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Award Programs

OREF supports independent, peer-reviewed musculoskeletal research and education initiatives that have the potential to accelerate knowledge and ultimately improve the delivery of orthopaedic care. Grant and award recipients are selected through OREF's independent peer-review process, which is modeled on that of the National Institutes of Health. OREF seeks to fund high-quality and clinically relevant orthopaedic research and education projects through a grants and awards mechanism.

For more information, please contact the Grants team at (847) 430-5109 or by email at


  • OREF Michael P. Kelly Sr. Leadership Fellowship Program

    This is a fellowship; there is no monetary award.

    The one-year virtual fellowship is designed to aid and develop leadership skills in the orthopaedic resident's research career path. The curriculum focuses on leadership development, including cultivating integrity, selflessness, decisiveness, organization, benevolence, vision, communication, and innovation. 

    Curriculum Components 

    • Individual Coaching & Mentoring (6 months) - An individual coach is assigned based on the resident's particular needs. Regular meetings are conducted to discuss life management, decision-making, career-building, and other leadership actions.
    • Clinical Research Coaching & Mentoring (6 months) – An experienced orthopaedic clinical researcher will be assigned to guide and mentor the participant in developing and navigating a clinical research career path.
    • Clinician Scholar educational opportunities, focusing on clinical research career development, may include clinical research grant writing training. 
    • Annual Leadership Retreat – Participants are invited to a half-day-long program administered by a prestigious faculty covering general leadership principles, including an emphasis on resilience and energy management.
    • Orthopaedic Resident – PGY3 - PGY5
    • Orthopaedic Fellow
    • Orthopaedic surgeon with less than 2 years in practice
    • Demonstrated career interest in orthopaedic clinical research
    • Possess an express desire to be a leader in the orthopaedic community
    • Based on the grant sponsor, the participant selection process will prioritize the selection of women and underrepresented minorities 
    This grant is closed. Please check the Grant Programs page for information on upcoming grants.
    Applications due September 14, 2023 by 10:59 p.m. CDT
    Sep 14, 2023, 10:59 PM
  • ORS/OREF 2024 Travel Grant in Orthopaedic Research Translation

    $500 honorarium for travel to the ORS Annual Meeting

    The OREF with the ORS is dedicated to fostering excellence in orthopaedic research and increasing the representation of original research in clinical and translational medical research among clinician scientists.

    These grants recognize clinician scientists and clinical investigators in the early stages of their career who have played a key or leading role in an original research project in clinical or translational medicine, and who have demonstrated excellence in training and a commitment to orthopaedic research.

    Recipients will receive an honorarium of $500 to be used toward travel to the ORS Annual Meeting

    Grant determinations will be made based on the quality of the applicant’s study described in a submitted abstract in the area of clinical or translational research as determined by the ORS Awards and Recognition Committee and satisfaction of all eligibility criteria.

    • Applicants must have obtained an MD, DO, DDM, DPT, DDS, DVM or equivalent.
    • Applicants should be no more than five years past completion of a clinical residency or fellowship program. The five years of eligibility are defined from the date of completion of residency training or a clinical subspecialty fellowship training.
    • Must be an ORS member in good standing.

    Apply on ORS Website
    August 29, 2023
    Aug 29, 2023, 12:00 AM
  • ORS/OREF 2024 Distinguished Investigator Award

    This is an honorary award

    The ORS/OREF Distinguished Investigator Award honors an individual who has significantly contributed to the field of orthopaedic research, to the ORS, and to the OREF through their outstanding scientific achievements and their commitment of time and service.

    A committee comprised of a total of five individuals, including past ORS/OREF Distinguished Investigator Award honorees, established member representatives from the ORS and active OREF volunteers will each submit a maximum of two nominees to be considered for this award. All nominees submitted will be reviewed by the committee and the final selection will be based on the following criteria:

    • Outstanding scientific achievement
    • Significant volunteer contributions to the OREF and/or the ORS
    • Demonstrated leadership in the field of orthopaedic research


    Nominees must be an Established Member of the ORS. The person nominating the ORS member for this award must include the following information about the nominee at the time of submission:

    • NIH Biosketch
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Statement of service to ORS and OREF

    Self-nominations are not accepted for this award.

