Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have an idea for a research project. Would this be appropriate for the CAP Fellowship Program?
  2. I have a great idea for a project, but it involves other members of my team. Is it possible to submit a proposal for a project in which others are involved?
  3. My colleague and I would like to work on a project together; is this possible? Can we share a single Fellowship?
  4. What if I have a really good idea but I am not yet sure of all the details about how to implement it?
  5. I have several ideas for projects, but I’m not sure which one would be the best. What should I do?
  6. Do Fellowship projects need to be unit/department-specific, or do they need to be organization-wide?
  7. I am an RPN and I have an idea for a project. Am I eligible to apply for a Fellowship?
  8. I am employed on a casual part-time basis; am I eligible to apply?
  9. I am in an Advanced Practice role (e.g., APNE, CNS, CPL, NP, PPL, PCC, etc.); am I eligible to apply?
  10. I am currently working on my degree, and will be taking a course at the same time as the Fellowship. Can I use the Fellowship to work on a project or paper or placement for school?
  11. Do I need to do a large-scale review of literature for my proposal?
  12. How do I incorporate literature into my proposal?
  13. How do I submit my application?
  14. What is a ‘blinded proposal’ and why is it required?
  15. What if people apply for the same topic from different units/clinical areas/departments? Will you only choose one?
  16. Can one person submit more than one proposal?
  17. If I am accepted into the Fellowship, are the weekly seminars mandatory?
  18. Can I apply if I’ve already made plans for vacation during the six months of the CAP Fellowship Program?
  19. There is an eight -page limit. Does that include references?
  20. Do appendices count in my eight-page limit?
  21. In my application, should some of the pre-specified heading sections be longer than others?
  22. How much detail should be included in the timeline?
  23. If applications are being judged mostly on the strength of the proposal, why do I need a reference and approval from my manager?
  24. Why do Fellowship participants need to meet regularly with their managers?
  25. Why are Fellowship participants required to have a mentor?
  26. Will you select a mentor for me?
  27. What does my mentor do during my Fellowship?
  28. Can I have more than one mentor?
  29. Does my mentor have to have the same professional designation as me (e.g., if I am a nurse, does my mentor have to also be a nurse)?
  30. Does the mentor have to be master’s prepared?
  31. Can my mentor also be my manager?
  32. I am a manager with several staff who have great project ideas, and I want to support all of them. Is it possible for multiple staff from the same unit or clinical area to receive Fellowships?
  33. I am a manager with several staff who want to submit proposals, but I can only accommodate a limited number. What should I do?
  34. What if I have more questions that aren’t covered here?

01.   I have an idea for a research project. Would this be appropriate for the CAP Fellowship Program?

No. Unfortunately research projects are not eligible for the CAP Fellowship Program. This is due to the six month time frame of the program which is too short for completion of a research study. In addition, the Fellowship curriculum is focused on the principles of quality improvement and would not provide you with the information required to complete a research study. For more information on the difference between quality improvement and research click here or contact CAPFellowship@uhn.ca.

02.   I have a great idea for a project, but it involves other members of my team. Is it possible to submit a proposal for a project in which others are involved?

Yes. The Fellowship will provide you with the time and support to lead the project and make it happen, but you are welcome to put together a project team and involve your colleagues (including interprofessional team members) in helping to make your project a success. In fact, we would strongly encourage you to do this!

03.   My colleague and I would like to work on a project together; is this possible? Can we share a single Fellowship?

Although it is not possible to share a single Fellowship, you can each have your own Fellowship and share a project. Each of you would need to apply for separate Fellowships; you will need to write separate proposals that are clearly distinct from one another, indicating how you will contribute individually to the overall project (what your unique contribution/role will be and how you plan to spend your Fellowship time). Keep in mind, though, that each application will be considered on its own merit; if one is accepted it does not automatically mean that the other is also accepted if there are other stronger proposals from other applicants.
Depending on your clinical area/department, you may be eligible for one of the interprofessional joint Fellowship opportunities, in which two staff would jointly lead an interprofessional Fellowship project. In this case, you would form a collaborative partnership with an eligible colleague, and submit a joint proposal together for a collaborative project (this should be broader than an individual project). For joint Fellowship submissions, only one project proposal is needed; if the proposal is accepted, both staff members would be released from their clinical responsibilities for two 7.5 hours per week each.

