VA Fellowship for Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars - Office of Academic Affiliations
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Office of Academic Affiliations


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VA Fellowship for Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars

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History and Purpose

In 1978, the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, established the VA Advanced Fellowships Program for Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Clinical Scholars at selected VA medical centers. The program was designed to introduce new skills and training in the non-biological sciences and in health care research to young physicians committed to clinical medicine. Graduates were expected to be role models in leading and developing solutions to meet the most pressing health issues of the day. Since then, the VA/Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program has become one of the premier fellowships for physicians interested in influencing health policy.

Program Overview

The fellowship provides two years (with an option for a third year) of post-residency research, education, and clinical learning opportunities to eligible physicians. Participants are expected to complete a graduate level research project using a broad array of disciplines. These may include epidemiology, biostatistics, medical information sciences, economics, the social sciences, anthropology, history of medicine, law, and ethics. A recent change to the program is to emphasize the importance of community health, consistent with VA's goals to optimize the health of the veteran, the VA community, and to contribute to the health of the Nation. VA RWJ Clinical Scholars participate in activities at their designated VA Medical Center as well as participate fully in the overall RWJ Clinical Scholars program at the affiliated institution. Experienced mentors of national stature provide guidance to fellows in rich learning environments.

Fellowship Requirements

In order to be eligible for the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program, a physician must be committed to a career consistent with the program's purposes and priorities, be highly regarded by those responsible for his or her clinical training. An eligible physician participating at a VA/RWJ site must be board certified or board eligible to be certified by an American Specialty Board and have an active, unrestricted medical license in any U.S. state.

Interested physicians wanting more information about the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program at VA/RWJ sites should write to the VA/RWJ site of their choice.


Applications are submitted online : Apply 

National Program Office

Director:Desmond Runyan, MD, DRPH
Deputy Director:Kristin Siebenaler, MPA

The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program
Department of Social Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
333 MacNider CB#7105
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7105

Telephone 919-843-1351
Fax 919-843-2666


VA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Sites Currently Accepting Applications

Ann Arbor, MI

Director: Rodney Hayward, MD
6312 Medical Science Building 1
1150 West Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0604
Telephone 734-936-5582

Research Focus: Please contact site for more details.

West Haven, CT
Acting Director: Rani Desai, PhD, MPH 
Co-Director: Harlan Krunholz, MD 
Co-Director: Cary Gross, MD
333 Cedar Street, Room I-456SHM
PO Box 20888
New Haven, CT 06520-8088
Telephone 203-785-4148
Fax 203-937-3433

Research Focus: Please contact site for more details.

Greater Los Angeles, CA
Director: Debra Saliba, MD, MPH
VA Wadsworth Medical Center
11301 Wilshire Boulevard (111G)
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Telephone 310-478-3711 ext. 43816

Research Focus: Please contact site for more details.

Philadelphia, PA
Director: Judith A. Long, MD 
Administrative Officer: Elliot Adler
The University of Pennsylvania
1201 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Telephone 215-573-2740
Fax 215-573-2742


Research Focus: Equity/Disparities, Medical Home Implementation, Mental Health Care, Quality Improvement