Funding and Grants for Medical Simulation

How can I access funds for implementing simulation-based education and training in my institution? Here are a few funding options in the USA!

Medical simulation training is an excellent way to improve clinical competence and skills. It offers various benefits, allowing students to enhance patient safety, reduce errors, perform better in actual clinical scenarios, and reduce healthcare costs. Unlike the apprentice learning style, medical simulation is efficient, reliable, and cost-effective, allowing students to improve clinical skills through immersive experiences and hands-on practices.

Educational institutions, including colleges and universities, make substantial efforts to adopt modern technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, high-fidelity manikins, and AI-based solutions to enhance learning.

Although simulation can improve patient outcomes, funding for education, training, and equipment is finite. Most educational institutions in the United States do not understand the cost of medical simulation.

The good news is that you can find funding programs and grants from government and private organizations to implement a sophisticated simulation-based education or training strategy in your institutions. Today’s article will discuss funding and grants available for medical simulation in the United States:

AHRQ Grants

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, also known as AHRQ, provides funds and grants to various programs, courses, and projects at medical institutions. It offers funding and other resources to institutions that develop, test and evaluate simulation-based technologies.

AHRQ has made substantial efforts to equip health institutions with simulation equipment, including high-fidelity manikins, virtual reality (VR) simulations, and online learning tools to improve teaching and learning processes.

The purpose is to enhance clinical skills and provide safe healthcare delivery to patients in the actual hospital settings. So, AHRQ encourages educational institutions to apply for funds and grants. We recommend applying early to correct any errors in the application and streamline the submission process.

Debra Spunt Research Grant

The Debra Spunt Research Grants are offered by INACSL, allowing medical institutions and nursing schools to apply for funds and equip students with VR simulation headsets and relevant technologies.

Research departments in nursing schools are welcome to apply for the Debra Spunt Research Grant. In addition, novice researchers can apply for grants to streamline their research projects that require nurses to use VR simulations.


The GEER Fund, or “the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief”, is a fund that can be used to buy hardware and software for instructors and learners. The governor of each state distributes the funds to educational institutions, including medical schools and colleges, to streamline their strategies and implement high-tech technologies, such as medical simulation.

As a medical or nursing school head, you don’t need to apply for GEER funds because the governor’s office and relevant authorities conduct thorough research to find institutions that require funds and grants for medical simulation. We recommend checking with the state officials to know whether you qualify for the GEER program.


The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is another program developed under the CARES Act, providing grants to educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the grant, schools (including as nursing schools) will have the opportunity to implement high-tech, remote learning strategies as well as information and communication technologies (ICTs). These funds may be used to purchase software and hardware equipment to enhance teaching and learning.

You should consider which simulation products and services are best suited for your institution if you are applying for a HEERF grant. Head to or to determine whether you qualify for HEER grant funding.

INSPIRE Funding Awards

The International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, & Education (INSPIRE) is a reputable organization that offers various pediatric simulation funding grants and awards. Their mission is to “improve the lives of children through healthcare simulation science”. They also provide a list of resources for other funding opportunities on simulation-based research.

NLN Nursing Education Research Grants Program

The National League for Nursing (NLN) offer multiple funding opportunities funding resource for medical and nursing schools to support and advance the science of nursing education and the nurse educator workfoce. More than $1 million has been funded by the NLN for nursing education research over the past decade.

Perkins V Funds

​The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is a funding program that allocates more than 1.3 billion yearly to support technical education in schools, colleges, and universities. You can apply for these grants if you need simulation equipment, such as headsets, for radiology, cardiology, nephrology, pediatrics, vascular, obstetrics, or other departments.

You must determine your institution’s eligibility before applying for Perkins V funds. Once eligible, you can apply for the grants and supplement your institution with technical education programs, including simulation-based training.

From interactive whiteboards to computers to software, Perkins V funds and grants can be used to upgrade or implement cutting-edge technology within the institution. For example, grants can be used to support professional and support staff, to purchase simulation equipment and tools, to invest in supplies and materials, as well as to maintain VR/AR devices.

Final Words

By utilizing innovative technologies like VR/AR simulation, institutions can improve their teaching and learning methodologies. We've provided some options for schools and colleges, but this is by no means a comprehensive list, and other funding options are available, such as those listed on INSPIRE's website.

Collaboration with other institutions, hospitals, and clinical agencies can help schools overcome funding-related challenges, create a sense of community, and positively impact the healthcare industry.

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