AARC Vision Grant

The primary purpose of the AARC Vision Grant is to provide funding to members conducting research initiatives that can document the clinical and economic impact of respiratory therapists specifically related to the organization’s mission to secure the highest quality care for all patients who suffer from cardiopulmonary disease.

Request for Applications

The AARC invites interested parties to submit a one-page letter of intent (LOI) for possible funding that advances the profession of respiratory care. Submit the LOI to Dr. Shawna Strickland. If the LOI is accepted, a full proposal is due no later than July 1, 2018.

Review of projects that focus on the impact of previously published AARC Clinical Practice Guidelines, and how clinical interventions by respiratory therapists (RTs) affect the overall health of patients are encouraged. In 2018, proposals that include how a higher level of education (Bachelor’s degree) at entry to practice in respiratory care meets societal expectations by improving patient outcomes and safety are urged.


Letter of Intent Deadline — May 1, 2018
LOI decisions will be communicated to applicant by May 15, 2018.

Proposal deadline (if your LOI is accepted) — July 1, 2018

Submission Requirements

Once a letter of intent is approved, an electronic (PDF) copy of the application in ONE document (a detailed description of the proposal requirements is included below) is requested. Cost sharing is encouraged with educational institutions, professional organizations, hospital systems and foundations. If the LOI is accepted, submit the full proposal to Dr. Shawna Strickland.

Overview and Goals

The AARC is providing funding for research that compares the quality and safety of respiratory care when provided by respiratory therapists who hold an associate degree (AS) versus respiratory therapists who hold the Bachelor’s degree. There is a need to demonstrate the added value of Bachelor’s degree-prepared RTs to the outcomes of respiratory care provided, or outcomes of the RT department and the institution. This RFP does not imply that currently provided respiratory care is unsafe or ineffective.

The review committee is seeking proposals may include the use of the AARC Clinical Practice Guidelines and clinical interventions. Examples below illustrate the types of proposals the AARC Vision Grant seeks to fund:

  • A team-focused proposal detailing patient outcomes in acute care facilities and comparing that with the demographics of the RT department to include:
    • Patient outcomes: ventilator days, length of stay, readmission rates, reintubation rates, VAE rates
    • Demographics: education level of RT (MS, BS entry, BS completion, AS, Certificate), years of experience in the field, credentials earned, use of protocols
    • Disease management: patient-driven protocols, recognizing and resolving patient deterioration on mechanical ventilation, acute disease exacerbation, airway emergencies, etc.
  • An individual-focused proposal detailing a double blind study that measures indicators of quality patient care delivered by respiratory therapists through a simulated critical care patient interaction.
    • The research questions and methods should indicate a null hypothesis as being Entry-Level graduates with no differences in the performance of an associate degree prepared respiratory care student in their last term of studies compared to a bachelor’s degree prepared respiratory care student in their last term of studies.
    • Participant variables should include student degree, age, gender, number of clinic hours, etc.


All are encouraged to submit a LOI that describes a research plan that can adequately investigate the effect of educational level of respiratory therapists to quality of care indicators and patient safety or Departmental/institutional performance on core value measures. Preferences are given when respiratory therapists are the primary investigator or co-investigator.

Applications of any amount up to $50,000 accepted for review.

Proposal Contents and Page Limits

The one-page LOI should address the research questions, research methods, and significance of the research. If the LOI is accepted, interested researchers will be asked to submit an application of no more than ten pages, including:

  • State the scientific rationale for the study and detail how this study advances the profession of respiratory care
  • Provide specific research question(s) that are sufficiently focused to carefully map issues related to the safety and quality of respiratory care
  • Justify the scientific merits of study plan and the potential impact of the proposed research
  • Provide a timeline for the proposed research and qualifications of all investigators
  • Prepare and justify a proposed budget
  • Document that IRB approval is secured
  • Description of any equipment to be purchased and any implementation expenditures

Review Process

Applications evaluated based on the ability of the award to:

  • Leverage existing strengths of the primary investigators and co-investigators
  • Well-designed studies that can reveal differences in quality and safety, if any
  • Advance the profession of respiratory care and enhance the AARC’s mission and vision
  • Cost sharing with funding partners
  • Support AARC members