Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice

Modelled after the Rhodes Scholarships, the Harkness Fellowships aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries


Key Points

  • The Commonwealth Fund, in collaboration with the Health Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research, invites mid-career professionals from the UK – government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists – to apply for its Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice. 
  • This is a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.

The Harkness Fellowships were established by The Commonwealth Fund in 1925. The Harkness Fellowships were modelled after the Rhodes Scholarships and aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries.

In the UK, the Harkness Fellowships have been supported by the National Institute for Health Research since 2010 and the Health Foundation since 2016.

About the Fellowship

Fellows are placed with mentors who are leading U.S. experts at organisations such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to study issues relevant to The Commonwealth Fund’s mission to support a high performing health care system, including insurance coverage, access, and affordability; health care delivery system reforms (eg bundled payments, accountable care organisations, innovative approaches to care for high-need/high-cost patients); cost containment; and other critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the U.S. and their home countries.

A peer-reviewed journal article or policy report for Health Ministers and other high-level policy audiences is the anticipated product of the fellowship. Harkness Fellows have published their findings in top-tier journals, including: BMJHealth Affairs, and New England Journal of Medicine.

The Commonwealth Fund brings together the full class of fellows—from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK — throughout the year to participate in a series of high-level policy briefings and leadership seminars with U.S. health care leaders. Building on their fellowship experiences, Harkness Fellows have moved into senior positions within academia, government, and health care delivery organisations, making valuable contributions to health policy and practice at home and in the United States.

Each fellowship will provide up to U.S. $130,000 in support, with an additional family supplement (up to $60,000 for a partner and two children up to age 18).

To find out more about the Harkness Fellowships and how to apply, visit The Commonwealth Fund’s website.

UK Harkness Fellows 2016-2017

  • Partha Das, M.B.B.S., M.R.C.P., M.Sc., DHMSA
    Renal Physician
    National Health Service (NHS)
  • Alice Murray, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., M.R.C.S.
    General Surgical Registrar
    London Deanery
  • Christina Pagel, Ph.D., M.Sc.
    Reader in Operational Research
    Clinical Operational Research Unit & Department of Applied Health Research
    University College London
  • Saira Ghafur, M.B.Ch.B., M.R.C.P., M.Sc.
    Physician in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine
    Honorary Fellow
    NHS England

Hugh Alderwick

Hugh is a Harkness Fellow and Assistant Director of Strategy and Policy at the Health Foundation.

Alexandra Norrish

Alexandra is a Harkness Fellow and Programme Director, Hospital Services Review, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Alice Murray

Alice is a Harkness Fellow and Colorectal Research Fellow at Columbia University in the City of New York.

Bryan Stirling

Bryan is a Harkness Fellow and Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.

Daniel Northam Jones

Daniel is a Harkness Fellow and Programme Manager, Healthy New Towns, NHS England.

Dawn Dowding

Dawn is a Harkness Fellow and VNSNY Professor of Nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing.

Derek Feeley

Derek is a Harkness Fellow and President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

Dominic Ford

Dominic is a Harkness Fellow and Associate Director of Healthcare Standards, Surrey and Borders Partnership, NHS Trust.

Dougal Hargreaves

Dougal is an Improvement Science Fellow and Harkness Fellow, and Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Child Health.

Jacob West

Jacob is a Harkness Fellow and National Lead for NHS England New Care Models Programme at NHS England.

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