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

Program Directors
Call for Proposals: 12/17/19-1/10/20
Survey Dates: 4/13/20-4/30/20

Family Medicine Residents
Call for Proposals: 12/17/19-1/10/20
Survey Dates: 4/13/20-4/30/20

Clerkship Directors
Call for Proposals: 1/24/20-2/10/20
Survey Dates: 6/1/20-6/21/20

Program Directors 
Call for Proposals: 5/26/20-6/9/20
Survey Dates: 9/15/20-10/7/20

General Membership: COVID-19
Call for Proposals: 7/7/20-7/21/20
Survey Dates: 10/26/20-11/16/20

Medical Students
Call for Proposals: 7/7/20-7/21/20
Survey Dates: 10/26/20-11/20/20



Published Papers

CERA studies have resulted in 109 published manuscripts. See the full list.


Completed Presentations

CERA studies have resulted in 140 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.
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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, Dean Seehusen, MD, MPH.