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Small Grants Program

The Small Grants Mentee/Mentor Program accepts applications from NANN members interested in developing their research skills and/or initiating their own research study or evidence-based practice (EBP) project.

The call for applications is closed

Research Project Outline

Evidence-Based Practice Project Outline


The purpose of the NANN mentored research and EBP proposal grant program is to build the research study and EBP project capacity of neonatal nurses. Through a productive mentor-mentee relationship this award provides neonatal nurses who have not been previously engaged in writing research or EBP proposals or who have not been successful in obtaining previous funding to begin a research or EBP project in an area of interest.

Amount of Grant Funding

Awards are limited to $5000. Up to three grants will be awarded for the year 2018. The funding cycle begins November 1 and ends October 31 of each year. Awards will be made to the grantees’ institution.


  • Mentee: The Principal Investigator for this research or EBP project is the Mentee and may be a nurse, a graduate student, a post doctorate or junior faculty. Those with previous external funding for a single award greater than $25,000 direct costs are ineligible.
  • Mentors: The Mentor is someone who can guide and support the mentee in developing her or his research or EBP project skills. The mentor should possess leadership skills; and knowledge, skills and expertise in designing and conducting research or EBP studies. The mentor should be willing to commit, actively guide, counsel, and foster the mentee’s growth. The mentor should have a history of successful EBP or research activities.

The mentee must be a member of the National Association of the Neonatal Nurses. Proof of membership must be submitted with the application. Mentors need not be members of NANN however they do need to possess the skills as listed above to guide the mentee in this project. If a mentor cannot be easily identified by the mentee, please contact the NANN office for assistance. There is a strong preference that the mentor be a nurse.

Criteria for Scoring Proposals

Use the links below for guidance about how proposals will be reviewed and scored.
EBP Project Review Criteria
EBP Project Score Sheet
Research Project Review Criteria
Research Project Score Sheet

Appropriate and inappropriate use of funds

Funds can be used for supplies, small item equipment, technical services, travel directly related to the project, and expenses related to conducting the project.
Funds cannot be used for salary support, student tuition, books and school supplies, professional organizations membership fees. Funding up to $1000 can be designated in the budget for travel to present the results of the project at the NANN's Annual Conference. These funds may only be used for presentation of completed funded projects by the Mentee, not for projects in progress. No travel funds may be requested to present at nursing meetings other than the NANN Annual Conference. It is our intent to support the growth of research and EBP projects and dissemination of best practices within NANN and thus funding for travel to other meetings is not allowable.

Terms of the award and accountability

Within 30 days of completion of the project recipients must submit a One Page Progress Report to the NANN Board of Directors explaining how project objectives were met and how the funds were used. Recipients must participate in the NANN Annual Conference abstract submission process upon completion of their project. Recipients also are encouraged to disseminate project findings via the NANN paper presentation sessions and neonatal peer reviewed journals. All presentation and publications should acknowledge the support of NANN Research Institute.

Notification and release of funds

Approval by the institutional review board is not required at the time of submission of proposals for review for potential funding. Evidence of IRB review (if applicable) is required for release of funds.

Application deadline and submission

Applications are due on March 1st of each year. All applications must contain all required parts and must be submitted completely to be eligible for award.

Before drafting your Proposal:

Is this an EBP Project or a research study?

Whether a proposed study should follow the procedure for an EBP project versus a traditional research proposal can sometimes be confusing. Therefore, NANN provides the information below to assist potential mentees in making this determination prior to proposal development.

What is the difference between Research Studies and Evidence-Based Practice Projects?

Research Studies are conducted with the intent of generating new evidence or strengthening existing evidence related to a clinically relevant nursing problem. Research projects are guided by a conceptual framework that allow research questions to be answered and/or hypotheses to be tested. Existing research studies are critically reviewed to justify the need for new or strengthened evidence (i.e., significance of the study). The description of a research project would include background and significance, methodology (design, sample, setting, valid and reliable data gathering strategies, data analysis), interpretation of results and implications for nursing practice and future research. IRB review is mandatory.
Evidence-Based Practice Projects are conducted with the intent of either generating a clinical practice guideline or implementing a practice recommendation in a particular setting based on existing evidence. Evidence- based clinical practice guidelines/practice changes must incorporate patient preferences as well as expert clinical judgment. Existing research studies are critically reviewed to determine the quality of available evidence that would justify implementation of the specific practice change. The description of an EBP project would include the background and significance of the problem, how research evidence was obtained and evaluated, steps taken to implement the practice change, barriers to implementation, analysis of nursing and patient outcomes, and recommendations for next steps related to practice, education, or future research. Outcomes of an EBP project applied to a clinical setting should be compared to what research has previously found in a more controlled environment. IRB review may be needed for an EBP project if outcome data are collected from human subjects.

What to do if the answer to this question remains unclear?

If you are uncertain whether your project better fits criteria for an EBP project versus a traditional research study, it may be helpful to consider your project within the context of an EBP model. While there are many EBP Models currently in use, the Iowa Model is one that can assist in making the determination of whether sufficient evidence exists for a practice change to be made (EBP project route), or whether the current literature base is insufficient and requires more discovery work (i.e. traditional research study).

The Small Grants Program aims to build the research capacity of neonatal nurses. We are proud of the contributions made to neonatal nursing by our past Small Grants recipients


The Small Grants Program is sponsored in part by:

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