04.   What if I have a really good idea but I am not yet sure of all the details about how to implement it?

Ideas do not have to be fully developed to be submitted. For example, if your project is to decrease the incidence of pressure ulcers on your unit, you won’t necessarily know exactly how you will address this issue until your project starts and you complete a needs assessment. In this example, your project activities would include a needs assessment including a root cause analysis and conversations with your colleagues and key stakeholders to determine the best approach.
Your proposal can include as much detail as you have, and you can include your thoughts on how you might address the issue. This could include broad change concepts such as improving workflow, changes to the work environment etc. (see http://www.ihi.org/resources/pages/changes/usingchangeconceptsforimprovement.aspx for more information).
If you need help with this, try any or all of the following:

  • Talk with your colleagues about how you might further develop your plan; they may have some good ideas, and you may want to engage them once you do get your project off the ground – this would be a great way to start!
  • Consult the literature on your topic area – how have others successfully addressed this issue in the past?
  • Share your idea with your manager and ask if s/he has any ideas about how you might develop your plan.
  • Seek assistance from the mentor that you have identified; this will be a great way to build your relationship and establish a pattern for how you might work together.
  • Talk your idea over with other leaders (e.g., APNE, CNS, CPL, NP, PPL, PCC, etc.) to see if they have any suggestions for you.

If you still need assistance with your proposal development, send an email to CAPFellowship@uhn.ca.

05.   I have several ideas for projects, but I’m not sure which one would be the best. What should I do?

First of all, it is wonderful that you have so many ideas!! Narrowing them down can be a challenge. There are several possibilities. First, remember that if you are chosen for a Fellowship, you will have two days per week for approximately six months – so choose a project that you think you will be able to accomplish in that time. Second, think about your ideas and see whether any of them can be combined in some way; perhaps you can think of one project that will accomplish several of your goals. Third, talk your ideas over with your colleagues, your manager, practice leader, or other leaders to see which of your ideas inspires the most energy, which one you are most excited about, which is the most feasible, and where you might get the most help and support. Finally, if you are still unsure, contact Kerry Ann at Kerry-ann.Smith@uhn.ca or 14-4394, or visit our website at www.capfellowship.com. We would be happy to talk through your ideas with you.

06.   Do Fellowship projects need to be unit/department-specific, or do they need to be organization-wide?

Either. As long as your project is related to one of the strategic priority areas, it doesn’t matter whether it is specific to your unit or whether it is program-wide or hospital-wide. Just remember that you will only have two days per week for approximately six months to complete your project – so make sure it isn’t something that is bigger than you are able to accomplish in the allotted time. We do not recommend projects that are unrelated to your specific clinical areas.

07.   I am an RPN and I have an idea for a project. Am I eligible to apply for a Fellowship?

RPNs are eligible – as long as they are employed in a full-time or part-time position at their organization.

08.   I am employed on a casual part-time basis; am I eligible to apply?

Casual staff are not eligible, but part-time staff (that is, staff who have guaranteed, scheduled part-time hours) can apply. If you are unclear of your status, please contact your manager.

09.   I am in an Advanced Practice role (e.g., APNE, CNS, CPL, NP, PPL, PCC, etc.); am I eligible to apply?

No; the CAP Fellowship Program is available only to point-of-care staff who do not have the ability to flex their time to work on project activities. Point-of-care staff cannot leave their point-of-care area without coverage by other staff, and are not able to accommodate project work within their day-to-day patient assignment. The CAP Fellowship Program provides them with that flexibility and protected time, by providing funds to cover their replacement costs.

10.   I am currently working on my degree, and will be taking a course at the same time as the Fellowship. Can I use the Fellowship to work on a project or paper or placement for school?

The CAP Fellowship Program is about creating opportunities for point-of-care staff to contribute to strategic priority practice areas, and the Fellowship projects need to be focused on these, so the Fellowship time cannot be used for completing school courses, theses, or dissertations.

11.   Do I need to do a large-scale review of literature for my proposal?

A large-scale literature review is not necessary; however your proposal should include at least some background literature. A brief review of existing literature will be useful in helping you formulate your idea and your project, and providing some background for its importance. Remember – the proposal is only 8 pages long. Previous successful proposals have included a brief literature review, with a few references to peer-reviewed journals or texts, as well as relevant organizational documents.

