Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program offers physicians two years of graduate-level study and research, as part of a university-based, post-residency training program. Founded in 1972, the program fosters the development of physicians who are leading the transformation of U.S. health and health care through positions in academic medicine, public health and other leadership roles. The Clinical Scholars program is the longest-existing program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and boasts more than 1,100 alumni—among them, members of the Institute of Medicine and major foundation presidents, including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) president Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey, deans of medical or public health schools, senior leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and appointees in the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other health leadership positions.
Up to 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars may be selected. Ten positions are funded by RWJF. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) supports 10 additional positions each year through VA medical centers affiliated with the participating universities.
Scholars train at one of four participating institutions: the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Michigan; the University of Pennsylvania; and Yale University. Each institution introduces scholars to the methods used in health care and public health research, and in community-based participatory research and health policy, and each offers formal coursework, individual mentorship and leadership training and guidance in project development. Through the program’s more than 30-year partnership with the VA, scholars have access to clinical, research and faculty resources at university-affiliated VA medical centers.
Scholars from all four sites attend the Clinical Scholars annual scientific and policy meeting, where they have the opportunity to present their own research, learn about their colleagues’ research, hear about and explore relevant health policy issues and network with program alumni and leaders.
The first-year scholar stipend is no less than $62,000 per year, with an increase the second year. Stipends are comparable to stipends for similar research training positions at each institution. In some cases VA stipends may be higher. Financial support for research projects and professional travel is provided. Up to 80 percent of a scholar’s time is protected for scholarly work, while 20 percent must be spent on clinical activities.
- Be committed to a career in academic medicine, public health, health policy or another career congruent with the program’s purposes and priorities in developing physician leaders.
- Be highly regarded by those responsible for their clinical training.
- Have completed residency training by the date of entry into the Clinical Scholars program, except in the case of surgeons.
- Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Both MDs and DOs are eligible to apply. Applicants whose stipends will be supported or supplemented by other sources will not be considered.
As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, I’ve been able to work with world-class mentors in both health research and health policy. It’s an incredible environment, where you have the opportunity to work with mentors and colleagues to develop and utilize the skills it takes to improve health and health care for those who need it most.