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Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)

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CIVIC Post-Doctoral Fellowship

CIVIC Post-Doctoral Fellowship

VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Systems Research

VA Portland Health Care System

Program Description

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Portland Health Care System is one of 14 sites offering Advanced Fellowships in Health Systems Research (HSR). The goal of this program is to provide two years of advanced interdisciplinary training to physicians, psychologists, epidemiologists, and doctorally-prepared social scientists and nurses in research and quality improvement methods in HSR.

VA HSR works to identify and evaluate innovative strategies that lead to accessible, high-quality, cost-effective care for Veterans and the nation. Upon completing this training program, Fellows may proceed on to research career development awards, positions in VA that bridge research to policy and operations, or other positions outside of the VA.

Diagram of the learning health systems model.

CIVIC - Portland is approved by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) as a selected site for the Advanced Fellowship in HSR. Portland was one of 14 HSR Centers of Innovation (COINs) selected to receive funding through a competitive review process. The fellowship program is now incorporating curriculum based on Learning Health Systems Competencies. The Learning Health System is a value-based care framework that centers around systematically gathering evidence and applying the most promising evidence to improve care.

Citation: About Learning Health Systems. Content last reviewed May 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Link

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About the Portland HSR Site

The fellowship will be located at the VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS). VAPORHCS provides a full range of patient care services to U.S. Military Veterans; it is physically connected to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and serves as a training site for most OHSU clinical trainees. VAPORHCS currently ranks in the top 10 among VA organizations in overall grant support from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Within VHAPORHCS there are 177 staff Principal Investigators, including 5 Research Career Scientists and 9 Career Development Awardees, who are leading more than 642 active medical and behavioral science research projects. The VAPORHCS research community was supported by $40 million in VA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD) and other funding sources in Fiscal Year 2022.

Fellows will be affiliated with the Portland HSR Center of Innovation called the Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC). CIVIC’s mission is to conduct research that empowers Veterans to improve their health by enhancing active participation of Veterans and their supports in health care. CIVIC has a specific focus on understanding and assisting patients with psychological challenges or other vulnerabilities that may impact self-management and recovery.

Many CIVIC investigators are also clinicians actively working with patients and managing patient care programs. CIVIC currently supports 32 funded investigators who conduct qualitative and quantitative research on a variety of health services topics, including:

  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health and psychiatric disorders (post traumatic stress disorder, psycho-oncology, substance use disorders, opioid safety)
  • Access to care (telehealth, rural health)
  • Health care specialties (traumatic brain injury, infectious disease, primary care, cancer, women's health)
  • Methods (qualitative methods, evidence synthesis, survey research, data science)
  • Health inequalities
  • Palliative care
  • Clinician-patient communication
  • Health informatics

Learn More About CIVIC Investigators

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Training/Experience in Research and Scholarship

HSR Fellows will receive specialized training and experience related to one of four unique tracks: Independent Investigator, Clinical Innovator, Research Synthesis, or HSR Informatics.

Fellows on the Independent Investigator track will focus on developing, completing, and publishing the results of an independent research project in HSR, publishing additional manuscripts with their mentorship team, and obtaining pilot data, thus optimally positioning themselves to compete for subsequent training (primarily career development awards) and other research grants.

Fellows on the Clinical Innovator track will develop HSR skills with a focus on patient safety and clinical innovation, but without the goal of becoming an independent, grant-funded investigator.

Fellows in the Research Synthesis track will focus on developing research synthesis skills under the mentorship of Portland’s internationally recognized leaders in evidence synthesis; each Fellow will take the lead in developing one evidence synthesis report, may participate in other ongoing reports, and will work with leaders on the methodology around research synthesis.

Fellows in the HSR Informatics track will focus on developing research skills in the emerging field of clinical informatics, including the effective uses of biomedical data, information, and technology for scientific inquiry, problem solving, and decision making to improve health services and human health.

Training for each track will include the following core components:

Didactic Training: Methods and content education will be obtained primarily through resources at OHSU. Fellows may receive training through the OHSU Human Investigations Program (HIP), in other OHSU graduate programs, seminar series and conferences at OHSU and VAPORHCS, guided independent study, and in methods conferences locally and nationally.

Mentorship: Fellows will receive several forms of mentorship: a faculty mentor team, a peer mentor, and group mentorship. The faculty mentor team will include a primary mentor, secondary mentor with methods and content expertise, and a local, regional or national VA operations partner mentor. Fellows will meet with their primary mentor weekly. In addition, each Fellow on the Independent Investigator track will have a peer mentor, with whom they will meet more informally. Group mentorship activities will include participation in an ongoing HSR investigator research-in-progress workshop.

Experiential Training: Each Fellow will be assigned to a primary mentor who will begin to incorporate them into their research team. Fellows will be placed with a mentor based on the Fellow’s interests, their track, and the capacity of the mentor to accept a new mentee. Fellows in each track will be expected to develop and complete at least one independent project that will be summarized in a manuscript submitted for publication by the end of their Fellowship; and/or presented at a national conference; or presented to VA leadership.

Meet Our Past FellowsMeet Our Current Fellows

Additional Information

Visit the following websites to learn more about selected resources and educational opportunities at the Portland VA and OHSU:

Veterans Rural Health Resource Center - Portland

Evidence Synthesis Program

Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI)

Human Investigations Program (HIP)

OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

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Eligibility and Benefits

  • Candidates must be U.S. Citizens
  • Eligible physicians must have completed a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Bureau of Professional Education (BPE) of the American Osteopathic Association; be board certified or board eligible; and have an active, unrestricted U.S. medical license
  • Associated Health Fellows must have a doctoral degree in psychology, nursing, epidemiology/public health, the social sciences, or other related fields

The fellowship includes a competitive stipend with most federal benefits. The stipend is updated annually and increases each year of the fellowship. For the 2023 to 2024 year, the stipend for a first year Associated Health Fellow was $51,177. For physicians, the stipend is based on postgraduate year and is competitive with clinical fellowships; please contact us for additional details. Personal work space with office support and access to CIVIC resources will be provided.

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To Apply

We recommend interested candidates arrange a pre-application meeting with Fellowship Director to discuss their background, research or scholarly interests, and career goals. Formal application materials consist of the following: letter of interest, curriculum vitae (CV), two letters of recommendation, and official or unofficial transcript of terminal degree coursework (e.g., PhD). The letter should describe the candidate's interests and any previous experience in health services research, their goals for the fellowship, and their desired training track. Proposed mentors and research/project ideas are helpful to include.

Submit all application materials via email to Fellowship Director Dr. Alan Teo ( with CC to Fellowship Coordinator Arielle Hughes (

Alan Teo, M.D., M.S.
Director of Education and Core Investigator
Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)
VA Portland Health Care System (R&D 66)
3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Road
Portland, OR 97239

Contact Information

Fellowship Director
Alan Teo, MD, MS
503-220-8262 x52461

Fellowship Associate Director
Jessica Wyse, PhD

Fellowship Coordinator
Arielle Hughes, MS