The Health Foundation's quality improvement fellowships are now open for applications. Now in its fourth year, this US-based fellowship is designed to equip.up to three clinically qualified senior NHS professionals with tools and techniques in quality improvement.

The fellowship aims to develop senior leaders who have the enthusiasm, experience and skills to promote quality improvement nationally.

Fellows spend a year in the.US working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The fellowship combines academic learning with the development of practical skills and techniques for quality improvement.

Fellows study in the clinical effectiveness programme at Harvard University School of Public Health - an intensive seven-week course that includes training on quality improvement, statistics, epidemiology, economics and ethics. In addition, over the course of the year, they carry out an improvement project focusing on an aspect of quality, such as safety, effectiveness, patient-centredness, timeliness, efficiency or equity. Fellows publish and present the results of their work over the course of the year.

Health Foundation assistant director Jan Walmsley says: 'This is a unique opportunity for three talented individuals who are passionate about quality improvement issues to benefit from the latest expert thinking. Our aim is that at the end of their fellowship these individuals will lead important quality and performance improvement projects in the NHS and use their knowledge and expertise to deliver better patient care across the UK.'