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Durham Center of Innovation to ADAPT

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Health Services Research Fellowship Program

PhD fellowship and application information

MD fellowship and application information 

Durham ADAPT, Durham VA Health Care Center, in collaboration with the Duke Division of General Internal Medicine and Department of Population Heath, offers fellowships for MD and PhD scholars with an interest in training in health services research. The fellowship is designed as a two-year program with an emphasis on learning health system competencies. Fellowship training grants are funded by the VA Office of Academic Affairs (OAA).

The primary goal of the post-doctoral fellowships is to perform high-quality, mentored health services research and quality improvement science. Projects often include: analysis of existing data, either from health services clinical trials performed by investigators in the Center or from large administrative VA databases; evidence syntheses, including meta-analyses; pilot tests of interventions; and/or brief, focused studies that collect qualitative or quantitative primary data from health system stakeholders (e.g., patients, clinicians, and administrators).

Fellows will identify a mentorship team early in their fellowship, including a primary mentor from among the core faculty of the Center. Mentoring teams commonly include both an MD and PhD faculty member. The primary mentor will work closely with the fellow to assure adequate quantity and quality of research during the fellowship. The following core faculty members are typically involved in mentorship teams:


Karen Goldstein, MD, MSPH (Director of Physician Fellowship Program)
Jennifer M. Gierisch, PhD, MPH (Director of PhD Fellowship Program) 

Leah L. Zullig, PhD, MPH (Deputy Director of PhD Fellowship Program)


See our Leadership and Investigators page for potential mentors

Most HSR&D core faculty members have joint university appointments in the Duke Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Population Health Sciences, or Division of Gastroenterology.

All fellows will participate in a professional development seminar series. This series involves weekly, one-hour discussions addressing a variety of career development topics and provides opportunities for fellows to engage with one another and share works in progress.

Our goal is to train elite health service researchers. Candidates should want to develop along that pathway until they become principal, grant-writing investigators. We hope to transition our fellows to research-based faculty positions upon completion of the fellowship. 

We have trained more than 100 fellows in our 30-year history, including many leaders in Health Services Research and many of our core faculty.

We aspire to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, equity, and inclusion. We work to recognize and mitigate our own biases. Our collective success depends on a robust exchange of ideas - an exchange that is best when we see rich diversity in our backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. To achieve this, we are committed to diversity in the staff and faculty we hire, equity in the policies we create, and justice in the decisions we make.

Candidates with backgrounds underrepresented in science are especially encouraged to apply. 

Current Durham HSR&D Fellows


Years of Funding

Catherine Sims, MD

2022 - 2025

Zoe Bridges-Curry, PhD

2023 - 2025

Joseph Neiman, MD

2023 - 2025

Gabriella Ponzini, PhD

2023 - 2025