Does the BD-STEP fellowship come with funding?
You can apply to be a VA funded
fellow if you have a PhD.
Can I participate if I already have my own funding from
Yes, you can participate in the
fellowship if you have your own funding. You will need to ensure your funding
source is aware of your participation and approves of the time commitment.
Where does funding for the program come from?
If you are VA funded, your stipend
is provided by the Office of
Do you have to be a US Citizen to participate?
To receive VA funding, you need to
be a US Citizen.
Do I need to have my finished my PhD recently to receive
To be eligible, all applicants must
have received their terminal degree within the previous 5 years at the time of
Do I need to be currently affiliated with an academic
No, you do not need to be currently
affiliated with an academic institution. Your site will assist you in becoming
affiliated with their local institute.
Do I need to have a background in healthcare?
No, you do not need a background in
healthcare. You will work with experience VA clinicians and interdisciplinary
researchers to gain valuable clinical exposure and domain knowledge.
Where are the current active BD-STEP sites?
The funded sites are Boston,
Durham, Houston, Palo Alto
Do I need to have my scientific and clinical mentors identified prior to
Yes, prior to applying you should
identify clinical and scientific/academic mentors. These mentors need to agree
to support you during your two years of the BD-STEP fellowship. If you would
like to apply to one of the BD-STEP sites but do not have mentors, please
contact the site directors at your site of interest and they will assist you
with identifying potential mentors. More details on the application process can
be found here.
Do I need to be located at one of the active
BD-STEP sites to participate in the fellowship?
Yes, if you are an OAA (Office of
Academic Affiliations) funded fellow.
Do my mentors for the program need to be located at one
of the active sites?
Either your clinical or scientific
mentor needs be to affiliated with your BD-STEP site. However, during the
program you may have opportunities to collaborate with researchers and
clinicians from other VA sites.
What degree backgrounds are eligible for applying to
OAA funded BD-STEP Fellows must hold a PhD. Applicants
need to have obtained a PhD in computational or quantitative fields such as
engineering, computer science, physical science, or other related disciplines.
For example, past fellows have had degrees in Bioengineering, Bioinformatics,
Computational Biology, Computational Neuroscience, Computer Science, Economics,
Epidemiology and Statistics.
I’m an MD, can I participate in the program?
MDs should have had significant
research experience using computational and quantitative tools/methods before
applying. They are not eligible for an OAA stipend.
What kind of computational skills are fellows required to
have to join the fellowship?
BD-STEP Fellows should have gained
significant experience with programming/data analytics prior to applying for a
fellowship. Fellows typically start the fellowship already being comfortable
in one or more programming language/software packages: Matlab, Python, R, SAS,
Stata and SQL.
How long is the fellowship and how much is the yearly
The fellowship is two years. The
salaries vary per site due to cost of living adjustments. Please contact Kelly
Gaynor at firstname.lastname@example.org for more
details regarding fellow stipends.
When does BD-STEP accept applications?
Applications are accepted on a
What do fellows do after they complete the fellowship?
Fellows have gone on to a variety
of positions within the VA, in industry and in government agencies after
completing the fellowship. Examples of past fellows and their current
positions will be available on this site soon.
How do fellows spend their time during the fellowship?
Fellows split their time 80/20
between research and service projects. Research projects are decided upon by
the fellows and their academic and clinical mentors. Examples of research
projects can be found here Fellows select
service projects from a list of active VA service projects that BD-STEP is
helping to support. Service projects make use of fellows’
computational/quantitative and biomedical backgrounds and help foster
connections and collaborations across different VA sites.
Is there support available for fellows to attend
Yes, there is funding available for
fellows to attend conferences and participate in additional training