Independent Medical Education Grants – Ensuring Successful Funding

Independent Medical Education Grants – Ensuring Successful Funding

How do you maximize your chances of success when applying for Independent Medical Education (IME) Grants? Bring your grant to life by telling a compelling educational story.

Why seek Independent Medical Education Grants?

Funding accredited continuing education (CE) can be expensive – IME grants are one way of funding the development of quality accredited CE. According to ACCME, 25% of accredited CE for physicians received commercial support in 2019.

Pharmaceutical companies and other ineligible organizations are prohibited from offering accredited CE directly or in joint providership with an accredited CE provider. Offering IME grants to aid the development of unbiased education is another way these organizations globally support and contribute to medical advancement and improved patient outcomes. Although competitive, seeking commercial support offers accredited CE providers funding opportunities that can greatly enhance their accredited CE offerings.

Sharing a compelling story is the key to ensuring successful funding.

Independent Medical Education Grants – Ensuring Successful Funding

In order to create a successful IME grant proposal, you need to bring your proposed accredited CE activity to life by telling a concise and compelling story. You can do this by:

  • Having an exciting title that clearly indicates the scope of the proposed activity/activities.
  • Making sure your story has a beginning (needs assessment/gaps analysis), middle (instructional/educational design) and end (outcomes measurement). Focus on clearly communicating why your accredited CE is needed, how you will design the CE activity to meet the identified needs, and how you will measure effectiveness and impact.
  • Don’t lose site of the planning process needed to produce quality accredited CE. Aligning your educational gaps with the program’s objectives, activity design and outcomes is essential.
  • Support your needs assessment with evidence that shows/supports a practice gap that can be closed with accredited continuing education. Remember, you are presenting to an audience with experience and expertise in the subject matter – they don’t need a lot of literature review to understand your focus area.
  • Demonstrate your expertise and experience in educational design.
  • Focus on outcomes measurement. Accredited CE promotes enhanced knowledge, skills/competency and practice change, which improves patient outcomes and contributes to healthcare quality. Grant committees are looking to support accredited CE that improves competence, performance, or patient outcomes.
  • Focus on outcomes reporting. Share your outcomes findings. IME grant funders will use this data to show a return on their investment in the education.
  • Ensure your story complies with the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education (last updated in 2020).


Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. 2020. ACCME Data Report: Steady Growth in Accredited Continuing Medical Education – 2019.

Beaton P, McGuiness S, Lichti A. Advanced Alligator Pit: Navigating the Grants Swamp. Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions Industry Summit. April 13, 2021.

Deborah C. Clark, Ph. D.

VP, Professional Development

AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare

Let’s connect! Let AKH simplify your grant process. We can help develop your IME grant request; provide feedback on a grant proposal to ensure a compliant, compelling grant story; assist with submissions and reconciliations; and provide updates about industry trends and RFPs.

Contact us today at [email protected].