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ALSN & American Nurses Foundation Announce Nursing Leadership Research Grant

2024-2026 Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Award


Online Submissions Open: October 11, 2023

Deadline for Submissions: December 15, 2023, 11:59 pm Central Time. Submissions received after this time will be rejected.

Award Notification: February 15, 2024

Public Announcement: February 20, 2024

Funding Dates: upon execution of award agreement (March 1, 2024 or no later than April 15, 2024)

ALSN is excited to announce a research grant opportunity made possible by the generous support of the American Nurses Foundation (the Foundation), Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Endowment. This request for proposals will provide funding for one research study that advances the science supporting and reframing the role of frontline nurse leaders (e.g., nurse managers, assistant nurse managers, administrative supervisors, nursing directors). Of particular interest are studies that examine span of control, work-life balance, and career advancement. This call is for research proposals on frontline nurse leaders and supports the following ALSN research priority areas1:

  • Nurses’ health, well-being, resiliency, and safety in the workplace
  • Healthy work and practice environments for nurse leaders
  • Nurse leaders’ development and essential competencies

One grant will be awarded:

  • $20,000 (U.S. Dollars) to fund a single award for a research study
  • Funded by the American Nurses Foundation Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Endowment
Concurrently, we know there is a need for nursing leadership science to move beyond descriptive research toward interventional and translational research to understand what works, for whom, and under what conditions.2 Solutions must be driven from a systems perspective. As such, we are particularly interested in study proposals that examine specific system-level strategies

that address frontline nurse leader span of control, work-life balance, and career advancement. Research in the following areas are of particular interest:

  • Implementation and effectiveness of strategies that support frontline nurse leader transition to practice
  • Roles to support frontline nurse leaders during nights and weekends such as House Supervisor
  • Strategies to support work-life balance such as flexible scheduling, remote workdays, co-management models, or sabbaticals
  • Measurement, evaluation, and redistribution of frontline nurse leader span of control
  • Meta-analysis on frontline nurse leader research to identify areas of alignment or significant differences to guide future areas of study


  • Principal investigators must be ALSN members and current with their membership dues. 
  • Principal investigators must be senior researchers with a strength in nursing leadership science or junior researchers interested in nursing leadership science who will be mentored by a senior researcher. Student researchers are not eligible for this award.
  • Principal investigators must be current licensed Registered Nurses.
  • Members of the board of directors, officers, and staff of the ANA Enterprise and ALSN are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers currently funded by the American Nurses Foundation are not eligible to apply.
  • Principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be evident in the construction of the research team and study. Research teams must include nurses and ideally include interdisciplinary partners and input from representatives of the target study population.


  • When a study involves human subjects, institutional review board (IRB) approval from a United States university or agency is required and, if applicable, from each site where the study or portions of the study will be conducted.
  • Grant award agreement must be completed within 60 days of Award Notification.
  • Implementation of the research project must commence immediately upon receipt of the funds.
  • Research project must be completed within 24 months.


  • ALSN provides funding for direct expenses and allows up to 10% of total grant funds, exclusive of outsourced services, to be used for indirect expenses or overhead expenses. Indirect or overhead expenses must be included as a line item in the proposal budget to be approved. 
  • Investigator time may be supported by this award. All other research-related expenditures including salary support for research assistants or statisticians, supplies, software, printed materials, copying, communications, study incentives for participants, and expenses related to attending and presenting study findings at conferences can be included.
  • Requests to purchase specialized equipment with a unit cost of more than $500 will be considered. Justification for this expense must be documented. Supplies and equipment with a unit cost of less than $500 remain the property of the sponsoring institution at the close of the grant period. Ownership of equipment and software with a unit cost of more than $500 at the end of the grant period will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Travel to present project findings is permitted up to $1,500 per co-investigator (no first or business class travel). Travel exceeding this range may be submitted for consideration and prior approval following completion of study to cover additional presentation opportunities that enhance dissemination of results. Travel should not exceed 20% of the budget.
  • Prohibited Expenses
    • Ongoing general operating expenses and/or existing deficits;
    • Endowment contributions;
    • Loans;
    • Purchase of personal computers, permanent equipment, facilities, or other capital costs, except as noted below; and
    • Educational assistance such as tuition, textbooks, or dissertation/thesis preparation.


