Merit continues to evaluate grant applications as part of its desire to support medical education, research and charity. At present, we are evaluating applications for educational events scheduled to occur in the second fiscal quarter (April-June) and thereafter.
EDUCATION, CHARITY AND RESEARCH GRANTS FAQ
1 – WHAT ARE EDUCATION GRANTS?
Education grants are intended to benefit bona fide independent, educational, scientific or policy-making conferences that promote scientific knowledge, medical advancement and assist in the delivery of effective health care. Although Merit’s Grant Committee will consider proposals for all medical educational activities for HCPs, accredited programs will receive the highest priority. Such grants are generally unrestricted, meaning they are provided without Merit having any input on the content or faculty of the educational event. Education grants are provided to:
- Organizations sponsoring Merit-relevant conferences, congresses, and other education programs;
- Hospitals and medical institutions for Merit-relevant grand rounds, travel and honoraria expenses
*Merit will not fund programs where the principal focus is not educational in nature, such as programs that are primarily entertainment, e.g., retirement dinners, medical school class graduation events or reunions, or staff-recognition events. Non-medical educational programs (e.g., leadership training or business meetings) are also considered out of scope, as are requests to fund capital improvements or operating expenses.
2 – HOW CAN EDUCATION GRANTS BE USED?
Sponsoring organizations may request professional education grants to pay for:
- General conference costs of attendees
- Faculty expenses
- Modest meals and receptions
- Other specific program events and activities
3 – IS THE GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS USED TO OFFER MERIT THE OPPORTUNITY FOR EXHIBIT SPACE AT AN EVENT OR PROGRAM?
No. Merit will consider sponsorship and exhibitor space opportunities outside the Grant Committee, on a case-by-case basis,
with Marketing and Legal ordinarily reviewing the event-owner’s terms and conditions associated with a sponsorship. Because
such exhibitor or booth arrangements ordinarily involve fees paid for advertising rights, such arrangements are outside the
scope of the Grant Committee.
4 – HOW ABOUT CHARITY FUNDING—DOES IT MATTER WHETHER THE REQUEST FOR A CHARITABLE DONATION INVOLVES A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER?
Funding for charitable donations are subject to the Grant Committee if the request comes from a Health Care Provider such as a hospital or other health care person or entity. Requests that do not involve an HCP, such as Make a Wish, Scouting, or other projects, are ordinarily referred to Merit’s CEO for decision.
5 – CAN AN APPLICANT’S MERIT SALES REPRESENTATIVE PREPARE A GRANT APPLICATION ON THE APPLICANT’S BEHALF?
No. Consistent with the AdvaMed Code of Ethics, sales representatives may not prepare and submit grant applications on behalf of customers. Sales representatives may direct applicants to the information available at www.merit.com/about/grant-request, and provide applicants with electronic and printed materials, such as this FAQ. This reflects our commitment to our Global Compliance Policy, and the practical reality that sales representatives will not have all of the required information and documents necessary to submit a request. Sales representatives are subject to disciplinary action for participating in any prohibited activities related to third-party grant requests and donations.
6 – WHO AT MERIT DECIDES WHETHER TO APPROVE OR DENY A GRANT APPLICATION?
The Grant Committee reviews and makes the decision for education grant applications.
7 – CAN AN APPLICANT’S MERIT SALES REPRESENTATIVE MAKE SURE ITS GRANT APPLICATION IS APPROVED?
No. Consistent with the AdvaMed Code of Ethics and Merit policy, we do not permit sales or marketing personnel to participate on Merit’s Grant Committee or attempt to influence its evaluations.
8 – WHAT DOES THE GRANT COMMITTEE CONSIDER WHEN REVIEWING GRANT APPLICATIONS?
The Grant Committee’s decisions are based on several factors, including:
- Whether the application satisfies and aligns with Merit’s grants program criteria and Merit’s Global Compliance Policy
- Quality, content, scope and scale of the event, activity, or program, including the number of other sponsors, the portion
of the budget Merit is asked to support, and the relevance of the health care topics and likely attendees
- Available budget for grants
9 – CAN AN APPLICANT EXPECT ITS GRANT APPLICATIONS TO BE APPROVED IF IT IS AN IMPORTANT MERIT CUSTOMER?
No. Consistent with the AdvaMed Code of Ethics and Merit policy, any decision will be based on the merits of the specific grant application at issue. No consideration may be given to the amount of business that a customer has done or may do with our company.
10 – WILL AN APPLICANT BE ADVISED OF THE SPECIFIC REASON WHY ITS REQUEST FOR GRANT SUPPORT WAS DENIED OR REDUCED?
It is not Merit’s practice to provide specific feedback about determinations by our Grant Committee. Some of the reasons why requests for support are denied or reduced by the Committee include:
- Apparent limited educational agenda, generic topics, or focus on non-specialized attendees
- Venues such as golf resorts, theme parks or lavish resorts where programming and event marketing appears disproportionally geared to leisure time or social activities
- Limited or no connection between event offerings, disease states, conditions and/or treatments for which Merit products are used
- Event budget and supporting documentation contain insufficient detail, reflect inflated expenses or large event profits, or indicate that expenses may be inconsistent with our compliance parameters or Merit’s internal grant budget limitations
- Requests that directly or indirectly reference past or future business opportunities or personal relationships with Merit that could be perceived as attempts to unduly influence the Committee
11 – IF THE GRANT COMMITTEE APPROVES LESS THAN THE AMOUNT REQUESTED, MAY THE APPLICANT RESUBMIT A GRANT APPLICATION FOR THE UNAPPROVED AMOUNT TO THE GRANT COMMITTEE, OR SOMEONE ELSE AT MERIT?
No. The Grant Committee does not approve multiple grants for the same event, activity, or program. If the Grant Committee approved less than the amount requested, it decided to do so based on criteria discussed above. Finally, no other group or individual within Merit may provide grants for events, activities, and programs that are within the scope of the Grant Committee’s jurisdiction.
12 – HOW EARLY MAY A REQUESTING ORGANIZATION APPLY FOR A GRANT? IS THERE ANY DEADLINE BY WHICH A GRANT APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED IN RELATION TO THE EVENT?
There is nothing to automatically disqualify a grant application submitted too early, but most grant applications are submitted two-six months before the event. Because Merit’s Grant Committee meets monthly to decide pending grant applications, any grant must be submitted no later than four (4) weeks before the event.