The Putnam Scholars Program



The application deadline has passed for 2017, please check back in early 2018 for more information.

Educators and researchers at universities, colleges, hospitals, and health care organizations who are members of AACH may apply for the Putnam Scholars Program (PSP). Restricted gifts will sustain both Sam’s longstanding enthusiasm for networking among schools, countries and disciplines, and his ardor about expanding the cadre of physicians, educators and researchers who are skilled in healthcare communication and relationship-centered care.

Goal of the Putnam Scholars Program
  1. To expose participating scholars to a broad range of ideas at the intersection of health care and communication scholarship;
  2. To partner participating scholars with senior AACH mentors conducting health care communication research and/or education for networking, intellectual mentorship, and professional development;
  3. To present scholarly work annually at international ICCH or AACH Forum research meetings.
  4. To build a community of AACH members, current and former PSP scholars and their mentors for networking, research support, value added for AACH members in general.

Benefits & Responsibilities of Participation

Benefits for participation in the Putnam Scholars Program include:  

  • Developing and refine original research, educational curricula, or evaluation activities related to health communication.• Receiving one-on-one mentorship in health communication from an established AACH senior scholar.
  • Expanding knowledge of the diversity of health communication theories, methods, and applications through regular research colloquia with other Putnam Scholars and their mentors.
  • Forging new professional and interpersonal relationships with mentors, AACH and ICCH members, and other people committed to improving health communication.
  • Financial support for each year of PSP participation for AACH/ICCH sponsored conference attendance, including registration fees, hotel accommodation, and airfare.

Responsibilities for participation in the Putnam Scholars Program include:

  • Attending at least three research meetings sponsored by AACH and ICCH during PSP participation.
  • Participating in a 1-day retreat with mentors and other new Putnam Scholars at the first research meeting.
  • Meeting monthly or bi-monthly with mentor and other Putnam Scholars on a more frequent basis.
  • Presenting working and final projects at ICCH conferences and AACH Forums.

Mentorship Relationship
Mentorship is the cornerstone of the Putnam Scholars Program, as participants will work with a senior AACH mentor who will help the scholar design and implement a project focused on health communication. Over the two year program, Putnam Scholars will meet monthly or bi-monthly with mentors for one-on-one telephone or video meetings to refine projects and to establish connections with related scholars working in their field of interest. The Award will cover meeting costs for the Mentor to attend two AACH meetings as the mentor is required to participate in two AACH meetings.

Putnam Scholars Program Structure
The PSP is a two-year fellowship program that starts either in Summer or Fall, depending on the year (See Timeline below). 

Starting year   Meeting1 Meeting2 Meeting3
Fall Start  ICCH October (2017)  AACH Forum June (2018)  ICCH October (2019) 
Summer Start AACH June (2018)  ICCH October (2019)  AACH Forum June (2020)

Putnam Scholars will participate in a 1-day retreat with their mentors immediately before or after Meeting 1. The retreat will introduce scholars starting the fellowship to the research and teaching cultures of AACH and will foster a sense of community among scholars and AACH research mentors. During the retreat, scholars and AACH research mentors will discuss and refine research ideas in participants’ areas of interest, methodology, analytic approaches, funding mechanisms and opportunities, and practical strategies for implementing research ideas during program participation. 

After the retreat, Putnam Scholars and their mentors will meet individually once per month by phone or video to discuss project progress, to troubleshoot problems, and to plan for upcoming opportunities, such as presentations, manuscripts, and grant applications. Scholars will be encouraged to present preliminary findings from their working projects at Meeting 2 and final results at Meeting 3. AACH will support travel, accommodation, and registration to the three required research meetings. 

While Putnam Scholars and their mentors will be expected to meet collectively at each research meeting to discuss projects and opportunities, scholars are encouraged to keep contact more frequently with one another throughout their time as fellows in the program.

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