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2017 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program

The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program is an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. The program seeks to support outstanding nurse and physician emerging leaders by investing in their professional development. Sojourns Scholars receive $180,000 in funding ($90,000/year over a two year grant)  to conduct an innovative impactful clinical, policy, education or research project in the field of palliative care and develop a leadership development plan designed to support growth as a leader in the field.

Goals of Program

  • Identify outstanding nurse and physician emerging leaders who are committed to improving access to, knowledge about, and quality of palliative care.
  • Invest in leadership development, enabling Scholars to use their expertise and influence to create system and policy changes in palliative care locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Develop the professional visibility and advance the palliative care expertise of the Sojourns Scholars, enhancing them to advance the field.

Program Components
  • A two-year clinical, educational, policy, advocacy, research or systems change project.
  • An individualized leadership development plan to enhance the Sojourns Scholar’s effectiveness as a leader.
  • Annual Sojourns Scholar Leadership Conference.
  • Mentorship from the Advisory Committee.
  • Participation as a member of the Sojourns community of peers.


  • The program will support up to ten Sojourns Scholars in 2017.
  • Physicians and nurses working in education, research and practice from across the United States are eligible to apply.
  • Nurses: Must be at least one year post PhD or DNP. Board certification by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses preferred.
  • Physicians: Must be at least two years out of training. Board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine preferred.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a clear commitment to palliative care.
  • At least one local mentor to provide support to the Scholar's project and leadership development in the field of palliative care.
  • The applicant’s home institution will be required to submit a letter signed by a director (CEO, Administrator, Dean or Chair) confirming that 50% of the applicant’s time will be dedicated to the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program.
  • Awardees should not be a current recipient of a career development award at the time of initial Sojourns Scholar Program funding (e.g. NIH K-Award, VA career award, National Palliative Care Research Center, other foundation-funded career award).

Advisory Committee

  • Chair - Steve Pantilat, MD, FAAHPM, SFHM, University of California at San Francisco
  • Betty Ferrell, PhD, M.A., FAAN., FPCN, City of Hope
  • Randy Curtis, MD, MPH, University of Washington’s Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence
  • Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, FAAN, Dean, John Hopkins School of Nursing
  • Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer, University of Colorado Hospital

Application Process

Required Dates

  • Applicant must be available to attend a one hour in-person interview in Portland, Oregon that will be scheduled on April 27 or 28, 2017. Please consider travel to and from Portland when holding these dates on your calendar. Travel costs will be paid by Cambia Health Foundation.
  • All Sojourns Scholars must be available for the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Conference from October 10-12, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Travel costs for the Scholar will be paid by Cambia Health Foundation.

Evaluation Criteria

The Advisory Committee will make recommendations to the Cambia Health Foundation board of directors for final selection. Factors for consideration in the evaluation process include all of the following:

  • Demonstrated commitment to improving and expanding palliative care policy, clinical care leadership, education, research and systems change.
  • Leadership potential, commitment to both self-directed and peer learning and a strong track record reflecting positions of increasing leadership responsibility.
  • A two year plan focused on personal leadership development.
  • Potential for future accomplishments and ability to influence the field.
  • Project’s goals and objectives and the project’s potential to impact palliative care (including impact, sustainability, evaluation and dissemination).
  • Potential impact of project on the applicant’s trajectory including advancement of the individual in the palliative care field nationally.
  • Proposed budget and how it reflects the organization’s commitment to palliative care and the further leadership development of the potential Sojourns Scholar candidate.
  • The home institution’s level of support and time for the applicant’s participation in the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program and the importance of the proposed project to its institution’s mission and strategic direction.
  • Strengths of the mentor, including level of commitment and the proposed mentoring plan.
  • Responsiveness of the overall application, supporting letters, budget and attachments to the request for applications and how they demonstrate the applicant’s writing ability and reasoning.

Required Attachments

  • A signed checklist of items required in the application including the applicant's commitment to attend the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • A current CV that includes a full list of teaching experience and activities, clinical responsibilities, external activities, other significant scholarships, and publications.
  • An Executive Summary that summarizes the key sections of your application: Personal Statement, Proposed Palliative Care Project, Proposed Leadership Development Plan and Mentoring.
  • A total of four letters of support:
  1. A letter signed by a director with fiscal responsibility for the applicant (CEO, Hospital Administrator, Dean or Chair) confirming that 50% of the applicant’s time will be dedicated to the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program. The letter should include institutional support for the applicant’s current and future role in the department and institution, outlining institutional resources (administrative support, computer availability, etc.), and describe the institution’s plans for integrating and using the expertise and experience gained by the Scholar through this program.
  2. Letter of support from a colleague.
  3. A detailed letter of support from a local mentor outlining 1) the mentoring plan, 2) the mentor’s qualifications and experience as a mentor, 3) a description of their role in supporting the applicant’s project and professional development and 4) the applicant’s experience and potential for leadership locally and in the field of palliative care nationally.
  4. A letter of support from someone outside the applicant’s organization describing the applicant’s experience with and potential for leadership in palliative care nationally. If this person also intends to serve as a mentor to the Scholar, the letter should also include a description of 1) the mentoring plan, 2) the mentor’s qualifications and experience as a mentor, and 3) their role in supporting the applicant’s project and professional development.
  • A proposed two-year budget of $90,000 per year. Applicants must use the Foundation's budget template which can be downloaded here. Budget should state applicant’s current total salary including benefits. The award total includes direct costs, and may include indirect costs, not to exceed 10% of the direct cost, the total amount of each award may not exceed $90,000 each year. The indirect amount must be included and not in addition.
  • A maximum of three articles or other written materials. For example: peer reviewed published paper(s), selected review articles or chapter(s) from a book, white papers, reports or a manuscript that illustrates the applicant’s contribution to palliative care policies and protocols within an institution or organization.

Contact Information

Sojourns Scholar Contact List

  • If you would like to be added to the contact list for the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program please fill out the form below.


The Sojourns Award honors exemplary leaders and organizations in the field of palliative care. Learn more.