American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Research Grant and Fellowship Programs

​The AOA has funded osteopathic research within the profession for many years. The major purpose of research programs are to:

  • Generate and support research that develops and promotes an understanding of the philosophy, concepts and efficacy of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM); and to 

  • Develop and maintain the research capacity of the profession through support and training for researchers.

Research Grants

The AOA recognizes the value of all areas of biomedical research; however, the resources and facilities of the profession are limited, and direct research funding must focus on those areas of research that investigate the unique aspects of osteopathic medicine. The breadth of this research focus may include but is not limited to:

  • Mechanisms of Action of OMM/OMT
  • Clinical Efficacy of OMM/OMT
  • Inter- and Intra-rater reliability of palpatory assessment
  • Cost effectiveness of osteopathic health care
  • Osteopathic physician and patient interactions
  • Methods of teaching palpation and OMM/OMT

Applying for Grants

  • The award is for up to $50,000 per year. Investigators should not expect to be funded for more than two years on a single project.
  • For a complete description of the priorities of the AOA Research Grant Program, including eligibility criteria, please consult the AOA Research Handbook.
  • To submit your application, visit the grant and fellowship online submission website.
  • Submission deadline:  TBD

Research Fellowships

The Council on Research sponsors the AOA Research Fellowship Program. It is designed as a mechanism for supporting your research training and will enable you to conduct a basic science or clinical research project that will make a significant contribution to osteopathic medicine. Whether you are an osteopathic physician or physician in training, the fellowship is, in effect, seed funding to encourage you to contribute to research throughout your career in osteopathic medicine.

The fellowship involves the completion of a project under the direction of the sponsor. Both the sponsor and the applicant accept responsibility for the conduct of the project and the reporting of the scientific results attained. A portion of the research-training program may be conducted at an institution other than the sponsoring institution; however, the sponsor must have obtained the services of a consultant who will offer on-site supervision of that portion of the fellow's program, which is not completed at the sponsoring institution.

Applying for Fellowships

  • This Program is partially funded by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.
  • Research Fellowship applications are accepted on an annual basis and have a submission deadline of Jan. 30.
  • The award is for up to $10,000.
  • For a complete description of the AOA Research Fellowship Program, including eligibility criteria, please consult the AOA Research Handbook.​
  • To submit your application, visit the grant and fellowship online submission website.

AOA/ONCOR Orthopedic Resident Research Fellowships

The AOA/ONCOR Orthopedic Resident Research Fellowship Program is designed to support research training through hands-on experience obtained conducting a basic science or clinical research project that will help begin a paradigm shift toward more research in osteopathic orthopedic residency training programs. The fellowship provides seed funding to encourage DO orthopedic residents to do a major research project and become more adept at doing valid research. Our unique osteopathic philosophy needs to be brought more to bear on both surgical and non-surgical treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It’s time we offer a concerted effort at making a positive contribution to mainstream research in American healthcare.

The fellowship involves the completion of a project under the direction of the orthopedic residency director. The director and the applicant accept the responsibility for the conduct of the project and the reporting of scientific results attained. A portion of the project may be conducted at another institution such as an out-training rotation or a research-based university under a consultant approved by the residency director.

Applying for AOA/ONCOR Fellowships

  • This Program is funded by the Osteopathic National Center for Orthopedic Research.
  • Resident Fellowship applications are accepted on an annual basis and have a submission deadline of Jan. 30.
  • The award is for up to $10,000.
  • For a complete description of the AOA/ONCOR Resident Research Fellowship Program, including eligibility criteria, please consult the AOA Research Handbook.

SOMA Research Fellowship Program

The SOMA Research Fellowship (SRF) Program supports active research participation by osteopathic medical students in any area of medical research. Osteopathic physicians practice in all medical specialties, and osteopathic medical students should select an area of research that they find appealing. The objective of this program is to stimulate interest in research in an ongoing effort to increase the number of well-qualified osteopathic physicians who conduct research and publish cutting-edge research results. The award is paid directly to the student and is to be used as a stipend. Its use to cover indirect costs is not allowed.

Applying for SOMA Research Fellowships

  • This Program is partially funded by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.
  • SOMA Research Fellowship applications are accepted on an annual basis and have a submission deadline of Jan. 30.
  • The award is for $2,000.
  • For a complete description of the AOA SOMA Research Fellowship Program, including eligibility criteria, please consult the AOA Research Handbook.
  • To submit your application, visit the grant and fellowship online submission website.
  • If you have questions about the SOMA Research Fellowship, contact
  • Angela Parsons MS, OMS-III
    Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Student Osteopathic Medical Association
    Research and Development Director
    rd@studentdo.com