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Implementation Science Fellowship Program

The Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Implementation Science Fellowship Program aims to train Penn State researchers interested in applying Implementation Science to their research programs. Implementation Science is the study of methods to promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings to improve the impact on population health. This one-year fellowship will provide a solid theoretical, methodological and scientific foundation for Implementation Science that can be used in a variety of clinical and community health topics. The CTSI is invested in building Penn State’s capacity for Implementation Science studies to address health inequities within the Commonwealth and beyond, especially in rural communities.

The fellowship is for Penn State faculty, at any level, seeking training and a practical learning experience in Implementation Science. We encourage early-career researchers to apply.

This one-year fellowship program will fund the awardee’s salary support to an equivalent of up to two-course buyouts (one per semester) or .10 FTE (up to the current National Institutes of Health salary cap) for the duration of the fellowship (July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025). The purpose of the fellowship is for study and training in Implementation Science.  The fellow will receive active mentoring from an experienced mentor actively involved in Implementation Science at Penn State.

In addition to benefiting from mentor engagement, each fellow will gain practical research experience, becoming part of the Implementation Science Core (ISC) team. This includes attending regular team meetings and supporting the team on consultations, ISC Workgroup planning, seminar presentations, and other programmatic initiatives for a breadth of hands-on experiences in Implementation Science.

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Program Details and Application Process

Eligibility Expand answer

Any full-time Penn State faculty member or research scientist located at any Penn State campus is eligible to apply. We encourage early-career researchers to apply.

Participation in this fellowship program requires the following:

  1. Complete the self-directed TIDIRC Open Access course, or equivalent, during the first three months of the fellowship.
  2. Apply Implementation Science principles or methods to current research projects.
  3. Attend monthly meetings with the mentors to discuss fellowship progress and deliverables.
  4. Participate in ISC activities, including consultations, Workgroup planning, seminar presentations and other programmatic initiatives as needed.
  5. Submit two brief progress reports to Penn State CTSI.
  6. Draft a full R series grant proposal (R01 or R21) or equivalent proposal by the end of the fellowship.
  7. Attend the Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health. The fellow must identify and secure at least $2,000 to cover this travel.
Application Expand answer

The application should be no more than three single-spaced pages (11-point size font and 0.5-inch margins) and include:

  1. Personal statement – Describe your overall research program and how it fits within the Implementation Science field, your grant writing experience, and motivation to seek training in Implementation Science (i.e., why the fellowship is needed to advance your research program and career).
  2. Concept proposal – Describe the specific aims and general approach of the Implementation Science project you plan to conduct during the fellowship. This project should align with a current project of the applicant or a new project feasible to implement in 1 year. In your concept, please note the evidence-based practices or interventions to be implemented, the proposed implementation strategy, and the overall research plan. Explain how this project will lead to a proposal for external funding at the end of the fellowship, noting specific RFAs targeted, as applicable.
  3. Budget (not included in the three-page limit)
    • Submit the cost of two-course buyouts (or equivalent) or, where appropriate, particularly for clinicians, the cost of 0.10 FTE (up to the current National Institutes of Health salary cap) for an entire academic year (12 months). This cost should be confirmed in the Letter of Support from the applicant’s Department Chair.
    • The applicant must identify funds to attend the Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health during the fellowship period.
  4. Additional application attachments (not included in the three-page limit)
    • Applicant’s biographical sketch (up to five pages, following the current NIH guidance)
    • Letter of Support from the applicant’s Department Chair confirming the cost of two-course buyouts or 0.10 FTE, and funding to support the fellow’s attendance at the Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health. The letter should also address the candidate’s potential to pursue Implementation Science research and speak to the department’s interest and support for Implementation Science.
Review Criteria Expand answer
  • Merits of the proposal (concept paper), including its innovation, significance, rigor, feasibility, and relevance to CTSI focus areas (rural health and diversity, equity, and inclusion)
  • Match with ISC Workgroup mentors
  • Clarity of why participation in this fellowship program is needed to advance the career of the applicant
  • Likelihood of an R series grant proposal (R01 or R21) or equivalent proposal, resulting from the fellowship
  • Strength of departmental support and commitment as noted in the Letter of Support
Progress Reports Expand answer

Awardee is required to provide a progress report mid-year (by Dec. 1, 2024) and a final report no later than 30 days after the end of the Fellowship (by June 30, 2025), describing the progress made and accomplished deliverables, including the status of the external grant proposal and others like manuscript and conference abstract submissions. Awardee may be asked to complete other evaluation surveys as needed.

How to Apply Expand answer

Interested eligible researchers should submit their application as one PDF document to no later than 5 p.m. ET on May 24, 2024. The selected fellow will be notified by June 14, 2024. The fellowship is expected to begin on July 1, 2024, and last 12 months (through June 30, 2025). Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Dr. William Calo,, to identify potential mentors before submitting the application.

Questions or Comments

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