Program Components

The 2-year research fellowship consists of five core components:

  • Formal Research Education, consisting of a master’s degree at the Mailman School of Public Health to provide a strong foundation in research design and methods
  • Mentored Research Projects, with distinguished faculty mentors who have active research support in patient safety and health services research
  • Bi-Weekly Research Seminars, which provide a forum for supplementary education, training, interaction, and exchange
  • Patient Safety Immersion, a unique component that provides exposure to hospital-based patient safety operations and an understanding of the complex factors that compromise patient safety
  • Grant Proposal Development, drafted by fellows with the support of their faculty mentor to lay the foundation for future submission

Program Curriculum

1. Research Education

Fellows will earn a Master’s degree in Epidemiology or Patient Oriented Research at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to provide them with a strong foundation in research design and methodology. Fellows who already have a related Master's degree will have the opportunity to take advanced courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods. All Fellows will be required to take two courses: Responsible Conduct of Research & Related Policy Issues and Grantsmanship for Research and Career Development Activities. Tuition is funded by the program.​

2. Mentored Research Projects

With mentorship from distinguished Columbia faculty who have active research support in patient safety, health informatics, and health services and outcomes, Fellows will conduct a primary research project related to their mentor’s research. Fellows will develop and submit an abstract, attend and present at a scientific conference, and develop and submit a manuscript for publication.​

3. Patient Safety Immersion

This is a unique component designed to provide Fellows with direct experience in patient safety operations at a large academic medical center. Fellows will attend root cause analyses and review adverse event reports at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, develop and conduct a fellow-initiated research project based on real-world patient safety hazards, and participate in a patient safety curriculum leading to the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential. Patient safety topics include:

• Measuring Patient Safety Events and Harm
• Systems Thinking and Human Factors
• Just Culture and Second Victims
• Role of Health Information Technology in Patient Safety
• Leadership and Culture in Improving Patient Safety
• Improving Patient Safety with Patient and Family Engagement

4. Bi-Weekly Research Seminars

This joint forum for Fellows from multiple programs offers supplementary education, training, interaction, and exchange on a variety of topics, including scientific writing, data collection and management, and leadership skills. These seminars also provide the opportunity for Fellows to present on the progress of their research and receive valuable feedback from peers and mentors. 

5. Grant Proposal Development

Fellows will develop a grant proposal with the guidance of their research mentor. The format for these proposals will be based on an AHRQ or NIH research grant or a mentored career development award. Fellows will have the resources and support needed to draft a proposal for submission by the end of the research training program.

Clinical Rotation

Fellows will devote approximately 8 to 10 weeks per year working clinically as hospitalists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, with an emphasis on the importance of conducting patient safety research based on real-world experience of patient care in complex clinical environments. As part of these clinical rotations, Fellows will keep a diary of patient safety hazards they observe in caring for patients, which may form the basis of their Fellow-initiated research project.

Patient Safety Research Fellowship Requirements

1. Master’s degree in Epidemiology or Patient Oriented Research​

2. Primary Research Project based on mentors’ grant-funded research

  • Conduct research (collect, analyze, interpret data)
  • Develop and submit abstract in year 1
  • Attend and present at scientific conference
  • Complete and submit manuscript by end of year 2​

3. Patient Safety Immersion

  • Complete Patient Safety Immersion seminar series
  • Earn Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential
  • Develop and conduct Fellow-initiated Patient Safety Research Project
  • Develop and submit abstract in year 2​

4. Develop Grant Proposal

  • AHRQ or NIH K (K01, K08, K23), R (R03, R21), or Internal K12