To provide the next generation of scholars with the methodological and professional skills to conduct research in the complex environments of health systems and to disseminate and implement the findings from such research into practice.

  • NIH-level stipend
  • aLHSS core curriculum
  • Leading one (or more) mentored research projects
  • Protected research time
  • Full tuition coverage (MS, certificate, coursework)
  • Presentation(s) at National Meetings
  • Dedicated mentoring team + Individual development plan
  • First-authored manuscript(s)
  • Elective Coursework

Program Details:

Novel aLHSSP Core Curriculum

Designed to build core competencies in conducting Academic Learning Health System research, the curriculum encompasses the following eight competency domains:

  1. Conduct research in real-world systems using appropriate study designs and analytic methods to assess outcomes of interest to health system stakeholders.

  2. Understand the use of information systems in conducting academic Learning Health System research and improving patient and health system outcomes.

  3. Ensure that research and quality improvement in healthcare settings adhere to the highest ethical and regulatory standards.

  4. Reduce avoidable variation in process and outcome and ensure the systematic uptake of research findings in a health system.

  5. Engage stakeholders in all aspects of the research process and effectively lead and manage.

  6. Understand how health systems are financed and operate and how to apply systems theory to research and implementation.

  7. Ask meaningful questions relevant to health system stakeholders and evaluate the usefulness of scientific evidence and insights.

  8. Apply content and methodologic training in health equity and health disparities to each competency above such that health equity and health disparities are an integral part of each competency, as well as apply knowledge of and methods of assessing health disparities and promoting health equity.

Ref: Forrest, C.B., et al., Development of the Learning Health System Researcher Core Competencies. Health Serv Res, 2017. PMCID: PMC6051975.

Coley, R.Y., et al., A call to integrate health equity into learning health system research training. Learn Health Syst, 2022. 6(4): p. e10330.

Nikolas Koscielniak, PhD, MPH “The Wake Forest aLHSS training program equipped me with vital skills and knowledge in the area of Team Science that I now view as an integral part of not just Learning Health Systems but of my career growth [and] provided opportunities for me to write and publish manuscripts to advance my scholarly career.”

Nik Koscielniak, PhD, MPH, MSOT, OTR/L

TL1 Spotlight

Learn more about the Academic Learning Health System Scholars Program.

Qualified Candidates Compensation  Potential Career Roles
  • Fellows, residents, other individuals with a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., or similar)
  • Applicant must have interest in conducting research to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status 
  • NIH postdoctoral-level stipends and tuition benefits
  • May be able to receive additional support from the sponsoring academic department
  • Free access to CTSI resources ex. biostatistical and research design support, study coordinator support
  • Academic positions focused on health services and health systems research
  • Lead or collaborating investigator on externally funded research studies
  • Clinician-educator positions focused on teaching principles of healthcare improvement
  • Health systems positions focused on implementing innovative delivery strategies
  1. Systems Science and Organizational Change Management
  2. Research Questions and Standards of Scientific Evidence
  3. Health Systems Research Methods
  4. Biomedical Informatics
  5. Ethics of Research and Implementation in Health Systems
  6. Improvement and Implementation Science
  7. Stakeholder Engagement, Leadership, and Research Management

Each postdoctoral trainee sets up an individual development plant, guided by a mentoring team of experienced faculty, and meets with the mentoring team regularly for progress review and feedback.  The faculty mentoring team assists trainee in navigating obstacles that may arise in conducting research projects in healthcare settings.

All trainees will work with their mentoring team to develop a training plan that includes graduate coursework in Translational and Health System Science. All trainees will participate in the Learning Health System Colloquium. Depending on the needs of the trainee, they may also take selected coursework as a non-degree student, or pursue a Certificate or Master's degree in Translational and Health Systems Science on the Learning Health System Science track. 


Trainees will conduct a mentored research project to address a pressing issue relevant to Wake Forest and other health systems. These well-defined research projects will seek to improve patient outcomes, access to care, or healthcare costs.