Everything You Need to Know About Awards, Grants, and Scholarships

September 06, 2017

Oncology nurses seeking to further their education, earn continuing education credits, perform research, or implement professional projects are encouraged to apply for funding through the ONS Foundation, a charitable arm of ONS. Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, executive director of the ONS Foundation (http://www.onsfoundation.org/), presented an overview of their many awards, grants, and scholarships.

Five types of funding are available to oncology nurses (not only ONS members), and Worrall presented details of each category, offered tips to help nurses develop successful submissions, and cautioned against common mistakes that frequently derail applications.

Academic Scholarships for Nurses Seeking a Degree

Career Development Awards for Nurses Seeking Continuing Education Credits

Research Funding

Project Funding

Chapter Funding

In addition to funding available to individual nurses, the ONS Foundation helps chapter leaders attend ONS Leadership Weekend ($1,000) and conduct breast cancer community education ($1,000). The ONS Foundation only awarded two community education grants last cycle, so Worrall particularly encouraged chapter leaders to take advantage of this opportunity.

Tips and Tricks

Throughout the presentation, Worrall stressed that applicants must

Worthy applicants have been denied, she said, simply because they applied to the wrong category or failed to fully answer a question.

Worrall took attendees through a mock application process. She demonstrated how to view grant availability and criteria on the ONS Foundation website (http://www.onsfoundation.org/), create an ID on the GrantMaker site, then complete an online application. GrantMaker requires each user to create one login, which then houses all of that person’s applications to the ONS Foundation.

Worrall cautioned users to save often and to ensure that all four icons (Complete, Save, Validate, and Submit) are displayed and highlighted. Many users have failed to complete the final “Submit” step; therefore, their applications were not reviewed.

Attendees also participated in a mock review of past applications, applying the rating scale that volunteer reviewers use to assess whether an application should be funded. The exercise illustrated many of the common pitfalls.

“We don’t fund just anything that comes in. We fund quality applications,” she said. “So brag a little bit about yourself and what you do.” Then ask a trusted colleague for honest feedback to help you improve your submission, she suggested. “And if you’re not eligible, there’s no doubt that you know someone who is, so spread the word!”

Worrall concluded by asking attendees to consider serving as volunteer reviewers. In addition to serving the profession, volunteers get an insider’s perspective on what makes a good application, which is helpful if they plan to apply in the future.

For assistance or questions, email Linda Worrall (mailto:lworrall@onsfoundation.org).

Editor’s Note: This article is a summary of a presentation given by Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, executive director of the ONS Foundation, at the 2017 ONS 42nd Annual Congress.

Copyright © 2017 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact pubpermissions@ons.org for quantity reprints.