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Spelbring Innovation Grants

Applications due December 1st, 2023

Learn more about the grant with this informational video!


The purpose of the innovation grants is to support individuals or groups in the broader EMU Occupational Therapy (OT) community seeking to develop creative and innovative projects that align with the mission, vision, and values of the Spelbring Lectureship. Projects can be practice related or can address community needs and occupational justice issues. Settings may include the community, a practice setting, or an academic site. Grants may be awarded to individuals, small groups, or organizations including clinicians, faculty, or students. 


The Lyla M. Spelbring (LMS) Endowed Lectureship Advisory Committee coordinates the awarding of the grants through a subcommittee comprised of 3 Advisory Board members. The Committee will determine the designated amount available for the innovation grants each year.


To maximize the impact of these innovation grants, the LMS Endowed Lectureship Advisory Committee is focusing its resources over the next few years on projects with the potential for a long-lasting impact. Our priorities are projects that reflect our mission, vision, and values.

Applications for funding should clearly reflect the potential benefit the project will bring to the broader OT community, OT clients, the profession, and/or the community at large. Some examples follow; this is not intended to be a comprehensive list. 

  • Leadership projects for students or practitioners early in their careers

  • Implementation of innovative clinical projects

  • Projects that address an occupational justice issue*

  • Community development projects that support the advancement of OT

  • Conducting research that impacts individuals or the community


What we do not fund:

Grants will not be awarded for: conference fees, association dues, course or continuing education tuition, scholarships, payment of loans, textbooks, or day to day operating expenses. This should not be considered an exhaustive list.  



Step 1: Eligibility
Individuals, small groups, or organizations eligible for a grant must be associated with the EMU OT Program. Specifically, those eligible include:

  • Alumni of the program

  • Full time faculty, tenured and tenure-track, full time lecturers, fieldwork coordinator, and emeritus faculty

  • Students who have completed at least 2 semesters in the program and are in good academic standing

  • A student organization recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

  • An alumni organization recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code


Step 2: Review Grantmaking Priorities and Application Timeline
The Committee offers grant opportunities through an annual Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Please make sure you review our RFP thoroughly to determine how best your proposal might fit.


Grants will be awarded once a year

Applications due December 1st, 2023

Step 3: Submit an Application
If your proposal fits the requirements, complete an application. Feel free to contact us at if you need assistance or have questions. Individuals and organizations may submit only ONE application per year. A decision will be made at the September Meeting of the LMS Advisory Committee and successful grantees will be notified. An announcement of awarded grants will occur at the annual Lyla M. Spelbring Endowed Lectureship and luncheon.


Step 4: Submit progress report 

Recipients of one year grants are required to submit a 3-month update to the Advisory Committee followed by a progress report at 6 months and a final report at 12 months. If you are awarded a multiyear grant, an additional progress report is required at 18 months with the final report at 24 months.  All report forms can be found on the Spelbring website: The final report must be on file before a second grant application will be considered. The Advisory Committee may also request grantees to present at the LMS annual conference following completion of a project. 

*Occupational justice is “the right of every individual to be able to meet basic needs and to have equal opportunities and life chances to reach toward her or his potential but specific to the individual's engagement in diverse and meaningful occupation.” (Wilcock & Townsend, 2009, p 193).

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