The Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund (SEEF) serves the next generation of medical educators through professional development and a newly introduced fellowship program.

Making an Impact within the Medical Education Community

The Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund includes three distinct activities: the NBME Invitational Conference for Educators (NICE), the SEEF Medical Education Research Fellowship, and a focus on strengthening connections with our volunteers.  

Invitational Conference for Educators (NICE)

The first component of the Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund is the NBME Invitational Conference for Educators (NICE)

The goal of the conference is to foster skills development in assessment and to provide a venue for networking for the faculty attendees. Participants in the conference learn techniques and best practices for school-based assessment through a series of hands-on workshops.

The conference not only gives NBME an opportunity to contribute to the medical education community, but also allows us to listen to and learn from participating faculty.

2019 Conference

The second annual NICE was held in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 15 and 16. Faculty from 135 US allopathic and osteopathic medical schools participated.

With help from current and past NBME test committee members, NBME staff presented interactive workshops on written and performance assessments.



Medical Education Research Fellowship

The second component of the Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund is the Medical Education Research Fellowship. 

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.

The project-based faculty development program was 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

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.

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.

Participants in the Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund Program are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Make a 24-month commitment
  • Travel to Philadelphia four times a year
  • Attend every cohort session and participate in interim conference calls
  • Contribute to the work of the fellowship team in order 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

If you are interested in applying for the Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund Program, please 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
    • 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)

The application window is currently closed.

Strengthening Volunteer Connections

The third component of the Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund involves working to strengthen connections with our volunteers.

Four themes have been identified to strengthen NBME connections with volunteers past and present. 

These include:

  1. Engagement & collaboration 
  2. Enhancements and improvements for volunteer recognition 
  3. Facilitate expansion of volunteer opportunities 
  4. Develop communications and facilitate a volunteer network.

Initially, staff have begun work in the following areas:

  • Test Development and Volunteer Services staff will enhance the language in the President’s letter to Medical School Deans. Volunteer Services will request volunteers provide additional contacts (names/organization) to whom the letter can be sent.  Volunteer Services will expand the types of committees for whom a letter is sent to include all volunteers and additional Task Forces (i.e. international partners, committees in Medical School Services and Form Review committees).
  • Staff will develop paragraphs that describe the committees and the work of the committees that volunteers can use on their CV and/or for promotion. 
  • Staff are researching the ways other organizations highlight volunteers and Test Development and program staff are creating criteria for “rewarding” and recognizing volunteers. Communications staff sill highlight volunteers on the NBME website.


The application includes the Letter of Intent (LOI), the applicant’s current CV, and the required sign-off forms from the medical school dean and the department chair or designee. The application cycle is currently closed and will re-open in 2021.  Please check back in 2021 for updated information.

No. The deadline is firm.


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.

Due to the global pandemic, the meeting dates have changed.  However, future fellows can expect to travel to Philadelphia quarterly for in-person meetings. 

Yes, associate professors can apply.

We anticipate the cohort will meet approximately four times a year in Philadelphia, for 2-3 days total each time.

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.

Only US and Canadian schools are eligible.

No, only one application per school is permitted.

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.

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.

The Fellowship is a two-year commitment. 

It is open to all faculty interested in medical education research.

Yes, faculty can apply from a school with pre-accreditation.

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.

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.