Tips for Applying for Educational Grants

Tips for Applying for Educational Grants
Make your grant request stand out.
What is unique about this activity? What is the practice gap you’re trying to fill with this activity?
Needs Assessment / Gap Analysis.
Make sure your activity is designed to address professional practice gaps – a gap exists when an individual is
doing or accomplishing something that differs from what is desired or achievable (i.e., the gap is what they are
actually doing vs. what they should be doing better). Gaps should be competence, performance or patient
outcome based.
Make sure your needs assessment is based on specific data of the target audience and avoid broad, generic
data. For example, a broad gap would be “hypertension continues to go under-diagnosed and undertreated”. A
more specific (and improved) gap would be “a review of patient charts found that while rural healthcare
practitioners in Michigan are checking 80% of patients’ blood pressure, only 20% of patients receive the
recommended treatment”.
Learning Objectives.
Make sure your learning objectives are appropriately focused on the identified gaps. For example, using the
above needs assessment example, appropriate learning objectives would include “review and discuss
appropriate hypertension treatments” and “apply recommended treatments to hypertensive patients”.
Educational Format.
Incorporate formats that are 1) effective in achieving the objectives, 2) innovative and/or curriculum-based (i.e.,
multiple activities in different formats (live plus online) vs. one-time only meeting), and 3) designed to enhance
change in learners.
Faculty.
Do not include faculty names in grant submissions unless required to do so by the company. Some companies
will decline a grant if the identified faculty have been promotional speakers for their company during the
previous 12 months.
Content.
Make sure the company you are applying to has available funding for the therapeutic area of your initiative. If
the company does not list your content area, do not apply. Also, make sure the content of your activity does not
solely focus on discussion of off-label (non-FDA approved) uses.
Location.
Be careful of using venues with “resort” in the name. Some companies will not fund activities that are held at a
resort location, even if the agenda is designed so that education is the main focus of the activity (i.e., limited
potential for social events).
Outcomes.
Funders prefer to fund activities that are designed to achieve a minimum of level 4 (competence/self-reported
intent-to-change) outcomes. Beaumont CME currently incorporates a minimum of level 5 (performance/selfreport changes in practice) outcomes in all activities we certify.
Budget.
Be fiscally responsible. Do not overinflate fees or include large lump sums for fees or expenses (i.e., break out
food costs into per meal, per person; break out honoraria into per person fees). Do not include
‘entertainment’/’social’ related expenses as several regulatory agencies forbid companies from funding noneducational expenses. Do not include expenses to support travel, registration, parking or lodging expenses for
activity attendees (learners).
1. Honor each company’s submission lead times and required information.
Tips for Applying for Educational Grants
2. Do not submit grant requests for exhibiting or advertising opportunities.
3. Do not offer anything in exchange for the educational grant (no quid pro quo).
Who is the CME Provider?
The official CME Provider is Beaumont Health. Note: Grant checks can be made payable to the department
presenting the activity, but the CME Provider must be listed as Beaumont Health.
Who is the Educational Partner?
When Beaumont works with an organization that is not affiliated with Beaumont in any way, then the
organization (aka joint/co-sponsor) must be listed as Educational Partner. If the activity is directly sponsored
(no outside involvement), then this field will be “N/A” or left blank.
What if a company is providing an educational grant AND an exhibit/display fee?
Exhibits are considered promotional and therefore exhibit funds cannot be included as part of the educational
grant. The actual grant agreement amount must not include the exhibit funds. See also “CME Guidelines
Related to Educational Grants and Exhibit Space”.
What documentation does the Beaumont Department of CME require?
The following documents must be provided to the Department of CME following grant request submissions:
1. Actual grant request and any additional materials included with the grant request submission
2. Preliminary budget detailing how the grant funds will to be spent
Once a company has approved your request for an educational grant, a letter of agreement
must be signed by the Department of CME and the company providing the funds.
Who is authorized to sign grant LOAs for Beaumont CME activities?
LOAs can only be signed by the Beaumont Department of CME; we must review and approve all Beaumont
CME grants to ensure compliance.
Which agreement should be signed...Beaumont’s or the Company’s?
