Health Services Research Academy

Health Services Research Academy

An education program for health care professionals to acquire the fundamental skills to conduct health services research.

Led by internationally recognized and awarded researchers Matt Hall, Ph.D. (principal biostatistician, Children’s Hospital Association) and Jay Berry, M.D., M.P.H. (chief, complex care, Boston Children’s Hospital; associate professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School) with over 20 years of experience, the Children’s Hospital Association Health Services Research Academy is a hands-on training program that covers every aspect of a professional research project, from conception to publication.

Through online courses and one-on-one, didactic teaching sessions, Academy participants acquire academic-level skills to design and conduct research studies, leverage and analyze large administrative health data, and disseminate important research findings through high-quality presentations and peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Since starting in 2019, there have been nearly 300 Academy participants from 54 U.S. hospitals and academic institutions, representing a variety of clinical fields (e.g., hospital medicine, complex care, surgery and nursing).

I was able to take the lead on a project and produce multiple deliverables, including platform presentations at national meetings and publication in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.

Whether new to research or wanting to advance existing research skills, the Academy can help.

The Academy offers:

  • Twenty virtual, on-demand research modules covering a variety of topics, including building a research team, review of existing literature, development of specific aims and analytical plans, statistical analysis, exhibit generation and manuscript preparation.
  • One-on-one coaching, teaching and mentoring with health services research experts and editors of leading scientific journals in pediatrics.
  • Flexibility to take courses anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.
  • Research project resulting in at least one peer-reviewed publication.
  • Up to 11.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for physicians and 11.5 ANCC contact hours for nurses.
  • Certificate of Excellence in Research Scholarship.
Four faculty from my division went through this program and have presented their work at national meetings and published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

There are multiple options for Academy participation.

Research modules only

Two-year access to 20 interactive research education modules, approximately 30 minutes to one hour in length each. Read the course description for the topics covered. Students, residents and fellows, as well as new research assistants and program managers, have found this option particularly helpful.

Research modules and coaching

Two-year access to 20 interactive research education modules as well as one hour of research coaching monthly for one year from a senior statistician and senior health services researcher. Young clinicians new to research who are seeking support to enhance and complement their local research project and mentor team have found this option helpful.

Research modules and full mentoring and statistical support

Two-year access to 20 interactive research education modules as well as full mentoring and statistical support by internationally recognized health services researchers to design, implement, complete and publish a research project. The support team meets via conference calls with the Academy participant (and any other local research team members) at least twice monthly to steward the project.

Participants will gain access to an array of national, pediatric health care utilization and outcomes data. New and mid-level clinicians and faculty with ideas about the topic and gist of a research project have found this option most helpful. Career development awardees have also used this option in their successfully funded grant applications.

Individualized academy experience for an institution or group

The Academy resources described across the options above are available at the institutional, department/division and/or research group levels to support the development of research skills across multiple individuals. For example, divisions of pediatric hospital medicine have found it helpful to (a) enroll their research assistants in the research module only option, (b) enroll mid-level faculty in the research module and coaching option, and (c) enroll junior faculty in the full mentoring and statistical support option. Please contact us to discuss how we can best serve you.

Click here to learn more about associated costs and mentors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Academy unique?

We designed the research curriculum and experience for learners so that they will acquire and/or enhance their research skills from start-to-finish with a research project. The topics covered are practical: how to set up a research team, create specific aims, devise an analytical plan, design a beautiful figure for a manuscript, manage the bibliography, respond well to peer-review comments and suggestions, etc.

The learning opportunities are purposely flexible. Academy participants choose when and how to progress through the curriculum and support offerings. We understand that it can be very challenging to find time to learn about and conduct research amongst existing clinical, administrative, family and life responsibilities.

Academy participants choose their research topic and project based on their interests and needs. Academy faculty will support and enable any clinical research idea proposed by a participant. Examples of recent research conducted by Academy participants include:

  • McDaniel CE, Hall M, Markham JL, Bettenhausen JL, Berry JG. Urban-Rural Hospitalization Rates for Pediatric Mental Health. Pediatrics. 2023 Jun 1;151(6):e2023061256. doi: 10.1542/peds.2023-061256. PMID: 37139706.
  • Friesen TL, Hall M, Ramchandar N, Berry JG, Jiang W. Evolving Management of Acute Mastoiditis: Analysis of the Pediatric Health Information System Database. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Aug;169(2):382-389. doi: 10.1002/ohn.286. Epub 2023 Feb 7. PMID: 36939424.
  • Sharp EA, Wang L, Hall M, Berry JG, Forster CS. Frequency, Characteristics, and Outcomes of Patients Requiring Early PICU Readmission. Hosp Pediatr. 2023 Aug 1;13(8):678-688. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2022-007100. PMID: 37476936; PMCID: PMC10375031.
  • Attard TM, Hall M, Berry JG. Improving Cohort Definitions in Research Using Hospital Administrative Databases-Do We Need Guidelines? JAMA Pediatr. 2022 Jun 1;176(6):539-540. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0091. PMID: 35312756.
  • Kim G, Berry JG, Janes JL, Perez A, Hall M. Association of Maternal Tdap Recommendations With Pertussis Hospitalizations of Young Infants. Hosp Pediatr. 2022 Mar 1;12(3):e106-e109. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2021-006323. PMID: 35132433.
  • Bayer ND, Hall M, Li Y, Feinstein JA, Thomson J, Berry JG. Trends in Health Care Use and Spending for Young Children With Neurologic Impairment. Pediatrics. 2022 Jan 1;149(1):e2021050905. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-050905. PMID: 34854922; PMCID: PMC8762668.
  • Hoffmann JA, Hall M, Lorenz D, Berry JG. Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm in Rural and Urban Youths. J Pediatr. 2021 Nov;238:282-289.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.07.013. Epub 2021 Jul 15. PMID: 34274309; PMCID: PMC8551015.

Who can apply and enroll?

Anyone with an interest to learn and acquire health services research skills. Physicians, nurses and research assistants are welcome. Students, residents, fellows and faculty of all academic levels are welcome. No prior research experience is necessary.

How to apply?

Submit a brief application to apply. An Academy representative will follow up to discuss your background, research area of interest and the research skills you want to acquire.

What is the commitment?

We tailor the commitment to meet the needs of each Academy participant. Although the amount of time and effort required for Academy completion varies, most participants finish in one year.

Can I incorporate the Academy with another research education program?

Yes, the Academy works as a stand-alone training program or in conjunction with another program. For example, Academy participants have incorporated Academy training into coursework for a Master of Public Health or Science. Other participants have incorporated the Academy with residence and fellowship training. Multiple participants have successfully incorporated Academy training with NIH and institutional career development awards.

I have a local mentor and local research collaborators. Can they be involved in my Academy research project?

Absolutely. In fact, we heavily encourage all Academy participants to include local mentors, collaborators and other research personnel in their projects and learning experience.

I don’t have a local mentor or any local research collaborators. Does that mean that I can’t enroll in the Academy?

Absolutely not. The Academy is positioned to support any individual, regardless of whether they have a local team and resources to help.

Does the Academy provide any scholarships?

To value and increase the quality and quantity of health services research led by members of racial and ethnic groups that have historically been underrepresented in research, the Academy offers one scholarship annually. Click here to find out more.


Contact Us

For more information, connect with us.

(913) 406-2787


Share your background, research area of interest and the research skills you want to acquire.