The Health System Impact Fellowship

The Health System Impact (HSI) Fellowship (for doctoral trainees and post-doctoral fellows) provides highly-qualified doctoral trainees and post-doctoral fellows studying health services and policy research (HSPR), or related fields, a unique opportunity to apply their research and analytic talents to critical challenges in health care that are being addressed by health system and related organizations (e.g., public, private for-profit, not-for-profit, and Indigenous health organizations that are not universities) outside of the traditional scholarly setting, and to develop professional experience, new skills, and networks.

The 2021 Health System Impact Fellowship awards supported 56 Health System Impact Fellows (17 PhD trainees and 39 post-doctoral fellows). Learn more about the 2021 Fellows

The 2019 Health System Impact Fellowship awards supported 51 Health System Impact Fellows (20 PhD trainees and 31 post-doctoral fellows). Learn more about the 2019 Fellows

The 2018 Health System Impact Fellowship awards supported 49 Health System Impact Fellows (20 PhD trainees and 29 post-doctoral fellows). Learn more about the 2018 Fellows

The 2017 Health System Impact Fellowship awards and Training Modernization Start-Up Grants supported 46 Health System Impact Fellows (all post-doctoral fellows). Learn more about the 2017 Fellows

Together, the 202 Health System Impact Fellows are embedded within 103 health system organizations across the country and connected to 24 universities to accelerate evidence-informed health system improvement.

Health System Impact Fellowship (Transcript)

Dr. Sacha Bhatia

Population Health and Values Based Health Systems Executive, Ontario Health
Health System Mentor

During the COVID pandemic, we have come to realize the importance that science and research plays in the development and implementation of policy.

Dr. Verna Yiu

President & CEO, Alberta Health Services
Health System Mentor

We have to be adaptive - and the way to be adaptive is to really look at the evidence.

Adalsteinn Brown

Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health / Co-Chair CHSPRA Training Modernization Advisory Group

We know we need help [to] transform the system into a learning a health system and at the end of the day, building a system that is more sustainable, that is higher quality, and that is more fair and equitable.

CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship Program

Dr. Meghan McMahon

Associate Director, CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research.

The Health System Impact Fellowship is an embedded research program that places highly skilled, research-trained individuals directly within health system organizations.

Dr. Rick Glazier

Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research

It's a program designed to modernize the graduate training and post-doctoral training across our healthcare system.

Dr. Meghan McMahon

Fellows receive unparalleled mentorship from senior level decision-makers from within these organizations and academic experts from across the country.

What is the impact in the real world?

Dr. Meghan McMahon

They have created a cohort now of 145 fellows that are connected to 83 health system organizations across the country and 23 different academic institutions.

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery & Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health
Health System Mentor

Our health system impact fellows working with research teams, working with policy makers, have really influenced bringing that evidence.

Dr. Meghan McMahon

They have contributed to program evaluations. They've contributed to informing the development of new services that will improve the lives of many.

Adalsteinn Brown

You will see organizations transform. They will become more agile, they will react more quickly, and they will react more confidently.

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

We are totally transforming our healthcare system.

Why be a Health System Impact Fellow?

Dr. Deepa Singal

Research Scientist, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy / part-time Assistant professor, University of Manitoba Director, Scientific and Data Initiatives, Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance
Health System Impact Fellow 2018

The fellowship has prepared me for the career that I have today. It gave me hands on experience and organizational management and governance.

Rae Jewett

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto
Health System Impact Fellow 2019

I was after professional development skills, certainly, and stakeholder engagement skills. These are skills we don't pick up in academia typically.

Dr. Olivier Demers-Payette

Scientific Professional, Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux
Health System Impact Fellow 2017

[What attracted me to the fellowship was] the opportunity to contribute to a program and to be part of a collaboration between a health services and policy research organization and an academic institution

Dr. Verna Yiu

This fellowship allows you to have an entry or portal into organizations that actually deliver healthcare.

Dr. Meaghan Sim

Scientist, Implementation Science, Nova Scotia Health
Health System Impact Fellow 2018

It is a great opportunity to get outside your comfort zone, to develop skills outside of the academic setting.

Dr. Deepa Singal

The network that future fellows and current fellows have this opportunity to participate in – that's the real magic.

Why host a Health System Impact Fellow?

Dr. Rick Glazier

By having an embedded, really highly methodologically trained person now actually as part of your organization, it can really shorten that cycle of brining the evidence to decisions.

Dr. Sacha Bhatia

That helped our team be able to really conduct complex research projects within a very short period of time.

Dr. Verna Yiu

Having a highly trained fellow who can actually come in and do some value-add work to help inform our system was actually very, very important

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

The difference that they're making for patients and our families, for our clinicians, for our system, and for government is phenomenal.

Rae Jewett

I would say go for it! This is going to enhance your life. It's going to enhance your career.

Dr. Deepa Singal

I don't think there is any other program out there like this.

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

You will be so fortunate if you have the opportunity to host one, and hopefully multiple, fellows.

Dr. Sacha Bhatia

When you think about what is to come in a post-pandemic reality, we are going to need people. It's not a nice to have anymore, it's a have to have. To have researchers who understand how our complex health system and the organizations that sit in its ecosystem work. I can't think of something that is more important as we think about rebuilding our healthcare system and in fact, our society.

Acknowledgements

CIHR's Institute of Health Services and Policy Research would like to thanks all of its funding partners, including the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – santé, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Mitacs, for being instrumental to the Health System Impact Fellowship's reach, uptake and success.

The Institute would also like to thank the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance, let by Dr. Diane Finegood, and its training modernization working group, co-chaired by Dr. Steini Brown and Dr. Stephen Bornstein, for providing the direction and leadership necessary to put Canada on the path towards training modernization.

Thank you to all of our partners:

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