H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award

The award provides $20,000 USD over 12 months to support one student conducting research in domains of interest to AAAM.

AAAM Mission

The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) is a global, multi-disciplinary professional organization dedicated to saving lives and eliminating road traffic injuries through scientific research, authoritative educational programs, and public policy recommendations.

Purpose of the H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award

The purpose of the H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award is three-fold: To encourage original research on topics of interest to the AAAM, to foster the next generation of automotive/transportation safety researchers, and to encourage participation of AAAM members in the active mentorship of young researchers in the field of traffic safety.

The 2021-2022 H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award

The AAAM Scientific Program Committee (SPC) is seeking competitive proposals for the 2021-2022 H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award. The award provides $20,000 USD over 12 months to support one student researcher conducting research in domains of interest to AAAM. The award is designed to augment ongoing research by AAAM members, collaborators, and student trainees, although compelling pilot projects will be considered.  

The award winner will be announced at the 2021 conference in Indianapolis, IN. The theme for the 2021 AAAM Conference is Leading the Race: 65 Years of Automotive Safety. We invite proposals that cover all aspects of the Haddon Matrix and the Five Pillars of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action. We also encourage submissions that support the focus of our special interest groups including child, autonomous vehicle safety, and road safety in low- and middle-income countries. Submissions in these areas are encouraged, although given the organization’s multidisciplinary focus, the SPC welcomes submissions on diverse topic areas including emergency medicine, behavioral research, biomechanics, epidemiology, public policy and road traffic safety engineering (vehicle or environment based).

Applicants are encouraged to visit and explore AAAM’s website for more information on the organization. As a general guideline, proposed research covering any entry in the well-known Haddon Matrix will be considered provided that other eligibility criteria are met.

Eligibility Criteria

The award is open to degree seeking students currently enrolled at accredited institutions granting MS, MPH, PhD, MD or MD/PHD degrees, and conducting research in the areas aligned with the mission of AAAM. Because the award is designed to augment current research being conducted by the student, applicants must be no less than 1 year from degree completion at time of the due date. Applicants and mentors must be members of AAAM. However, researchers who are interested in submitting a proposal but are not currently members of AAAM are invited to apply for the award and also include their membership applications as part of the submission. In the event that there are co-mentors, only one mentor must be a member, but the other is highly encouraged to apply for membership. Membership fees for the student awardee will be waived for one year following receipt of the H. Clay Gabler Scholar’s Program Award. For more information on membership, go to https://www.aaam.org/join-aaam/.


A tabular budget with justification should be provided not to exceed $20,000 USD. Eligible costs include student stipend support, supplies, and materials for conducting the proposed research. Up to 5% ($1,000) can be budgeted for travel. The funding will be paid to the home institution or department of the faculty mentor. Please note that indirect costs (a.k.a. overhead or F&A) cannot be applied to the budget. No salary support for faculty mentors can be included.

Notes and Requirements for Award Recipients

Award recipients are required to submit an abstract to the annual meeting the year following their award. The abstract can be a full paper, short communication or student symposium entry. Awardees are also required to apply to serve the organization on an existing committee or subcommittee in the year following their award.

Proposal Contents

All applications must contain the following information and use the formatting below. Please submit a single PDF document in this order to assist the reviewers.

Each submission should begin with a title page including the title of the proposal, submission date, name of the student investigator and mentor(s). Co-mentorship is permissible however a letter of support from each mentor should be included with the application.

A cover letter on institutional letterhead should be included by the student applicant outlining the nature of the work and personal motivation to undertake the project. The mentor(s) should provide letter(s) of support for the student regarding the proposed work, indicating willingness to serve as a mentor and support for the technical aspects of the project. The applicant should include a letter from the Contracting Officer or other institutional official authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the institution stating that they have reviewed the proposal budget and agree to the terms of the RFP, including the prohibition of indirect costs.

