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Application Information

The application period is now open. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 28th, 2013.

Click here to apply

The Program

Eligibility Criteria

Total Awards

Use of Foundation Funds

Timeline for appointments

How to Apply

Application Fees


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 and health care through positions in academic medicine, public health and other leadership roles. Clinical Scholars 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.

The goal of the program is to integrate Scholars’ clinical expertise with training in program development and research methods to help them find solutions for the challenges posed by the U.S. health care system and the health of U.S. communities. The program offers master’s degree graduate-level study and research in a university-based, post-residency training program. The Clinical Scholars program generally involves two years of study with generous protected time for research.

Scholars train at one of the following participating institutions:the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Michigan; the University of Pennsylvania; and Yale University. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Scholars also train at their affiliated VA medical centers. 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 20 Clinical Scholars will be selected. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is funding up to 10 positions. The Foundation and VA will jointly fund 10 additional positions through VA Medical Centers affiliated with the participating universities. The universities provide participating Scholars with stipends that are comparable to stipends for similar post-doctoral research training positions at each institution. The VA stipends in some cases will be higher.

We expect Scholars to complete graduate-level projects in their area of interest. To date, Scholars have conducted studies in diverse health-related fields, such as problems of health care delivery and financing, clinical decision-making, social determinants of health, biomedical ethics, medical history and health policy. Two newer aspects of the program include leadership training and learning about community-based participatory research. Each Scholar is supervised jointly by the directors 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. With approval by the national program office, training site program director, the national advisory committee, and fellowship director, it may be possible for the time in Clinical Scholars to be credited as research time in another fellowship. This must be discussed at the time of application.

Scholars also have the special opportunity to be mentored by one of the members of the program’s distinguished 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. NAC mentors meet with the Scholars in person at the program’s annual meeting and are available throughout the year as needed. Scholars from the four participating universities participate in an annual national meeting to foster networking and in-depth discussions of research and of change in health care systems.

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 over 40 years, the Foundation-funded Clinical Scholars program has trained more than 1,200 physicians from varied disciplines, many of whom have become national and international leaders in health and health care. The VA has provided financial and in-kind research support for over 35 years for this program. Former scholars are 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; and 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 and be eligible for an unlimited medical license in the United States upon completion of training. In addition they must:

  • be committed to a career in academic medicine, public health, health policy or another career congruent with the program’s purposes and priorities in developing physician leaders and skilled researchers;

  • be highly regarded by those responsible for their clinical training;

  • intend to complete the clinical requirements of their residency training by the date of entry into the program (except for surgeons); and

  • be citizens or permanent residents* of the United States or its territories at the time of application.

* Applicants who are permanent residents and not green card holders should contact the National Program Office before applying to determine whether they can satisfy the program’s eligibility and documentation requirements.

Both MDs and DOs are eligible to apply.

Applicants whose stipends will be supported or supplemented by other sources will not be considered except for active duty military personnel. All funding decisions are made by RWJF and the VA.

Applicants cannot be related by blood or marriage to any Officer* or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or be a descendant of the Foundation’s founder, Robert Wood Johnson.

* The Officers are the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; President and CEO; Chief of Staff; General Counsel; Secretary; Assistant Secretary; Treasurer; and Assistant Treasurer of the Foundation.

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:

  • demonstrated interest in improving health or the health care system;

  • exhibited leadership capabilities, including setting high personal goals and motivating others;

  • demonstrated ability to develop new ideas and to implement them;

  • ability to interact and communicate effectively with others;

  • record of consistent accomplishment of projected activities;

  • previous research experience, published or unpublished; and interest in, and/or experience with, community organizations.


Total Awards

Up to 20 scholars will be selected for appointments beginning July 1, 2015. First year scholar stipend is $69,500 with an increase the second year. In some cases VA stipends may be higher. Additional financial support is provided for research projects and professional travel.

Use of Foundation Funds

RWJF makes grants to the four participating universities in accordance with our regular funding guidelines. The Foundation provides research funds for all twenty positions. The Foundation also provides university funding for stipends and benefits for 10 scholars and the VA provides the stipends and health insurance for the 10 jointly RWJF/VA funded scholars as well as faculty support, clinical resources and research databases for all scholars interested in the VA patient population.

Timeline for Appointments

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

  • November 2013 - The application period opens.

  • February 2014 All applications (and reference letters) must be submitted online. All reference letters should be submitted online early as possible in the application period to ensure that interviews can be arranged and completed.

  • Mid-March 2014 – Applicants will hear directly from the training sites to which they applied whether they are invited to come interview. Once contacted, candidates will be responsible for making arrangements with appropriate program sites for interviews. You must secure an interview at one or more sites to move forward in this process. If you are not selected to interview at any site where you applied then you will not move forward as an applicant.

  • April 18, 2014 - Interviews are completed.

  • April 25, 2014 - Interviewed applicants must submit rank order of site location preferences (required). Applicants may also submit a revised personal statement and an application update (both optional) at this time.

  • By June 30, 2014 – Candidates will be notified of the decisions on their applications. (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation does not provide individual critiques of applications submitted.)

    • Selected Scholars will receive a phone call from their site and a subsequent official letter of acceptance will be both emailed and sent in the mail from the National Program Office.

    • Applicants who are not selected or given alternate status will be sent an official letter that will be both emailed and sent in the mail from the National Program Office.

  • July 1, 2015 – Entry of selected Scholars into the Program at participating universities.

We recommend applying to more than one site originally to increase chance of admission.

How to Apply

The application period is now open. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 28th, 2013.

Click here to apply

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

All applications are reviewed by the university program faculty and the program’s national advisory committee. RWJF does not provide individual critiques of applications submitted.

We recommend applying to more than one site originally to increase chance of admission.

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.)

Your online application will include the following:

Background information including:

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Current contact information and contact information effective July 1, 2013;

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The list of sites to which you are applying;

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Citizenship;

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Whether you are Board Eligible and which Board;

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USMLE status, if applicable;

Three reference letters

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.

References must submit their letters online via the online application system.

Click here to see a sample Reference Letter form >>

Please be prepared to provide an email address (and other contact information) so that your references can be contacted with instructions on how to make their submissions. References should be able to comment on your clinical, leadership, and research skills.

Important: Before completing this section, make sure that the references listed 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. Additionally, please check with your reference writer to ensure that they received this email. Some auto-generated emails like these may get blocked by spam filters. You will be able to check the status of your reference letters online. 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 (5:00 PM EST). If we do not receive all three letters, your application will not be reviewed.

Curriculum vitae (Equivalent)

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location and dates for education;

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work experience including residency and fellowships as appropriate;

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volunteer and community work experiences, committees or offices held;

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your relevant leadership or service experience;

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awards received;

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publications and presentations;

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other additional information;

Personal statement describing why you are interested in the Clinical Scholars program including:

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your specific training goals;

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a brief description of a research project you might be interested in conducting as a Scholar;

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your previous work or research experience;

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your relevant leadership or service experience;

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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 or 6000 characters).

We do not require college or medical school transcripts.

Application Fees

There is no application fee however if you are invited to interview at a site the travel costs for the in-person interview day are the responsibility of the applicant. If this is a financial hardship, please discuss this with the program directors at the site(s) in question. 

 
 
 
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