The 2021-22 Call for Applications is open from January 4 until 3pm ET on March 3, 2021.

Complete applications for this program must be submitted through an online system.

Program Description

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this collaborative program with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) supports up to 10 scholars in a one-year, part-time remote experience to enhance the scholars’ knowledge and skills in diagnostic quality and safety, and accelerate their career development in becoming national leaders in the field.  Scholars will build upon the work of the 2015 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) consensus report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care (2015), and propose the implementation of programs that will improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic errors at the national level.

An NAM-appointed advisory committee will select scholars who are interested in focusing on diagnosis-related work from a broad range of disciplines and professions — including physicians, advanced practice clinicians, quality experts, informaticians, and researchers. Beginning in July 2021, scholars participate in a structured online curriculum, cohort learning activities, and professional networking opportunities through the NAM and CMSS. In addition, each scholar will be matched with a personal mentor who can provide subject matter/technical expertise for the work of the scholar and/or professional guidance to the scholar.

Each scholar will receive a stipend of $35,000 that can be used towards salary offset, support for specific research efforts related to diagnostic excellence, and various program-related activities. Each scholar will also receive an additional $5,000 to cover domestic travel expenses for program-related activities. 


The program seeks exceptional individuals who:

  • Have earned a doctoral degree* in a relevant discipline and completed all post-graduate training
  • Have confirmation from academic department, health system, or equivalent that they have— and can dedicate— sufficient time to participate in the NAM Scholars’ program activities and complete their proposed program in the allotted time

*M.D., D.O., Ph.D., D.N.P., Dr.P.H., etc.

Selection Criteria

Scholars will be selected by an NAM-appointed advisory committee through a national competition on basis of:

  • Record of relevant professional accomplishments and demonstrated leadership in the applicant’s field
  • Potential to advance diagnostic excellence and make significant contributions at the national level to reduce diagnostic errors that lead to patient harm
  • The quality and feasibility of the applicant’s program proposal
  • A clear plan for evaluation, dissemination, and implementation of the applicant’s proposed program where applicable (e.g., institution, care setting, professional society)


Strong preference will be given to candidates whose proposed program objectives advance specific recommendations of the 2015 National Academies report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care.

Application Materials

A complete application packet must be submitted electronically through the online application system at by 3pm ET on March 3, 2021, and will include the following documents:

  • Applicant form
  • A brief bio (no more than 1 page) and an up-to-date CV
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s institution or specialty/professional society describing the assistance for implementation and/or dissemination of the applicant’s proposal they intend to provide
  • At least one (1) letter of reference from individual(s) who can attest to the applicant’s professional achievements, demonstrated leadership and scholarship, contributions to his/her specialty/discipline, and potential for leadership in diagnostic excellence or to drive diagnostic excellence
  • A detailed program proposal intended to improve clinical diagnosis (no more than 3 pages), which includes:
    • A one- to two-paragraph proposal summary within the 3-page limit
    • Background; proposed solution/implementation; objectives; proposed activities; proposed outcomes; evaluation, dissemination and implementation plan; and specific reference to how it relates to or forwards a National Academies recommendation for improving diagnosis, as noted above


While the proposal may be part of a larger effort, the applicant’s proposed program must have a deliverable that is achievable within the time frame and financial resources of the program.

Program Timeline

  • January 4, 2021 | CFA opens
  • January 21 (11am ET) & February 2 (3pm ET), 2021 | Applicant webinars are held
  • March 3, 2021 (3pm ET) | CFA closes
  • April 2, 2021 | Selection of finalists is made
  • May 3, 2021 | Announcement of the scholars is made
  • July 1, 2021 | Scholars begin the program participation
  • October 18, 2021 | Scholars are introduced the Membership at the NAM Annual Meeting

Program Administration

Inquiries about the NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program should be directed to:

Yumi Phillips, Program Officer
Health Policy Fellowships and Leadership Programs
National Academy of Medicine
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 334-1506
Email: /

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Program Sponsor

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area.  Visit or follow @MooreFound on Twitter.

Partner Organization


The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) is a coalition of 45 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physicians across healthcare. Representing every specialty, from primary care to surgery, CMSS catalyzes improvement across specialties through convening, collaborating, and collective action.

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