Opportunity for early-career LHS scientists


-Call for Letters of Interest-

The CATALyST Learning Health System K12 Center of Excellence is now accepting letters of interest from candidates seeking training in learning health systems (LHS) research.

CATALyST (Consortium for Applied Training to Advance the Learning health system with Scholars/Trainees) is a mentored career development program that trains researchers in LHS research competencies. The program brings together faculty from 4 diverse health research organizations across the state of Washington: Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), the University of Washington, the Veteran’s Administration Puget Sound, and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. KPWHRI is the lead institution for this K12 program. CATALyST is one of 11 Centers of Excellence in Learning Health Systems nationwide funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support the training of researchers in the design and execution of patient-centered outcomes research within learning health systems.

CATALyST scholars conduct LHS research in partnership with clinicians and health system leaders. During the 2-year program, they receive training, mentorship, and research opportunities, and participate in a community of LHS researchers. Each scholar is supported by a mentoring team, led by a primary mentor. Mentors are expected to play an active role in CATALyST, both in mentoring their scholar and participating in the CATALyST learning community. CATALyST furnishes up to $5,000 in total costs, annually, for each scholar’s primary mentor.

Scholars must commit a minimum of 75% of a 1.0 FTE while enrolled in the program. Scholars will receive up to $90,000 per year in salary support, commensurate primary institution- associated benefit costs, and $25,000 per year in research funds. Two positions are available. Admitted scholars will join current scholars in September 2021.  

To be eligible for CATALyST, candidates must:

  • hold a full-time faculty position at 1 of the 4 participating institutions by the program start date (9/30/2021). Acting faculty positions are allowable; and
  • be eligible for an AHRQ K12 award

Letters of interest should be no more than 2 single-spaced pages and must include:

  • a statement describing how the CATALyST program will support the candidate in reaching their career goals,
  • a description of the learning health system research idea the candidate wishes to pursue during the 2-year CATALyST program,
  • information on the health system in which the candidate plans to conduct LHS research,
  • name(s) and positions of 1 or more health system clinicians/leaders with whom the candidate plans to partner on their proposed LHS research project,
  • a description of the characteristics/expertise the candidate would want in a primary mentor and names of any individuals they may have already identified with whom they are interested in working. Mentors may be drawn from current CATALyST program faculty but candidates are not limited to these faculty. Letters that name a specific mentor are preferred;
  • 1 or more LHS research competencies they seek to gain in the program, and
  • a brief summary of the candidate’s current responsibilities, including clinical, teaching, research, and other duties they foresee continuing during their time as a scholar.

A current Curriculum Vitae should accompany the letter of interest. Both documents must be submitted to the CATALyST Program Administrator, Susan Brandzel, via email (susan.x.brandzel@kp.org), by 5 pm PST on March 15, 2021. Candidates will be notified in early April whether they will be invited to submit a full application, which will be due on May 28, 2021. Full applications will require documentation of institutional and mentor support, verification of program eligibility and an outline of research plans. Final admission offers will be extended in June for a start date at the end of September 2021.

We encourage you to share this announcement with colleagues and potential CATALyST scholar candidates. This is a unique opportunity for early-career scientists who wish to start or broaden their scholarly work in learning health systems research. For more information about this announcement, please contact Susan Brandzel by phone: 206-304-1122.

Thank you for supporting the recruitment of this new cohort of LHS scholars!


Diana Buist, PhD, and Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, CATALyST Program Directors

Susan Brandzel, MPH, CATALyST Program Administrator


Disciplines of interest

  • Bioinformatics
  • Economics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health services research
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Social & behavioral science


Contact: Susan Brandzel
CATALyST Program Administrator