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Program and Application FAQs

Is this the same program as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program?
No. Although the RWJF provided generous support to the Clinical Scholars Program for about 40 years, the Foundation announced a reorganization of its Human Capital Portfolio, ending support for their training programs in their current form. The Foundation created new training opportunities, which are substantively different from the current Clinical Scholars Program, which is based at four university sites and enrolled its final class in July of 2015. The RWJF Clinical Scholars Program prepared physicians for health services and health policy research. A separate national program prepared nurse faculty leaders. This new program includes both nurses and physicians as trainees.
How is the NCSP different from the legacy RWJF Clinical Scholars Program?
Recognizing the importance of a site-based research, the four training sites that comprised the legacy Clinical Scholars Program have partnered with their local institutions, community partners, and their local VA to build upon the strong foundation of their prior work. These partnerships have enabled the National Clinician Scholars Program to move forward on an exciting new path. For the first time, there will be a strong commitment to interprofessional training, as postdoctoral nurses training as Scholars alongside physicians, and nursing and medical faculty will closely integrated into all aspects of the program. Additionally, the program will build upon its commitment of engaged research, by closely integrating the interests of Scholars with partner organizations and faculty within each site.
How is the NCSP similar to the legacy RWJF Clinical Scholars Program?

Although no longer sponsored by the RWJ Foundation, the NCSP retains many of the strengths of the legacy program. The four participating sites have combined experience training Scholars in excess of 100 years. The sites have a strong commitment to innovation in teaching and scholarship, engaging partners in all phases of the research and educational process, and creating a culture where Scholars are inspired to work as change agents from within the system, with the goal of improving health of individuals, communities, and populations.

The sites have outstanding curriculums in place, devoted faculty, engaged and enthusiastic community partners, and a tremendous national partner in the Veterans Administration. None of these will change. National Clinician Scholars will receive the strong mentorship and robust training in research methods, policy, leadership, and communication skills that was a hallmark of the legacy Clinical Scholars Program.

Why is this a "national" program - how are the six sites coordinating their efforts?
  • All sites share a common legacy and vision - to train/inspire agents of change
  • All sites will include nurses and physicians in interdisciplinary efforts
  • Strong collaboration across sites not only through recruitment planning and a national meeting but also sharing of critical curricular components
  • Committed network of advisors as well as alumni from former RWJF CSP
  • Rigorous assessment/oversight of quality through internal and external evaluation
How long is the program and when would I start?
The program is two years and new classes begin each July. The first class of the new program began in July 2016 (graduating in June 2018).
Who is eligible to apply?

Physicians who will have completed their clinical training and nurses who have completed their doctoral degree are eligible to apply. The clinical training for physicians and the doctoral degree for nurses should have been completed within the past 5 years prior to the application process. Surgeons are the single exception to the requirement; due to the structure of the "research years" in the middle of many surgical residencies, surgical residents who will be PGY-3 or higher are eligible to enroll in the program.

How do I apply?

All applications are submitted through a central website. You indicate on your application form which site(s) you want to apply to, and the materials are distributed from our central office to the appropriate sites. Interviews are part of the selection process.

How will Scholars spend their time during the program?

The specific schedule will vary both across Scholars (according to their interests) and across the program sites. Generally, the first year is heavier on didactics, as Scholars are engaged in coursework, identifying partners for their research projects, and initiating their scholarly work. Scholars have more time in year two to devote to research. Scholars devote approximately 10% of their time to clinical activities during each year. At no time may a Scholar devote more than 20% of their effort to clinical activities. Clinical activities may depend upon their project and interest (e.g., education, consultation, direct patient care).

Can I earn a master's degree?

Earning a master’s degree is an option at each site. The Yale site awards a Master of Health Sciences (MHS).