National Clinician Scholars Program

Advancing health through scholarship and action


Interdisciplinary Education for an Inter-professional Cohort

Scholars join us from a wide variety of clinical specialties to offer a rich learning environment of different perspectives. Nurse and physician Scholars training together offers an opportunity to create team-based approaches to address communities' most pressing health and health care needs. While inter-professional training is increasingly given lip-service in clinical settings, this program offers a unique opportunity for the Scholars to learn and innovate together, and with community partners, in the research context with deep and sustained intellectual engagement across professional boundaries.

Scholars participate in a robust, inter-professional clinician-tailored core curriculum to acquire and hone a diverse set of skills in organizational change, social change, applied translation research methodology including implementation science, community engagement, program development and evaluation, team management, communication, and policy analysis. Through the directed coursework and experiential leaning, Scholars will learn to think creatively and strategically to redesign healthcare systems and lead transformative initiatives. The curriculum also emphasizes principles and state-of-the-art methods of social and behavioral science as applied to health services research, intervention design, measurement of quality of care, functional status, assessment of community engagement, survey design, research methods for qualitative and quantitative data, biostatistics, scientific writing, and stakeholder analysis. Scholars will have an option to matriculate a master's degree.


In tandem with their project experiences, Scholars gain leadership skills through a curriculum tailored to hone the skills of clinician-researchers and have the opportunity to learn from a wide array of national leaders in health care and health care research. The formal curriculum draws on models and methods from elite leadership training in the worlds of health care, business, and public administration, through which Scholars learn concepts of leadership and teamwork and have the opportunity to apply them in the context of community-partnered efforts, government, and complex health and research organizations. Guest speakers from major corporations, government, foundations, health care organizations, among many others, provide Scholars with real world case examples of leadership in action and decision-making and the skills necessary to lead within organizations. Career coaching will also be provided. The curriculum provides Scholars an opportunity to hear about the career path and the leadership training and experiences of local and national leaders from different clinical disciplines. For many of the Scholars their projects will be embedded in real world organizations where they will be mentored by the leaders of those organizations. We believe that this "on the job" leadership training is an important and unique asset for this program.

The new program will have enhanced communication and sharing of curricular approaches across sites to insure that our Scholars have access to the most innovative research and leadership training.

Clinical Work

Ongoing clinical work helps Scholars maintain essential skills and relevance. Scholars' clinical efforts are balanced with research- and leadership-focused education so that 10% of time (20% in special circumstances) is spent in clinical activities, which permits sufficient educational time for intensive learning in the two-year program.

Annual Meeting

Scholars will continue to be part of a national cohort and will attend an annual national meeting to present projects, network with peers and leaders from other institutions, and participate in workshops. The national meetings provide opportunities substantially distinct from what the Scholars typically experience during their own professional societies' annual programs, because of the unique combination of common socialization, partnered research efforts, and inter-professional research training.

Alumni Network

Graduates of this program are prepared to join an active network of Scholars from physician and nursing research training programs over the last several decades, whose innovations, collaborations and leadership have helped shaped improvements in US health and health care and have also characterized and stimulated the national research agenda regarding health services delivery and community health needs. The overarching goal of this program is to emulate the outstanding rigor of research training delivered in prior programs while also providing a leading platform for the development and training of an inter-professional, community-connected, and policy-relevant cohort of outstanding clinicians who will be leading Scholars that the US health care system needs to thrive in the future.

The program will network with the legacy of the vast clinician alumni networks of prior Clinician Scholars Program of over 1,300, the new RWJF Clinical Scholars Program and others such as National Research Service Award fellows (NRSA) and various VA Special Fellowships.


University of California, Los Angeles

10940 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 710 Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 794-2268

National Clinician Scholars at UCLA receive intensive training in the methods of creating health and health care change at community, practice and policy levels. The curriculum is based on a social, behavioral and community conceptual framework that combines didactic and experiential teaching methods, and inter-professional education. Scholars build on their own talents, as well as those of their mentors and diverse community partners, to become agents for improving health and health care.

Scholars spend their first year in intensive, community-based learning and project development, followed in subsequent years by advanced project completion and elective work. Scholars also learn health services research methods, including theory, study design and data analysis; fundamentals in health policy; biostatistics; scientific writing; implementation science; and the application of these skills to conduct original research and to change health policy. Additionally, guest speakers from major corporations, foundations, health care organizations, among many others, will provide Scholars with real world case examples of leadership in action and decision-making. Career coaching will also be provided. The Pathways to Leadership Seminar series also provides Scholars an opportunity to hear about the career path and the leadership training of local and national leaders. Integration of physician and nurse researchers in training to advance the field of healthcare from different perspectives will shape the future of health and healthcare in ways that we have not seen before. In the past, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Robert Ross, Dr. Gerald Levey, Dr. Mitchell Katz, among others, have visited our scholars in this seminar consisting of mostly storytelling and Q&A.

