Thank you for your interest in the National Center for Health Statistics/AcademyHealth Health Policy Scholars Program!

What is the purpose of this program?
This new Scholars Program allows for a scholar in health services research and policy-related disciplines to access restricted data files free-of-charge through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Research Data Center (RDC) and potentially other Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDC). The FSRDC system is separate, and managed by the US Census Bureau. The Scholar will remain in residence at their home institution.

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must be United States citizens. This status is required to enter certain United States Government facilities, including NCHS and the RDC.

Applicants must have a doctoral degree or be a doctoral student at the dissertation stage. Junior and senior-level candidates will be considered.

Applicants must demonstrate training and/or experience in health services research and its methodology, especially quantitative data analysis, reflecting disciplines such as public health, public administration, health care administration, sociology, health economics, health statistics, anthropology, and behavioral sciences, or the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacology, etc.).

Review and Selection Criteria
Applicants must have a research need to access and analyze restricted data/variables from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Applicants should submit a proposal that demonstrates knowledge of the NCHS data systems selected for study and their appropriateness for the proposed investigation. Proposals should be sufficiently specific to show adequate understanding of the surveys in relation to the research question and feasibility to complete the study within a 12-month period.

Applications will be reviewed with respect to the following criteria:

  • Relevance and potential contribution of the proposed study to address important health-policy- or health-services-research-related questions and/or the usefulness of the project's findings for future health policy discussions;
  • Strength of the research design and methodology;
  • Feasibility to conduct the research under the proposed time frame, and the appropriateness of the selected NCHS data system(s) for the investigation;
  • Applicant's qualification for and commitment to health services research and health policy;
  • Quality of applicant's past research (for postdoctoral and faculty applicants) or planned dissertation research (for doctoral applicants); and
  • Applicant's written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate with peers.

What is the expected timeline?
Applications are due by 5 pm ET on January 1, 2019. We anticipate that the process to recruit and select the Scholar will be completed no later than Spring 2019. The Scholar will begin his or her appointment sometime between September 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019, and end on September 30, 2020.

Are there any additional benefits to being selected as a Scholar?
The Scholar will attend the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) in June 2020 to present a poster related to their research findings. The ARM registration fee will be covered by the Scholars program. Financial support for travel and hotel to attend the ARM is available up to $500. The Scholar is responsible for paying all travel and hotel costs that exceed that amount and making travel arrangements.

Do I need to relocate?
No, the Scholar shall remain at his/her home institution for the duration of the Program.

Do you sponsor work visas?

Is this a paid opportunity?
No, this is not a paid opportunity. No salary or benefit support is included. The Program covers access fees to the NCHS RDC, ARM registration, and limited travel funds (up to $500).

Can individuals from a non-US institution apply?
Yes, if the applicant is a US citizen, or lives in the US and meets the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDC) requirements. Applicants should contact their nearest FSRDC to inquire about access requirements.

Are permanent residents eligible to apply?
The NCHS RDC does not allow access to permanent residents. However, permanent residents may be eligible to apply based on which facility the applicant plans to use to access the data. Permanent residents can access the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDC) if they meet the requirements; therefore, the applicant needs to contact his/her nearest FSRDC to inquire.

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