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VA Quality Scholars Fellowship (VAQS)

The Mission of our Charleston VAQS fellowship is to recruit and train future clinical leaders, researchers, and innovators specially equipped to improve access to healthcare and to promote equity in health services and outcomes for all Veterans, focused on healthcare improvement and implementation science.


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VA Quality Scholars Fellowship (VAQS)

Designed for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians interested in making Veteran healthcare equitable and accessible for marginalized and rural populations, it welcomes professionals to lead changes in VA policies, healthcare practices, and health outcomes. The VAQS fellowship was established in 1999 by the Veterans Health Administration’s collaboration with Dartmouth faculty and researchers, and it is currently offered at 12 VA Medical Centers with a national coordinating center based at the Houston, Texas VAMC. The fellowship is a two-year residential program which links individualized training at each site with cross-site learning experiences. Fellows split their time between in-person clinical work, independent studies, and structured didactics while guided by a set of experienced mentors, and they receive specialized education through sets of both national and local coursework. The Fellowship’s educational element supplements the VAQS core curriculum with didactic and experiential learning opportunities in the areas of population health, social determinants of health, and vulnerable Veteran populations—with special focuses on female Veterans, racial/ethnic minority populations, and rural residents. Fellows receive individualized education through Master’s-level training in public health, clinical research methods, or clinical informatics based on learner-specified goals, and the individually crafted teams of experts who support each fellow ensure that they have the resources to not just develop, but also expand the scope of, their projects. Charleston’s VAQS program offers up to 3 positions per year for fellows to work with senior scholars in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and clinical psychology.  


Application Deadline:

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis annually beginning October 1st and ending March 1st.

Program Contact:


Charlene Pope PhD, MPH, CNM, BSN

Senior Nursing Scholar, VA Quality Scholars Fellowship Chief Nurse for Research, Sociolinguist, and Research Health Scientist, Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina VA Charleston Healthcare

VA Charleston health care