CAFM Educational Research Alliance (CERA)

About CERA

CERA, the CAFM Educational Research Alliance, is a framework to focus and support medical education research. CERA conducts approximately five surveys per year of:

  • Family medicine residency directors (surveyed twice per year)
  • Clerkship directors
  • Department chairs
  • General membership, including subsets of members as selected by applicants
  • Family medicine residents
  • Medical students

CERA Vision

Excellent family medicine educational research

CERA Mission

Provide a centralized infrastructure to:
• Produce rigorous and generalizable medical education research
• Facilitate collaboration among medical education researchers
• Provide training and mentorship in educational research methods

How CERA Works

  • Investigators respond to calls for proposals to submit questions for surveys
  • Each CERA survey includes questions submitted by investigators, as well as a set of recurring demographic and organizational questions to provide data for historical comparisons
  • Once proposals have been approved, experienced researchers/mentors join each project team to help refine questions, facilitate analysis, and prepare and submit manuscripts.
  • Researchers receive their individual survey results, plus the recurring question responses. Researchers are given 3 months to analyze the data from the survey prior to release of the data to the general membership. The expectation is that investigators will write and submit a paper within those 3 months.
  • Members of STFM, NAPCRG, AFMRD, and ADFM use CERA data for secondary analysis.

Survey Schedule

Family Medicine Residents
Call for Proposals: 12/7/20-1/5/21
Survey Dates: 3/18/21-4/5/21

Program Directors
Call for Proposals: 12/17/20-1/11/21
Survey Dates: 4/2/21-4/22/21

Clerkship Directors
Call for Proposals: 1/22/21-2/14/21
Survey Dates: 4/26/21-5/17/21

Department Chairs 
Call for Proposals: 4/9/21-4/23/21
Survey Dates: 7/7/21-7/29/21

Program Directors 
Call for Proposals: 5/26/21-6/9/21
Survey Dates: 8/19/21-9/9/21

General Membership
Call for Proposals: 6/23/21-7/7/21
Survey Dates: 9/10/21-10/1/21

Medical Students
Call for Proposals: 6/23/21-7/7/21
Survey Dates: 10/12/21-10/29/21



Published Papers

CERA studies have resulted in 120 published manuscripts. See the full list.


Completed Presentations

CERA studies have resulted in 165 scholarly presentations. See the full list.

Wow! What a job to all. Thank you so very much for letting me be a part of this. I have learned so much from the process and I am just amazed at the strengths of all involved from the amazing writing, thoughts, statistical resources, video conferences… I am really excited at our findings and hope it generates lots of thoughtful consideration. Thank you again so much. Maybe I will get to meet you all someday :).
We used the tenure question from all 11 program director surveys to look at the mean and median for 2011-2017. We are so grateful for this data and the CERA survey and the sharing. This is a priority topic for AFMRD and the data was so helpful.
Image Description

Steven Brown, MD

University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix Family Medicine Residency


If you have questions about CERA or how your research project can be included, contact CERA Chair, Heather Paladine, MD.