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Debra Spunt Research Grant

The INACSL Debra Spunt Research Grants are designed to fund research that advances the science of simulation in healthcare and is related to at least one of the INACSL research priorities. Rigorously designed research proposals, both qualitative and quantitative are welcome.

Application Deadline

Submissions for 2024 are now closed. 


  • Proposals must be submitted by an INACSL member. The INACSL member can be the primary investigator or part of a team of researchers. If the INACSL member is part of a team, the INACSL member submitting the request must be a key person on the research team and is responsible for the reporting and follow-through.
  • These grants are designed to encourage novice researchers. Priority will be given to first-time applicants.
  • Each submission is only eligible for one grant award.
  • Proposals must target at least one of INACSL's Research Priorities.

Application Requirements

Submissions require the following items to be uploaded with the application form:

  • Proposal providing a clear and complete narrative account of the research project. It should include what is to be done, why, and how. The proposal should address the innovative nature of the research and include a title page, proposal, budget and references. The proposal should be no more than three (3) pages with the following sections:

    • Abstract - Summary including the background of the proposed project and any previous experience you have with the topic.
    • Significance - Describe the need your project will address. Clearly describe the issue, identify the benefits to the nursing community, and how the study aligns with the INACSL Research Priorities.
    • Question/Hypothesis - Identify the research question or proposition you intend to address with your study.
    • IRB/Ethics Approval - State whether IRB approval has been obtained or will be/has been submitted for. If IRB approval has not been sought, include the rationale for not obtaining approval.
    • Methodology - Describe your research design, data collection, and analysis procedures. Include a description of your sample and limitations of the study.
    • Outcomes - Clearly list the desired outcomes, linking them to the research question/purpose.
    • Evaluation - Describe the process by which you will evaluate the outcomes stated above.
    • Project Description and Timeline - Include a timeline of the project from its inception through its completion.
  • References - Pertinent references to support the proposal
  • Budget - One (1) page/spreadsheet addressing all items needed to complete the study and how the grant funding will be utilized. 
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) - Six (6) page maximum; may be single-spaced.
    • Include employment history, educational history, publications, research with dollar amounts, awards and honors, professional activities and community service, selected presentations, and other activities that demonstrate sustained contributions.
    • Each category should be organized starting with the most recent activities.
    • For length careers, the relevant activities and accomplishments should be higlighted, or the candidate may specify that the CV provides detail for only the last ten (10) years with abbreviated references to prior timespans.
    • Do not include courses taught, theses/dissertations supervised, extensive job descriptions, institutional committees, publications in process, or continuing education.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will consider all proposals to be evaluated according to the rubric, including:

  • Contribution to relevant nursing issues and the professional literature that enhances the state-of-the-science in this area of research and teaching
  • Technical merit - Is the project feasible, reasonable, doable?
  • Methodology - Is it appropriate for answering the research question?
  • Likelihood of timely completion of the project
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Consistency with INACSL’s mission and research priorities
  • Writing style - Be sure to proofread and correct grammatical errors, poor sentence structure, and spelling errors prior to submission

Reporting Requirements

Grant awardees are required to submit progress reports. Upon completion of the project, grant awardees shall submit an abstract for consideration to the INACSL Annual Conference for podium or poster presentation and/or submit a research report to for publication in INACSL's official journal, Clinical Simulation in Nursing.

Past Grant Recipients

Click here to learn about past Debra Spunt Research Grant recipients.

In Honor of Debra Spunt

Debra L. Spunt, DNP, RN, FAAN, was a pioneer in clinical simulation in nursing, co-founder of INACSL and served as its first president. She worked as an assistant professor and director of the clinical simulation labs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She died of cancer at age 50 in 2007, and the Debra Spunt Research Grant was created in her honor.