  • Upon acceptance of the award and the successful submission of all required documents, ALSN will make a payment to the grant awardee’s sponsoring institution as specified in the grant agreement, of fifty percent of the grant award total.
  • An additional 40% will be awarded after a mid-grant Interim Review or upon need-based petition by the Grantee.
  • The remaining 10% is withheld until submission of the final narrative and financial reports. The sponsoring institution must send a statement requesting any payment due with the final financial report.
  • Payments will be made in U.S. Dollars.

Expectations of Grant Recipient:

  • At the beginning of the grant period, the principal investigators will provide a jpg head shot and a narrative biography of no more than 300 words for each investigator.
  • Obtain IRB approval prior to conducting the research and file a copy of that approval with the ALSN VP of Research.   
  • Conduct the research as proposed.
  • Manage the budget and expend the grant funds in accordance with the proposed budget and grant guidelines.
  • Submit progress report by February 28, 2025.
  • Submit final grant report at the end of the project or by February 28, 2026.
  • At the conclusion of the research study the principal investigator will submit an executive summary and narrative and financial final report on the progress of the study.
  • Upon conclusion of the study the principal investigator will be asked to:
    • Allow study findings to be incorporated into the American Nurses Foundation’s and ALSN’s marketing and communications;
    • Aid the American Nurses Foundation and ALSN in demonstrating impact of the research.
  • The grantee is expected to build dissemination activities into the project, to include:
    • Development and submission of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed nursing research journal within six (6) months of study completion;
    • Presentation of results at the 2026 ALSN Conference;
    • The Principal Investigator will provide notification when the study findings are published and presented.


  • Awardees will acknowledge the American Nurses Foundation Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Endowment and ALSN on all publications and presentations related to the study.
  • All presentations, publications, and other communications regarding this study must include the following acknowledgement: “This study was funded (or partially funded) by a research grant from the Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Endowment at American Nurses Foundation.”


  • Applications must be submitted electronically. Provide an electronic copy (Microsoft Word) of the entire application. The application should consist of a maximum of 6 single-spaced pages, not including the cover page, reference list, or appendices (0.5-inch margins; Times New Roman or Arial 11-point font).

Cover Page

  • Investigator(s) name, title, department, affiliation(s), address, phone, and email address
  • Project Title

Research Plan (6 pages max)

  • Purpose of the project: including research question(s)/hypothesis and/or aim(s) 
  • Background and significance: Describe the most significant and current state of the research in this field of study. Articulate the study’s relevance to frontline nurse leaders and the ALSN research priority areas listed at the beginning of this application.
  • Innovation: Describe how this study is innovative, how it will advance the field of leadership science, and the potential for future research.
  • Methods:
    • Theoretical framework (if appropriate)
    • Research design
    • Sample and setting
    • Data collection, including measures
    • Data analysis
    • Methodological rigor - reliability, validity, or trustworthiness for qualitative studies
  • Plans for protection of human subjects
  • Plans for dissemination and future study: clearly articulate how the findings from this study will be disseminated (e.g., presentation venue(s) and publications) and how findings will be used to inform future research.
  • Projected timeline for accomplishing the plan of action
  • Budget and budget justification

Additional pages to be included:

  • A list of references cited in the proposal
  • Appendix with instrument(s) and/or interview guide(s) to be used in the study
  • Proof of author permission for use of proposed instruments
  • Brief (up to 5 pages) Curriculum Vitae (may use federal forms, such as the NIH biosketch form) for each investigator
  • Identification of any other funding sources for this project
  • Letter of support from the organization(s) where research will be conducted

Review Criteria:

  • Applications will be evaluated based on relevance to frontline nurse leaders, alignment with the ALSN research priority areas identified at the beginning of this RFP, study significance, methods, feasibility, budget, and potential for future funding. 
  • It is the researcher’s responsibility to present the proposal in a clear and logical fashion, to make a convincing case for the significance and the ability to secure future funding, and to present sufficient detail about the research plans so that an adequate evaluation of the proposal can be made.


For questions, contact Dr. Lisa Hedenstrom and Dr. Linda Roussel, Co-Chairs of the ALSN Grants Review Committee.


  1. Chipps EM, Joseph ML, Alexander C, et al. Setting the research agenda for nursing administration and leadership science: A delphi study. J. Nurs. Adm. 2021;51(9):430-438. 
  2. Grubaugh ML, Warshawsky N, Tarasenko LM. Reframing the nurse manager role to improve retention. Nurse Leader. 2023;21(2):195-201.
  3. Joseph ML, Nelson-Brantley HV, Alexander C, et al. Building the science to guide nursing administration and leadership decision making. J. Nurs. Adm. 2022;52(1):19-26.

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