Emerging Investigator Information

The Emerging Investigator Guided Research Training Program has a goal of bringing investigators new to CYSHCN research into the field. Both junior investigators who are within five years of their terminal degree and experienced investigators who are interested in switching fields are targets for this program. In May of each year, an RFA is released for the training grant award of up to $15,000. Through a competitive process, three EIs will each receive the award to help them pay for a 12-month long research project of their choice that maps to the National Research Agenda and MCHB Core Outcomes.

Emerging investigators (EI) are connected to a project mentor who is a content expert for a 12-month period during which EIs attend webinars, works-in-progress sessions (WIPS), and monthly meetings with their project mentors. EIs are required to have mentors from their home institution to guide them through the day-to-day workings of the project. CYSHCNet Network leaders are also available as content experts and connectors to other researchers from the Network.

We welcome applications from any junior or new CYSHCN investigator from various fields such as social science, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or policy who wishes to make CYSHCN research part of their career path.

Click here to download the Guided Research Program Request For Applications.

The CYSHCNet Emerging Investigator (EI) Award provides up to $15,000 to address an important area of concern for the health or healthcare of children or youth with special healthcare needs and their families. Up to three grants will be awarded each year. The application process for 2018-2019 is now closed. Applications for 2019-2020 will open in May 2019.

The award is open to investigators from CYSHCNet member sites only.

  1. UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
  2. Mass General Hospital
  3. American Family Hospital, Wisconsin
  4. Oishei Children’s Hospital
  5. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  6. Lurie Children’s Hospital
  7. Children’s Hospital Colorado
  8. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
  9. Boston Children’s Hospital

Proposals are welcome from those who are:

  • Fellows from any discipline that serves CYSHCN, e.g. nurses, social workers, physicians, pharmacists, social scientists, etc.
  • Faculty members no more than 5 years out from completion of all training (fellowship or post-doc)
  • More experienced investigators who are new to the field of CYSHCN (with documentation about their change of field)

Award FAQ

CYSHCNet content experts are available to mentor Emerging Investigators whose projects are accepted for Network support. Emerging Investigator Guided Research Program applications are available in May for grant funding and posted on this web site.  Below is a partial list of  topic areas in which mentoring is available:

  • Community Based Participatory Research
  • Coordination with MCH Title V Programs
  • Family Engagement
  • Health Care Transitions
  • Health Systems
  • Home Care Systems Research
  • Home Nursing
  • Life Course Health Science
  • Medicaid Spending Research
  • Medical Complexity in Children: Health Care Delivery, Improving Care
  • National Data Set -Secondary Analysis
  • Pediatric to Adult Transitions
  • Person Reported Outcomes
  • Qualitative Methods: Grounded Theory
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quantitative Methods: STATA
  • Telehealth

2018 - 2019 Awardees

Project Title: Understanding the effects of chronic medical procedures in children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD): A qualitative study of patient,parent, and nurse perspectives

Location: UCLA

Summary: I am a pediatrician and health services research fellow with a career aim of identifying Molly Prof Photoand testing interventions that provide resilience to children who face toxic stress; interventions that are medically effective, cost effective and feasible to implement in a clinic, hospital, or community setting or through policy changes. My work on previous projects and fellowship training have provided me with skills in research methodology, study design, and scientific writing that will enable me to successfully complete the proposed research.

Project Title: High quality health care, IDEA services and adverse family impact for U.S. CSHCN: The role of prematurity in early childhood

Location: MassGeneral Hospital for Children


Dr. Crossman, is a PhD-trained research fellow in the Division of General Academic Crossman_photoPediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Her education and training has stemmed from a social justice framework with a focus on the promotion of equitable outcomes for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs, with expertise in the fields of developmental psychology, maternal and child health and pediatric health services. Her current research focuses on service utilization and improving care transitions for children with special health care needs and their families as they navigate multiple complex service systems over the life course.

Lindly photo

Dr. Lindly is a research fellow in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Dr. Lindly will be completing her second year of the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program during the project period. She possesses methodological expertise in pediatric health services research and content  expertise in health care disparities for US CSHCN, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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Amber Kleven is mom to 2-year-old Thomas, who was born at 31 weeks and 1 day, after preterm premature rupture of membranes. Thomas remained in the NICU for 27 days. Amber gives back to the NICU community through her work with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University as a Family Advisory Council member, a NICU support group leader, and a volunteer for NICU Families Northwest, and now as a Family Leader with this project. Amber is trained as an English teacher and worked in the educational technology field.


Kristen M. Earl chairs Oregon Health & Science University’s all volunteer NICU Family Advisory Council. She graduated from Reed College with a B.A. and is currently earning an Associate of Applied Science degree at Portland Community College. She is also a stay at home parent to her NICU grad. Kristen previously spent a decade in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser. Kristen’s other board service includes the Reed College Alumni Association, for which she served as President, and the Willamette Valley Development Officers.

Project Title: Creation of an adaptive taxonomy of barriers and facilitators to in-home care of children with cerebral palsy

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Summary: I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD-trained Human Factors Scientist. My expertise is in applying Human Factors Engineering to improve the delivery of healthNicole Werner photo care including transitions and co analysis, sociotechnical work system design, checklist design and implementation to improve health care processes, and health information technology design and implementation.