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2022-2023 Pilot Research Awards Request for Proposals

March 6, 2022, 11:59 pm Central Time 

ALSN is excited to announce a two-pilot research grant opportunity made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing and donations made by our own ALSN members. The Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing has been a proud and consistent sponsor of ALSN research, contributing $45,000 (US Dollars) to support 4 studies over the past 4 years. ALSN launched an inaugural kick-off campaign for the ALSN Research Foundation during the 2021 ALSN Conference. Because of generous donations from ALSN members, we raised $10,000 by the end of 2021. ALSN and the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing are now partnering on this request for proposals to provide funding for 2 pilot studies that advance the ALSN research priority areas1:
  1. Nurses’ health, well-being, resiliency, and safety in the workplace
  2. Developing and managing a nursing workforce to meet current and future healthcare needs
  3. Healthy work and practice environments for direct care nurses
  4. Healthy work and practice environments for nurse leaders
  5. Quantification of nursing’s value across the healthcare delivery system
  6. Nurse leaders’ development and essential competencies

Two grants will be awarded:

  • One $10,000 (US Dollars) award funded by the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing

  • One $10,000 (US Dollars) award funded by the ALSN Research Foundation

The nursing workforce has faced decades of challenges in optimizing the work environment in which they work. These challenges have been exponentially exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. New systems and models of care that can respond to today’s workforce crisis and prepare for future crises are needed. Research that investigates how to support nurse and nurse leader well-being is essential to achieving a healthy nursing workforce and will position nursing to address health inequities and drive prevention and health promotion.

A recent Delphi study conducted by ALSN and AONL Foundation unveiled key areas where nurse leaders lacked evidence to inform their decision-making during the pandemic: resiliency, trust, leader visibility, the role of the leader in disaster planning, and strategies for leading in crisis2. Respondents identified the need for designing and testing innovations leaders and organizations adopted such as new care models, staffing models, and cross-training practices2. Findings of this study also revealed a need for nursing leadership science to move beyond descriptive research toward interventional research to understand what works, for whom, and under what conditions3. Pilot studies are an essential foundation for advancing interventional research.

The Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing and the ALSN Research Foundation are proud to support these efforts by funding two pilot studies that align with the ALSN research priority areas. In doing so, our aim is to have a bigger impact in nursing leadership research. Proposals should reflect novel, innovative research with a strong potential for future federal funding or foundation funding at a national level.


  • ALSN members who are 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.
  • Applicants must be current with their ALSN dues. Other interested researchers may apply for the award so long as the grant proposal is accompanied by a membership application and ALSN dues.


  • Research must be completed within 18 months with findings that are used to develop a larger study grant application.
  • Recipients must agree to present at the 2023 ALSN conference.
  • All Institutional approvals must be received prior to release of funds.

Allowable Expenses:

  • Salary support/consultant fees for research assistants, statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, or consultants
  • Participant incentives
  • Interview transcription services
  • Conference registration and travel support to ALSN conference only, up to 10% of research budget
  • Instruments licenses
  • Supplies (not hardware or computers)
  • Other- printing, postage

Prohibited Expenses:

  • University facilities and administrative fees
  • PI salary
  • Computers/Hardware
  • Travel to conference other than ALSN

Notification of Award:

  • Recipients will be notified April 1, 2022.
  • The award recipient will be recognized on the ALSN website and at the annual conference.


  • Fifty percent of the Grant will be awarded in April 2022.
  • The remaining 50% will be awarded after a mid-grant Interim Review or upon need-based petition by the Grantee.
  • Payments will be made in US Dollars.


  • Applications must be submitted electronically, see below.
  • Upload 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 the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing stated topics of research interest and to ALSN research priority areas.
  • 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 future study: clearly articulate how the findings from this pilot study will be used to inform a larger, follow up study. Indicate specific funder(s) you plan to submit the proposal to and preliminary plans for the project.
  • Projected timeline for accomplishing the plan of action
  • Budget and brief 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 where research will be conducted

Review Criteria:

  • Applications will be evaluated based on alignment with the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing and ALSN research priority areas, 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.


ALSN-funded Investigator Responsibilities:
Research award recipients are required to:

  1. Obtain IRB approval prior to conducting the research and file a copy of that approval with the ALSN Research Committee.
  2. Conduct the research as proposed.
  3. Manage their budgets and expend the grant funds in accordance with the proposed budget and grant guidelines.
  4. Submit progress report by January 15, 2023.
  5. Submit final grant report at the end of the project or by October 15, 2023.
  6. Present findings to date (poster presentation or completed study as podium presentation) at the 2023 ALSN Conference.
  7. Awardees will acknowledge the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing or ALSN Research Foundation as appropriate as funding source on all publications and presentations related to the study.

The Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing and the ALSN Research Foundation strongly recommend publication of study findings to contribute to the body of nursing knowledge.


  1. Chipps EM, Joseph ML, Alexander C, et al. Setting the research agenda for nursing administration and leadership science: A delphi study. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration. 2021;51(9):430-438.
  2. Hand MW, Alexander C, Lyman B, Parchment J, Joseph ML, Chipps E. Filling the knowledge gap for nurse leaders: Next steps following covid-19. Nurse Leader. 2021.
  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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