SSH Early Career Mentored Research Award

SSH Early Career Mentored Research Award



 2025 Funding Cycle



Wednesday, July 15, 2024

5:00 PM Eastern (US)

Apply Now 


Letter of Intent Instructions



Award Objectives

In 2013, the Research Committee of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) established the Early Simulation Career Research Award Program (formerly the SSH Novice Research Grant Program) to support the development of new investigators and research initiatives.  The Society has awarded over 20 monetary awards to early career research projects in healthcare simulation research.

Early career researchers developing methodologically sound simulation-based research projects using quantitative, qualitative, or hybrid, mixed-method approaches are sought for these awards.  Studies that are both innovative and have strong potential for a positive impact on the simulation field are encouraged. The potential impact on the applicant’s career is also considered. 

Funding Available

Research awards of up to $10,000 are available.

Research Priorities for Consideration

Below are priorities identified by the Research Committee for the 2025 funding cycle; however, the Committee does not restrict funding only to these priorities and will consider high-quality proposals that advance theoretical and applied knowledge in healthcare simulation research.

1. Studies that consider and investigate the balance between physical realism and resource utilization (cost, sustainability, and scalability) in simulation education.

2. Studies comparing factors related to the use of high vs. low-fidelity simulations and simulators.

3. Studies investigating simulation-based factors (debriefing method, fidelity, learning modalities, etc.) that lead to optimization and acceleration of competency and learning in teams.

4. Studies investigating optimal dose, frequency and interval of simulation training sessions for competency-based training.

5. Studies comparing variables (faculty presence, feedback methods, etc.) that influence and inform the setting of standards and assessment methods used in competency-based training.

6. Studies that investigate the relationship of simulated participant methodology and emerging technologies, including hybrid strategies.

7. Studies measuring the impact (emotional, learning, retention, etc.) of in situ simulation events on participating professionals and/or care teams and patients not involved in the event.

8. Studies comparing Extended Reality (XR) based simulation with non-XR based simulation modalities, as it applies to training effectiveness/efficiency, learner outcomes, and mitigation of learner cybersickness.

9. Studies comparing the effectiveness of various debriefing techniques on learner competency, retention or other psychometric parameters.

How to Apply

Step 1: Letter of Intent

The letter of intent (LOI) is a high-level outline of your research project, including the gap to be addressed through the research, the overall design/methodology planned to complete the project, your project timeline, budget, and supporting references.

Deadline for 2025 Letters of Intent (LOI) - Wednesday, July 15, 2024 - 5:00 PM Eastern (US)

Notification Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2024


Step 2: Full Proposal (By Invitation Only)

Upon completion of the LOI review process, select projects will be invited to submit a comprehensive and fully detailed proposal for further review and final consideration for funding.

If you are selected to submit a full proposal, the following deadlines apply:

Deadline for submission of full proposal: Monday, September 30, 2024

Video Interview for finalists: Week of October 21, 2024

Notification Date: Monday, November 4, 2024

Awards will be announced at the 25th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH 2025), being held in Orlando, Florida, USA, January 10 - 14, 2025.

Award Stipulations

Period of Funding

Projects must be completed within 18 months from the date of receipt of funds.

Progress Report

Principal Investigators receiving a funded award are required to submit a progress report at nine months and a final report at the end of the 18 months.

Publication and Presentation Requirements

Manuscripts resulting from awarded studies must be submitted FIRST to Simulation in Healthcare, the official journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. If, during the peer review process, the manuscript is not accepted to Simulation in Healthcare, authors are free to submit the work to other journals of their choice.

An abstract resulting from the project must be submitted for presentation at a live or virtual SSH-sponsored educational program.

Applicant Eligibility

  • The principal investigator (PI) may not have received more than $10,000 (USD) in previous research award funding from external sources. 
  • The PI may not have been the primary author on more than five peer-reviewed articles now in publication.
  • One project submission will be accepted from each PI.
  • Mentorship from an experienced researcher is required. Contact information for the project mentor must be included in the Letter of Intent proposal, as mentor participation will be verified for selected projects.
  • Co-investigators other than the project mentor are encouraged, though not required.

NOTE:  Only one project submission will be accepted from each Principal Investigator.

Scope of Project

  1. Studies that are both innovative and have strong potential for a positive impact on the simulation field are encouraged
  2. Award projects may be used for PILOT projects that are intended to lead to larger investigations.
  3. A comprehensive range of sound empirical research methods will be considered (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods)


  • Projects should not be related to funding for current or future academic research required for degree completion
  • Award funding is not intended for review projects (e.g. scoping reviews, meta-analysis, systematic reviews)

Budget Parameters



The award is designed to be the only source of external funding for submitted projects. Projects for which non-SSH funds are being used in addition to non-SSH external funding sources are not eligible.

