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Application Requirements

Specific Aims

Specific Aims are limited to one page. This is the most important page of the application. State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will have on the research field(s) involved. List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed (e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology).

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy has a limit of five pages and should include sufficient information needed for evaluation of the project, independent of any other document. Be specific and informative and avoid redundancies.

The Research Strategy should answer these broad questions:

  • What has already been done?
  • What do you intend to do?
  • Why is the work important?
  • How are you going to do the work?

Organize the Research Strategy in the order specified below and using the instructions provided below. Start each section with the appropriate section heading – Significance, Innovation, Approach. Cite published experimental details in the Research Strategy and provide the full reference in the References document.

If an applicant has multiple specific aims; Significance, Innovation, and Approach may be addressed either for each Specific Aim individually or for all of the Specific Aims collectively.


  • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses.
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project.
  • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
  • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.


  • Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.
  • Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.
  • Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.


  • Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project.
  • Describe plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project.
  • Describe the experimental design and methods proposed and how they will achieve robust and unbiased results.
  • Include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.
  • Include sample size calculations and/or power analysis.
  • Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.
  • If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high-risk aspects of the proposed work.
  • Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised.


List all references according to The American Journal of Sports Medicine format and alphabetically. Each reference must include the title, names of all authors, book or journal, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. The reference should be limited to relevant and current literature. While there is not a page limitation, it is important to be concise and to select only those literature references pertinent to the proposed research.


Applicants are free to present their proposed budget in their preferred format. Please list each major expense separately with a brief description and total amount. Supplies under $1000 do not need to be itemized. Budget justifications are encouraged but not required. See fiscal procedures and policies below for details.

Benchmarks and Timeline

Applicants are free to present their proposed benchmarks and project timeline in their preferred format. Include major tasks you will accomplish during the project period and milestones events that will occur to demonstrate progress towards the Specific Aims and completion of the project.

Appendix: Applications may include the following optional materials in the appendix:

  • Surveys, questionnaires, data collection instruments, and clinical protocols
  • Cover letter
  • Letters of Support

Investigator Biosketches

Biosketches of senior investigative team members are strongly encouraged. The biosketch for each investigator is limited to three pages. If any member of the investigative team already has a previously completed NIH Biographical Sketch (or other funding agency biosketch) you may submit the form without page limitation.

  • Name/Position Title
  • Education/Training/ Institution/ Location
  • Degree (if applicable), completion date, field of study, begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable.
  • Positions and Honors: List in chronological order previous positions and list in chronological order any honors. Include present membership or committee appointments.
  • Selected Peer-reviewed Publications: AOSSM encourages applicants to limit the list of selected peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press to no more than 15. The individual may choose to include selected publications based on significance of contribution to science, recency, importance to the field, and/or relevance to the proposed research.
  • Ongoing and Completed Research Support: List ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and your responsibilities. Do not include the number of person months or direct costs.

Fiscal Procedures and Policies

Facilities to be provided by the grantee(s) or their parent institutions: Research grants are designed to serve as supplementary funding for meritorious projects initiated or contemplated by the grantee(s) and their parent institutions. Therefore, the grantee(s) and such institutions are expected to provide all the necessary basic facilities and services normally expected in professional environments qualified to undertake research related to sports medicine. AOSSM expects that the grantee(s) will have available, whether from their own resources, funds other than those assigned by AOSSM, or from their parent institutions the following, unless otherwise specifically agreed upon:

  1. Laboratory space
  2. Maintenance services, including maintenance supplies and service contracts
  3. Telephone service, if needed
  4. Library services, including subscriptions to periodicals and the purchase of books
  5. Laboratory furniture
  6. Salaries of principal investigator or co-investigators, unless otherwise agreed upon
  7. Foreign and local travel expenses of personnel working under the AOSSM grant
  8. Society dues and memberships of personnel working under the AOSSM grant
  9. Workers' compensation, public liability or other hazard and special insurance
  10. Office equipment
  11. Employee group life, disability, medical expense, or hospitalization insurance
  12. Audio/visual project support devices and items
  13. Hospital bed expense, nursing, or related services, even when used for research studies pertinent to the subject of the AOSSM research grant

As a matter of policy, AOSSM grant funds may not be spent for remodeling or building construction costs or travel expense.

Overhead/Indirect Costs: The bulk of the grant should generally be dedicated to purchasing those materials that are directly related to completion of the project. The cost of disposable or non-reusable experimental equipment or costs for use of equipment in the institution are generally justified.

Unexpended Balances -- Completed Grants: Any unexpended balances of $100 or more at the scheduled conclusion, or other termination of any AOSSM grant must be refunded to AOSSM within sixty (60) days together with the final report of the grant fund expenditures.

Reporting: Status Update Reports for those Receiving Grants: All grant recipients are required to submit status updates to AOSSM every 6 months after official notification of their selection. Failure to report on the project within 1 year of the award date or 1 year from most recent status update report can lead to withdrawal of grant support. The status updates are reviewed by AOSSM to ensure adequate progress towards the completion of the projects specific aims. If the project is adequately progressing, the next disbursement of grant funds will be made. Funds are equally disbursed based on the project timeline in the grant application. For any funded grant project to be considered complete, the recipient must provide a final report to AOSSM within the project period. No-cost-extensions (NCE) are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Final Reports for Those Receiving Grants: At the end of the funded study, the grantee(s) must prepare, sign (together with the countersignature of the responsible financial official of the parent institution where appropriate), and submit to the AOSSM a report of grant expenditures. A final narrative report is also required at the completion of the study that summarizes research findings. Manuscripts under consideration for or accepted for publication are also acceptable as a final report.


AOSSM’s first right of publication of grantee(s) research findings resulting from AOSSM grants are reserved for consideration of publication by the Editorial Board of The American Journal of Sports Medicine. AOSSM should be sent reprints of all papers and publications resulting from work done under an AOSSM grant, including those that appear after the grant has been terminated. The following acknowledgment must appear as a footnote on the first page of the manuscript or printed text: “SUPPORTED BY A GRANT FROM THE AMERICAN ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY FOR SPORTS MEDICINE” The same credit line must be included when the grantee(s) presents a paper at a professional or scientific meeting based on a study funded by AOSSM.

Playmaker Grant

Additional Application Requirements

Phase 1: Apply

Applicants must be available to participate in the Playmaker Grant Lab on Saturday, July 13, 9:00-12:00pm at the 2024 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. This initial application includes a cover letter that introduces the proposed investigation and begins to outline the specific aims of the investigation.

Letter of Interest (LOI): This LOI serves as an introduction and brief description of the project you are presenting for the Playmaker Grant. The LOI should be signed by the Principal Investigator(s) and not exceed two (2) pages. Components of this letter may include:

  • Summary Statement
  • Statement of Need
  • Project Activity
  • Anticipated Impact
  • Credentials/Investigative Team
  • Budget
  • Closing Remarks

Phase 2: Present

Applications accepted to the Playmaker Grant Lab will be invited to present their Research Strategy to a task force from the AOSSM Research Committee at the 2024 Annual Meeting. The presentation should not exceed 15 minutes. This session on Saturday, July 13, 2024, will be open to meeting attendees to participate. All funding decisions will be made by standing members of the AOSSM Research Committee.

Phase 3: Final Application

Projects selected for funding during the Playmaker Grant Lab will be required to submit a formal grant application, following AOSSM Grant Application Format. This includes Specific Aims, Research Strategies, References, Budget, Benchmarks, Timeline & Investigator Biosketches. Projects seeking supplemental or bridge/gap funding will be eligible to submit existing documentation.

Apply on Proposal Central

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