VA Quality Scholars (VAQS)

The Veteran Affairs Quality Scholars (VAQS) fellowship program began in the late 1990s and has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive and established quality improvement (QI) training programs in North America.

Course Content

The VAQS program is designed as a ‘hub and spoke’ model – with a coordinating center at the Houston Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) at the Houston VA and Baylor College of Medicine. Faculty run the program and work in direct partnership with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, which oversees all VA Advanced Fellowship Programs. There are nine other sites (spokes) across the United States. Toronto is the tenth and only non-American site for the VAQS program.

This two-year research program was designed to nurture fellows and junior faculty who would like to pursue academic careers in QI and patient safety within the framework of leadership in medical administration, education or clinical practice.


The two-year VAQS fellowship is comprised of four components:

1. Weekly half-day sessions on Friday afternoons (all virtual except for one per month that is in person) :

  • 1-2 p.m. group meetings to discuss QI projects, present research and discuss required course work (Toronto only)
  • 2-3 p.m. two-way interactive videoconference (TWIV) sessions across all VAQS sites – minimum 75% attendance is required

2. Mandatory attendance at the VAQS Summer Institute (virtual, Aug 12-16, 2024)

3. Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Symposium on November 19, 2024 in Toronto

4. Research project: fellows are expected to design and develop a research project of appropriate scope and breadth that they are expected to present and discuss at various stages of development throughout the course

Target Audience

  • Healthcare professionals in advanced stages of training
  • Early-career faculty interested in research, QI and health services, or QI within the framework of leadership in medical administration, education or clinical practice. This course is especially beneficial for those who would like to pursue academic careers in QI and patient safety.

Core Faculty and Speakers

VAQS invites group speakers during the first hour of class time to supplement the learnings from the TWIV. These healthcare leaders and researchers are highly respected experts in their field and provide mentorship and feedback on fellows’ projects and career goals.

Nely Amaral
Sonal Gandhi
Chaim Bell
Emeritus scholar

Lisha Lo
Course coordinator

Session details

Time commitment:
• Live classes – Fridays (1-3pm)
• Group assignments and individual QI project work

• Virtual
• In-person: CQuIPS Sickkids Site
• Summer Institute (virtual): August 12-16, 2024

Registration Fee: $3,500/year and registration fee for the Summer Institute

Applications for VAQS are due Friday April 26th, 2024 at 5pm.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum

John Doe


Our educational programs range from one-day workshops to longitudinal programs that are conducted on a local, national and international level. In all our offerings, we strive to ensure that learners have meaningful learning opportunities and create networks and connections throughout the community.

Scroll to Top