Qualitative Research Track
Geared for doctorate-trained candidates with strong research and data analytics training, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. Fellows support ongoing NCQA research projects and proposals based on their learning objectives and research background. NCQA research projects/proposals cover a variety of health care quality topics, including health equity, social determinants of health, health and social care coordination, telehealth, patient-centered care and behavioral health.

Fellows should have experience in research management to complete a self-guided project during the fellowship, in consultation with NCQA research and data scientists. The project must address a health care quality/equity topic of policy significance. Fellows are encouraged to analyze their own data or publicly available data sources they have had experience analyzing (typically, from their dissertation), or may propose using a new database they will learn during the fellowship. Fellows must demonstrate evidence of their research capability to complete analyses and finish the project during the fellowship.

NCQA offers the following data sources as potential options for fellows to analyze:

- Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) Data Factory.
- Health Outcomes Survey (HOS).
- Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®).
- NCQA Recognition Programs database, which includes granular structure and process data on primary care (e.g., patient-centered medical homes).

The level of data restriction and data quality for analysis (e.g., specific years or selected data elements) may vary by data source. Applicants interested in using any of these data sources should indicate their preference in the Expression of Interest Form (see below) and consult with NCQA staff during the application process.
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