Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships in Health Services Research
The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with several academic departments offering doctoral-level training in fields related to health care research and policy analysis, is offering pre- and postdoctoral training opportunities for qualified candidates beginning each July. The program is supported by a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the US Public Health Service, under the authority of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42USC289 1-1).
The Program welcomes applications from physicians, dentists, PharmDs and other postdoctoral trainees as well as predoctoral students already admitted to degree candidacy in the UNC-CH departments of Health Policy and Management, Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, Health Behavior, Biostatistics, Sociology, Geography, Economics, Anthropology, Public Policy, Pharmacy, Political Science and School of Information and Library Science. Trainees will gain experience in applying research methods to the systematic analysis and evaluation of health care services and health policy issues. The emphasis of the training program is the organization, financing, utilization, quality and evaluation of personal health care services and public policies for ensuring access to such services. An additional area of emphasis is comparative effectiveness research (CER). CER includes a broad range of studies comparing diagnostic, treatment and policy interventions. The potential study designs in CER include systematic review, observational studies of primary and secondary data, trials, policy interventions and dissemination and implementation studies.
The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research offers organized research programs in relation to the study of aging, disablement and long-term care; health workforce policies and programs; health care organization; medical practice and health care outcomes; child health services; health care economics and finance; health disparities; rural health care; health care engineering; mental health services; preventive health services; and heath policy analysis.
Pre-Doctoral Training Program
Candidates for the predoctoral training program in health services research must be admitted for full-time doctoral study in one of the following UNC-CH academic departments: Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Health Behavior, Maternal and Child Health, Biostatistics, Economics, Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Public Policy, Pharmacy, Anthropology or School of Library Science and must be considered by their academic department's graduate program to be in their penultimate or final year of graduate study when they commence the training program. This means that they will have few remaining required courses and will concentrate most of their efforts in the first of two possible years of support on submission of their dissertation proposal. In their second year of program support (if required), predoctoral candidates will complete the dissertation project.
All predoctoral trainees will participate, with postdoctoral fellows, in the regular weekly core seminar on health services research throughout the year. As with postdoctoral fellows, predoctoral trainees will have established formal relationships with one or more faculty mentors who are part of the core faculty for the program.
Stipend amounts are set by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Current information can be found at www.ahrq.gov. In addition, the program will cover most of the costs of tuition and fees associated with academic work toward the doctoral degree, as well as a small amount of funds to support work in connection with the dissertation project.
Post-Doctoral Training Program
The postdoctoral program is intended to provide advanced, specialized training in the methods of health services research to individuals who have already completed all requirements for MD, DDS/DMD, PharmD, PhD, Dr PH or other relevant doctoral degrees. The postdoctoral fellows accepted for enrollment will enter the program for one or two years, depending on the nature of their chosen areas of topical interest and the time required of the kind of project activity they will identify in partnership with a program mentor. While postdoctoral fellows are not required to pursue a formal degree program, trainees with previous degrees in either medicine or dentistry may elect to pursue one of several degrees through the UNC-CH School of Public Health as part of their training program. Some advanced degree programs (such as the Doctor of Public Health or Doctor of Philosophy) include dissertations which usually require as much as two additional years beyond the completion of formal coursework. The Program will assist fellows who choose this route with the search for additional financial support from other sources for the completion of this part of their research. A particular area of emphasis for several of the current postdoctoral positions is comparative effectiveness research (CER). If interested in pursuing this area of investigation, their application should illustrate the applicant’s ideas for CER research.
Fellows who do not pursue formal degrees are still encouraged to enroll in selected courses relevant to their research program and career goals, either for credit or as an auditor. In addition, all fellows in the Program will participate in a regular, two-hour course seminar on health services research which will meet weekly throughout the year.
The Mentoring Relationship
All postdoctoral fellows are expected to have worked out the general scope and foci of a formal mentoring arrangement with one or more of the core faculty affiliated with the Program prior to beginning of the fellowship. Applicants of the Program accepted for admission will be facilitated in their attempt to establish such a relationship. Such relationships may include either the involvement of the fellow in the research activities directed by a faculty mentor, or a preceptorial arrangement whereby the mentor may oversee the fellow's work on his/her own research.
The fellowship pays an annual stipend which is based on the number of years of relevant experience beyond the doctoral degree. Stipend amounts are set by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Current information can be found at www.ahrq.gov.
Additional funds are available to cover most of the tuition and fees for relevant courses and for some additional expenses associated with the training program. Health insurance costs for all fellows will be covered by the University of North Carolina.
For either the postdoctoral or predoctoral programs, applicants should complete an application form available from the Sheps Center web site at www.shepscenter.unc.edu/training_programs/nrsaprepost.html. In addition, predoc applicants are asked to submit recent curriculum vitae, graduate transcript(s), a letter from their mentor, and two other letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their abilities in relation to health services research or their field of specialization. Postdoc applicants are asked to submit recent curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their abilities in relation to health services research or their field of specialization.
Persons wishing to pursue a formal degree program at UNC-CH should contact the relevant department for application materials and file a separate application in that regard. Particular questions about these matters should be addressed to the registrar of the relevant department. Acceptance to the postdoctoral fellowship program does not guarantee acceptance to a degree program of UNC-CH, and vice versa. Acceptance to the predoctoral fellowship program is contingent upon being a full-time student in good standing in one of the UNC-CH academic departments listed above.
Applicants for fellowship support must be either US citizens or recognized by the US Department of state as "permanent residents" of the United States. Applications and letters are to be sent electronically to: email@example.com. Transcripts can be mailed to Lindsay McCall at the address below.
The deadline for applications is February 15th of each year. For further information call or email:
Tim Carey, MD, MPH, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Lindsay McCall, Program Coordinator, email@example.com
Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC
725 Martin Luther King Jr, Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590
Telephone: (919) 966-8628; FAX: (919) 966-8918