Award funding MAY be used for:

  • Personnel costs - up to 40% (e.g. stipends for faculty/staff/graduate students/trainees, research assistants, project managers, statisticians, data analysts, subject matter experts, consultants, standardized participants (SPs)
  • Equipment/material costs - up to 50% (e.g. VR headsets, task trainers, wearables, computers, software, printing, paper, cloud storage, questionnaires, licensed tools)
  • Study participant support - up to 10% (e.g. gift cards, food and beverage support, parking)

Award funding MAY NOT be used for:

  • Travel
  • Conference and event fees
  • Membership fees
  • Professional development fees (e.g. tuition for educational programs or certification)
  • Indirect costs (e.g. organizational administrative support, organizational equipment, rental of space, utilities)

Letter of Intent (LOI) Requirements

Submission Process

Applicants are required to submit the Letter of Intent (LOI). In order to access the LOI submission form, applicants will first need to login to the SSH website at, however, membership in the Society is NOT required for application to the award program.

Applicants will receive a confirmation email when the submission has been completed and readied for peer review. Incomplete or nonconforming LOIs will not be forwarded for peer review.

Ethics Review and Human Subject Protection

All proposals submitted must include evidence of submission to an appropriate Ethics Review Board regardless of whether human subjects are used. Documentation of approval or exemption of the project by the review board is not required at the time of proposal application but will be required before the funding of the project. 

Background (1,000 characters, includes spaces)

A succinct overview of the field to be studied, including what is known about the topic and what remains to be explored is required. Describe how and why the proposed research will advance understanding in the field or bridge gaps in knowledge. The background literature should also include any supporting theoretical or conceptual framework as dictated by the specific research areas.

Research Question (1,000 characters, includes spaces)

Describe the research question driving the project and the need for the project within the field of healthcare simulation. Projects that can be broadly applied to the field of simulation are encouraged. List the goals and objectives of your study (e.g. to test the hypothesis of your research question). The hypothesis must be clearly stated for quantitative research. For qualitative research, a hypothesis is not necessary, but guiding research questions should be stated instead. Specific aims for the project should also be clearly stated.

Research Methodology (1,000 characters, includes spaces)

Clearly describe the methodology planned for the project, including the research framework intended. It is often useful to organize this section by listing each aim followed by the specific methodology that will be used to accomplish that aim. Other important components can include proposed inclusion and exclusion criteria for subjects, well defined outcome measures, proposed statistical testing, anticipated sample size, and the overall data collection and management strategy. Be as specific as possible.

Project Timeline (1,000 characters, includes spaces)

Provide a timeline overview for project completion within the 18-month time period.

Budget (1,000 characters, includes spaces)

A high-level budget summary must be included, followed by a budget justification explaining how the award funds will specifically be used. The budget justification must demonstrate that adequate support and time will be dedicated toward completion of the stated goals.

References (Include no more than 10 references)


Contact the SSH Office of Continuing Education at

About SSH

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) was established in January 2004 to represent the rapidly growing group of stakeholders who utilize a variety of simulation techniques for education, assessment, and research in health care. The membership, now numbering over 4,000, is united by its desire to improve healthcare worker performance and reduce errors in patient care using all types of simulation tools including computer screen-based simulators, task trainers, human patient simulators, virtual reality, hybrid devices, and standardized patients. We are a broad-based, multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty, international society with ties to medical specialties, nursing, allied health paramedical personnel, technologists, and industry.

WINNERS - 2024 SSH Early Career Research Award

Use of a Focused Hybrid Curriculum and Task Trainer to Train and Maintain Surgical Airway Skills among Anesthesia Providers

Principle Investigator: Charles Lin, MD, MS

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


The Application of Virtual Simulation in Promoting Empathy

Principle Investigator: Samantha Juan, EdD, RN, MSN, CCRN-A, CHSE, CNE

California State University Eastbay, Hayward, California, USA


Using Virtual Reality in Training Behavior Technicians Who Work with Children with Autism

Principle Investigator: Adam Scott Hockman, MA

ABA Technologies & MGH Institute of Health Professions

Baltimore, Maryland, USA


WINNERS - 2023 SSH Early Career Research Award

The Novel Use of Technology to Support Sustainability of an Obstetric Emergency Simulation Program in a Middle-Income Country

Principle Investigator: Sasha Hernandez, MD

New York University, New York, USA


Differences in Student Experiences of Virtual Simulation Co-creation: Shifting Healthcare Education Towards Equity-centered Authentic Assessment: A Phenomenographic Study

Principle Investigator: Laura Killam, PhD(c), RN

Queen’s University

Kingston, Ontario, CANADA


WINNERS - 2022 SSH Early Career Research Award


Does Simulation Improve Medical Decision-Making in EMS?