    The deadline to submit all nominations is Friday, September 15, 2023.

    If you have questions prior to your submission, please contact ORS at

    Apply on ORS website 

    September 15, 2023
    Sep 15, 2023, 12:00 AM
  • Shimomura/OREF/International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology (SICOT) Travel Awards

    $1,500 award
    • Shimomura, OREF, and the International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology (SICOT) invite proposals for the Shimomura/OREF/International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology (SICOT) Travel Awards
    • Applicants must have a current membership in SICOT and must submit in writing the following: specific travel objective, a global objective for future research and a letter of reference from the research supervisor familiar with the applicant’s research interest, department chair guaranteeing support for leave of absence during the duration of the meeting and a brief CV or biosketch limited to 5-pages.
    • Private practice orthopaedic surgeons and fellows are encouraged to apply.  
      Orthopaedic Surgeons in an academic setting are also eligible to submit proposals for consideration.
    • Priority points will be given to private practice orthopaedic surgeons and fellows.
    • All candidates must have completed studies focusing on health care policy, clinical outcomes or translational research having immediate impact.
      Submit application on proposal Central
    Applications are due on October 20, 2023 by 10:59 p.m. CDT.
    Oct 20, 2023, 10:59 PM
  • OREF Clinical Research Award

    $20,000 award
    • Recognizes outstanding clinical research related to musculoskeletal disease or injury.
    • Manuscripts should be original and represent a large body of cohesive scientific work generally reflecting years of investigation. If the submission reflects a single project, it should be of high significance and impact.
    • Submissions must follow the stated guidelines to be considered for this award.
    • Lead author must be a member (or candidate member) of the AAOS, ORS, Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) or Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society (CORS).
    • Submissions for the 2024 OREF Clinical Research Award will be accepted in electronic format only. Visit the AAOS website for submission guidelines and instructions.
    • Please note that you may request that your manuscript be considered for BOTH the OREF award and the Kappa Delta awards, which are also listed on the submission form. Please be sure to check the box for the OREF Clinical Research Award.
    The application period is currently closed.
    Jul 1, 2023, 11:59 PM
  • OREF/Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) Clinical Practice Award

    $2,000 award
    • OREF and the Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) meetings, through the auspices of the Current Concepts Institute (CCI), invite manuscripts for the OREF/Current Concepts in Joint Replacement Clinical Practice Award.
    • Manuscripts must address completed investigations focusing on health care policy, clinical outcomes, or translational research that has immediate clinical impact in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
    • The primary author Award Recipient will be given the opportunity to present his/her paper at a CCJR meeting, which attracts an international orthopaedic surgeon audience and will join a faculty comprising  orthopaedic thought leaders. The Award Recipient's presentation will be included in the meeting’s enduring materials and will be considered for publication.  As a faculty member, travel expenses will be reimbursed by CCI.
    • OREF will administer the selection process for this award.  An independent selection committee convened by OREF will determine the Award Recipient. The award will be presented at the Annual Spring CCJR meeting in Las Vegas, NV, May 17-20, 2020.
    • All manuscripts must be submitted electronically through proposalCENTRAL. If you don't already have an account, go to proposalCENTRAL by clicking the button below, then click the "Create an Account" link, which is located in the top right corner of the page.
    • Private practice orthopaedic surgeons and fellows are encouraged to apply.  
      Orthopaedic Surgeons in an academic setting are also eligible to submit manuscripts for consideration.
    • Priority points will be given to private practice orthopaedic surgeons and fellows.
    • All candidates must have completed studies focusing on health care policy, clinical outcomes or translational research having immediate impact.
    This award is currently closed. Future award opportunities will be posted to this page.
    Mar 14, 2019, 11:59 PM