Free Money: How Pharmacies Can Apply for Grant Funding

Funding Change: How Pharmacies Can Apply for Grant Funding by Elements magazine |

Inside: Do you have an idea for your business or community but don’t have the funding? Learn how to get free money to pursue your dream. 

Grant funding isn’t only available for nonprofits, charities, and schools. Your independent community pharmacy is eligible to receive funding for research or for a special project, too.

“We encourage submission of all grant application ideas,” said Anne Marie (Sesti) Kondic, PharmD, executive director and grants administrator for the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF), a national nonprofit organization.

The CPF provides grants and funding for special projects and studies directly associated with community pharmacy practice and the advancement of patient care services by pharmacists. The foundation has already awarded research and project grants worth nearly $10 million since 2002.

More than 140 grant-funded initiatives—including research examining the effect of pharmacist-directed cardiovascular medication management, and a project involving pediatric medication therapy management in urban and rural settings—have recently received funding. Your idea could be next.

Here’s how to apply for—and earn—grant funding to put toward making a difference in your community and in the industry.

Application process

The grant process starts with an idea, but you need more than just that.

“Community pharmacy practitioners are encouraged to submit a project or research idea that addresses unmet needs,” Kondic said.

If you don’t have an idea for a grant project, use the CPF mission statement as a starting point. Or, Kondic said you could replicate a previously completed CPF grant project in your community.

Once your idea is set, it’s time to apply. CPF’s grant process starts with an online application, which is open for submissions year-round.

Kondic said the CPF board meets five times a year and reviews submissions. When reviewing submissions, they ask questions such as: Does the research meet the CPF mission and vision? Is it new research, or has CPF already funded the topic? Does the research or project highlight new innovations in patient care? And, is the grant sustainable, replicable and transferable?

If the board approves the submission, applicants are asked to submit a more detailed grant proposal. If approved, they’re also given a grant agreement defining the conditions for financing, and assigned a grant administrator to monitor their progress and authorize issuance of grant dollars.

Grant partnerships

If you’re not comfortable applying for a grant alone, seek out partnership opportunities.

For example, the NACDS Foundation gives grants to nonprofits and institutions of higher learning that partner with pharmacies to complete research, according to Kathleen Jaeger, president of the NACDS Foundation.

“Independent community pharmacies can work with academic institutions to submit a research proposal,” Jaeger said. “Or, pharmacies can respond to a call for interested pharmacies to participate in a specific research project.”

Pharmacies have contributed valuable information to many projects about accountable care, transitions-in-care, point-of-care testing, and more, Jaeger said.

Or, you can partner with an academic institution directly. Kondic said CPF also encourages independent pharmacies to collaborate with a college of pharmacy.

“The partnership can bring additional research strength and staffing support to implement and monitor the project,” Kondic said.

Answers to a changing industry

Grant-funded projects and research really come down to the same goal for everyone: improving patient care.

Kondic said CPF evaluates grant projects and research proposals based on how well they highlight new innovations in patient care, ideally addressing compensation models for delivery of care.

Once grant-funded research and projects are completed, Kondic said the findings are posted at CPF also works with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to maintain a reference library of pharmacy topics, articles and resources on the CPF website. These findings often address today’s big issues such as care transitions, adherence, MTM and patient safety.

This research demonstrates how pharmacists and CPF grants are creating solutions to health care issues, Kondic said, and CPF grants continue to support pharmacy practitioners as they seek to improve patient care.

“CPF is an organization whose primary purpose is to assist community pharmacy practitioners by providing resources for research and development to encourage new capabilities and continuous improvements in the delivery of patient care.”

5 grant application tips

Make the most of the grant application process—and get your idea noticed—with these tips from Anne Marie (Sesti) Kondic, Pharm.D., executive director and grants administrator for the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF).

1. Be relevant
Review the organization’s vision and mission to ensure your grant topic aligns with the organization’s core purpose.

2. Propose a variety of ideas
Organizations, such as CPF, appreciate seeing a variety of ideas for projects in grant applications.

3. Submit often, and resubmit
If the organization doesn’t limit submissions, submit multiple ideas and consider resubmitting modified ideas that were previously rejected.

4. Collaborate
Work with a nonprofit, an institution of higher education, such as a college of pharmacy, or, partner with another health professional organization, to apply for, implement and support your grant project idea.

5. Follow the criteria
Examine the organization’s criteria for funds and carefully follow these guidelines during the application process.


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