Gehr Student Innovator Awards


A six-week summer fellowship program for health professional students to develop a mentored health care system project on the Keck Medical School campus in partnership with a local health system. Each year, 4-6 students will be selected for the award and will receive a $4,000 stipend.


The program lasts 6 weeks during the summer. Students must be devoted to the program full time, i.e. they will participate during the summer when they are not taking academic classes.

Who is Eligible: Students who are enrolled in a health care professional program at the University of Southern California (e.g. MD, PA, PharmD, PT, OT, dental, social work).

Program Description:

During the 6 week program period, students will develop a project in partnership with a health care system in the Los Angeles community.  Consistent with the goals of the Gehr Center, projects should:

  • Align with the mission of achieving the “triple aim” (improving quality of care, population health, and reducing waste)
  • The innovation is co-designed with the health system and there is buy-in from health system leadership
  • The innovation is evidence-based
  • The project will be self-sustaining after completion (i.e. there is an ongoing business case for the health system to continue the innovation if it is successful)
  • The project will result in scientifically important data that can be shared through peer-review publication


Each student will have two mentors for their project: 1) A Gehr Center faculty member; and 2) A health system leader. One morning each week during the program period will be devoted to seminar discussions with health system leaders. The rest of the time will be unstructured, allowing students to work on their project and meet with their mentors.

Deliverables and Expectations:

At the end of the completion of the program period, each student is responsible for:

  • A summary evaluation report 2-3 pages in length. Students may subsequently decide to refine these reports for submission for peer reviewed publication. Authors of peer-reviewed publications should include the student, and if appropriate, the health system leaders, Gehr faculty members, or any others who helped with the intellectual design and execution of the project.
  • A formal report (no more than one page) from the health care system describing their experience with the project and whether or not they plan to implement the project on an ongoing basis. The report should include an explanation or justification for this decision.

Application Process and Timeline:

Details about the 2018 application will be released later in the year.


For questions about the application process, please contact Ms. Rachel Lim from the Gehr Center at: