Postdoctoral UCANU Health Services Research Program (AHRQ T32)

The University of Chicago and Northwestern University (UCANU) Postdoctoral Health Services Research (HSR) AHRQ T32 Program  

Application Review Deadline: September 29, 2023, 5:00 pm Central Time 

Fellowship positions can begin anytime between December 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024.  Applications will continue to be accepted after the priority deadline until all positions are filled.  

View a PDF of the RFA here.

Apply online using the application form found here. 

The information below is relevant only to applicants interested in the postdoctoral fellowship based at the University of Chicago. If you are interested in applying to the program based at Northwestern University, you can learn more here.

About: With support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), we aim to develop the future careers of postdoctoral candidates from diverse personal and professional backgrounds by supporting rigorous, competency-driven postdoctoral training in areas that span research ethics, question formation, systems science, informatics, improvement science, leadership, health equity, and foundational HSR methods, such as learning health system research, implementation science, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods, quasi-experimental and natural experimental designs, and traditional to pragmatic trials. 

Who should apply?  

  1. Internal and external PhD recipients committed to careers in health services research (HSR).  
  2. MD clinical residents and fellows based at UChicago who are interested in full-time research training. These might be residents or fellows currently in research years of their ACGME training or finishing their ACGME training.
  3. Candidates with other doctoral level professional degrees (DNP, PharmD, DDS/DMD, etc.) at UChicago who are interested in research training. Candidates with an MD who have not yet begun residency are also eligible.
  4. Prospective applicants who fall outside these categories should contact the team to determine if they are eligible to apply.
  5. Applicants who are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, who have disabilities, and/or who are from disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more here 

Additional eligibility criteria: All candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have completed a professional doctoral degree (MD, DO, PharmD, DNP, DDS/DMD, etc.) or research degree (PhD) at the time of appointment. Students completing a doctoral degree may apply so long as they will have completed all doctoral degree requirements by the AHRQ T32 appointment start date. Dual degree recipients such as MD/PhDs are also welcome to apply. Junior faculty are not eligible to apply. Trainees must reside in the Chicagoland area during the postdoctoral training period. 

Funding: It is expected that most fellows will complete at least two years of postdoctoral training. Fellows who only need one year of funding because they are already partway through postdoctoral training or have already begun coursework for one of the approved master’s degrees are also welcome to apply. 

Fellowships pay a stipend based on NRSA stipend levels for postdoctoral fellows. For MD fellows, the NIH stipend is supplemented by funds from the home department in order to match the fellowship stipend level set by their institution’s GME office and/or section. 

The fellowship also provides funds to cover tuition and fees for one of the master’s programs described below and a modest amount of funds to cover training related expenses such as attendance at a national conference, poster printing, software, etc. The fellowship includes funds to offset health insurance expenses for the recipient fellow but does not provide coverage for vision, dental, or the fellow’s family/spouse. Please note that trainees are allowed a maximum of three years of NRSA support at the postdoctoral level. 

Program Activities: 

  1. 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 second Friday of every month from 3-4:30 pm and allow trainees to present their research to one another. Trainees should plan to attend in person, although some remote participation is possible.  
  2. Periodically attend the Health Economics Workshop (HEW), which takes place on Thursdays from 3:30pm to 5:00pm at the Harris School of Public Policy. 
  3. All trainees attend regularly and present once per appointment year in the Outcomes Research Workshop (ORW), which occurs weekly on Wednesdays from 8:30-9:30 and will take place over zoom.   
  4. Trainees will be expected to participate in the Summer Program in Outcomes Research Training (SPORT) in part or in full, depending on prior training and the trainee’s master’s coursework. As a part of SPORT, trainees will participate in the Research Proposal Development Workshop (RPDW).  
  5. Trainees will be encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary and cross-institutional training in implementation science and learning health systems.  
  6. All trainees attend the AHRQ National Research Service Award (NRSA) Annual Meeting. 
  7. Fellows are expected to submit an abstract and present their work annually at a national conference such as the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. Funds will be provided through the grant to support travel.  
  8. Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: All trainees must complete in person RCR training during postdoctoral research training. Two examples of approved RCR training include the RCR summer course and the Essentials of Patient Oriented Research winter course. Trainees must also complete CITI training in Human Subjects Protection.  

Applications are currently being accepted for positions beginning between December 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024: 

To be reviewed in the first round of applications, please submit an application by September 29, 2023. We may have spots remaining after this date, so contact the program team if you plan on submitting an application after this date.  

We may also have 1 or more additional positions available beginning July 1, 2024. Please reach back out in October to learn more.  

Applications will start being reviewed in October 2023 and will continue being accepted until all positions are filled. Please also note the deadline for each of the approved master’s degrees listed above. You must also apply to the master’s degree separately to facilitate enrollment by the appropriate deadline. If the deadline has passed, you may contact the program team to discuss options or may submit your application for consideration in 2024. You may contact the program team to confirm if there are still positions available before you apply.  

Candidates must submit their materials through the online form found here.   

Applications will be reviewed by the AHRQ T32 program directors and steering committee. Candidates in consideration for a fellowship position will be invited to interview, either in person or over the phone.  

Contact: Please contact CHeSS Director of Training Programs and Communications Fahad Sajid, PhD at with any questions about the AHRQ T32 program.  

Faculty Leadership:  

Tara Lagu, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Medical Social Sciences 
Northwestern University 

Associate Director
Neil Jordan, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Preventive Medicine
Northwestern University  

UC Site Director
David Meltzer, MD, PhD
Fanny L. Pritzker Professor of Medicine
University of Chicago  

UC Site Associate Director 
Marshall Chin, MD, MPH
Richard Parrillo Family Distinguished Service Professor of Healthcare Ethics
University of Chicago