The OHT Impact Fellows program places skilled evaluators and researchers directly within OHTs. During their 10-month placement, OHT Impact Fellows will support the implementation and evaluation of local priority projects and contribute to rapid learning and improvement. Impact Fellows will bolster OHT implementation and evaluation capacity and support rapid learning across the OHT network.
The program is modelled on CIHR’s Health System Impact Fellowship program, which has successfully placed over 140 skilled researchers in health service organizations across Canada.
Who are Impact Fellows?
OHT Impact Fellows are skilled researchers with advanced training in evaluation, data analytics, quality improvement and implementation science. OHT Impact Fellows have completed a PhD or research-based graduate degree and professional degree (e.g., MD, RN). They have expertise in cutting-edge evaluation and analytics that can be harnessed to help advance an OHT’s priority projects, generate innovative solutions grounded in evidence and build in-house capacity for evaluation and rapid learning.
Why Host a Fellow?
As OHTs experiment with new models of care, they can benefit from embedded supports to help plan, evaluate and rapidly learn, adapt and improve. Feedback from OHTs indicates a need for more hands-on support, particularly around implementation and evaluation. With their advanced training, OHT Impact Fellows can support implementation and evaluation of local priority projects and be a conduit for knowledge exchange and learning across OHTs.
Fellows, Hosts and Mentors
Fellows, hosts, and mentors all play an important role in the fellowship program:
- Fellows utilize their research skills and training to support OHTs in evaluation, data-analysis, and other activities;
- Hosts identify priority projects and provide a supportive work environment;
- Mentors—both at host organizations and at Ontario universities—provide supervision and guidance to fellows, ensuring their fellowships align with OHT priorities and produce new knowledge.
Matchmaking, Training and Embedded Fellowship
Matchmaking, training and embedded fellowship are the main components of the program.
- During the application phase, OHTs identify their local needs and capacity to supervise a fellow. Applicants to the fellowship program are reviewed and matched with host OHTs.
- Prior to starting their embedded fellowships, Fellows attend an intensive multi-day training workshop to prepare them for their roles. Additional training is provided through monthly program meetings and ongoing mentorship.
- During their 10-month placement, fellows work on projects and activities that are aligned with the host OHT’s priorities. Fellows are paired with senior decision-makers and academic mentors to ensure relevance, rigour and uptake of their work.
- OHTs identify local needs + capacity to supervise fellows.
- Fellowship applicants are vetted and ranked.
- Qualified applicants are matched with host OHTs.
- Multi-day “springboard” prior to placement in OHT.
- Monthly meetings and ongoing mentorship.
- Fellows embedded in OHTs for 10 months.
- Fellows work on projects aligned with host OHT priorities.
Benefits for Fellows
Impact Fellows receive numerous benefits, including:
- 10-month paid embedded fellowship ($6,000/month stipend) to contribute their research, analytic and evaluation skills within an Ontario Health Team (OHT)
- Access to an additional $7,500 in professional development funds
- Advanced training in evaluation, implementation science, and other topics to support them in their OHT role
- Mentorship and networking opportunities with health system leaders, academics, and other embedded research fellows
In addition to gaining valuable work experience, training, and mentorship, Fellows are able to apply their skills to real-world challenges and contribute to meaningful impact.
Benefits for Host OHTs
OHTs who host an Impact Fellow gain a number of benefits, including:
- Access to a fully funded research fellow for 10 months, working on projects aligned with local OHT priorities
- On-the-ground support for evaluation and other data-intensive activities
- Develop local capacity for implementation, evaluation and performance measurement
- Be part of a network of host OHTs, sharing and learning from each other
- Expanded relationships with the academic and research community