Principle Investigator: Daniel Johnson, MD

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA


Implementation of a Novel VR Crisis Scenario Simulation for Anesthesia Trainees

Principle Investigator: Lenard William Babus, MD

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


WINNERS - 2021 SSH Early Career Research Award


Creation of a Novel Distance-based Learning Curriculum Comparing Immersive Virtual Reality Curriculum to Standardized Simulation for Residents Across Multiple Disciplines

Principle Investigator: Erin Hulfish, MD

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

Stony Brook, New York, USA


Caregiver Experience with High-fidelity Tracheostomy Simulation: A Qualitative Study

Principle Investigator: Darlene Acorda, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, CHSE

Texas Children’s Hospital

Houston, Texas, USA

WINNERS - 2020 SSH Early Career Research Award

Simulation Training and Assessment in Interventional Cardiology

Principle Investigator: Yao Xiao

Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University

Guangzhou, China


Increasing Pediatrid Readiness in Critical Access Hospitals: An In-Situ Simulation-based Improvement Program

Principle Investigator: Emily Mathias

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


Validation of Using Video-based Simulation to Assess Task Mental Representations

Principle Investigator: Vicky JH Yeh

Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minnesota, USA


WINNERS - 2019 SSH Early Career Research Award


Pediatric Sepsis Readiness in Latvian Emergency Departments: A Simulation-based Trial

Principal Investigator:  Reinis Balmaks, MD

Riga Stradins University

Riga, Latvia


Examining Relationships of the Simulation Faculty Workload Model


Principal Investigator:  Nikki Blodgett, PhD, RN

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana, USA


ESimulation-based Mastery Learning for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Principal Investigator:  Brittany Dahlen, BAN, RN, CCRN-K, CPHON, CPN

Children's Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA


WINNERS - 2018 SSH Early Career Research Award


Determining the interval of training required for competence and creating a Musculoskeletal Workshop with Simulators for Primary Care Physicians in Training

Principal Investigator:  Mary Lan, MD

Trippler Army Medical

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


Does Simulation-based Teaching Reduce CT Scans in Children with Very Low-risk Head Trauma

Principal Investigator:  Ilana Harwayne-Gidansky, MD, MA

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

Stony Brook, New York, USA


Use of Asynchronous Learning & Online Mentoring as a Low-cost Solution to Develop Simulation Educators in Indian Subcontinent

Principal Investigator: Asit Misra, MD, MEM

OhioHealth Learning

Columbus, Ohio, USA


WINNERS - 2017 SSH Early Career Research Award


Entrustable Professional Activities: Can Simulation be Used to Assess Competency?

Principal Investigator:  Tiffany Moadel, Leigh Evans

Yale School of Medicine

New Haven, Connecticut, USA


How Does Variation of Moulage Authenticity Impact Engagement of Participants in a Simulation?

Principal Investigator:  Jessica Stokes-Parrish

University of Newcastle School of Medicine

Hunter Region, Australia


Socioeconomic Bias: Impact on Physician Decision-making and Patient Safety

Principal Investigator:  Heather Fasano

Carolinas Healthcare System

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


Implementation of Mental Skills to Enhance Medical Students' Performance

Principal Investigator:  Nicholas Anton, MS

Indiana University School of Medicine

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA


WINNERS - 2016 SSH Early Career Research Award


De-escalating Angry Caregivers: RCT for Pediatric Trainees Using an SP Curriculum

Principal Investigator:  Sarah Hillgenberg, MD

Stanford University School of Medicine

Palo Alto, California, USA


Performance of an ED In-Situ Simulation Program Designed to Improve Sepsis Care

Principal Investigator:  Lillian Wong, MD

Institute for Advanced Simulation and Learning (IMSAL)

Bronx, New York, USA


WINNERS - 2015 SSH Early Career Research Award


Defining the Learning Curve for the Digital Labor Cervical Exam

Principal Investigator:  Joshua F. Nitsche, MD, PhD

Wake Forest School of Medicine

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA


WINNERS - 2014 SSH Early Career Research Award


Interprofessional Education in Pharmacology using High-fidelity Simulation

Principal Investigator:  Brittney Meyer, PharmD

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota, USA



For questions, please contact the SSH Office of Continuing Education at


Apply Now