dates are not finalized yet. The cohort of fellows will meet first in Philadelphia, probably in May 2020. If they meet quarterly, the approximate dates would be August 2020, October 2020, and January 2021.

Q: Can associate professors apply or only assistant professors?
A: Yes, associate professors can apply.

Q: How long are each of the four in-person sessions in Philadelphia (number of days or specific dates)?
A: We have not set specific dates and anticipate the cohort will meet four times a year in Philadelphia, for 2-3 days total each time.

Q: How are you handling multiple applications from a single medical school? Is the first one received the one you take? It is possible schools may not have a mechanism for handling multiple applications for this type of program. If there is a pre-screening at an institution, do you have criteria, beyond what you have on your website, for schools to use to pre-screen applicants?
A: There can be only one application per school. The dean and department chair/designee must sign off on the 10% faculty time that will be protected and the school is responsible for assuring there is only one application. Please refer to the application information for details. At this time, we do not have additional criteria for schools to use.

Q: Are Canadian and international medical schools/faculty eligible to apply?
A: Only US and Canadian schools are eligible.

Q: Can more than one application per school be submitted?
A: No, only one application per school is permitted.

Q: Will NBME pay the fellow directly or does NBME require that funds for this fellowship route through each university’s accounting office?
A: The fellows are not receiving any direct payment for this fellowship. NBME will cover costs of all travel, conference calls, and the like, and no funding will be paid directly to fellows. NBME will make the arrangements for hotel and travel directly so that the fellow does not incur expenses beyond travel to and from the airport or train station in their home city. Support for the 10% protected time is the responsibility of the sponsoring school.

Q: Can you please clarify what is meant by 0.1 FTE in-kind support?
A: The 0.1 FTE in-kind support means that the school will provide the 0.1 FTE protected time for the fellow to participate in all activities of the fellowship. There will be no compensation from NBME to support the fellow as a member of the cohort.

Q: Can you clarify the time line for the fellowship?
A: The cohort will meet for the first time in May 2020 and will conclude activities in May 2022.

Q: Is the fellowship program open to both administrative and academic faculty or just academic faculty?
A: It is open to all faculty interested in medical education research.

Q: Can one of our faculty members still apply for this fellowship even though our institution has not received full COCA accreditation? We currently have pre-accreditation with COCA but will achieve full accreditation no earlier than 2022.
A: Yes, faculty can apply from a school with pre-accreditation.

Q: Is it absolutely essential to hold a faculty position in order to receive the fellowship?
A: No, it is not necessary to have a faculty appointment as long as the person is on the staff of the institution and involved in medical education.

Q: Should my 500-word LOI include a specific proposal for a discrete project?
A: The LOI does not ask for a specific proposal and applicants must explain how they would engage in research with one (or both) of the designated themes, as well as how they would contribute to the team. The designated themes are (1) assessment of clinical reasoning/critical thinking and (2) diversity/bias and disparities in assessment.

To submit your application, please email all of the required materials to NBMESEEFfellowship@nbme.org.


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SEEF Evaluation Criteria

  • Strength and fit of the proposal with stated program goals
  • Clarity of writing and organization of Letter of Intent
  • Individual goals
  • Team contribution
  • Ensuring a diverse membership that represents a range of background, experience, and schools will be a key consideration in selection.
  • Commitment of educational institution

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In addition to covering expected travel expenses, the selected cohort participants will receive up to $25,000 total toward the team’s approved research expenses.

More information
We look forward to reviewing the Fellowship applications and helping medical school faculty further their skills in medical education and assessment research with colleagues and NBME staff.

Contact the SEEF Fellowship program manager for more information by emailing NBMESEEFfellowship@nbme.org.

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