LEAP K12 Career Development Program


The Learning Health System Early Career Acceleration Program (LEAP) K12 is a new K12 program to support the career development of scientists at UCSF and affiliates who conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) within learning health systems in order to help accelerate the translation of research and evidence into practice. In a LHS, knowledge generation is embedded in the daily practice of health care delivery, and serves to catalyze continuous improvement to enhance patient well-being and health outcomes. 

Overview and Goal

The Learning Health System K12 Career Development Program (LHS K12) is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and CTSI. We plan to award four 2-year LHS K12 awards to begin July 1, 2019, and another 4 2-year awards in July 1, 2022.

This K12 represents an exciting initiative to promote capacity for a model of pragmatic research that is deeply engaged in healthcare delivery organizations, and serves to inform strategic and operational priorities for the organizations while also producing scholarship of sufficient rigor to be disseminated and generalized.

One unique aspect of this grant is that K12 scholars are required to identify a Clinical Operations (Delivery System) Sponsor as part of their application. Scholar applicants are expected to connect/collaborate with a clinical operations leader to develop a proposed research project that aligns with their specific delivery system’s organizational goals and priorities. The Clinical Operations Sponsor should insure institutional support for the scholar conducting improvement work in the clinical area, meet regularly with the scholar to insure their projects are progressing and having their intended impact, and provide insights and mentorship relating to health system leadership. Research methods, design approaches and other academic and technical expertise will be provided through the Lead Research Program Mentors, the K-Scholar program, CTSI and the national program.  


The goal is to increase the number and quality of outstanding clinical investigators skilled at leading multidisciplinary Learning Health System research teams.

Program Components

The program has four main components:

  1. Mentored research embedded in a health care delivery system
  2. Coursework in implementation science theory and practice
  3. Embedded health care delivery research rotations
  4. Regular works-in-progress sessions and monthly conferences where scholars present their work and exchange ideas

Scholars will receive annual support of up to $90,000 salary support, and $25,000 for research, career development support and travel to scientific meetings, and participation in the K Scholars Program.