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Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety


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Health Services Research (HSR)

The Health Services Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Houston, Texas offers doctorally-prepared social and health scientists as well as physicians completing residency training the foundational scientific and career development training necessary for a successful academic career in Health Services Research (HSR). This is accomplished by surrounding fellows with interprofessional scientists with a broad variety of interests who come together to share ideas and provide one-on-one mentoring. At the core of the fellowship program is an individualized, structured career development program. As part of your fellowship, you will participate in a comprehensive curriculum and team-based research experiences designed specifically to meet your methodological and career development needs.

The fellowship provides two years of 100% protected effort for health services research experience and training with 75% protected effort for research and education opportunities and 25% in clinical care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. An appropriate research mentor from among the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety faculty will be identified prior to acceptance in the program. Primary mentors along with other faculty, who may be outside IQuESt (when appropriate), will guide fellows during the course of their fellowship. Fellowship alumni will be prepared to obtain careers developing and conducting health services research, establishing innovative health services programs within care systems, or directing health policy for public or private health systems or governmental bodies.

Applicants must have completed their doctoral degree prior to entering the fellowship program. However, interested candidates can begin the fellowship application process if they are within 3 months of completing their doctoral degree.

Fellowship benefits:

  • Participation in new or ongoing team projects
  • Opportunities for research collaborations with other educational institutions
  • Two years of individualized HSR training and experience
  • Individualized mentoring from experienced faculty mentoring team
  • For non-clinical fellows: 100% protected effort for research and education, stipend approx. $52,000 for a first-year post-doctoral graduate
  • For clinical fellows: 75% protected effort for research and education, 25% for clinical care, stipend determined by PGY level at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC
  • VA employee benefits include: health insurance, life insurance, annual leave, and sick leave
  • Candidates accepted into the M.D. Fellowship will have the opportunity to apply for the Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP) at Baylor College of Medicine, which offers a Master's degree in Clinical Investigation

Program Director:

Program Co-Director:

Current Postdoctoral Fellows:

Current Mentors:

Mentor Name Area of Expertise
Jane Anderson, Ph.D., RN
  1. Implementation of evidence-based stroke interventions
  2. Inter-professional education
  3. Telestroke, Telehealth Self_management Support
  4. Mobile Health Apps and Decision Support
Derrecka Boykin, Ph.D.
  1. Expanding access to evidence-based mental health care
  2. Understanding needs and improving care for special underserved populations (e.g., rural, women, survivors of sexual trauma/military sexual trauma)
Jeffrey A. Cully, Ph.D.
  1. Development and testing (clinical trials) of evidence-based mental health practices for underserved populations
  2. Psychotherapy quality, outcomes, implementation, and scaling (e.g. demonstration and quality improvement projects)
Bich N. Dang, M.D.
  1. Patient-provider communication
  2. Patient values, preferences & experiences of care
  3. Video-based coaching and feedback interventions
  4. Health disparities (racial/ethnic, underserved populations)
 Jessica A. Davila, Ph.D.
  1. Delivery of care and outcomes for patients with liver cancer
  2. Utilizing electronic health data for research
  3. Program evaluation
Lilian N. Dindo, Ph.D.
  1. Test pragmatic psychotherapeutic interventions
  2. Develop interventions to improve mental health w/ comorbid illnesses
Hashem B. El-Serag, M.D., M.P.H.
  1. Epidemiology and outcomes of digestive diseases
  2. Screening and surveillance of GI and liver cancer
Kevin Erickson, M.D., M.S.
  1. Assess the consequences of economic policies involving patients with kidney disease through the analysis of large administrative datasets.
  2. Understand barriers to improving access to high-value kidney care in all patients with kidney disease.
Terri L. Fletcher, Ph.D.
  1. Improving diagnostic practices for anxiety disorders
  2. Access to EBT for Veterans with anxiety, OCD, and PTSD
  3. Mixed methods research
Thomas P. Giordano, M.D., M.P.H.
  1. Adherence and retention to HIV care
  2. Outcomes and disparities of HIV care
Kyler Godwin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
  1. Training and leading healthcare improvement
  2. Implementation science
  3. Program evaluation methods
Drew A. Helmer, M.D., M.S.
  1. Deployment-related health concerns
  2. Military exposure-related health concerns
  3. Chronic multi-symptom illness
Natalie Hundt, Ph.D.
  1. Increasing initiation, engagement, and completion of psychotherapy for PTSD
  2. Expanding access to mental health care for Veterans
Sylvia J. Hysong, Ph.D.
  1. Audit and Feedback interventions
  2. Performance measurement and team coordination
  3. Primary care processes
Fasiha Kanwal, M.D., M.S.H.S.
  1. Effectiveness and Timeliness of liver disease care
  2. Quality of life in liver disease
Mark E. Kunik, M.D., M.P.H.
  1. Access, safety, and effectiveness of dementia care
  2. Caregiving and behavioral interventions
  3. Use of community health workers/peers and community organizations to improve mental health
Jan A. Lindsay, Ph.D.
  1. Develop & test techno-based behavior interventions
  2. Access and Implementation of evidence-based psychotherapy 2a. Develop and evaluate digital mental health tools 2b. Increase access to evidence-based substance use disorder treatment 2c. Personalize implementation strategies to meet unique needs of rural facilities, providers, and patients
Laura A. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.
  1. Economic Incentives, quality of care
  2. Evidence-based health policy
  3. Patient safety
Hardeep Singh, M.D., M.P.H.
  1. Reducing diagnostics errors in primary care using Health IT
  2. Patient safety & electronic health records
Barbara W. Trautner, M.D., Ph.D., F.I.D.S.A.
  1. Prevention of healthcare associated infections
  2. Guidelines implementation
  3. Antimicrobial stewardship
Salim S. Virani, M.D.
  1. Understand gaps in implementation of cardiovascular guidelines
  2. Implement strategies to improve CV guidelines adherence


  • US Citizenship
  • Doctoral degree
  • MD candidates must:
  • Have board eligibility (any specialty)
  • Have completed clinical training prior to entering fellowship program
  • Have a full medical license (or currently applying)

Application materials:

  1. CV
  2. Cover letter/statement of interest
  3. Unofficial transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation emailed directly to Dr. Fletcher from the recommender
  5. Writing sample (e., first author publication, dissertation chapter)


  1. Deadline to submit application is December 1

For more information or any questions you may have, contact Education Program CoordinatorOnce you have compiled your application materials, please submit your application HERE.

Click Here to Apply Now