Design Fellowship

"Better Health, Less Spending"   

Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC) design fellowship provides an opportunity to become an expert in value-based health care delivery innovation.

Working as a multi-disciplinary team, fellows develop a solid foundation of design thinking for healthcare, gain experience developing innovative care models, and work directly with health system leaders and industry/business leaders.

Through a disciplined process based in human centered design methodology, the teams design new care models for a health condition associated with substantial disability and health spending. The design goal is an innovative health care design to maximally lower population-wide health spending while improving quality and experience of care.

At CERC, our mission is “better health, less spending.” Innovative, value-driven care models are designed through our fellowship program and then implemented in numerous partner healthcare systems/sites in subsequent years.  

In addition to the dissemination of new care models from CERC, we are also proud to be graduating change agents for value driven healthcare. Graduates from the program cultivate a distinctive skillset in their CERC time as well as exposure to leading health systems, designers, clinicians and executives. Graduates from the fellowship have gone on to:

  • Pursue research careers in universities
  • Assume leadership positions in healthcare delivery systems
  • Work in industry or professional services firms
  • Help launch venture based healthcare startups


Fellow teams employ a design and prototyping methodology that includes:

  • Intensive introductory training in design discipline and in the clinical and economic features of the target conditions and service types
  • Intensive observation of how care is delivered for these conditions
  • Identification of poorly-met patient and clinician needs, as well as the societal need to lower per capita health spending safely
  • Exposure to use of cutting edge information and communications technologies to support care innovation
  • Exposure to the care models used by today’s leaders on the value frontier
  • Preparation of conceptual and detailed designs for care innovations
  • Experience interacting with multiple health system leaders in multiple U.S. states
  • Support of clinical teams that pilot-test and refine care innovations
  • Preparation of abstracts and other public speaking
  • Preparation of publishable manuscripts