VA Fellowship in Health Professions Education Evaluation and Research

The Advanced Fellowship in Health Professions Education Evaluation and Research provides two years of formal training and mentoring in educational scholarship with a focus on projects within the San Francisco VA (SFVA).

The goal of the fellowship program is to develop experts to advance healthcare education through practice, inquiry and improvement, with a special focus on program evaluation and educational research.


Completion Year Name Department Entry Year
2022 Sara Sani, MD Medicine 2020
2021 Lindsey Haddock, MD Department of Medicine 2019
2021 Nina Zhao, MD Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2019
2020 Joe Cook, MA San Francisco VA Medical Center 2018
2019 Emily Abdoler, MD Medicine 2018
2018 Laura Byerly, MD Medicine 2016
2017 Rosalind De Lisser, RN, MS, NP Community Health Systems 2015
2017 Leslie Floren, PharmD Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences 2015

Program Options

Fellows will have the opportunity to work closely with existing programs in the SFVA that can benefit from assistance with focused evaluation and research projects. Formal training will be provided by UCSF, which consists of two options:

Option 1: UCSF Health Professions Educator Fellowship 

In Option 1, fellows may enroll in the Teaching Scholars Program (which is a year-long, half-day a week academic program that trains faculty members to be educational leaders, innovators and scholars) or the Health Professions Education Pathway to Discovery (which is a year-long program that trains students, residents and fellows to be future leaders, innovators and scholars).

Interested faculty and trainees may inquire about the option to pursue an MA degree in education during this fellowship.

Option 2: UCSF-Utrecht University Medical Center (Utrecht UMC) Doctoral Program

In Option 2, qualified fellows may enroll in the UCSF's collaborative Doctoral Program in Health Professions Education with Utrecht University Medical Center (UMC Utrecht). This is an approximately four-year, part-time doctoral program with intense mentoring on educational research. In both programs, fellows will learn about theories of teaching and learning, innovative teaching practices, assessment and evaluation, leadership, research and scholarship, and VA programs and data systems.

Program Details

Applicants must have completed accredited residency training in a medical specialty or advanced training in a nursing or associated health specialty. 

The stipend rate will be based on years of previously completed ACGME or AOA accredited residency training and equivalent experiences as determined by OAA and index rates approved at the affiliated university and the respective VA facility.

Physician, nurse, and associated health fellows will spend approximately 70 percent of their time in training, development, and implementation of projects related to the practice and advancement of healthcare education.  No more than 30 percent time shall be spent in direct clinical care. Fellows must conduct the majority of their clinical care and clinical education responsibilities at a VA facility.  Should a site wish to have fellows conduct these activities at non-VA sites, prior written approval from the Office of Academic Affiliations must be obtained. Fellows are expected to carry out the majority of their research and educational activities at a VA facility.

Application Process and Instructions

Application Timeline

  • Individuals who wish to start the fellowship on July 1 of a given year should submit their application by January 15 of the same year. Individuals seeking different start dates should submit their application 6 months prior to their desired start date.
  • Notification: Approximately 30 days after application date.
  • Earliest program start date: flexible.

To apply to the fellowship:

1. Prepare an application packet, including: 

  • Download VA Fellowship Application Form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Support acknowledging release time
    • Trainees: from residency or fellowship program director
    • Faculty: from department chair or division chief

2. Assemble into a single .pdf document.

3. E-mail application and/or contact if you have any questions prior to application submission: Bridget O’Brien, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Center for Faculty Educators,

Co-sponsored by UCSF Center for Faculty Educators and the VA Office of Academic Affiliation (OAA)