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The Voice of Nursing Education

NLN Nursing Education Research Grants Guidelines

The NLN Research in Nursing Education Grants Program supports high-quality studies that contribute to the development of the science of nursing education. The NLN-funded grants promote diversity of research topics and support investigators who demonstrate rigor and innovative approaches to advance the field of nursing education research. All NLN research grants relate to the NLN Priorities for Research in Nursing Education.

Access a free archived webinar that outlines the submission process for research proposals; provides tips for developing strong, competitive proposals; and encourages submissions that clearly address issues relevant to excellence in nursing education. Please note: Internet Explorer or Google Chrome work best when viewing the webinar.


The NLN is deeply committed to supporting beginning researchers as well as accomplished nursing education scholars. The NLN awards three to five research grants annually up to $30,000 each to NLN individual members and faculty of NLN member schools. Funding is provided by the NLN and through endowments and donations to the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education.  Funds will not cover expenses incurred prior to the funding date.


  • Principal investigators must be current NLN members, either through their school or through individual dues payment.
  • All studies must relate to one or more of the NLN Priorities for Research in Nursing Education.
    • One cross-cutting theme for the 2016-2019 priorities calls for Partnerships as key strategic approaches to leverage resources and build nursing education research capacity through intra/inter-professional and collaborative practice that improves patient-centered outcomes for the benefit of all participants.  For the 2019 grant cycle, the focus of the Dorothy A. Otto Research Award will be on a DNP-PhD collaborative nursing education research proposal.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • A complete proposal includes both a Comprehensive Review File and a Blind Review File.
  • The proposal must be submitted electronically by a specified deadline. Incomplete proposals or proposals submitted after this time will not be accepted for review.
  • Applications must adhere to requirements for format, content, length limitations, and necessary supporting materials as outlined in the NLN Research Grants Submission Guidelines (PDF).

Components of the Comprehensive Review File

The components of the Comprehensive Review File must be submitted in one PDF file via the online submission system.

  1. Title page
  2. Proposal (including abstract)
  3. Budget (you must use the NLN Research Budget Template (DOCX))
  4. References cited
  5. Appendices
  6. Support letters
  7. Consultants' letters
  8. IRB approval and informed consent/instruments
  9. Instruments
  10. Qualifications of the PI Form (DOC)
  11. Biosketch Form for PI, Co-PIs and consultants (DOCX)

Components of the Blind Review File

The components of the Blind Review File must be submitted in one PDF file via the online submission system. NLN will run document inspector to remove hidden data and personal information.

  1. Title page with researcher's name and affiliation removed.
  2. Proposal (including abstract) with all identifying information removed.
  3. Budget with all identifying information removed.
  4. References.
  5. Appendices with all identifying information removed.

How to Submit:

Submissions are accepted online only. If this is your first time using NLN's online system, Fluid Review, please download the instructions for starting an online submission.

Submit proposal here  (Deadline: February 4, 2019). 

Review Process: 

The NLN Nursing Education Research Grants review process is used. All proposals are submitted for blind review by carefully selected experts in nursing education research. The submitted Blind Review File is the file that is reviewed by these experts.  Grant award recipients are selected through a peer review process using the
NLN Proposal Review Rubric (DOCX). 


Letters of notification are sent to grant applicants no later than July 1st of each cycle. Funding will be available no later than September 1st of the grant cycle.

Grant recipients are formally announced at the NLN Education Summit each fall.  Awardees are encouraged to attend.

For questions about the submission or review process, please contact

Reporting Requirements: All grant recipients will be required to complete an interim and final report using the forms below. Reminders will be emailed to the principal investigator in advance of the deadline.