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This fellowship provides mentorship, training and support for trainee clinician-scientists who wish to develop their expertise in health services research.

Children's Health Services Research Fellowship

The Department of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine offers one- and two-year postdoctoral fellowships in Children’s Health Services Research (CHSR). Through this fellowship program, fellows learn how to conduct rigorous pediatric health services research, including research design and methods, biostatistics, epidemiology, research ethics, regulatory issues, writing skills and grant preparation as well as time management and prioritization skills from experienced faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. The CHSR Fellowship is intended for clinician-scientists in training who desire to develop a career in patient-centered clinical research. The program is designed to help post-graduate trainees transition effectively into junior faculty positions with a research focus.

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View eligibility and application requirements for the Children's Health Services Research Fellowship.

Research Curriculum

There are no clinical components to the proposed fellowship, as it is 100% research focused. Research components are divided into three key areas.

Individualized training plan

An individualized training plan (ITP) will be developed among the fellow, program director and primary mentor. This includes a wide variety of educational training customized to each fellow’s research project, educational and clinical training background, and future career plans. This may include additional formal coursework at IU School of Medicine, IU Indianapolis, IU School of Public Health, Purdue University or online coursework from other institutions if not available locally. Additionally, the ITP will specify both an experiential research project and additional didactic learning, both customized to match the needs of the fellow. 

Experiential research project

All ITPs will include a mentored experiential research project in health services research. Fellows will be encouraged to develop a project highly relevant to their chosen participant population and will have the opportunity to engage with these communities through resources available through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), such as the Patient Engagement Core or the Community Health Engagement Project (CHEP). Each project will include a primary mentor with expertise in that area and will be within one of the CHSR Areas of Excellence, with additional mentorship from that area’s director. Mentor panels will then be developed with additional faculty in CHSR or elsewhere at IU School of Medicine with expertise relevant to the proposed research project.

Didactic learning

CHSR has a variety of work-in-progress sessions, educational series and lecture series relevant to health services research. Fellows will be required to attend the majority of these, with specific requirements developed from their ITP.

  • CHSR Works-in-progress (twice monthly) — faculty from CHSR present progress in their research and receive feedback from faculty and staff on future directions and potential collaboration.

  • Simmons Lectureship Series (twice annually) — lectureship series featuring invited external faculty with expertise in community engagement.

  • HEAL-R Equity Talks (monthly) — lecture series from the Health Equity Accelerator for the Learning Health System in Research (HEAL-R) led by Erika Cheng, PhD, with topics focusing on the integration of health equity principles into health services research and clinical implementation.

  • Implementation Science Journal Club (monthly) — lecture series focusing on specific projects and methodology key to implantation science, including integration of research methods from other fields and collaboration with imbedded clinician-scientists.

  • Informatics Journal Club (monthly) — lecture series focused on clinical decision support systems and patient- and provider-facing tools that help implement best practices and study the intersection of informatics and clinical care from a research perspective.

  • Grant Writing Seminar (monthly) — led by the grant writers working in CHSR, this educational series focuses on various aspects of grantsmanship, including selecting RFAs/PFAs, choosing appropriate projects by mechanism, research plans, multi-PI projects, budgets, submission requirements and the grant review process.

  • Behavioral Health Program Works-in-progress (monthly) — led by CHSR director, Matthew Aalsma, PhD, faculty with various expertise in behavioral health implementation and methodology discuss current and future projects with a focus on collaboration and feedback on existing or planned projects.

Successful completion of the fellowship includes:

  • Completion of all aspects of the individualized training plan (ITP) 

  • Completion of a mentored experiential research project and first authorship of at least one manuscript that is either peer-reviewed or submitted for publication. 

  • PhD and MD post-residency fellows are expected to present for work-hours (either in person or remotely) during all IU School of Medicine work days (minus four weeks of vacation time annually). For MD fellows enrolled in a clinical fellowship, their research time (as determined by their individual fellowship — typically 75% or more of the total academic year) will be wholly focused on didactic education, mentored research project work and additional elements as determined by their ITP. No specific monthly or annual schedule will be followed as all schedules are individualized and are expected to vary by candidate.

View program faculty

Core training site

With 166,000 square feet, the Health Information and Translational Sciences (HITS) building houses Children’s Health Services Research, other divisions (e.g., Adolescent Medicine), departments, (e.g., Biostatistics) and institutes such as Regenstrief, Center for Bioethics, Medical Informatics and Genetics, facilitating ongoing and additional collaborative research.


Please email us for questions about the fellowship, application process or a career in health services research.