• Family Medicine Discovers Rapid Cycle Scientific Discovery and Innovation (FMD RapSDI)

    Building research capacity for family medicine scientific discovery by funding practicing family physicians to generate new evidence and innovative models for “what works” in real-world primary care settings.

    Family Medicine Discovers Rapid Cycle Scientific Discovery and Innovation (FMD RapSDI) is a signature primary care research program funded by the AAFP Foundation in collaboration with the AAFP National Research Network (AAFP NRN). 

    How FMD RapSDI Works

    FMD RapSDI supports short-term innovative and high-impact research projects led by practicing family physicians. No previous research experience is required. Physicians selected as FMD RapSDI Scholars will serve as Principal Investigators for their projects and will receive support and mentorship from AAFP NRN staff to develop and refine a research protocol, perform project activities, and conduct data analysis. Scholars have the opportunity to participate in one or more research conferences/meetings and author a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Two practicing family physicians will be selected as 2024 FMD RapSDI scholars. Each scholar receives a $40,000 grant for project associated costs and/or to offset time/salary required to conduct research. The AAFP Foundation does not provide grant funds for indirect or overhead costs, including facility and administration costs.

    Key Dates

    • Sept. 29, 2023: Round 1 application period opens
    • Nov. 8; Nov. 10; Dec. 6; Dec. 8, 2023: Online information sessions
    • Jan. 16, 2024: Round 1 application period closes at
      5 p.m. CT
    • May 2024: Round 1 decision letters sent to applicants
    • Sept. 9, 2024: Round 2 application due
    • Nov. 2024: Two scholars selected and notified
    • Jan. 1, 2025: Expected 12-month project start date

    RapSDI Application

    The 2024 FMD RapSDI application is open September 29, 2023 through January 16, 2024 (application portal closes at 5:00 p.m. CT). Application submissions are divided into two competitive rounds. All complete Round 1 submissions will be reviewed, and four finalists will be selected and invited to participate and submit a Round 2 application. Round 1 decision notifications will be sent in May 2024.  

    If invited to submit for Round 2, selected applicants will work with a mentor to develop a more traditional research plan and budget. If an applicant has not identified a mentor at the time of application, they will be matched with an AAFP NRN staff member and/or outside research mentor. Round 2 applications are due September 9, 2024.

    Information Sessions

    Session Dates

    • Nov. 8, 2023 from 12-1 p.m. 
    • Nov. 10, 2023 from 1-2 p.m. 
    • Dec. 6, 2023 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. 
    • Dec. 8, 2023 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Note: All times are listed in Central Time. 

    Please join us for one of our open house-style informational sessions. Each session will include a brief presentation and overview of the RapSDI program and application process along with a Q&A portion. During each session, we will repeat the presentation to allow participants to join and exit the session at any time. 

    RapSDI Eligibility

    • AAFP member
    • Practicing family physician
    • Any stage of career, post-residency
    • Willing to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) of proposed project over 12-month timeline
    • Preference will be given to qualified applicants with no/little previous research experience.
    • Topic or clinic-inspired question should be relevant to family medicine, and generalizable or scalable.
    • Project scope feasible to achieve in less than 12 months and within available budget ($40,000).

    RapSDI Scholar Deliverables

    1. Complete project/intervention as outlined in proposal submitted during Round 2 application.
    2. Prepare brief quarterly reports due March and June, Sept., and Dec. of the project cycle year.
    3. Write a final report, which may be in the form of a manuscript for a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
    4. Present a research poster or presentation on project results at an appropriate meeting or conference.
    5. Allow AAFP to feature Scholar and project in promotions for FMD RapSDI.
    6. Participate in 1-3 professional development activities as appropriate for Scholar’s career goals.

    Meet Previous Scholars

    Check back soon to learn about the 2023 Scholars.

    The AAFP National Research Network is proud to introduce past FMD RapSDI Scholars.  Learn more about the 20202021 and 2022 scholars.

    • Dr. Lauren Ciszak: Medically Tailored Meal Kits as a Means of Decreasing ED Visits and Hospitalizations in Primary Care Patient with Chronic Disease.
    • Dr. Vijay Singh: Adapting Evidence-Based Male Intimate Partner Violence Perpetuation Interventions for use by Family Medicine Clinics and Patients.
    • Dr. Iman Majd MS, L.Ac: Feasibility of implementing and evaluating group Auricular Acupuncture (AA) for chronic pain management in a primary care setting
    • Dr. Sanjay Batish, FAAFPCan the SaFETy score predict an adolescent-young adult’s gun violence exposure over a six-month period when conducted in a non-urban primary care setting? 
    • Capt. Dr. Michael Arnold: Does patient-applied anesthetic prior to intrauterine device (IUD) insertion reduce procedural pain and difficulty?
    • Dr. Allene WhitneyCan care delivery strategies developed during the COVID-19 pandemic be utilized to increase prenatal care engagement in our community among pregnant women with substance use disorders?


    The AAFP NRN is seeking volunteer peer reviewers and mentors for FMD RapSDI.  

    Peer Reviewers review Round 1 applications and provide constructive comments for improvement. Timeframe for review is February 1-29, 2024. Each reviewer will review no more than six applications. The expected time commitment for application reviews is 15-30 minutes per application. Sign up to serve as a peer reviewer. 

    Mentors: Mentors will assist RapSDI scholars in developing  their Round 2 application, including a more traditional research proposal, protocol, and budget, as well as in identifying professional development opportunities in line with Scholar goals. The general time commitment for mentors is June 2024 – early-September 2024. Read more about mentor expectations

    If you're interested in serving as a mentor to a RapSDI finalist or scholar, contact us at RapSDI@DARTNet.info.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    An applicant can submit multiple topics, but each idea/topic must be submitted in a separate application. Applicants can submit a maximum of three topics/questions. The personal statement in each application should match the idea/topic. If more than one topic is submitted, each question must be distinct and unique from the other questions (i.e. questions can't be similar with a different practice settings.) If you have questions about this, contact program staff at RapSDI@DARTNet.info.

    Applicants must be an AAFP member. A membership number is required to submit application. Learn how you can join the AAFP.

    No, you must be a practicing family physician at the time of your Round 1 application in order to be eligible to apply to the first round. 

    No, you do not need to identify a research mentor in Round 1. Application reviewers will not see responses to this question during the Round 1 selection phase. This question is included in the application to help the FMD RapSDI assemble a mentorship team for the four candidates that advance to Round 2. If you do not have someone to serve as a research mentor, the FMD RapSDI team will help identify researcher(s) to assist you in developing an application based on topic and/or methods.

    A research mentor will be asked to help refine and develop your research question, protocol, instruments, and budget. They will be asked to have regular meetings with you to discuss your research plan. They may also be asked to connect with FMD RapSDI staff on a monthly basis during the Round 2 application phase.

    Email RapSDI@DARTNet.info for more information.