Beaumont CME has a grant LOA template that can be signed. However, if a company requires their own LOA
be signed, Beaumont CME will sign it if it meets our grants and contracts standards. Only one signed LOA per
company per activity can exist.
What if the company requires me to accept the terms of their agreement online?
Terms should not be accepted without prior approval by Beaumont CME. As soon as you receive a notice that
a grant is approved pending acceptance of the terms, provide Beaumont CME with your login information or a
copy of the original grant request and the electronic agreement terms. Beaumont CME will review the terms
and notify you if and when they can be accepted.
When can I acknowledge the grant funding?
The grant LOA must be fully executed (signed by Beaumont CME and the company) prior to being announced
in marketing materials AND prior to the activity occurring. Funds cannot be accepted without a fully executed
agreement received prior to the activity.
What if the approved amount of grant funding changes?
If the grant amount changes, either a new agreement must be signed or the amount changed on the original
agreement and the change signed & dated by all parties. Notify the Department of CME if this situation arises
for proper guidance.
What documentation does the Beaumont Department of CME require?
After the grant has been signed and before the activity occurs: Fully executed grant LOA (signed by Beaumont
CME and the company providing the grant)
After the activity occurs: Copy of the grant check AND final budget detailing how the grant funds were actually
spent.
Tips for Applying for Educational Grants
CME Guidelines Related to Educational Grants and Exhibit Space
Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Inspector General Compliance Program
Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
To reduce the risks that an educational grant is used improperly to induce or reward product purchases or to
market product inappropriately, manufacturers should separate their grant making functions from their sales and
marketing functions. Effective separation of these functions will help insure that grant funding is not
inappropriately influenced by sales or marketing motivations and that the educational purposes of the grant are
legitimate. Manufacturers should establish objective criteria for making grants that do not take into account the
volume or value of purchases made by, or anticipated from, the grant recipient and that serve to ensure that the
funded activities are bona fide. The manufacturer should have no control over the speaker or content of the
educational presentation. Compliance with such procedures should be documented and regularly monitored.
Source: http://www.oig.hhs.gov/authorities/docs/03/050503FRCPGPharmac.pdf
Standards for Commercial Support: Appropriate Management of Associated Commercial
Promotion
Is it acceptable to say, "In exchange for $5,000 of commercial support we will produce the CME activity
and as a commercial supporter you will get an acknowledgment and a 4 x 4 sq ft booth in the exhibit
hall."?
No, in this scenario the commercial interest is giving commercial support and getting promotional and sales
opportunities. Opportunities for advertising and promotion are being purchased with commercial support and
have become a condition of the support. Both of these are Not in Compliance with the Standards. The
commercial interest should buy advertising and promotion opportunities with resources designated for that
purpose. If an agreement for advertising or promotion is struck between the two parties it must be outside the
written agreement for commercial support. With respect to commercial support, the terms and conditions of the
support must be described in a written agreement between the accredited provider and the commercial
supporter. Any event or product that contains advertising or promotional opportunities must not be part of the
educational activity and must not be paid for by commercial support. Normally these are assigned to the "exhibit
hall," advertising pages or screens or promotional receptions or meals, all of which are clearly identified as such
by the learner.
Are advertising and exhibit opportunities always to be offered to commercial supporters?
No. Payment and arrangements for advertising and exhibits are separate, business transactions. They are
payment for the sale of promotional space.
Sources: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
Beaumont’s policy based on the above guidance:
Arrangements for commercial exhibits or advertisements cannot influence planning or interfere with the
presentation, nor can they be a condition of the provision of commercial support for CME activities.
1. Exhibit fees shall be separate and distinct from educational grants (they are not considered commercial
support).
2. Exhibit fees shall be set for each activity and will be standard for that activity; potential exhibitors shall have
equal access to purchasing exhibit space (first come-first serve).
3. All exhibitors must be in a room or area separate from the education and the exhibits must not interfere or in
any way compete with the learning experience prior to, during, or immediately after the activity.
4. Commercial interest (pharmaceutical/device) representatives may attend CME activities at the discretion of
Beaumont for the direct purpose of the representatives’ own education; however, they may not engage in
sales or marketing activities while in the space or place of the educational activity.
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