Junior Faculty

Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Faculty Development Program (K12)

Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) K12 grant award, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Faculty Development Program promotes UChicago researchers interested in PCOR and supports their development into independent investigators. During the program, scholars participate in advanced coursework and receive mentorship from PCOR researchers at UChicago to advance their own research careers.

Eligible candidates have earned a clinical or research doctorate and have a junior faculty or instructor position by the time of appointment to the K12 program. Postdoctoral fellows and research associates may apply for the program; sponsoring departments must commit to appointing the candidate to a faculty or instructor position upon being selected for a K12 slot. Read more about the eligibility requirements here.

Scholars accepted into the program receive two to three years of a minimum of 75% salary support (up to $90,000 plus fringe) and up to $20,000 annually in research development support costs.  Scholars’ departments must agree to cost share salary not covered by K12 funds. 

The K12 application is now closed.

About the Program

CHeSS administers the K12 program at the University of Chicago. The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has defined PCOR as research that helps patients and their caregivers communicate and make informed health care decisions. Patients and caregivers may consider questions such as: 

  1. “Given my personal characteristics, conditions and preferences, what should I expect will happen to me?”
  2. “What are my options, and what are the potential benefits and harms of those options?”
  3. “What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?”
  4. “How can clinicians and the care delivery systems they work in help me make the best decisions about my health and healthcare?”

To answer these patient-centered questions, PCOR: 

  1. Assesses the benefits and harms of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, palliative, or health delivery system interventions to inform decision making, highlighting comparisons and outcomes that matter to people.
  2. Is inclusive of an individual’s preferences, autonomy, and needs, while focusing on outcomes that people notice and care about such as survival, function, symptoms, and health-related quality of life.
  3. Incorporates a wide variety of settings and diversity of participants to address individual differences and barriers to implementation and dissemination.
  4. Investigates optimizing outcomes while addressing burden to individuals; availability of services, technology, and personnel; and other stakeholder perspectives.

This K12 mentored career award supports the development of PCOR researchers at the University of Chicago with the objective of helping these individuals progress towards becoming independent investigators in PCOR.  We welcome applicants with diverse clinical backgrounds and individuals who work within various clinical professions.

The program supports two scholarly cohorts:

  1. Progress to K (P2K) Scholars: Junior faculty or instructors with limited or no prior PCOR training - e.g., no formal training through a masters level PCOR focused program - for whom the program will bridge to an individual career development award (e.g., AHRQ or NIH K Award) or another source of institutional training support.  Fellows or research associates are also be eligible if their Department Chair confirms a commitment to transition them to a faculty or instructor position at the soonest possible date if they are funded. P2K Scholars are expected to apply for an individual career development award (K01, K08, K23, etc.) by the beginning of the final year of their appointment. 
  2. Progress to R (P2R) Scholars: Junior faculty or instructors (or fellows/research associates who will soon be recommended for a faculty or instructor position) with two or more years of PCOR training - e.g., completion of a masters level PCOR focused program - for whom the program will support time and courses needed to complete training in PCOR and develop independent funding (e.g., AHRQ or NIH R01 Awards). P2R scholars are expected to apply for independent research funding (R01, R21, R03,  etc.) by the beginning of their final year of appointment to the K12 grant.

P2K Scholars will be eligible for three years of a minimum of 75% salary support (up to $90,000 plus fringe) and up to $20,000 per year in research development support costs, such as research expenses, supplies, and technical personnel. P2R Scholars are eligible for two years of funding at the same level of financial support.  Any scholar appointed to an AHRQ-supported K12 program or an AHRQ-supported individual mentored career development award may not exceed a total of five years of AHRQ-mentored career development support.

Program Requirements

If funded, scholars must adhere to multiple requirements to ensure the most thorough PCOR training experience:

