The Phyllis Torda Health Care Quality Fellowship

The Phyllis Torda Health Care Quality Fellowship Program enables NCQA to train a new generation of health care quality leaders from diverse backgrounds. It celebrates the life of Phyllis Torda, who was devoted to improving the national health care system. Her work was wide-ranging and included efforts to promote the use of electronic health records and patient-reported outcomes for performance measurement, and new strategies and methodologies for physician measurement.

The Phyllis Torda Fellow will work on critical issues related to health care quality, research and policy:

  • How patient-reported outcomes can improve case management.
  • Patient engagement in care and providing better information for decision making.
  • Quality related to behavioral health.
  • How health information technology can be used for quality improvement.
  • Healthcare delivery transformation in practices and health systems.
  • Measurement for vulnerable and diverse populations.

The fellowship is 12 months, full time, in the NCQA offices in Washington, DC. The fellow will be supported by senior staff with expertise in health care quality, measure development, health care informatics, health care policy and implementation, practice transformation, health care outcomes research and analysis of health care quality data.

Mentors will provide oversight of each fellow’s independent learning plan to ensure that fellowship activities are in line with career goals. Mentors will meet regularly with fellows to discuss progress. Fellows will have access to NCQA data and resources to support their learning plan.

Eligibility and Selection

Candidate evaluation will be based on a commitment to health care quality, research and policy issues and the potential for contribution to the field. Eligibility is open to candidates with a master’s degree, a professional degree or a doctoral degree in a health-related field. Applications are due March 1, 2020 at 11PM Eastern. One fellow will be selected for the 2020–2021 year.

Fellowship Stipend and Other Support

Stipends will vary and are commensurate with experience. In addition to a stipend, fellows will receive paid time off as well as financial support for individual participation in NCQA’s health and dental insurance plans.


  • Attend briefings with policy leaders on quality issues.
  • Attend research and policy-oriented events.
  • Participate in measure development, research and policy activities.
  • Enhance analytical skills.
  • Develop presentations, white papers or manuscripts for a research or policy audience.

Application Information

Read application instructions and label documents correctly before uploading (PDF or Word documents). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Requirements

    1. Fellowship Application Form
    2. Curriculum Vitae: Labeled “CV, Last Name, First Name”
    3. Personal Statement (maximum of 2 pages, double spaced): Labeled “Personal Statement, Last Name, First Name”
      Please describe why you want to be a Phyllis Torda Fellow. Be sure the address the following:

      1. your strengths and qualifications for the program.
      2. specific objectives you hope to achieve from the fellowship and how they relate to your professional goals.
    4. Proposal for a research/policy project related to healthcare quality (max 5 pages double-spaced). Please label the cover: Proposal Name, Last Name, First Name.
      Describe a project you would like to complete during the fellowship term. Be sure to address the following:

      1. Why is this topic important? For example, how is it related to the National Quality Strategy or how could it contribute to achieving the Triple Aim?
      2. What objectives do you want to achieve or what questions do you hope to answer?
      3. What data sources and methods do you plan to use?
      4. What are the project’s work plan and time frame?
      5. What are the likely implications of this work for research, policy and health care delivery?
      6. How does this work align with NCQA’s mission and vision?
    5. Letters of Recommendation: Request two letters of recommendation from persons who can comment on your work. (You must follow up on requests.) E-mail letters to


  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2020 at 11PM Eastern
  • Notification of Award: May 1, 2020
  • Potential Start Date: Between June 1 and September 15, 2020 (negotiable)

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will assess each applicant based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to health care research and policy issues.
  • Match of applicant’s goals with what NCQA can offer.
  • Potential impact of the fellowship experience on the applicant’s career.
  • Professional qualifications and achievements.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills.
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