James M Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence

Quality Scholars Curriculum

Two Training Tracks

The Quality Scholars Program at Cincinnati Children’s offers two training tracks: Independent Improvement Investigator and Systemwide Improvement Leader. 

Independent Improvement Investigator

The goals are to:

1. Build extraordinary research and improvement capability in faculty who will transform health and the healthcare delivery system for children through execution and leadership in innovative health services, outcomes and implementation research

2. Upon program completion, scholars will be prepared to write a career-development award (preliminary research aims and career development delineated)

Systemwide Improvement Leader

The goals are to:

1. Build extraordinary improvement capability in faculty who will transform health and the healthcare delivery system for children through leadership and implementation of innovations in healthcare improvement

2. Upon program completion, scholars will be recognized improvement leaders in their microsystem with potential and training to be a systemwide leader in three to five years

Formal Coursework

The master's of science in Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at the University of Cincinnati will provide one important foundational element of the program. Most are likely to select the clinical epidemiology / clinical effectiveness track. All scholars will take the health services research course that is part of the clinical epidemiology / clinical effectiveness track.

Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I2S2) helps build a broader and deeper network of improvement leaders, brings about continued cultural transformation and develops skill and experience through the Model for Improvement as based on Deming’s “System of Profound Knowledge.” Participants work on a real project in their system to drive immediate improvements in care as they build their skills.

Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM) is a highly interactive course for faculty from academic medical centers who lead improvement projects and already know the basics of QI and clinical epidemiology and/or research methods. Through brief didactic sessions, case studies, simulation exercises and projects, participants will enhance knowledge and skills to apply the science of improvement to the design, implementation and study of quality improvement initiatives in clinical settings and apply improvement theory and methods to the leadership of projects involving research, clinical care and operations.

Mentored Research

Each scholar will be involved in a series of mentored health services or quality-improvement research experience. Scholars will develop the projects in collaboration with their mentor and other advisers. Attention will be devoted to ensuring that each project is manageable, with a high likelihood of successful completion, and that it contains elements of design, implementation and analysis that make it an appropriate vehicle for training.

Scholars will participate in at least two improvement projects aimed at the direct application of quality-improvement methods in clinical and public health settings: one as part of the intermediate improvement methods course; and one advanced, using formal methods of planned experimentation during the advanced improvement methods session. A full range of ongoing improvement projects are available through Cincinnati Children’s and partnering organizations.

Leadership Training

Quality Scholars will participate in relevant leadership training courses offered through Cincinnati Children's.

Group discussions are an opportunity to get input from colleagues.

Research and Improvement Conferences

Quality Scholars Circles
A monthly conference will enable fellows to present their research and improvement projects in the early phase of development and to gain exposure to the process of developing research and improvement ideas.

Thesis and Publications

One of your goals is to publish in a peer-reviewed journal.
Scholars will be expected to produce a thesis for a graduate degree and manuscripts based on their research that are suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


Mentoring plays a key role in healthcare improvement.
Mentoring will play a key role in the program because it is as important to a successful research career as is didactic coursework. Each scholar will be assisted by the director and core faculty in identifying a small team of mentors, typically three to four faculty, who will comprise the Scholarship Oversight Committee. These mentor teams will consist of an academic adviser from the Quality Scholars Program, the scholar's division director or designee, a primary research mentor and one or two faculty selected by the student.