Institutional eligibility
Applicants must come from the list of eligible, academic nursing programs and hold a permanent, career position. Visiting or contract faculty roles are not eligible. Institutions are selected based on a variety of factors that demonstrate commitment and capacity to support diverse nurse scholars, including presence of a nursing PhD program, national recognition of the school or college, National Institutes of Health funding, and evidence of the institution’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Or, applicants may come from a major health system or organization with a demonstrated commitment to nursing science, innovation and leadership as evidenced by at least one of these criteria:

  • A position dedicated to nursing research or innovation
  • Presence of a nursing research unit, center for innovation or evidence-based practice
  • Magnet Recognition Program designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center

All applicants must also submit a nomination from a nursing school dean, chief nurse executive or chief nursing officer at their organizations. An institution may nominate one applicant. If an institution already has a fellow in the program, it becomes eligible to nominate again once that fellow's program is complete after three years. The nomination must include a statement of commitment to provide the nominee with at least 30% release time throughout the three-year fellowship.

Applicants with visiting or contract faculty roles are not eligible.
Applicants must have a permanent, career position at an eligible institution. This is because the organization must attest to supporting the fellow’s career over time.

Applicants must have a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to be considered.
Candidates must have a PhD awarded between 2011-2016. Exceptions may be made for candidates who describe a leave situation, such as maternity or family leave, that impacted their career trajectories. Please contact the national program office at HS-NurseLeaderFellows@ucdavis.edu to discuss an exception.

Applicants with a DNP or EdD are not eligible.

This fellowship is designed for early- to mid-career applicants with PhDs. Due to the expectation for PhD-level scientific preparation, individuals with DNPs or EdDs are not eligible.

Applicants do not need an active R.N. license.
A current, active R.N. license is not required. However, in order to be eligible, applicants must have a nursing degree with a PhD or a PhD from a nursing science program.

You are eligible if you already have or end up receiving a career development K award.
The national program office can collaborate with you and your dean, chief nurse executive or chief nursing officer to clarify what is possible and effective. If you already have a K award, please describe in both the project overview and the budget justification how this fellowship complements and fits in with your current award.

Time expectations for the online curriculum and mentorship are approximately 60 hours a year.
The online curriculum and mentorship expectations are approximately 60 hours throughout the year. Within that estimate, at least two hours a month are dedicated to program and mentor meetings.  In addition, all candidates are required to attend the annual onsite convocation. The remaining effort is dedicated to the project.

A 30% effort is required for both the project and professional development; that effort can even be increased.
The fellowship budget includes 30% effort to support both the project and professional development related to the fellowship. Additional effort can be allocated on a case-by-case basis.  If the scope of the project plus professional development expectations is projected to require more than a 30% effort to be successful, please create a budget justification document to describe the source(s) of funding that will be contributed (e.g. release time from other responsibilities, additional grant funding that contributes to the project, or allocation of additional fellowship project budget). 

Below are elements from successful applications among our inaugural cohort to serve as a guide for you and your mentor to consider, should you decide to apply.

Selected fellows applications included:

  • A strong description of leadership aspirations and the potential to bring innovation to the leadership journey
  • A well-developed, big-picture vision for an important health or health care issue with a compelling description of how the applicant aspired to address this issue through the proposed project
  • A clear statement about how the fellowship will advance the applicant’s career trajectory
  • Evidence of strong support from both the mentor and the home institution

Additional attachments are not allowed as part of the application.
To facilitate a fair and efficient review process, materials are limited to those identified in the application. See how to apply for required application materials.

A strong dean, chief nurse executive or chief nursing officer nomination statement must be included.
We look for deep and sustained support for the nominee during and after the fellowship.  A strong nomination offers detail on the prospective fellow’s demonstrated experience as an emerging leader who offers imaginative solutions, as well as how the nominee may benefit from the program by connecting the program elements with the nominee’s professional goals. The statement clearly outlines the institutional infrastructure that is in place to support the nominee’s career trajectory and project proposal. The national program office seeks authentic commitment of a minimum 30% effort toward the fellowship and a description of how the $50,000 institutional funding contributes to this goal. Please note: Representatives from the national program office reserve the right to contact the dean, chief nurse executive or chief nursing officer.

The total grant award is $500,000 for a three-year period. 
The fellow receives a total of $450,000 ($150,000 per year for three years). The home institution receives a total of $50,000.

Only one person can apply from an institution or organization.
An institution or organization may nominate one applicant. If an institution already has a fellow in the program, it becomes eligible to nominate again once that fellow's program is complete after three years.

The $50,000 institutional funding must be used to support customary organizational expenses associated with grant and project work. 
Funds are used based on the specific needs of each organization provided they are sufficiently explained and justified. Examples of common expenditures include faculty and staff expenses to cover the release time required by the fellowship, core infrastructure related to administrative and business operations, and generalized mentorship expenses, etc.  The proposed expenditure of these funds must be included in the dean, chief nurse executive or chief nursing officer nomination statement.