- About the Fellowship
- Host Innovation Fellows
- External Innovation Fellows
- Apply to be a Fellow
HHS has begun exploring ways to bring entrepreneurial spirit to provide fresh, innovative approaches to agencies. HHS already has the strong assets and the leadership to create and develop new products; The Innovation Fellows Program aims to bring external ideas and expertise into HHS’s own innovation process and rapidly create, develop, engage and accelerate innovation.
Startup organizations have demonstrated that rapid iteration between various versions or features of a product can yield successful results: HHS would like to boost innovation by working with external expertise to create a culture that encourages risk taking and dynamic new models of business.
The HHS Innovation Fellows Program enables agencies to bring on-board external experts and entrepreneurs to work with internal “Host Innovation Fellows” in taking on some of our Department’s toughest challenges. Host Innovation Fellows are dynamic individuals within HHS who are working to find and scale solutions to the most complex challenges we face. Host Fellows will have the flexibility to experiment, take risks and converge with like-minded individuals to establish innovation as a key business process and core capability at HHS.
“External Innovation Fellows” will be paired with Internal Host Innovation Fellows from within the participating HHS OPDIVs / STAFFDIVs to work on a specific, high-priority project over a period of at least 6 - 12 months. External Fellows will be highly talented professionals from within the federal government or the private sector who are equally interested in facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas throughout the Department and pushing the needle forward.
About the Fellowship
The HHS Innovation Fellows Program includes two types of Fellows. Host Fellows are employees of HHS OPDIVS/STAFFDIVS working on game-changing projects within the Department who have been selected to participate in the HHS Innovation Fellows Program. HHS is recruiting outside innovation experts as External Fellows to work with the Host Fellows on these projects.
Host Innovation Fellows
Host Fellows are talented employees working in HHS OPDIVS/Staff DIVS working on game-changing projects within the Department that have been selected to participate in the HHS Innovation Fellows Program. In this round, HHS selected 13 Host Fellows working on 4 projects to participate in the HHS Innovation Fellows Program:
Accelerating clinical quality measures for the Affordable Care Act
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in partnership with CMS would like to accelerate the development of new clinical quality measures that incorporate information available in electronic health records to monitor the impact of the implementation of the HITECH Act (ARRA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Designing the infrastructure for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would like to develop an electronic infrastructure that States can integrate to implement the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) method for determining eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility that is required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Building “health resilience technology” to withstand natural disasters
The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would like to develop innovative solutions that will allow individuals with access and functional needs to continue to use their durable medical equipment (DME – includes medical devices powered by electricity, such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and intravenous infusion pumps) during prolonged power outages.
Electronic tracking and transport of the nation’s organ transplant system
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would like to revise the existing organ system to improve identification, labeling, packaging, and transport of the nation’s organs and include electronic components for identifying organs and tracking their movement to minimize the potential for misdirection or other delays in organ transportation and reduce the chance of incorrect transplantation.
External Innovation Fellows
External Innovation Fellows will be paired with Internal Host Innovation Fellows from within the participating HHS OPDIVs / STAFFDIVs to work on a specific, high-priority project over a period of at least 6 - 12 months.
Who can apply?
HHS is seeking External Fellows who have a passion for solving pressing problems in healthcare through innovative and game-changing solutions. External Fellows may be entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers, business gurus, government or non-profit leaders who have demonstrated a significant record of achievement in their field.
What does the ideal External Innovation Fellow look like?
The following other skill-sets are desired:
- Advanced degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience
- Minimum 5 years of experience in business development, business models, evaluating and financing companies, evaluating new ventures, technology product development or marketing, or other related areas.
- Strong analytical and research skills and a demonstrated capacity for creative thinking
- Specific entrepreneurial or start-up activity would be particularly desirable
- Excellent communication and leadership skills
Why should I apply to be an External Fellow?
This Fellowship is an opportunity to be paired with an innovative, forward-thinking team at HHS and directly contribute to the mission of the organization. This bi-directional facilitation of innovation is an unparalleled chance to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative learning and move beyond traditional efforts in problem solving. You and your team will have the freedom to experiment, try out new ideas and concepts and contribute to the improvement of health and health outcomes for millions of Americans.
HHS would like to nurture new ideas and practices and draw on your talent, experiences, and cross-disciplinary skills necessary to develop solutions and transform discoveries into products. Additionally, External Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in networking, mentorship and “lunch and learn” events with some of the most recognizable people in venture capital, lean startup, business, technology and innovation who have already offered their services to the Fellows Program.
Apply to be a Fellow
Host Innovation Fellows
Application period is now closed.