Scholars participate in clinical practice at the UCLA Medical Center, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the VA Hospitals at Sepulveda and West Los Angeles, or their affiliated community programs. Scholars may also collaborate with nationally recognized staff at RAND who work in areas ranging from health policy and national security to civil justice, public safety, education, child policy and science and technology. UCLA seeks applicants who are interested in coupling rigorous evaluation and research with efforts to enact community and policy change. Scholars may be paired with community partners for projects and/or clinical work to tackle real-world problems in real time to impact change and health improvement. Advanced elective experiences are available in supervised policy placements in Washington, D.C., and in the use of media to improve community health, building on the diverse media resources in Los Angeles.

At UCLA, partnerships include the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA School of Nursing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Cedar Sinai Health System, Charles R. Drew University, Healthy African American Families, Venice Family Clinic, Behavioral Health Services, MLK Community Hospital, Los Angeles Unified School District, among others.

University of Michigan

North Campus Research Complex 2800 Plymouth Road Building 10–Room G016 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800
Phone: (734) 647-4844

The National Clinician Scholars program at the University of Michigan enables clinicians, both physicians and nurses, with a wide range of interests to learn how to improve health and health care. Based within the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) (, Clinician Scholars have access to over 450 health services researchers from 12 schools and colleges at the University of Michigan. Clinician Scholars participate in an integrated, intensive yearlong curriculum tailored to meet their specific educational needs and to move them efficiently toward research projects in their interest area. The training includes an integrated leadership curriculum; rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods tied to their specific research agenda; and policy evaluation and intervention design. A weekly seminar series featuring local and visiting researchers and health care leaders further enables exchange with experts in a wide range of health care areas.

The curriculum is fundamentally designed to support innovative, fellow-driven original research. Throughout their fellowship, Scholars are guided by a mentorship committee of experienced faculty selected specifically for each Scholar. Bi-weekly mentee meetings led by the Program directors allow groups of Scholars to discuss progress in their projects and receive feedback from each other and faculty. Scholars select their research projects to take advantage of close, long-standing linkages. These include nearby ongoing community-based research in settings such as the Prevention Research Center, the Detroit Community ─ Academic Urban Research Center; statewide policy centers; and strong University and VA regional health systems. At the conclusion of the first year, scholars receive a master's degree in Health and Health Care Research.

A culture of collaboration encourages scholars to use the full range of university resources to design policy-relevant multidisciplinary research projects. Through IHPI, Scholars work with faculty in the many strong units located within a short distance such as the Medical School; School of Nursing; School of Public Health; School of Public Policy; Institute for Social Research; VA Center for Clinical Management Research; College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and other schools and departments.

University of Pennsylvania

1310 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Phone: (215) 573-9359

The National Clinician Scholars program at the University of Pennsylvania is designed to provide training in health policy and community-relevant research to outstanding physicians and nurses who are committed to improving health and health care in the United States. The core of the training experience includes coursework and a thesis leading to a Masters of Science in Health Policy Research. The program includes didactic experiences in study design and analysis for community and policy research, as well as training in statistics, economics of health care delivery, health care innovation, communication and new media, implementation, quality improvement, leadership and multidisciplinary science.

The participating faculty, including course faculty and individual scholar mentors, are drawn from across the university, including the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Law, Social Policy and Practice, and Education, as well as the Wharton School and Annenberg School for Communication. Key clinical partners include the Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and a consortium of greater Philadelphia community organizations. All scholars participate in clinical activities tailored toward their clinical interests.

Scholar research projects range from community-based research partnerships with primary data collection to large-scale health policy analysis using national administrative datasets. All research projects are guided by small teams of faculty mentors, with frequent opportunities for group feedback on research in progress. The program connects scholars with a strong network of faculty on the campus, community leaders from Philadelphia, and program alumni across the United States, as well as research centers like the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) and The Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. These linkages help stimulate diverse training experiences for scholars both on and off the campus. Multidisciplinary seminars, policy field trips and optional policy electives in Harrisburg and Washington DC and visiting policy speakers further link scholars to a broad range of researchers and health care leaders in academia, government and industry.

Yale University

333 Cedar Street P.O. Box 208088 New Haven, CT 06520-8088
Phone: (203) 785-4148

The objective of the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) at Yale University is to prepare future clinician leaders to improve health and healthcare in the United States. Scholars are taught to generate knowledge and insights and translate research into action at the local, state, and national levels. The educational experience for Scholars includes the principles and practices of research and the knowledge and skills necessary to translate research into practice, policy, and improved population health.

Through directed coursework and experiential leaning, Scholars learn to think creatively and strategically to redesign healthcare systems and lead transformative initiatives. The Yale Program places a strong emphasis on communication and relational skills, to ensure that Scholars work across disciplines and populations, engaging a range of stakeholders such as consumers of care, providers and policy makers, helping to identify timely and relevant research questions, participate in the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of research. This approach requires researchers to acknowledge that expertise in addressing health and healthcare comes from a diverse group of stakeholders. Scholars will use technology as a mechanism for improving access to information, facilitate communication, and improve the quality and value of health care.

Research skills are developed through foundational courses taken during the first year. Scholars will acquire additional skills within their second year by selecting one of four tracks based on their interests and learning objectives. The tracks include population health and equity, healthcare innovation, health policy, and outcomes and effectiveness.

Yale University offers rich and varied resources that foster the creation of a unique experience for each scholar, including close linkages with faculty and programs at the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Law, Management, and the Graduate School.