Research & Policy

Ronald and Wendy Smith Clinical Research Grant


Established in 2021 with a generous donation from AOFAS Past President Ronald W. Smith, MD, and his wife Wendy, the Ronald and Wendy Smith Clinical Research Grant provides funding for promising prospective research studies in areas of high clinical importance.


Congratulations to the 2024 Grant Recipients!


Changes in Gait Following Total Talus Replacement

Selene G. Parekh, MD, MBA; Joseph McCahon, DO; Joseph N. Daniel, DO; David I. Pedowitz, MD, MS

Selene Parekh, MD
Joseph McCahon, DO
David Pedowitz, MD


"Total talus replacement (TTR) is an emerging treatment option for avascular necrosis of the talus that preserves hindfoot motion. Through 3D printing, custom TTR can be made to perfectly match a patient's native anatomy, giving them a lifeline for what was previously a life-altering condition. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of gait patterns and clinical outcomes following TTR, we can enhance patient care and rehabilitation strategies for this unique patient population."


Past Grant Recipients


Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) Augmentation on Midfoot Beam Construct Strength in Charcot Neuroarthropathy: A Biomechanical Study

Naveen Pattisapu, MD; David B. Thordarson, MD

Naveen Pattisapu, MD


"Midfoot beam reconstruction in Charcot neuroarthropathy patients carries a 30% rate of infection and a 50% nonunion rate. Various orthopaedic subspecialties have employed percutaneous Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) augmentation to improve strength and union rates in fragile hosts. We aim to show that PMMA augmentation produces a more robust construct for this challenging patient population."

– Naveen Pattisapu, MD


Prospective, Randomized-Control Trial Comparing Intramedullary Fibular Fixation with Standard Open Reduction and Internal Fixation in Diabetic Patients with Unstable Ankle Fracture

Kelly K. Hynes, MD; Jason Strelzow, MD

Kelly Hynes, MD
Jason Strelzow, MD


"Being selected for this grant is a true honor and validates the importance of our research topic to our Society and its membership. We are using our grant funding to run a randomized clinical trial investigating the optimal surgical treatment of ankle fractures in diabetic patients."

– Kelly K. Hynes, MD

Grant Amount

Projects should be budgeted up to $25,000. This grant may be renewable for a second year, but not guaranteed (maximum amount $45,000 over two years).


  • November 1, 2023: Applications Due

  • January 2024: Award Announcement

  • March 2024: Grant Funding Commences

Program Information

Grant Description

The Ronald and Wendy Smith Clinical Research Grant provides funding for promising prospective studies in areas of high clinical importance in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery. Studies are expected to generate results that have practical application. 

Potential areas of focus include:

  • Clinical studies to identify variation in cost or outcomes after foot and/or ankle surgery that may determine factors that are predictive of function and health-related quality of life

  • Complication prevention after foot and/or ankle surgery using local or systemic therapies

  • Multidisciplinary team approach to improve outcomes in foot and/or ankle surgery

It is expected that completed projects will be submitted for presentation at the AOFAS Annual Meeting or AOFAS Winter Meeting and for publication in Foot & Ankle International. Upon completion of the proposed project, it is expected that the principal investigator will be well-poised to pursue NIH/DOD/OREF or the equivalent large-scale funding to continue to advance the area of research.


Access to this research grant is a benefit of AOFAS membership. Either the principal investigator or co-investigator on an application must be an AOFAS member in good standing in one of the following membership categories:

  • Active Member

  • Candidate Member

  • International Member

Orthopaedic Fellows who will be eligible to be AOFAS Candidate Members at the time of grant commencement may also apply.


Please contact the AOFAS by email at or by phone at 800-235-4855 or +1-847-698-4654 (outside US)