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HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC)

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Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems

VA HSR&D Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems

The VA HSR&D Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems is a newly funded training postdoctoral program of the VA HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC) at the Indianapolis VAMC. It is one of 14 competitively selected sites authorized by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) and is uniquely focused on the Learning Health System (LHS). See brochure here.

Program Goals: The goal of the Indianapolis VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems is to prepare trainees for careers in health services, implementation and operations research, with particular research skills in the areas of redesigning and transforming healthcare delivery. This fellowship provides opportunities using VA’s internationally recognized quality improvement and medical informatics infrastructure and our research faculty and campus partners to provide outstanding training opportunities and to contribute to the improvement of clinical and management practice, scholarly pursuit of quality improvement, and Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) recruitment and retention of health services and implementation researchers.

The Indianapolis VA HSR&D Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems will train post-doctoral scientists and health care professionals from a variety of disciplines, including clinical disciplines (such as nursing, pharmacy, social work, physical and occupational therapy), behavioral, social, engineering, informatics or other scientists to (1) understand health services research and implementation research methods; (2) collect, analyze, and interpret data, both clinical and patient-reported, from electronic medical records and directly from patients; (3) design, conduct, analyze, and disseminate the results from a prospective research project; and (4) develop productive careers in academic medicine and/or VA health services research.

Each fellow will select a primary mentor, who along with the fellow, will create a Mentor Panel of content and methodologic experts from our Center and its affiliates (Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, or IUPUI) that will meet at least quarterly to assess the fellow's progress in attaining his or her research goals.

Program Overview: The VA HSR&D Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research and Learning Health Systems is a 2-year program in which fellows will spend their time in mentored research, professional development activities, and an educational curriculum based on the Learning Health Systems (LHS) core competencies. The integration of an LHS curriculum is a key feature of this program which teaches the process of using data to identify and solve real world problems in a health care system, leading to important findings in research, and ultimately, improvements in quality care.

Curriculum: The two-year curriculum includes an orientation to the VA, a general research methodology, written and oral communication skills, and implementation science. There are opportunities to pursue more intensive training in areas such as health services research, implementation science, operations research, decision science, system redesign, clinical information systems, decision support, evidence-based medicine, organizational behavior and change management, clinical bioinformatics, computer science, health services research, research methods, and project management through Indiana University and Purdue University. In addition, the curriculum includes such content areas as quality improvement methods, leadership skills, patient safety, organizational change, leadership and other areas of significant interest to the VA.

Fellows: Fellows will spend at least 75% of their time on projects and training related to health services and implementation research and up to 25% in clinical care (if appropriate to their background), teaching, or administration. Fellows are expected to develop and implement an HSR&D research project and submit at least one (preferably more) manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. As a result of their work, they should accomplish at least one of the following: lead interprofessional teams, present at one or more national meetings, and/or actively participate in and contribute to organizational change initiatives at the Roudebush VAMC.

Mentors: In order to select relevant projects related to improving health care, fellows are encouraged to meet with institutional leaders in our VAMC and senior CHIC faculty. Fellows should develop individualized learning plans in collaboration with their mentors. Mentors provide assistance with project and research methodology and content, as well as guidance in personal and professional development. Typically, fellows select one primary mentor and additional secondary mentors. These individuals meet regularly with fellows to assess their progress, offer advice, and provide constructive feedback and assistance in meeting the fellows’ goals. Mentors participate in formative and summative evaluations of fellows and the fellowship program.

Project: All fellows will participate in at least one research project to which they make a substantive, independent, and identifiable contribution. The topic of the project should be of direct relevance to the VA's mission, although VA medical facilities do not necessarily have to be the sole sites of the research.

Career Development Award: Fellows are encouraged to develop a VA and/or NIH Research Career Development Award application during their fellowship, working closely with their mentorship panel.

Seminars and Lectures: Fellows are expected to attend the AcademyHealth sponsored didactic learning sessions, which will be delivered monthly on a virtual platform. In addition, the fellows are expected to participate in weekly research seminars at the our VA HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC) and the Regenstrief Institute. In these seminars, faculty scientists present their research, which provides an outstanding forum for interdisciplinary learning and dialogue on the latest methods and topics related to health services research, implementation science, and other related disciplines. Fellows are expected to present their research findings at our VA Center work-in-progress seminar and/or the Regenstrief Institute seminar at least once during the fellowship training program.

Eligibility and Application: Interested candidates should 1) be a US citizen and 2) have completed a doctoral degree, and 3) have a strong interest in the field of Health Services Research, including but not limited to: Health Communication, Implementation Science, Health Informatics, Telehealth, Human Factors, Pain, Cancer, Cerebrovascular Disease, Mental Health, Public Health, Health Economics, Medical Anthropology, and Advanced Mixed Methods.

Please send a current CV, cover letter, 2 letters of reference, and a personal statement to We accept applications on a rolling basis. 

Fellows will receive an annual stipend and health and vacation benefits. We also offer flexible telework capabilities: Virtual/In-Person/Hybrid.

For more information, contact or return to Fellowship Programs.