HHS Health Services Research Fellowship

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcripts – Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • One educational or professional recommendation. Your application will be considered incomplete, and will not be reviewed until one recommendation is submitted.

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

If you have questions, send an email to HHSrpp@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
3/31/2021 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available with the Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation (OPAE), within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) located in Rockville, Maryland.

The purpose of the OPAE fellowship is to conduct mentored health services research focused on the federal public health programs administered by the HRSA. HRSA, an agency within the HHS, is the primary federal agency for addressing health disparities and improving access to high quality health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. Among other roles for the agency, OPAE serves as HRSA’s primary source for policy analysis, performance data management, research/evaluation, leadership in strategic public health initiatives, and engagements with key external stakeholders of the agency.

This fellowship program is designed to provide an environment where a highly qualified, motivated, and productive candidate will be able to apply and further develop their health services research skills, knowledge, and experience. This will be accomplished through direct opportunities to perform research/analytic studies with a mentor/team, and by immersion in federal government initiatives aimed at improving health care service delivery to the nation’s safety net. This opportunity will allow the right candidate to learn more about federal careers, the public health programs of the federal government, and how health services research can be strategically applied in meaningful ways to ongoing work of the federal government.

The participant will conduct research/analyses in topic areas such as population health, health equity, social determinants of health, chronic disease epidemiology, mental/behavioral health, HIV/AIDS, rural health, and community health – particularly as the work relates to serving vulnerable and underserved populations. The specific analyses/projects performed will be determined collaboratively with the participant and consider their specific topical interests, but will align with the guidance of OPAE leadership and ongoing agency efforts/needs. Research/analytic activities will be performed both independently and in conjunction with other OPAE researchers. The quantitative analyses performed will involve the use of federal sources of national-level data (e.g., from CDC/NCHS, NIH, AHRQ, SAMHSA, U.S. Census) and HRSA program databases. The participant will link individual/patient-level and community level health-related data with socioeconomic, demographic, environmental, neighborhood, and geographic variables for the purposes of conducting and publishing high-quality population health and epidemiological research. OPAE research aims to add value to HRSA’s portfolio of grant programs and advance priority work related to the HRSA mission.  

Learning Goals and Objectives:

  • This fellowship will emphasize developing a practical, policy and program-relevant research project proposal; creating and implementing a methodologically rigorous research design; conducting the research study; and using data visualization techniques to communicate key results from the research conducted.
  • During the course of the fellowship, the participant will learn and enhance their skills about advanced quantitative and statistical research methods, including multilevel regression models and related techniques.
  • By conducting applied and translational research, the participant will learn about how various social determinants impact individual and population health and how evidence-based policy actions are needed for health promotion, disease prevention, and reductions in health disparities at the national and community levels.
  • The participant will gain experience as a lead and independent researcher in formulating and conducting research in public health and epidemiological research.
  • By conducting independent and collaborative research with a wide range of national health and HRSA program databases, the participant will learn about and gain broad experience in existing and emerging public health and disease prevention priorities at the national and local levels. 
  • Immersion through this opportunity will allow the participant to learn more about federal careers, the public health programs of the federal government, and how health services research can be strategically applied in meaningful ways to the ongoing work of the federal government.
  • A motivated and productive participant will very likely have the opportunity to participate in the preparation and publication of one or more HRSA-generated peer-reviewed manuscripts and/or present their research at a national-level academic conference. 

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Winter/Spring 2021

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and HHS. The initial appointment can be up to one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of HHS contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at HHS in the Rockville, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of HHS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree (strongly preferred) in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in the development and application of multivariate quantitative methodology using complex datasets
  • Demonstrated experience in using statistical software (e.g., SAS, Stata, SPSS, Python, or R) to clean and analyze survey data and/or administrative data
  • Demonstrated facility in using/managing complex databases and/or performance measurement tools
  • Demonstrated proficiency in creating data visualizations and infographics, and using software such as Tableau and/or geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Demonstrated history of performing health services/health economics research and/or evaluations in leadership and/or supporting roles
  • Demonstrated interest/expertise in topics relating to access to health care, vulnerable and underserved populations, and safety net programs
  • Demonstrated ability to develop syntheses and summaries of information for technical and nontechnical audiences (both written and oral)
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 3/31/2021 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (2 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (4 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (3 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (5 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age