Learner Well-Being Grant Programs

About the Learner Well-Being Grant Program

Update:  The Learner Well-Being Grant Program is paused for 2024.  We will update this page to let you know when it re-opens.  Thank you!

The Office of Well-Being administers a Learner Well-Being Grant Program targeted to the students at the University of Michigan’s Medical School (UMMS). Awards will be granted up to $5,000 for projects spanning 12 months. This program is open to any student at the University of Michigan Medical School.

2023 Learner Well-Being Grant Program Awardees

Narrative Medicine Workshop Series

Ali Herman, Kirin Saint, Courtney Burns, and Ellie Lorenzana, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Shiwei Zhou

Medical students face many well-being challenges, including imposter syndrome, burnout, work-life imbalance, and lack of meaning-making in their studies. Often, these challenges are linked to a lack of community, belonging, and/or connection to their own purpose. It is thus crucial to allow students a space to build thoughtful communities, separate from didactics, to reflect together on personal experiences, process complex emotions, and increase their sense of belonging and community.  Narrative Medicine Workshop programs can address many of these concerns. These workshops would allow a boundary around a small group of students to participate together in the ritual of truth-telling, active listening and emotional processing: skills that are paramount for both personal development and effective patient-provider relationships. We aim to provide students with a safe space to reflect on who they are, what they care most about, and how to hold onto these values as they become physicians. 

The Black Health Student Alliance (BHSA) Initiative

Eliyas Asfaw and Christopher Okine, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Cornelius James

The Black Health Student Alliance (BHSA) initiative will be a new student organization that will comprise of Black graduate students in the fields of medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, biological sciences, and public health. Each field will have a representative on the executive board. BHSA’s events will create a platform to nurture the interests of students who want to focus on addressing systemic inequities, while also impacting wellness by connecting them with a supportive community of students facing similar challenges.

Some initiatives that BHSA will organize include:

2022 Learner Well-Being Grant Program Awardees

Mary Martin, Trisha Gupte and Alesha Kotian, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. James Richardson

Bemused is a student-run collection of surprising, confusing, and a bit amusing moments that brought medical students laughter and reflection during their early exposures to the clinical space. 

Improving Support for Survivors of SA/IPV in Medical Training
Katie Neff, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Helen Morgan

Minna Wybrecht, Aasma Hossain, Yimeng Zhao, Isabel Hsu, Mayank Jayaram, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Thomas Sisson 

2021 Learner Well-Being Grant Program Awardees & Results

Coping with Crisis on the Wards:  Self-Directed Curriculum on Death, Dying and Grief

by Molly Fessler and Erin Currey, Faculty Advisor: Kristin Collier, MD

Grief and loss are common experiences throughout the medical school’s clinical year. Clinical students must balance cognitive investment in academic responsibilities with the emotional labor of providing care to patients. Many students will start clinical rotations while coping with personal experiences of illness, which impact students’ capacity to actively engage with patients.  This project will support the development of (1) a workshop series (“grief rounds”), (2) a workbook designed to help students better understand death, dying and grief, (3) CBT-informed worksheets to facilitate active reflection on their experiences of death, dying, and grief and (4) an asynchronous lecture to review how to use the above materials to engage in self-directed education on death and dying.

Teach Empower Advocate Mentor (TEAM)
Vy Tran, Faculty Advisor: Deb Berman, MD

Not only mentorship and tutoring knowledge are important, but the backgrounds and unique skills of navigating medical school in those contexts are also critical for developing effective strategies that help learners succeed. Teach Empower Advocate Mentor (TEAM) project identifies barriers and gaps to accessing mentoring and resources and, based on findings, creates online and in-person events and platforms that help medical students find mentors, peers, and tutors that align with their backgrounds, unique needs, and learning preferences.