12.   How do I incorporate literature into my proposal?

You can use articles related to your topic to support your ideas throughout the proposal. Examples of areas where you can use literature include the “introduction and significance” and “current knowledge available” sections but are not limited to these sections. Please include a full APA reference list at the end of your proposal.

13.   How do I submit my application?

Please submit all sections of your application online at www.capfellowship.com by Tuesday May 25st, 2017 at 12:00 noon. Applications should include:

    • Completed Fellowship Application Form (filled out online)
    • Completed Manager Reference and Approval Form – please scan a signed copy and upload on the application page
    • Letter of support from your Mentor – please scan a signed copy and upload on the application page
    • Project Proposal ( remember, the proposal must be blinded – do not include your name or any other identifying information about yourself, with the exception of your professional designation – e.g., RN, PT, etc.); also do not include the name of your manager or mentor in the proposal). This must be uploaded in the application page of the website.

Applications that are late or incomplete will not be considered.  See Criteria and Requirements for further detail on what to include and how to submit your application.

14.   What is a ‘blinded proposal’ and why is it required?

A blinded proposal is one that does not include your name or any other information that would allow a proposal reviewer to identify you. This is important so that we can ensure all proposals are reviewed fairly without bias. Please do not include the name of your manager or mentor in your proposal either. You can include the name of your unit in your proposal, if this is necessary.
Your application form, mentor reference letter, and manager approval/reference forms can all include your name – but should not be included within your proposal document.
When you save your proposal document, please name it using your project title – do not include your name.
We have a process for tracking your proposal once it is submitted – so we can match your blinded proposal to your name once we complete the scoring process.

15.   What if people apply for the same topic from different units/clinical areas/departments? Will you only choose one?

No. Applications will be selected based on the strength and quality of the proposal. However, if you are working on your proposal with someone else who is applying, make sure your applications are not identical.

16.   Can one person submit more than one proposal?

Yes, however we don’t recommend it. Candidates will not be favoured by the number of proposals they submit, but by the strength of their applications. Each successful applicant will only be awarded one Fellowship. The application process is time consuming and requires a lot of effort, so make sure you do not sacrifice quality for quantity; we recommend going deep with one topic rather than scratching the surface of several topics. If you are chosen for a Fellowship you will be spending a significant amount of time working on and thinking about your project, so try choosing the topic that excites you the most. What are you passionate about? Talk to your manager/mentor(s) about your ideas and see if one idea is more feasible than another.

17.   If I am accepted into the Fellowship, are the weekly seminars mandatory?

Yes. If you are accepted into the CAP Fellowship Program, you must attend 80% of all the seminars. You will be assigned to a weekly seminar group; each seminar takes place from 9am-12pm on your assigned seminar day. Participants will be given two paid 7.5hr days a week for their projects. One of these days must be your assigned seminar day so you are able to attend. Participation in the weekly seminars is one of the key success factors for Fellowship completion; you will learn valuable information, receive support and mentorship, and build an extended network through these seminars. This year we will also have a full day introductory session on August 17th 2017.

18.   Can I apply if I’ve already made plans for vacation during the six months of the CAP Fellowship Program?

Yes. As long as you will be able to attend 80% of the seminar classes and complete your project, you may take vacation during the Fellowship.

19.   There is an eight -page limit. Does that include references?

The bibliography or reference list at the end of the proposal will not be included in the eight-page limit.

20.   Do appendices count in my eight-page limit?

No. However, do not place any of the pre-specified heading sections within your appendices (e.g., a common mistake involves inserting the project timeline as an appendix; the project timeline should be included in the proposal itself, within the eight-page limit). The appendices can be used for supporting documentation (e.g., a sample of a tool you plan to use), as long as it is described within your proposal. If you use appendices, make sure you discuss/describe them within the eight-page proposal. Do not write “see Appendix A” without a description. Remember – your eight-page proposal should be able to stand on its own and be generally understood without relying on appendices.

21.   In my application, should some of the pre-specified heading sections be longer than others?

It depends on your topic. Your proposal is evaluated based on overall strength, clarity, and alignment with a strategic priority area, and the content of each of the pre-specified headings contribute to that. Reviewers will be scoring each section, so make sure you have addressed all sections as indicated by the pre-specified headings.

