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Health Services Research & Development

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Career Development

Under the Research Career Development Program, early-career clinician and non-clinician postdoctoral researchers work under the guidance of experienced VA mentors to develop lines of independent research. Candidates for Career Development Awards must be nominated by VA facilities, and are selected through a highly competitive merit review process. Research topics cross the full spectrum of HSR&D portfolio areas, and the CDA awardee is expected to submit a proposal for merit review funding as principal investigator by the third year of his or her five-year award. The institutional support behind each candidate's nomination helps ensure that awardees remain in VA appointments after completing their awards, thereby ensuring a capacity of independent VA investigators capable of conducting high-quality health services research and mentoring the next generation of health services research scientists.

For general information about Career Development, please contact:

Robert Small
Scientific Portfolio Manager
Health Services Research and Development (14RDH)

Mr. Small is the Scientific Program Manager for HSR&D’s Career Development Program. A long-time VA HSR&D staff member, Mr. Small began his research interest as a technician at Johns Hopkins University, working on a prospective study of central nervous system function in amateur boxers. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Olympic Committee, and was cited in Gulf War and Health Volume 7: Long-term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury (2008).  

Mr. Small also is a freelance writer, and has published several articles about long-term neuropsychiatric problems that may contribute to suicidal ideation and PTSD—concerns for some Veterans who were affected by cerebral malaria during the Vietnam War. Mr. Small has traveled widely throughout the US, and has greatly valued his interaction with both investigators and study participants over the years. Prior to joining VA, Mr. Small worked as a market and data analyst. He holds bachelor’s degrees in both economics and psychology from the University of Maryland.

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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.