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Preterm Birth Fellowship Program

The UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative

The UCSF reterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) is a multi-year, transdisciplinary and multi-sector research effort aimed at reducing the burden of prematurity. Funded by philanthropists Marc and Lynne Benioff and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PTBi applies scientific, clinical, and community expertise to address prematurity, the leading cause of childhood death worldwide.

PTBi has two parallel arms that are geographically focused in California and East Africa, which conduct place-based discovery and implementation science research across the reproductive life course. Our goals in California are to decrease the incidence and improve the outcomes of preterm birth, which disproportionally affects African American women of all socioeconomic backgrounds and poor women of all races/ethnicities. In East Africa, we aim to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality among preterm infants by improving quality of care during the antenatal, intrapartum and immediate postnatal periods in select regions of Western Kenya, Eastern Uganda, and Rwanda.

Fellowship Overview

We offer a two-year, non-accredited transdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowship focused on prematurity. Postdoctoral scholars from a variety of disciplines come together to acquire skills necessary to conduct powerful, collaborative research that is place-based, stakeholder-engaged, relevant, and likely to have impact on a critical health epidemic affecting millions of families across the world. To date, nine individuals have participated in the fellowship program, representing disciplines including obstetrics, pediatrics, psychology, immunology, epidemiology, and clinical research. This fellowship provides an extraordinary opportunity to work with world-class researchers and mentors, develop ideas and partnerships within a collaborative network, and formally build additional research skills. We are excited to invite applications for the 2019-2021 class! View our PTBi Fellowship video to learn more!

Program Components

Core components are designed to meet the needs of each fellow and foster the collaborative, transdisciplinary approach necessary to achieve impact on the complex condition of prematurity. The fellowship offers the following:

  • Salary support based on UCSF equity rules and travel/supplies stipend
  • Access to research and education funds through an intramural application process
  • Research and career guidance from highly regarded UCSF investigators
  • Fellows seminars with a rotating schedule of didactic content, works in progress, and journal clubs
  • Leadership opportunities and network building through PTBi-sponsored events (e.g., Collaboratories, annual symposia)
  • Professional development curriculum in conjunction with the UCSF Center for AIDS Research


This Fellowship is open to US and non-US citizens. Fellows cannot hold concurrent active faculty positions. Candidates are eligible if they have completed any one of the following:

  • MD with or without residency training in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, medicine, family and preventive medicine or another relevant specialty
  • PhD, ScD or DrPH in biomedical or social sciences
  • Nursing degree with completed doctoral training PhD, DNP

Application Procedure

Please submit the Fellowship application materials listed below as a single PDF to Fellowship Manager Nicole Santos ([email protected]) by 11:59 PM PST, September 15, 2018. Interviews are scheduled for November and December 2018 with notification of final decision no later than January 15, 2019.

  • Current NIH-style biosketch or CV
  • 1-page personal statement
  • 2-3 page research concept focused on decreasing the burden of preterm birth, including significance, proposed aims and methods, and community/location of interest
  • 1/2 page description about why you want to train at UCSF, including any educational courses or training opportunities you would like to pursue
  • Copy of medical, nursing or other clinical degree (if applicable)
  • A recent writing sample
  • Proof of US citizenship or residency, or visa status/eligibility for non-US citizens or residents
  • Three letters of reference (sent separately)