A specific aims page should be included delineating the aims of the project, indicating data sources to be used or new data to be collected, central hypothesis or objective of the work and the outcome measures that will be used to arrive at your conclusions. A more in depth technical proposal should follow, with a limit of 3 pages, that expands on the aims page. In this section, we advise applicants to describe the current project in sufficient detail and note how the funding will be used to augment or expand the existing work. In the case of pilot funding proposal, be sure to indicate how the work will lead to future grant submissions. In all cases a description of milestones to be achieved should be noted.

A single page budget justification and budget table showing all costs should be included indicating how the funds will be spent over the 12-month period of the research project.

Students should include a condensed resume or CV, not to exceed 3 pages. The applicant’s name and institutions of higher education including degree, start and end dates, and field of study should be listed at the top of the first page. Following this, include a) a brief statement of research interests, b) educational background and training, c) professional experience (if any), d) awards and honors, and e) publications, presentations, abstracts or other scholarly work.

The application should use 12 point Times New Roman or Arial Font, single spaced, with moderate margins (nominally Top and Bottom 1” (2.54 cm) and Left and Right 0.75” (1.9 cm). Letters of support do not require specific formatting but should be on institutional letterhead.

Application Packet Checklist

Completed applications should be submitted as a single PDF by email to info@aaam.org, and are due by Aug. 16 (end of day).

Document Page Limit Complete?
Title Page 1  
Cover Letter 1  
Mentor Support Letter 1  
Institution Contracting Officer Letter 1  
Specific Aims Page 1  
Technical Proposal 3 (not counting references)  
Budget and Justification 1  
Applicant CV or Resume 3  
Membership Application N/A for current members.
Required for applicants (both student and mentor) who are not currently members.


Optional but encouraged for co-mentors (if applicable). Payment can be processed separately, please call AAAM at
+ 1 (847) 844-3880.


Review Process

Submissions will be reviewed by members of the AAAM Scientific Program Committee. The Student Program Subcommittee will undertake an initial review for completeness of proposals and assign reviewers who are members of the SPC with experience in the domain of the proposal to each submission. Up to three reviewers will be assigned to each submission. Reviewers will be asked to abstain from reviewing any submissions in which there are conflicts of interest. Reviewers will evaluate proposals on a 9-point scale similar to the US NIH system (1 = Excellent, 9 = Poor). The scale will be used to evaluate five criteria (Relevance to the AAAM mission, Significance, Innovation, Approach, Investigator). Summed scores will be averaged for a final score. The lowest scoring proposal will be selected. Ties will be broken by the Student Program Subcommittee chair, or Scientific Program Committee chair in the event that one of the tied submissions is from the SPS chair’s home institution.

Key Dates

  • July 1, 2021 – Call released
  • August 16, 2021 – Proposals due (7 weeks), 11:59 pm EDT
  • September 27, 2021 – Winner notified
  • October 21, 2021 – Official announcement at awards banquet

The award will be officially announced during the banquet of the AAAM annual meeting in Indianapolis, on October 21, 2021 although the awardee will be notified prior to this date. Recipients are not required to be present at the annual meeting to receive the award. The goal will be to begin funding the award the following month, November 2021, for a 12-month period.

Reporting Requirements

A kickoff meeting with the chair of the Student Program Subcommittee should be scheduled for the month of November to review project timelines, coordinate the student service requirement and discuss planned submissions to the AAAM conference. A single mid-year teleconference shall be scheduled approximately in early April to discuss progress. One desired outcome of the program is supporting highly relevant scientific content to be presented at the AAAM conference. This can be in the form of a full paper, short communication or student symposium entry. The deadlines for these are typically in December or April. The recipient’s registration fees will be waived for the annual conference and travel support to attend and present the research will be provided upon acceptance of the submitted abstract. A final report can be submitted in lieu of an accepted abstract or paper. A second desired outcome of this program is to foster the next generation of leaders within AAAM. Therefore, participation in service to the organization is a central aspect of the award and opportunities open to the student researcher will be discussed at the kickoff meeting.

Post-Award Recipient Timeline

  • Provide an update of your work at the 2022 Annual Conference (at beginning of Student Symposium)
  • Submit research to Call for Research process for the 2023 Annual Conference


Questions on this solicitation can be mailed to Katie Keel, AAAM executive director, info@aaam.org, +1-847-884-3880.