Translational Research Fellows Program

Program Objective

Providence St. Joseph Health and Institute for Systems Biology are transforming health care into a system that focuses on keeping patients healthy and identifying opportunities to prevent and/or reverse disease. As part of that mission, the Translational Research Fellows Program (TRFP) provides unique opportunities for bench-to-bedside translational research with mentorship from experts in systems biology and clinical research.

The fellows program offers outstanding researchers the opportunity to accelerate their development in the field of translational medicine by providing an independent, fully funded research environment free of the formal teaching responsibilities that typically accompany postdoc and early-faculty tracks. Fellows are encouraged and expected to secure funding as their research progresses.

The collaborative program leverages key strengths from both institutions, combining ISB’s systems-driven and pioneering approaches to optimize wellness and predict disease with Providence’s patient-centric approach, network of 50 hospitals, 829 clinics and 7,500 clinicians, accessible clinical data from more than 3 million patients, and long history of supporting clinical research.

Program Description

  • TRFP is a three-year training program (subject to annual review) focused on working with a multidisciplinary team and integrating experimental research with patient-based clinical research to explore disease processes and advance detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
  • All faculty members from ISB will participate in this program. Each TRFP fellow will have the support of a mentoring committee comprised of faculty and clinicians from both ISB and PSJH. The mentoring committee will be a mix of faculty and clinicians working either in a field related to or complementary to that of the fellow’s research.
  • This is an independent research position. Every fellow will receive funding to support salaries and research-associated costs.


Program Focus Areas

Research project ideas include, but are not restricted to:

  • Using data clouds to optimize wellness, identify the earliest stages of transition from wellness to disease, and follow disease progression and response to therapy
  • Improving wellness analytics and validating wellness metrics
  • Developing molecular network models for drug discovery
  • Systems approaches to addressing disease heterogeneity


Eligible Applicants

Applicants must have a PhD, or MD/PhD. Candidates should have received or expect to receive their degree by September 2018 and should not have more than three years prior postdoc experience by the beginning of the fellowship programThe fellows program is open to foreign and domestic professionals.

Application and Selection Process

Application for this program is a four-step process:

1.  Nomination: Candidates cannot apply directly; they need to be nominated by experts in the research community. This nomination should be a letter of support from a key opinion leader in the would-be applicant’s field highlighting his or her key attributes, such as:

  • Out of the box thinking with exceptional creativity
  • Bold vision for catalyzing the future of medicine
  • Ability to bridge disciplines
  • Exceptional potential to translate benchtop discoveries to actionable bedside capabilities for enhanced clinical outcomes

Letters should be addressed to the Program Director, Dr. Nitin Baliga, and must be emailed to trfp@systemsbiology.org.

2. Application Submission: ISB will invite nominees to submit the TRFP application package, which includes a completed application form, two recommendation letters, a statement of research goals and career plan, and a Curriculum Vitae.

3. Research Proposal Submission: Select applicants will be assigned a mentor, and asked to develop a research proposal with guidance from his or her mentor.

4. In-Person Interviews: ISB will invite the finalists for an in-person interview at ISB. This process will consist of:

  • Research presentation
  • Chalk talk 
  • Faculty interviews


Selection Criteria

Selection of fellows will be made by a steering committee composed of ISB faculty members and representatives from PSJH. Applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Academic achievement and first author publications
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Research goals and career plan
  • Scientific merit and relevance of the research proposal to objectives of TRFP (finalists only)


Program Timelines


Accepting nominations for potential fellows (Deadline: December 22)


Select nominees informed, invited to submit application package

  • Selected nominees submit completed application and other requirements (Deadline: January 19)
  • Steering committee reviews applications
  • Finalists selected, mentors assigned
  • Finalists are informed, begin developing research proposal with mentor
  • Research proposals accepted (Deadline: April 6)
  • Steering committee reviews proposals
  • Select finalists invited for in-person interviews
  • In-person interviews
  • Steering committee makes selection, fellow(s) notified

Fellow(s) scheduled to start (September 10)


Key Dates

  • Nominations should be sent by December 22, 2017.
  • We will be accepting application packets until January 19, 2018.
  • The deadline for research proposal submission is April 6, 2018.
  • Fellows are expected to begin on September 10, 2018 (start date may vary depending on country of residence and visa status).



If you have questions, please send an email to trfp@systemsbiology.org.

About Institute for Systems Biology

The Institute for Systems Biology is a nonprofit biomedical research organization based in Seattle. It was founded in 2000 by systems biologist Leroy Hood, immunologist Alan Aderem, and protein chemist Ruedi Aebersold. ISB was established on the belief that the conventional models for exploring and funding breakthrough science have not caught up with the real potential of what is possible today. ISB serves as the ultimate environment where scientific collaboration stretches across disciplines and across academic and industrial organizations, where our researchers have the intellectual freedom to challenge the status quo, and where grand visions for breakthroughs in human health inspire a collective drive to achieve the seemingly impossible. Our core values ensure that we always keep our focus on the big ideas that eventually will have the largest impact on human health.

About Providence St. Joseph Health

Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. With 50 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 100,000 caregivers (employees) serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington. With system offices based in Renton, Wash. and Irvine, Calif., Providence St. Joseph Health is the parent organization of Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health, enabling the family of organizations to work together to meet the needs of its communities, both today and into the future. Formed in 2016, the Providence St. Joseph Health family includes the founding organizations, and in: Texas, Covenant Health and Covenant Medical Group; California, Facey Medical Group, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare; Washington, Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Pacific Medical Centers and Swedish Health Services.