  1. P2K scholars are expected to apply for an individual career development award (K01, K08, K23, etc.) and P2R scholars are expected to apply for independent research funding (R01, R21, R03,  etc.) by the beginning of their final year of appointment to the K12 grant. To be clear, this means that the scholar will not receive funding for the final year of the K12 appointment - the second year for P2R scholars and the third year for P2K scholars - if the scholar has not submitted a K/R proposal prior to the start of this final appointment year. 
  2. Most trainees will be required to earn a master’s degree through the Department of Public Health Sciences’ Masters Program for Clinical Professional (MSCP), which is designed to provide training in health services and outcomes research.  Typically, trainees begin their MSCP training by participating in the Summer Program in Outcomes Research Training (SPORT).  Courses included in SPORT and MSCP will provide didactic training in core PCOR competencies.  If a scholar has prior training that is duplicative of the MSCP degree, than the scholar should request to waive out of this requirement in their application.
  3. Complete advanced coursework in one of three methodological areas of PCOR: 1) experimental approaches; 2) decision-analytic approaches; or 3) observational approaches. View a list of proposed coursework for each methodological area here.
    • Experimental PCOR: for scholars interested in leading clinical trials; coursework includes design, execution, and management of clinical trials
    • Decision-Analysis/Value of Information: designed to train researchers capable of cutting-edge empirical studies; coursework includes methods in health status assessment, meta-analysis training in how to generate parameters needed for decision analytics and cost effectiveness studies, and program evaluation
    • Observational Data Analysis: provides advanced training in statistical and econometric methods for the analysis of observational data; coursework includes advanced statistical methods in longitudinal data analysis and an applied econometric  course focused on problems of endogeneity
  4. Complete advanced coursework in one of two application foci of PCOR. These areas are health disparities and health care delivery improvement and reform. View a list of proposed electives for both application foci here.
    • Delivery Improvement: may emphasize provider payment, clinical quality improvement (QI) and safety, patient incentives, outcomes measurement, and public reporting
    • Health Disparities:  may emphasize age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, language, sexual orientation, economic, sociological, anthropological or psychological perspectives, or intervention design
  5.  Participate in Advanced Methods in Patient Centered Outcome Research capstone course (2016-2017 academic year)
  6. Regularly attend and present at research development workshops, such as the Outcomes Research Workshop (ORW).  Scholars will be responsible for scheduling ORW speakers and moderating workshops at least one academic quarter each year.
  7. Participate in the Research Proposal Development Workshop (RPDW) during the first year as well as ITM’s Career Award Writing Workshop and the ITM’s R Studio during your appointment
  8. Attend the yearlong Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Training Program
  9. Name a primary research mentor and a 3 – 4 person mentorship team involving that mentor and one or more members of the program core faculty. In addition to frequent meetings with individual mentors, the entire team must meet with the scholar at least twice annually.
  10. Prepare Learning Plans that describe the scholar’s goals and plans at the start of the training period, updating on a quarterly basis to indicate progress towards goals as well as barriers or modifications to the plans.  This learning plan will include a contract describing expectations and plans for the scholar and his/her mentors. The scholar’s primary mentor must sign and provide written comments on the scholar’s progress through the learning plan each quarter. The scholar’s entire mentorship team must sign and provide comments once per year. Updated CVs will also be required on a quarterly basis. 
  11. Complete NIH required Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training
  12. Complete human subject training, i.e. Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), and comply with all IRB regulations, as appropriate to the research project
  13. Comply with all AHRQ program reporting requirements, including annual progress report updates and appointment processes.

Eligibility

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident and have a junior faculty or instructor position by the time of appointment to the K12 program. University of Chicago fellows or research associates are also eligible to apply;  the sponsoring department's Statement of Commitment letter must include an assurance from the candidate's Department Chair or Section Chief that the candidate will transition to a faculty or instructor position at the soonest possible date if he/she is funded. Such assurances will be viewed more favorably if they are accompanied by statements from the Chair explaining why they believe such an appointment is likely to be favorably reviewed by higher levels of the University administration.

The Statement of Commitment letter from the sponsoring department must assure that the candidate will be able to devote a minimum of 9 person months - 75% full time professional effort - to conduct research career development activities associated with this award for a two to three year period (depending on cohort) beginning summer or fall 2016 if s/he is awarded the fellowship.  The department must also be willing to cost share any remaining salary difference above the $90,000 at 75% time.  

Individuals are eligible for placement as a scholar if they have been, or currently are the PD/PI of an NIH or AHRQ R36, F31, or F32 grant or a Federal or non-Federal award that duplicates the provisions or research goals of these grants and otherwise meet all other eligibility criteria.  The scholar will have to terminate the existing award before being appointed to the K12.  Individuals are also eligible to be scholar candidates if they have been, or currently are the PD/PI of an NIH or AHRQ R03 or R21 grant or a Federal or non-Federal award that duplicates the provisions or research goals of an R03 or R21 grant. 

Additionally, individuals are not eligible to be a PCOR K12 scholar candidate if they:

  1. Have simultaneously submitted or have an application pending peer review for any other federal career development award or a research project grant (R01).  However, individuals may concurrently submit an application for an AHRQ or NIH Small Grant (R03) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21);
  2. Have simultaneously submitted or have an application pending peer review for any non-federal research grant, contract, or cooperative agreement over $100,000 in direct costs per year;
  3. Have been or are currently a PD/PI on any other federal mentored career development awards; 
  4. Have been or are currently supported on an institutional K12 grant or KL2 (or similar grant); 
  5. Have been or are currently a PD/PI on a Federal research grant (such as R01, R29, P01) or subproject leaders on Program Project (P01) and Center Grants (P50); and/or
  6. Have been or are currently a PD/PI on peer-reviewed non-federal research grants, contracts or cooperative agreements over $100,000 direct costs per year.

We urge you to review and consult the original RFA, RFA-HS-13-008, as additional stipulations may be specified.

Contacts

For questions about the PCOR Faculty Development Program or application process, please contact Dr. David Meltzer (PI) at dmeltzer@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or Ms. Kelsey Bogue (program administrator) at kbogue@bsd.uchicago.edu.