Postdoctoral UCANU Health Services Research Program (T32)

This program supports postdoctoral research training for MDs and PhDs in one or more of five areas: comparative and cost-effectiveness analysis, patient safety and quality/QI, patient-centered care, markets and organization, and health care disparities. There is funding for 3 postdoctoral fellows each year.

All Health Services Research postdoctoral positions for the 2019-20 academic year have been filled. Check back in Fall 2019 for more information about how to apply for the 2020-21 academic year. 

Learn more about the program activities, eligibility requirements, and application instructions below.


Program Description

We do not currently have any funded positions but postdoctoral students may participate in the program activities if they wish. If you are interested in participating please contact Absera Melaku for more information.

Participants will enroll in a master’s level degree program at the University of Chicago. While most trainees will enroll in the Master of Science in Health Studies for Clinical Professionals (MSCP) in the Department of Public Health Sciences, candidates will consult UCANU HSR program directors to identify the best training for developing their skills in health services research.  As part of the application process, all postdoctoral candidates will work with these program directors and a faculty mentor to develop an individualized plan to accommodate regular participation in the many HSR training activities at both institutions.

Candidates with a PhD may request to waive out of the requirement to enroll in a master’s degree program.

Every trainee will have a mentor and mentoring plan for the UCANU program. Primary mentors will provide trainees with advice on the selection of coursework and workshops, guidance with research and career planning, and assistance in forming professional connections to other faculty. All trainees will meet frequently with their primary mentors and regularly with one or more of the program directors to receive ongoing academic career development guidance.

While the individual degree program in which the trainee enrolls will define the course requirements for that program, it is expected that training may include advanced topics in health services research, focused disciplinary training, or complementary technical courses, e.g., advanced statistical methods, psychometrics or industrial organization, professional writing, and coursework through the Booth School of Business. The Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC) course-sharing agreement permits University of Chicago students to enroll in courses at Northwestern University when comparable courses are not available at the University of Chicago.

Participation in one or more workshops is vital to learning skills of critical analysis and research design.  The university’s workshop system consists of weekly seminars in which faculty, students and visiting scholars present their ongoing research for critical review by their colleagues.  Faculty involvement and participation in these sessions provide trainees with an unparalleled opportunity to engage with leading scholars in their chosen field.  Trainees present at least once in each of the program’s related workshops.

As a supplement to workshops, the program director organizes small group sessions of faculty and their fellow trainees to present preliminary research ideas as well as quarterly learning plan reviews to assess each trainee’s progress on various research endeavors.

Program Activities
Required activities include:

  • Attend regularly and present once annually in the joint UChicago and Northwestern (UCANU) research seminars, which bring together HSR pre and postdoctoral fellows at both institutions. These seminars typically take place on the first Friday of every month from 3-4:30 pm and allow trainees to present their research to one another.
  • Attend regularly and present once annually in the Outcomes Research Workshop. The workshop is highly interactive and provides opportunities for trainees, fellows, and faculty to present early-stage research ideas or preliminary results, to practice conference talks, or to use the time as a research or grant preparation working meeting with colleagues and senior faculty. Fellows are also expected to serve as lead moderator for the workshop for one academic quarter each year.
  • Completion of Quarterly Learning Plans to assess career and academic development.


Eligibility and Terms

The UCANU HSR fellowship is for a period of two full years.  Fellowships are awarded for one year with the expectation of renewal unless a trainee is otherwise supported by funds from their home department. Reappointment to the fellowship for a second year is also pending the successful renewal of the AHRQ T32 grant award in 2018.

Fellowships pay a stipend based on NIH stipend levels for postdoctoral fellows, plus tuition (if applicable), fees, and a modest travel stipend to support the required attendance at the annual Academy Health meeting. The fellowship includes health insurance for the recipient fellow but does not provide coverage for vision, dental, or the fellow’s family/spouse.

Trainees must have completed a doctoral degree prior to the awarding of the fellowship. United States citizenship or US permanent resident status is required. Fellows must be in residence at the University of Chicago for the academic year for which they are offered a fellowship.


Application Instructions

Candidates should desire to pursue academic careers in health services research or related fields.  Applicants are required to submit the following items to Absera Melaku:

  • CV
  • Detailed personal statement describing career objectives. Statements should include a description of how applicants’ prior experience, in conjunction with the UCAN HSR training, will lead to professional contributions in health services research.
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members who have worked with the applicant in health services research or related discipline
  • Statement of disclosure for funding sources. Please include information about any current funding sources or outstanding pending applications for other funding, such as F32 applications.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts

Interviews are required for all applicants.

Selection criteria include prior academic training and professional experience, the extent to which the applicant’s research interests relate to the strengths of the fellowship program, the applicant’s strength of commitment to a health services research career, and the applicant’s potential to contribute significantly to the field of health services research.

We are not currently accepting applications for the UCANU HSR Postdoctoral Program



Please contact Absera Melaku, program administrator, via email or via phone, 773-834-9668 with any questions.  You may also contact program directors David Meltzer, MD, PhD, or Marshall Chin, MD, MPH.


Non-discrimination Statement

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