VA Advanced Fellowship National Clinician Scholars Program - Office of Academic Affiliations
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Office of Academic Affiliations


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VA Advanced Fellowship National Clinician Scholars Program

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History and Purpose

The collaboration between the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) and the Department of Veterans Affairs builds upon a strong foundation and prior collaborations with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In 1978, the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA,) in conjunction with the RWJF, established the VA Advanced Fellowships Program for Robert Wood Johnson  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 and policy to young physicians committed to improving clinical medicine. Graduates were expected to be role models in leading and developing solutions to meet the most pressing health issues of the day. The VA/Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program became  one of the premier fellowships for physicians interested in influencing health policy. The current partnership between the VA and the NCSP seeks to expand upon these prior relationships by providing training  to an interprofessional mix of emerging physician and nurse leaders to serve as change agents to understand and improve the health of veterans, and of the nation.

Program Overview

The VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations -  Advanced Fellowship Program has joined with the  NCSP to provide funding for two years of post-residency research, education, and clinical learning opportunities to eligible physicians and nurses. As of 2019, the NCSP program is offered at 6 sites: Participants are expected to complete a graduate level research project using a broad array of disciplines that may  include health services research, epidemiology, biostatistics, medical information sciences, economics, the social sciences, anthropology, history of medicine, law, and ethics. The program emphasizes 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 NCSP Clinician Scholars participate in activities at their designated VA Medical Center as well as participate fully in the overall NCSP program at the affiliated institution. Experienced mentors of national stature provide guidance to fellows in rich learning environments. Fellows have the option of earning a Master’s degree at each site.

Fellowship Requirements

In order to be eligible for the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program, applicants 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 applicant 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. Eligible nurses must have a doctoral degree and an active, unrestricted medical license in any U.S. state.

National Clinical Scholars Program Stipend Schedule

All NCSP Scholars receive an annual stipend. The tables below list the stipend amounts across the six NCSP sites for academic year 2020-2021 (AY20-21). Please note that the stipend for VA-funded Scholars at all sites is $4,000 higher than that of their non-VA-funded counterparts in order to address the greater out-of-pocket health insurance costs incurred by VA-funded Scholars. In addition, the stipends at the UCLA and UCSF sites are higher due to unique local conditions and institutional requirements at each site.  

NCSP Yearly Compensation AY20-21
Duke University & VA Durham Healthcare System
University of Michigan & VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
University of Pennsylvania & VA Philadelphia Healthcare System
Yale University & VA Connecticut Healthcare System
 UniversityVA Healthcare System
Physician/Nurse $71,000.00 $75,000.00

NCSP Yearly Compensation AY20-21
University of California Los Angeles &
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
 UCLAVA Healthcare System
Physician/Nurse $77,000.00 $81,000.00

NCSP Yearly Compensation AY20-21*
University of California, San Francisco &
VA San Francisco Healthcare System
 UCSFVA Healthcare System
Physician PGY 2-4 $84,210.68 $88,210.68
Physician PGY 5 $85,807.68 $89,807.68
Physician PGY 6 $88,508.68 $92,508.68
Physician PGY 7 $91,009.68 $95,009.68
Physician PGY 8 $95,104.68 $99,104.68
Physician PGY 9 $97,383.68 N/A
Nurse $84,210.68 $88,210.68

*The amounts listed in this chart include a housing stipend of $13,210.68.

Individuals with additional interest or questions are encouraged to visit the NCSP website or to contact the site of their choice.  

Please visit here for site contact information.