Microresearch improves rural health professions education by engaging learners in scholarly activity. The program, founded and managed by Rural PREP for four years before transferring under RTTC, was inspired by the Africa MicroResearch organization, which focuses on sustainable community health research through training, mentoring and funding. 

Read about our microresearch approach in an article published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.



RTTC awards up to $1,500 for research performed by a student, resident, or other trainee in collaboration with a qualified mentor at the same or another institution. Research must be relevant to:

  • Rural health care,
  • Rural population health, or
  • Rural health workforce education and training

Microresearch awardees have a mentor who guides the student throughout the research process. It also invites students to participate in quarterly Microresearch Learning Community tele-video meetings for student and faculty development.



Design Award: Awarded to a project that is under development, with a plan to complete the study within 2 years. These projects are included in all microresearch learning community activities but without funding. With mentoring to fully develop a compelling, feasible research idea and strong plan for execution, successful recipients of the Design Award will complete their research design and achieve IRB approval during 2021-2022 with potential for funding in 2022-2023. 

Implementation Award: Awarded to a fully-designed project with a plan to complete the project and expend all funds by June 20 of the academic year the award is made (an academic year runs from July through June) and that can realistically be disseminated within two years of notice of award. Applications for this award may be approved, but without funding, and awarded in the Design category. Awards were made for up to $1,500 for allowable expenses with justification in AY2021-2022. There are currently no plans for additional external funding for AY2022-2023.


Funding 2021-2023: 

For this pilot period under The RTT Collaborative, design and implementation awards were made through the following institutions:

  • Ohio University – 1 awards
  • University of Washington – 0 awards 
  • University of North Dakota – 5 awards 
  • The RTT Collaborative – 2 awards

The Microresearch program is being revised to better serve the research needs of our participating programs. Suggestions and requests for assistance can be made to our director of micro research for AY2022, Sharon Casapulla EdD, MPH or David Schmitz MD, research advisor.


Contact Sharon Casapulla (casapull@ohio.edu) for questions.