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Research Update

    • Research

AOSSM Holds Research Workshop at Annual Meeting in Washington, DC

At this summer’s AOSSM annual meeting, the AOSSM Research Committee (C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Chair) hosted a two-hour research workshop featuring panel discussions with representatives from federal and foundation funding agencies, including Jason Kim, PhD, Vice President, Osteoarthritis Research Program at the Arthritis Foundation; Lindsey A Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS) and Charles Washabaugh, PhD, Orthopaedic Research Program Director, Division of Extramural Research, NIAMS; and Akua Roach, PhD, Program Manager, Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program, at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense.

Following the discussion, AOSSM Members presented on topics such as finding balance between clinical and research growth (Drew Lansdown, MD, University of California San Francisco), multicenter/collaborative grants and data registries (Rick Wright, MD, Vanderbilt University), the translational journey from bench to bedside (Martha Murray, MD, Boston’s Children Hospital), and focusing proposals on research questions of interest to the military (Andrew Sheean, MD, Brooke Army Medical Center).

Throughout the workshop, our participants learned about the various types of grant mechanisms available, where to locate requests for proposals (RFPs), and the topics of interest to funders. Volker Musahl, MD, University of Pittsburgh and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, University of California San Francisco served as moderators for the event and led a rich discussion among panelists and workshop participants.

Five “lessons learned” from our experts were:

1. Don’t give up! No one gets a grant the first time. With each submission you will receive feedback that improves your subsequent submissions. It takes trial and error to get “good” at grant writing.

2. Follow your passion. Find a topic you are passionate about pursuing. That will keep you motivated when you feel like you aren’t making progress.

3. Develop a process. A systematic process will guide your grant writing and provide structure in conveying your goals to the reviewers.

4. Ask for help. Have trusted colleagues with a history of success read your grant and provide feedback.

5. Get mentorship. Like other areas of clinical medicine and science, grant writing skills are acquired over time. The most successful people have a research mentor to guide their development.

A smaller grant is a great way to obtain finding for a pilot study and start your grant writing career. AOSSM offers several grants each year. Visit our Grant Opportunities page.

An Investment in Research = An Investment in AOSSM’s Future

Research is one of three pillars of the AOSSM 2022-2027 strategic plan. To support this commitment, the society has invested in Proposal Central, a web-based research portal. This new platform streamlines the grant application, review, and post-award management of AOSSM grants program. It also facilitates our efforts to track awardees’ publications and new grants. This assists AOSSM’s efforts to understand return on investment for the organization, its member donors, and our sponsorship partners.

We recently reached out to previous awardees to learn how their AOSSM grants had affected their research careers. As you can see in Table 1, our grants and the dollars behind them are empowering our Members to conduct strong research and further their careers. Our new research portal will provide a central repository for this information, which is now part of the required progress reporting our awardees complete twice per year.

Beyond the tangible metrics such as number of publications and new grant funding, our awardees are experiencing growth in their research programs in additional ways. Take a moment to read the High Five by Nathan Skelley, MD, from Sanford Health, and consider the many benefits he has realized from his 2021 Playmaker Lab Grant (generously funded by The Aircast Foundation).

AOSSM has awarded over $675,000 in grant funding to date in 2023. We are continuously looking for new grant opportunities by seeking member donations, industry partnerships and collaboration with like-minded organizations. Please join us with an investment in AOSSM research.

Table 1. Snapshot of Past AOSSM Grant Awardees (2015-2021)

Grant (N= # of grantees included)PublicationsCitationsNew Funding ObtainedComments-Additional Benefit

Kirkley (6)

$20,000 award each/$120,000 investment total

$120,000 -> $3,692,813




“The Sandy Kirkley award was instrumental in providing infrastructure support toward putting a successful CDMRP PRORP application together.”

Young Investigator Grant (5)

$40,000 award each/$200,000 investment total

$200,000 -> $2,014,875




“This project was a necessary steppingstone to receiving high level funding. Although my AOSSM project was not completely related to my later future funding, the experience that the AOSSM project allowed me to get as well as the basic science publication certainly contributed to improving my candidacy for future funding.”

Osteoarthritis (1)

$50,000 award/total investment

$50,000 -> $1,644,526




“This grant gave me important resources at a critical time in my academic career. This allowed me to take my research in a new direction and supported a graduate student to conduct this research. She has since graduated with her Ph.D. and is now a Lead Clinical Scientist.”

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