About the Program

About the CHQ Junior Scholar Program

We are now inviting applications for our 2023-2024 CHQ Junior Scholar Program!

Goals: The CHQ Junior Scholar Program is designed to:
1.Promote early exposure of graduate students from across various colleges and schools at the University of South Carolina to advanced research training

2.Enhance students’ essential experiences in education, research, and professional development

3.Cultivate students’ research interests in health care and population health

4.Increase interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of South Carolina

Benefits of the CHQ Junior Scholar Program:
1.One-on-one mentoring relationship with a CHQ faculty member

2.Hands-on research experience

3.Close interaction with other pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees at the CHQ

4.A supplementary stipend of $1,500 per semester (i.e., a total of $3,000 per year)

5.Additional Funds upon request (up to $1,500 per person per year) to help defray travel expenses to participate in a scientific conference or to publish research findings

Areas of Interest:
The admitted Junior Scholars will work closely with their assigned CHQ faculty mentors and determine areas of research to which Junior Scholars will be dedicated under the program. The applicants are strongly encouraged to identify a research topic(s) in line with CHQ faculty mentors’ research agenda but can also propose their own research topics. Following are examples of CHQ’s areas of research interest:

Clinical/health-specific themes:

1. Community resilience/organizational resilience/stigma on the context of HIV and/or COVID

2. Clinical outcomes and comorbidities of people living with HIV in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

3. Addressing systematic and structural factors (e.g., transportation vulnerability, housing vulnerability) that contribute to poor outcomes for vulnerable populations (e.g., people living with HIV, perinatal individuals)

4. COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccine uptake and effectiveness among people living with HIV Clinical outcomes and prognosis of COVID-19

5. Psychosocial factors associated with HIV and aging

6. Biopsychosocial influences on substance use/misuse and prevention interventions

7. Qualitative and quantitative studies on intersecting stigma against Gay, Bisexual, and Men who have sex with Men (GBMSM) and mental health in Zambia

8. Racial/ethnic disparities in HIV treatment cascade (e.g., retention in care, viral suppression) Telehealth policy and maternal health disparity

Methodology themes:

1. Harnessing geospatial (big) data for infectious diseases (Prerequisite: Basic GIS and statistical skills; Programming skill [e.g., Python] and data science background is a plus)

2. Spatial accessibility of health care and patient outcomes

3. Electronic Health Records (EHR) based data mining

Responsibilities and Expectations of Junior Scholars:

1.Maintain good academic standing in home department/program (i.e., GPA > 3.5)

2.Establish a mentoring team consisting of scholar’s CHQ faculty mentor and other scholars to create individualized research goals

3.Actively participate in other ASPH and CHQ training activities (e.g., seminars, colloquia, workshops)

1.Actively engage in an area of research mutually determined by CHQ faculty mentor and junior scholar

2.Contribute as a leading-author on at least one publishable manuscript during the year of commitment that is developed in collaboration with the mentoring team

3.Present research findings at annual CHQ Junior Scholar symposium

4.Make one local, state, national, or international scientific presentation during the year

5.Improve grant writing skills through trainings and opportunities offered by the CHQ

Professional Development:
1.Meet with CHQ faculty mentor each semester to review progress

2.Attend Junior Scholar professional development presentations offered by the CHQ (e.g., CHQ weekly seminar)

3.Attend professional development presentations offered by ASPH and other university units

4.Work closely with other pre-doctoral and post-doctoral level trainees at the CHQ

5.Network with other experts in the field via the CHQ’s network of researchers and community partners

Admission criteria:
The CHQ junior program will be open to eligible full-time doctoral students enrolled in any departments/programs located on the main USC-Columbia campus, that have a focus area and/or research interests related to health care and population health. The qualified applicants need to show evidence of:

1.Enrollment as a full-time doctoral student

2.Strong academic record in appropriate coursework (GPA>3.5)

3.Multidisciplinary research interests relevant to ASPH and CHQ research missions

4.Research experience and productivity

5.Compatibility of research interest with a CHQ faculty member

6.Strong scientific writing skills

The online application for 2020 CHQ Junior Scholar Program is now open (deadline: March 31, 2023).

Please visit the application page to learn about application procedure and start an application

For additional inquiries, please contact Dr. Cheuk Chi (George) Tam, Junior Scholar Program Coordinator, South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ) at ctam@mailbox.sc.edu