QI Scholars Program

Applications are now open for the 2024-2025 cohort of QI Scholars! Submit applications before Thursday, June 27 at 5pm PT.
Please note that there is a separate application portal for Seattle Children's employees; see details below.

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The QI Scholars Program is a highly interactive advanced training program in QI research methods and leadership skills, centered around an improvement project of each Scholar’s choosing. Scholars receive dedicated mentorship, and data and statistics support and enjoy the opportunity to engage with nationally known improvement experts. Scholars receive training to pursue careers in academic quality improvement while building operational leadership skills that often result in a Director of Quality position within their divisions.

Key Details

  • WHO: Designed for junior and mid-level faculty pursuing QI as a scholarly focus.
  • WHAT: A yearlong competitive, advanced training program centered around completing and publishing a rigorous QI research project; Scholars receive support of a mentorship team and participate in 12 half-day, in-person seminars and additional monthly meetings.
  • COST: $8,000 and 5% protected effort, funded jointly by the division/department and hospital from which the Scholar originates.

Key Dates

Applications Due  Thursday, June 27, 2024 by 5pm PT
QI Scholars Announced August 2024
First Meeting for Scholars October 2024
Program End  September 2025

Program Components

Research Project

Scholars are expected to complete a QI research project and submit a first-authored manuscript after program participation. Scholars may apply with QI projects at any stage of development, but most successful applicants have projects that are already underway at the start of the Program. Scholars receive project mentorship from an academic research coach and are required to meet at least monthly to refine project design, identify resource needs, interpret data, and draft a manuscript. Scholars have access to a data and analytics resource who assists with data acquisition/cleaning and analysis. Scholars are eligible for an additional 12-month project extension to support ongoing statistical or data needs.

Monthly Seminars

Scholars are exposed to state-of-the-art QI research methods and leadership skills during 12 monthly, in-person seminars. The morning seminars are a blend of didactics, small group exercises, and practical hands-on applications. The seminars are led by both internal and external experts in the field of QI science. Seminar attendance is required. The monthly in-person sessions are structured as follows: 

8:30am - 9:00am: Breakfast (optional)
9:00am - 12:00pm: Interactive didactic seminar
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch and break
1:00pm - 3:00pm: Work in Progress and/or guided project work time

Presentations and Work-In-Progress (WIP) Sessions

All program faculty (Scholars, mentors, data analysts, statisticians) meet regularly for work-in-progress sessions. Scholars present at at a WIP Session at least twice during Program participation. These presentations serve as an excellent opportunity to address project barriers with the larger group and active participation and engagement is expected.


Applicants must hold a University of Washington School of Medicine faculty appointment at the time QI Scholars funding will begin. Preference is given to junior to mid-level faculty in the UW Medicine system with a demonstrated focus on QI. Seattle Children's Hospital employees have a separate application process. If you work at Seattle Children's, please apply through this portal

Strong applicants will have a QI project that is planned or already implemented prior to the program start date of October 2024, and is aligned with UW Medicine priorities: 

  • Improving patient care outcomes
  • Increasing patient care efficiency
  • Enhancing patient and family experience of care
  • Promoting communication with patients and families or between clinicians
  • Strengthening equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Supporting the care delivery process
  • Innovations in care delivery using AI or robotic process automation


All QI Scholars are expected to successfully complete a rigorous QI research project with the support of a mentorship team. 

In addition to working on the improvement project itself, QI Scholars are required to attend the following:

  • 12 monthly seminars
  • 12 monthly meetings with the Scholar’s mentorship team, statistician, and data analyst
  • Works-in-progress meetings 

At the completion of their project, QI Scholars are supported in publishing their work in a peer-reviewed journal.


Tuition for QI Scholars is funded jointly by the Division/Department from which the selected Scholar originates and the hospital at which the project takes place. Applicants must work with their Division/Department to secure $8,000 in tuition funding and mandatory 5% protected effort.

Each application accepted by the QI Scholars Review Committee receives a contribution of $7,000 from the hospital where the project will occur that covers programmatic costs beyond the $8,000 contributed by the Scholar's Division/Department.


Please note that Seattle Children's Hospital has a separate application process. Applicants who work at Seattle Children's Hospital, please apply through this portal

Selection Process

A selection committee comprised of senior quality and safety leaders at UW Medicine and QI Scholars faculty will select the Scholars through a competitive application process. Each application will be reviewed and independently scored by at least 3 reviewers. Consideration will be given to the career development goals of the applicant, the feasibility and focus of the proposed QI project, as well as alignment with organizational priorities. All applicants will receive written feedback on their proposals.

Program History

Seattle Children’s Hospital started the QI Scholars Program in 2016 and has been providing this advanced training to junior and mid-level faculty for 6 years. In 2021, for the first time, the QI Scholars Program expanded to include a cohort of UW Medicine participants along with the Seattle Children’s cohort, creating a cross-fertilization of ideas and innovation.

The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The University of Washington School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 45 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. (Each session is worth 3.75 credits)