APA Quality and Safety Improvement Scholars Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who selects the scholars and how many will be selected? The Academic Pediatric Association's Quality and Safety Improvement Scholars Program leadership group directs selection of scholars. Cohorts of 14 scholars will be enrolled annually.

  • What does the Quality and Safety Improvement Scholar's Program cost? All applicants must pay a $75 application fee. For accepted scholars, a one time tuition fee of $5500 is payable 90 days after receiving the invoice at the time of enrollment. Operating costs are also partially subsidized by the Academic Pediatric Association.

  • What are the criteria for acceptance? We are looking for scholars with outstanding credentials and recommendations, a dedicated local mentor, and documentation of institutional support, as well as a sound and innovative initial project proposal that is likely to improve the quality or safety outcomes in the applicant's institution. Project proposals are evaluated on the following criteria:
    • Relevance to QSIS goals (impactful improvement target, systematic approach)
    • Feasibility of accomplishing project objectives (e.g., time, resources, technical capability)
    • Quality of improvement methods (e.g., appropriate measurement and improvement design, timeline reasonable, methods appropriate to purpose)
    • Potential for dissemination (e.g., clarity of written proposal, experience with dissemination methods, sound plan, past peer review successes)

  • Will the program accept fellows as well as faculty? Faculty applicants are preferred. Fellows who plan an academic career in pediatrics may apply, if they are already engaged in improvement work and planning a significant focus on improvement science in their careers. They must also obtain a commitment to pay the full enrollment fee. The three year duration of the QSIS program can create challenges for fellows who will move on to a faculty position midway through the program. In this case, the scholar's new supervisor in a faculty position must agree to support continued participation in the project including time and expenses. Shortening tenure in program to 2 years is not an option.

  • Is this program designed only for new faculty members, or can mid-career faculty also apply? We expect to include a mix of new faculty and those with more experience who want to develop new skills to enhance their programmatic effectiveness and academic success. Medical directors and others with clinical program responsibility or the opportunity to impact quality or safety within clinical areas will be particularly well suited for this program.

  • Can pediatric subspecialists apply? Yes, sub-specialists are welcome and encouraged to participate. The focus of the program is improvement science, not any particular specialty. We expect that scholars will represent a range of disciplines within pediatrics.

  • Must the scholar be an MD to apply? No, the program will accept anyone who has a pediatric faculty appointment including DOs, PhDs and advanced practice providers (e.g. PA, PNP), or a faculty appointment related to pediatrics in another department (e.g., Emergency Medicine), or a community faculty member with a genuine commitment to leading improvement efforts in a systematic, scholarly manner.

  • Does the QSIS provide financial or travel support to scholars? No, we have no funds for this purpose. Your supervisor's support for the tuition fee, time protection, project costs, and travel to the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting will be required for you to participate. Some scholars may have access to grant support, e.g. through faculty development grants, to supplement local resources.

  • What does the 10% time commitment mean? Does it mean a salary commitment? Negotiation of the supervisor's agreement to protect 10% of the scholar's time is the responsibility of the scholar. The QSIS is unable to subsidize the scholar's 10% time commitment. Our expectation is that scholars will be doing projects that are a direct and valuable contribution to their department or institution and that fit into their current job commitments, or can be negotiated to become a part of the scholar's job commitments. Program participation should also benefit the department by making the scholar more effective as an improvement leader who can also disseminate his/her work in support of academic promotion expectations.

  • How developed must the proposed initial project in quality/ safety improvement be? Draft project proposals must include an overall project aim and potential measures that can be used to track and progress and guide project development over time. Ideal projects are feasible, impactful ones which include systematic evaluation and are likely to lead to scholarly output.

  • How should I choose a mentor? Mentors should have improvement experience and the ability to guide the scholar's project planning, implementation and dissemination. A good mentor is approachable and available, and personally committed to the mentee's success. Mentors will ideally also be able to help their mentee(s) to network with senior colleagues inside and outside their institution and help the scholar gain visibility in their field. Ideally, a scholar's mentor is local, so as to facilitate frequent meetings and also offer the advantages that contextual knowledge provides in improvement planning. Scholars must make their own arrangements with mentors. The mentor's letter and qualifications will be reviewed critically as part of the application process.

  • What is a QSIS faculty advisor? In addition to the mentor that each scholar will identify, each scholar will also be assigned a QSIS faculty advisor selected from a group of distinguished improvement leaders in the US and Canada. The advisor will track progress on the scholar's project(s), providing periodic project and career development guidance.

  • What are the requirements for successful completion of the program?
    • Maintain the support of your Department in order to complete the full curriculum, including projects, over 3 years, and pay the $5500 enrollment tuition fee.
    • Attend 3 PAS teaching sessions over 3 years: The didactic component of the program will include a core curriculum taught in full-day sessions, offered each year at PAS for three consecutive years.
    • Review workshops or other presentations at PAS: In their first year in the program, Scholars must participate in and thoughtfully evaluate 2 workshops, symposia, or other presentations at the PAS or equivalent meetings.
    • Participate in quarterly virtual learning sessions which will be synchronous and/or asynchronous learning activities with discussions on a Virtual Learning Platform.
    • Implement at least one mentored quality or safety improvement project and provide evidence of a successfully peer reviewed presentation or publication related to the project.

  • What will I get out of the program? Completion of the QSIS program will provide you: a Certificate of Excellence in Quality and Safety Improvement Science with a letter to your supervisor, help with implementation of a substantial improvement project, one or more peer-reviewed publications or presentations to add to support your academic advancement, a systematic learning experience to enhance your skills as an improvement leader, expert career guidance, and valuable networking with a national group of like-minded academic peers.




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