Center for Surgery and Public Health

CSPH Research Fellowship


As one of the premiere programs in the country dedicated to surgical services research, CSPH’s Fellowship is at the heart of our mission, and central to our goal of educating the next generation of leaders in the field. We provide surgical residents and post-doctoral fellows in the U.S. and beyond with the educational opportunities, mentoring support, and resources necessary to take on the biggest challenges in healthcare. CSPH offers an interdisciplinary research experience, enhancing examinations of health services and policy questions. With support in the areas of research study design, project management, biostatistics, and data science, CSPH advances research agendas of our faculty and research trainees. A central space brings fellows together with faculty, biostaticians, research and project management staff, to create a “think tank” environment that facilitates the access to data, tools, and CSPH’s collective expertise.

Today, CSPH is home to more than a dozen research fellows whose work is shaped and guided by their faculty mentors and CSPH Faculty Director Louis Nguyen, MD, MBA, MPH. Fellows develop and implement highly structured fellowship plans, driven by their individual goals and research interests, with their mentoring team. Other aspects of our fellowship program, including weekly Works-in-Progress meetings and monthly Qualitative and Quantitative Methods sessions, are designed to provide our fellows with the feedback and resources they need to succeed. For the past three years, CSPH has provided a six-week research intensive summer course aimed at introducing incoming fellows to basic and advanced research design, methodology, and analysis concepts in addition to providing sessions on professional development, advocacy, and health policy.

Since the program’s inception, CSPH fellows have been consistently recognized regionally and nationally for their excellence in research, resulting in numerous awards, presentations, and publications. To date, CSPH has trained over 100 fellows, who have gone on to become leaders in the field, contributing to the growth and improved understanding of the science of surgical care delivery.

For more information, please contact our administrative director, Melissa Poleo, MS.

Eligibility and Duration

The CSPH Research Fellowship is a two-year* post-doctoral fellowship program that prepares trainees in surgical health services research. Applicants must have an MD, PhD, or equivalent to be eligible. The application cycle begins November 1st, with fellowship beginning at the start of the academic year (7/1). Fellows must identify their own funding source, which may include their own institution, their mentor, or grants. Please click here for potential funding sources.

*One-year fellowships are permitted in select cases



Each prospective fellow should identify a CSPH core or affiliate faculty mentor, who will oversee the fellow’s primary research projects. Fellows will develop individual two-year training and mentorship plans with their primary faculty mentor, which will be reviewed every six months by the CSPH fellowship education director. Scheduled progress reviews allow fellow and mentor to review and modify this plan as necessary. Secondary mentors are available to support development of research methodologies and areas of interest.


Research Projects and Requirements

The goal of the fellowship is for fellows to acquire a broad range of research skills that will establish the foundation for a productive career in academic medicine. During their two years, fellows split their time between research projects and research course work as decided upon with their faculty mentor. The fellow will work on innovative projects in line with the goals of the research program. In addition, they may pursue additional projects across the health services research spectrum, including comparative effectiveness, patient-centered outcomes, disparities, regional variation, decision analysis, systems innovation, cost effectiveness, hospital quality, and access.


Educational and Professional Development Opportunities

CSPH fellows have a wide variety of educational and professional development opportunities to take advantage of while in Boston. Fellows are expected to attend seminars, colloquia, weekly didactic educational sessions, and other regularly scheduled CSPH educational activities. In addition, they may concurrently pursue a MSc or MPH degree during their tenure, however, funding for such programs will the fellow’s responsibility.

Internal & External Educational Opportunities

  • CSPH Weekly Research Works-in-Progress (WIP) Meetings
  • CSPH Monthly Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Session
  • Harvard Surgical Health Services Research (HSR) Series (Health services researchers are invited throughout the academic year to present on their research and area of expertise. Guests attend the WIP meeting and provide feedback on fellows’ projects)
  • CSPH Research Fellow Summer Course (six-week, 18 session course)
  • Brigham and Women’s Department of Surgery Resident Research Conferences and Grand Rounds
  • Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness, a joint program between Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Value Based Health Care Delivery seminar at Harvard Business School
  • Harvard University’s Clinical and Translational Science Center (Harvard Catalyst) Courses

Educational and Professional Development Opportunities

Fellows have access to numerous internal resources, including expert consultations on research study design, data science and data set selection, and biostatistical analysis. Fellows are expected to follow internal processes to adhere to data use agreements and maintain the level of quality expected of research conducted at CSPH.

  • Statistics and Programming/Coding Support (SAS, STATA)
  • Qualitative Data Resources (ATLAS.ti)
  • Grant Management, IRB, and Research Programmatic and Administrative Support
  • Extensive national and state level data sets