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Bridging the Gap: Through the India HPSR Fellowship Program

By Debamitra Bhattacharya Mar 10, 2024

The India Health Policy & Systems Research (HPSR) postgraduate fellowship program, launched by HSTP in 2021, stands as an award-winning flagship initiative in the Indo-Pacific region. This groundbreaking program aims to empower early to mid-career researchers and practitioners in health policy and systems research, fostering a critical mass of experts across key institutions in India. From its inception, the program has prioritized inclusivity, ensuring gender balance and regional diversity among its recipients. Notably, 12 out of the first 20 fellows were women, showcasing the program's commitment to equity.

Over the years, the program has seen equal representation from both genders, embodying its principle of inclusivity. With fellows hailing from 22 states and union territories, deliberate efforts to promote diversity have enriched the learning experience and contributed to the program's success in fostering a more representative research community. Moving forward, the program remains dedicated to promoting gender equality and inclusivity in health policy and systems research, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives in driving progress.

Testimonials from fellows highlight the transformative impact, the fellowship program is doing, equipping them with enhanced research skills and a deeper understanding of India's public health systems. Through qualitative and quantitative analyses, fellows have explored various healthcare delivery aspects, offering valuable insights to inform policy decisions and improve healthcare across the country.

The key takeaways from the program include the importance of asking the right research questions, adopting a systems-thinking approach, and recognizing the complex interplay between evidence and policy. Fellows also emphasized the expansion of research skills, access to a network of public health experts, and the enhancement of knowledge and skills for conducting health systems and policy research.

The success of the first cohort paved the way for continuous improvement, with studies covering diverse healthcare domains and addressing complex challenges. Fellows' testimonials underscore the program's impact in nurturing disciplined research proficiency and facilitating meaningful contributions to health policy discourse, positioning them as future leaders in HPSR.

“As a recipient of the India Health Policy and System Research Fellowship, I delved into a transformative journey of in-depth research, gaining invaluable insights that have not only enriched my understanding of healthcare dynamics but also fuelled my commitment to contributing meaningfully to India’s health policy landscape. This fellowship has equipped me with the knowledge and skills needed to address complex healthcare challenges, making it a pivotal and rewarding experience in my professional journey.”

Ponnambily Chandy

Assistant Professor, Sathyabama College of Nursing,

Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

“The India HPSR Fellowship Program significantly developed my research skills and deepened my understanding of Indian health systems. Immersive engagement with diverse policy issues honed analytical abilities, fostering meaningful contributions to healthcare discourse. The program’s immersive and mentorship-driven approach provided transformative experiences, equipping me to address complex health challenges effectively.”

Deepshikha Chhetri

DrPH Candidate at LSHTM, UK


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