External Innovation Fellows
Please find below the documentation required for the application. In addition to the application, please submit a resume and provide two references (professional or academic).
Fellows will be coming in under a term appointment status, thus will be subject to all Federal ethics rules. An HHS Subcommittee will review each External Fellow on a case-by-case basis prior to making an offer.
Applications for External Innovation Fellows may be submitted HERE. The application deadline is July 20, 2012.
Timeline, Application and Selection
The External Innovation Fellows applications opening will be posted beginning June 20, 2012. Based on review of the application, a short list of candidates will established based on the initial application and select candidates will be invited to an interview with the Innovation Fellows Subcommittee as well as the Host Innovation Fellows project teams. Final selection of External Fellows will take place in August 2012.
- How many fellowships are available?
- The program is highly selective: HHS is looking to select 4-5 Host Fellow projects and potentially 10-15 External Fellows depending on needs.
- How long is the Fellowship period?
- Depending on the Host Fellow Project, the duration of the Fellowship will last 6 – 12 months.
- What are “lean startup” techniques, and why are they valuable / applicable to HHS?
Startup organizations have demonstrated that rapid iteration between various versions / features of a product can yield successful results: HHS would like to boost innovation by working with external expertise to create a culture that encourages risk taking and dynamic new models of business.
In contrast to traditional methods for developing products and/or solutions, which involve an extended design phase, “lean startup” techniques focus on providing prototypes to consumers/users as quickly as possible. Rapid prototype release allows for quick and iterative refinements to product/solutions based on real-life feedback. Therefore, the “lean startup” process creates valuable products and/or solutions quickly while minimizing waste (time, effort/or and money) in the development cycle.
- How have rapid iteration and “lean startup” techniques been used at HHS in the past?
One example of the use of rapid iteration at HHS is the development of the healthcare.gov website, which provides a tool for consumers to find public and private insurance options online.
Using rapid and iterative prototype testing, the healthcare.gov website was launched in 90 days. Another element that was critical to the success of this effort was to build an interdisciplinary team of internal and external experts to work on the project, including: top HHS web designers, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services staff with extensive knowledge of Medicare coverage with an external expert with experience using “lean startup” techniques in the private sector.
- How are Fellows compensated?
Host Fellows will continue to be paid under the same compensation structure prior to jumping on to the Fellowship.
It is up to the Host Fellow Operating / Staff Division to determine the compensation for the External Fellows. External Fellows will be brought in as Term Appointments and will receive the same employee benefits as any other Federal employee: FEHB, FEGLI Programs, and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS); Annual and sick leave.
- Do External Fellows have to relocate?
- In order to maximize the effectiveness of the Host Fellow Project, we request that External Fellows relocate to the site of the HHS Fellow Project for the duration of the Fellowship.
- What are project eligibility requirements?
- High priority for the participating HHS OPDIV with the potential to affect major change within the organization; ability to be implemented in 6-12 months
- Strong support from the HHS OPDIV leadership
- Participation of outstanding existing HHS OPDIV staff as Internal Fellows (and/or project staff)
- Committed funding from the HHS OPDIV to support the External Fellow and implement the project during and after the fellowship period
- Can I apply if I am not a US citizen and/or do not have a current visa?
- Yes, you can apply for the Fellowship.
- How will HHS select External Fellows?
HHS is interested in candidates who have demonstrated experience of identifying problems and creating or managing organizations. We are looking for individuals with experience in rapid iteration and innovation and are passionate about helping to solve some of our most pressing healthcare problems.
The Host Project completes final selection of External Innovation Fellows from a short list of extremely qualified candidates identified by HHS Office of the CTO.
- Who can apply?
For the Host Innovation Fellows Program, anyone within HHS who can dedicate sufficient time to a game-changing project and continue project implementation after the departure of the External Innovation Fellow. The project must be a well-defined problem of high importance (with a goal of some quantitative or semi-quantitative measures of success/failure).
For the External Fellows Program, HHS is seeking External Fellows who have a passion for solving pressing problems in healthcare through innovative and game-changing solutions. Innovation Fellows may be entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers, business gurus, government or non-profit leaders who have demonstrated a significant record of achievement in their field.
- When can I apply?
The External Innovation Fellows application will be posted here on June 20, 2012.
- What happens if I am selected?
- Host Innovation Fellows will be notified of their selection in June 2012 and will serve as the selection committee for possible External Fellows who may match their needs. If there is a suitable match, External Fellows will be notified in August 2012 and can be expected to start as early as September 2012 at the Host Fellow site.