SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant

The SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant supports the adaptation and expansion of existing clinical skills training content so that it is publicly available and free-to-use. This grant program provides financial support for non-profit organizations and academic institutions to edit, improve, and publish existing clinical skills training content. Such content will enable health care workers to independently learn, practice, and self-assess specific clinical procedural skills.


The Intuitive Foundation recognizes that new approaches to training health care workers are needed to reduce the global burden of disease and suffering. In low- and middle-income countries in particular, barriers such as availability and cost can limit access to traditional clinical training opportunities. Clinicians have limited opportunities to learn and practice new skills once they have left the training environment. Too many clinicians learn new skills on patients without an opportunity for skills assessment and improvement.

To address these problems, the Intuitive Foundation funds SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant, which is an evolution of the Global Surgical Training Challenge. The SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant aim to support the development and evaluation of open-source clinical skill training modules that can be learned anywhere and at any point in the clinician’s career.

Handbook for Module Developers

This handbook contains information for applying to the SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant. Please read this entire handbook before applying for a grant. The handbook includes the following:

  • An overview of Surgical Education Learners Forum (SELF) and the Global Surgical Training Challenge;
  • The vision and general expectations of SELF;
  • A description of the types of training modules that SELF supports;
  • The criteria for grant eligibility;
  • The expectations of the participation of grant recipients;
  • The resources and financial support available through SELF’s grants; and
  • An overview of how to apply to the SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant.

What we’re looking for

The SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant program seeks proposals to adapt existing clinical skill training content for use on an open-source platform. Grantees will also enhance the content with self-assessment material so that the learners may self-administer the training and verify that they have gained competence in the targeted skill. This grant program expands access to clinical skill training content so that it is publicly available, free-to-use, and learner-centered. Successful proposals will adapt training content for appropriate use by health care workers in resource-constrained settings. Funding will enable grantees to adapt, edit, expand, and post skill training content on Appropedia, an open-source platform based on MediaWiki tools.

What we’re offering

The Foundation will provide financial and technical support for the adaptation and expansion of existing clinical skill training content so that it is publicly available and free-to-use. Funding can be used for costs associated with the adaptation of training content for hosting on Appropedia and for optimizing content for searchability. Up to US $75,000 is available for each grantee.


Grantees must be non-profit organizations or academic institutions with expertise in and a history of developing simulation-based medical skills-trainings.

The principal investigator or team leader for the proposal must be from and/or based in a low-income or middle-income country. Team members can be individuals from high-income countries as long as the lead is from and/or based in a low or middle-income country as defined by this World Bank List.

All training modules created through the grant will be required to be publicly available and free use by learners.

Total costs for a proposal may include no more than 20% indirect costs.

How to apply

Applicants must submit a proposal online via the Foundation’s grant website. All applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Training Grant Committee and evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Clarity of goals and objectives;
  • Filling an unmet need;
  • Evidence that the existing skills-training content can teach skills when administered in a traditional teaching environment;
  • Evidence that the submitting team has the clinical, technical, and educational knowledge and experience needed to develop quality training content;
  • Estimated outcomes and impact of increasing the proposed procedure or skill on the health of the patient population in low- and middle-income countries;
  • Global accessibility/buildability of any physical tools and/or simulators that are required for skill acquisition;
  • Quality and appropriateness of the self-assessment framework being proposed; and
  • Appropriateness of the proposal’s defined scope, timeline, and budget.

The SELF: Clinical Skills Training Grant program will have a rolling submissions process.

Submission packets will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and must be completed before the last week of each quarter to be included in the reviews. Submissions completed after the last week will move into the next quarter for review. Notifications will be provided on the status of an award and will be available after the committee has completed their review. Grant funding will be available after the execution of a grant agreement and will be paid quarterly.


In 2020, the Foundation created the Global Surgical Training Challenge to address the need for accessible and simulation-based surgical training through open-source training modules. Interdisciplinary teams from around the world have designed and tested training modules for use in low-resource settings. These training modules are designed to empower surgical practitioners not only by learning new procedures and skills, but also with opportunities for self-assessment. Through self-assessment frameworks, each surgical practitioner has the ability to measure their own proficiency and confidence when applying their newly-learned skills. This approach to skill-acquisition contrasts the “traditional” apprenticeship model of surgical training, which requires learners to see one, do one, teach one. Instead, the Intuitive Foundation aims to empower learners to see one, self-teach one, do one.

As of August 2022, Appropredia hosts fifteen surgical procedure training modules created during this challenge, and extensive integrated skills curricula for pre-hospital and emergency department trauma management. Materials developed with this grant will be added to that core content.