Application Information

Application period is now open. All applications must be received by February 28, 2014 (3:00 PM EST)

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE

The Program


For more than three decades the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program has fostered the development of physicians who are leading the transformation of U.S. health care through positions in academic medicine, public health and other leadership roles. As Clinical Scholars, future leaders will learn to conduct innovative research and work with communities, organizations, practitioners and policy-makers on issues important to the health and well-being of all Americans.

For more than three decades the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program has fostered the development of physicians who are leading the transformation of U.S. health care through positions in academic medicine, public health and other leadership roles. As Clinical Scholars, future leaders will learn to conduct innovative research and work with communities, organizations, practitioners and policy-makers on issues important to the health and well-being of all Americans.

Scholars train in one of the following four participating institutions: the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Michigan; the University of Pennsylvania; and Yale University. Although their programs vary in design and emphasis, each institution has developed a core structure that introduces scholars to the methods used in health care research, and each offers formal coursework, individual mentorship and guidance in project development.

Up to 29 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars  may be selected in a given year. Twenty positions are funded annually by RWJF. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs supports eight additional positions each year through VA Medical Centers affiliated with the participating universities. While surgeons are eligible for RWJF- and VA-funded slots as are individuals in other medical specialties, the American College of Surgeons supports an additional position each year designated for a surgeon. The universities provide all participating scholars with stipends that are comparable to stipends for similar research training positions at each institution.

Scholars are expected to complete graduate-level research projects in an area of their interest. To date, scholars have conducted studies in diverse health-related fields, such as problems of health care delivery and financing, clinical decision-making, biomedical ethics, medical history and health care policy. Two new aspects of the program include leadership training and learning about community-based participatory research. Each scholar is supervised jointly by the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program at the participating university and by faculty preceptors from the scholar’s chosen priority area. Up to 80 percent of a scholar’s time is protected for scholarly work. Twenty percent of a scholar’s time should be spent on clinical activities.

Scholars also have the special opportunity to be mentored by one of the members of the program’s national advisory committee (NAC). The NAC is composed of national leaders from a range of disciplines. The program assigns each scholar a NAC mentor, who will discuss career development and other issues, to complement the mentors at the participating university. The NAC mentors will meet with the scholars in person at the program’s annual meeting, and will be available throughout the year as needed. Scholars are brought together, from the four participating universities, for an annual national meeting to foster networking, hold in-depth discussions of research, and address change in the health care system.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program is a core element of the Foundation’s rich history of human capital programs and projects. Our Human Capital Portfolio seeks to build and maintain a strong and diverse leadership and workforce in health and health care, and to help develop specific fields. For 30 years the Clinical Scholars program has trained more than 1,100 physicians from varied disciplines, many of whom have become national leaders in health and health care. Former scholars are currently engaged in academic medicine, government and medical practice. Many serve as leaders of health care institutions and delivery systems in a variety of public and private settings; others are contributing to the formulation, conduct and evaluation of health-related public policy; many continue active research careers on important topics in health and health care.

Eligibility Criteria


To be eligible for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program, physicians may be in training or have been trained in any medical/surgical specialties. In addition they must:

Applicants whose stipends will be supported or supplemented by other sources will not be considered. All funding decisions are made by RWJF.

We are committed to a program that embraces racial, ethnic, gender and disciplinary diversity, and we encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and clinical disciplines.

Desirable attributes of applicants include:

Use of Foundation Funds

Grants have been made to the four participating Funds universities in accordance with RWJF’s regular funding guidelines. Under the program, the universities provide scholars with their stipends and health insurance. The first-year scholar stipend is no less than $50,000 per year with an increase the second year. Stipends are set in accordance with policies at the respective institutions, and are comparable to stipends for similar research training positions at each institution. Financial support is available at each university for expenses associated with scholars’ research, including travel.

Timeline for appointments beginning July 1, 2015

The application process begins 18 months before candidates seek entrance into the Program. Appointments are effective July 1 each year.


How to Apply

The application period for appointments beginning July 1, 2015 will open November 5, 2013.


Physicians who meet the eligibility requirements may apply online or contact the NPO:

Kristin Siebenaler, deputy director
Phone: (919) 843-1351
rwjcsp_admin@med.unc.edu

All applications are reviewed by the program’s NAC. RWJF does not provide individual critiques of applications submitted.

Important:
You must have received agreement from your references to write a letter on your behalf and be prepared to submit their names and their contact information (email, phone number, and mailing address) during the application. (They will receive an automated email when you submit your application.) You will not be allowed to proceed in the application without having submitted your references. We also recommend that you have your personal statement and CV data prepared ahead of time and then copy and paste into the online forms.

Your online application will include the following:

  1. Background information including:
    • Current contact information and contact information effective July 1, 2014;
    • The list of sites to which you are applying;
    • Citizenship;
    • Whether you are Board Eligible and which Board;
    • USMLE status, if applicable;

  2. Three reference letters, one of which must be from your current or most recent clinical program director. References should be able to comment on your clinical, leadership, and research skills.

    References must submit their letters online via the online application system. Please be prepared to provide an email address (and other contact information) so that your references can be contacted with insructions on how to make their submissions.

    The Clinical Scholars program requires that the applicant supply three letters of reference (do not send additional references as they will not be considered). Please list the names and addresses of the references. One of the references must be the Program Director of your present or most recent clinical training program. We suggest you direct your references to the Clinical Scholars program Web site for background information.

    Important: Before completing this section, make sure that the references listed below already have agreed to provide a letter of recommendation. You must submit all three references during this application process.

    As soon as you submit your information about your references, they will receive an email directing them to fill out a recommendation letter online. Thus, it is critical that the email addresses you provide are correct and current. Applicants will not be able to view the letters of recommendation through the Online Application System, nor will they be able to request copies of the letters from the program. All letters must be received by February 28, 2014 (3:00 PM EST). If we do not receive all three letters, your application will not be reviewed.

  3. Curriculum vitae
    • location and dates for education;
    • work experience including residency and fellowships as appropriate;
    • volunteer and community work experiences, committees or offices held;
    • your relevant leadership or service experience;
    • awards received;
    • publications and presentations;

  4. Personal statement describing why you are interested in the Clinical Scholars program including:
    • your specific training goals;
    • a brief description of a research project you might be interested in conducting as a Scholar;
    • your previous work or research experience;
    • your relevant leadership or service experience;
    • your longer-term career goals;

    The personal statement should not exceed the paper equivalent of 3 double-spaced pages in 12 point font with 1 inch margins (i.e. approximately 900 words);