22.   How much detail should be included in the timeline?

We recognize that a detailed week-to-week or day-to-day timeline may not be clear until the project is underway. For the proposal, think of what you want to accomplish in the six months and how you will achieve it. Imagine your project is complete; what are the major steps you would have had to accomplish to get to that point? What are the key milestones that need to be achieved? It may be helpful to think of it in a month-to-month context – what are the key activities that need to happen in each of the six months?

23.   If applications are being judged mostly on the strength of the proposal, why do I need a reference and approval from my manager?

Although project proposals will be the main consideration in the approval process, the selection committee will need to ensure that the applicants are able to complete the work, and that they will be able to be released from their unit or clinical area. We also need to ensure that your manager is informed of your activities so s/he is able to provide you with the support you need.

24.   Why do Fellowship participants need to meet regularly with their managers?

Regular meetings with your manager will help keep them informed about your activities, help them to better understand how to support you, and help promote your accountability to your Fellowship activities. One of the goals of the CAP Fellowship Program is to help develop point-of-care staff as leaders, and part of being a leader in a point-of-care role involves communicating and collaborating with other leaders, colleagues, and stakeholders with whom you work.

25.   Why are Fellowship participants required to have a mentor?

As noted above, one of the goals of the CAP Fellowship Program is to help develop point-of-care staff as leaders, and part of being a leader in a point-of-care role involves communicating and collaborating with other leaders, colleagues, and stakeholders with whom you work. In addition, a mentor will be able to help support you beyond the support that you will receive through the Fellowship seminars. In particular, if you are working on an initiative that is specific to your clinical area, a mentor from that area will have a better understanding of how to support you with your project activities, and will be able to help you learn how to navigate unit and organization complexities to help you be successful with your project implementation.

26.   Will you select a mentor for me?

No. We ask you to choose your own mentor(s) because the most successful mentoring relationships occur when the choice is left to the persons involved in the relationship. Furthermore, you may want to choose a mentor who has content-specific knowledge about your project, and it will be up to you to determine who that might be, how you might work with that person, and how you would like them to support you during your project.

27.   What does my mentor do during my Fellowship?

It depends on your project, and your level of experience and/or expertise in the area you have chosen. The purpose of having a mentor is to help focus your ideas, navigate unit-specific concerns, help with content issues, support you to complete your project successfully, and to develop mentoring capacity during the Fellowship. Your mentor is NOT meant to complete your project activities on your behalf, but rather to provide guidance and support for you as you complete your activities. Your mentor should be available to meet regularly with you, at least on a bi-weekly basis, throughout the CAP Fellowship Program.

28.   Can I have more than one mentor?

Yes! Depending on your proposal topic, it may be useful to have mentors with different areas of expertise. For the application, only one of your mentors will need to submit a letter of support.

29.   Does my mentor have to have the same professional designation as me (e.g., if I am a nurse, does my mentor have to also be a nurse)?

No, your mentor does not have to have the same professional designation that you have. We encourage and promote interprofessional collaboration in the CAP Fellowship Program. We recommend that you find someone who is best-suited and best able to support you with your quality improvement project and your Fellowship journey.

30.   Does the mentor have to be master’s prepared?

No, however you should select someone who has expertise in the area of your project and is available to help you.

31.   Can my mentor also be my manager?

Yes. If your manager is also going to be your mentor, he or she will need to complete both the manager reference form and the mentor letter of support. If you choose your manager as your mentor, please ensure that s/he will have the capacity to support you throughout the Fellowship program.

32.   I am a manager with several staff who have great project ideas, and I want to support all of them. Is it possible for multiple staff from the same unit or clinical area to receive Fellowships?

Yes. Fellowship proposals will be chosen based on their strength. In the past, we have had as many as four participants from a single clinical area.

33.   I am a manager with several staff who want to submit proposals, but I can only accommodate a limited number. What should I do?

All Fellowship applicants are required to submit a reference letter from their manager, as well as a signed approval from their manager. This approval will stand as the approval for participating in the Fellowship; if you are only able to accommodate a limited number of staff, then we suggest only signing a limited number of approvals.

34.   What if I have more questions that aren’t covered here?

If you have more questions, please contact Kerry-Ann at Kerry-ann.Smith@uhn.ca or 14-4394.

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