We welcome applicants who are in US-based advanced (eg, master's or doctoral) degree or training programs relevant to health care ethics and policy, health humanities, and health professions, including ACGME- or AOA-accredited residencies and fellowships. Early career applicants who have completed advanced education or training within 5 years prior to the application deadline are also welcome. Cross-disciplinary proposals on ethics questions that are interesting, important, complex, and neglected will be prioritized.

Due to volume, we do not respond to queries about applicants' eligibility or proposals' content. Applicants who completed advanced education or training more than 5 years ago and applicants who are international professionals in health care, health care ethics and policy, or health humanities who are looking to develop a good idea and share it with our audiences, might consider applying at any time to become a Senior Editorial Fellow.

Applications are accepted 2 times per year, due on 15 March and 15 September of each year.


To apply, please do the following:

  1. Propose a title that describes a theme and characterizes a set of ethical issues to explore in an issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics. Please explain why this theme is interesting, important, complex, or neglected in the peer-reviewed bioethics literature.
  2. Identify a faculty mentor who agrees to help you (and your co-applicant) build a theme issue with the journal. Briefly address your plan to work closely with AMA Journal of Ethics editorial staff to generate ideas, solicit contributors, and synthesize the theme issue according to content development and production deadlines.
  3. Briefly describe how your theme issue will explore the following:

    1. 3 case narratives with questions to which an expert will respond in a commentary
    2. 1 policy question
    3. 1 social, cultural, anthropological question
    4. 1 history question
    5. 1 state of the art science question
    6. 1 health professions education question

    Descriptions of more AMA Journal of Ethics manuscript types can be found in the instructions for authors. Typically, each theme issue will contain eight manuscripts by experts you solicit. Solicited manuscripts will be peer-reviewed. Unsolicited manuscripts submitted in response to a Call for Papers for your theme issue will also be considered for peer-review.

  4. Describe how you will help secure visual assets for and publicize your theme issue. Fellows work closely with the journal’s editorial staff and marketing specialist during all content development and production phases.
  5. Depending upon when you apply, if selected, you must attend the entire working conference, held at AMA Headquarters in Chicago on the first Monday and Tuesday in May and on the first Monday and Tuesday in November of each year. (Reasonable expenses for participation and travel are covered by the AMA Journal of Ethics.)

How to Apply?

Send a single PDF attachment, with your last name only as the file name to Mr. Kelly Shaw ([email protected]). This single PDF must contain a one-page curriculum vitae summary for each applicant or co-applicant that includes contact information and a proposal (750-word maximum, not including references) articulating responses to 1-5 above.

Please note that everything you want us to consider as part of an application must be in this PDF attachment, not in the text of an email message. Submissions must be received by 5pm central time, as marked by email time stamp when received by the AMA Journal of Ethics, on the due date. Applicants who have waited until 4:55, for example, to submit have occasionally been disappointed, due to transmission delays, so please plan accordingly. Applications not meeting content criteria, containing excess materials (eg, attachments), excessively complex formatting, or exceeding the word count maximum will not be reviewed.

Please also note that, due to volume, we do not comment on idea development or what constitutes a good proposal or topic. The journal can repeat topics that need updating; to do so, an applicant needs to propose how an update should be done in an upcoming theme issue. In general, we look for topics that are interesting important, complex and neglected.


Preference will be given to proposals on innovative, interesting, important issues of ethical complexity in health care and health policy and the importance of preparing current and future clinicians to address these issues.

We are particularly interested in exploring the following, though proposals need not be limited to these topics: Health care entrepreneurship, what does it mean to prognosticate well?, roles of clinicians in autopsy forensics for state or municipal custody deaths, roles of clinicians (eg, pathologists) in prosecuting carceral and police-custody violence, death science ambiguity, forensic autopsy privatization, allopathic and occidental clinical acupuncture training and practice, expanding Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), music and soundscape in health care environments, roles of health care in green space preservation, public sanitation as critical health care infrastructure, roles of health care in addressing the endemicity of violence in the US, politicization of Certificate of Need procedures, how should excess death be defined, unionization and collective action in health care, roles of clinicians in insurance claim payment rejection appeals and reviews, roles of clinicians in drug formulary development, moving clinical trial subjects from war zones to preserve research agendas and protocols, suicide “talk down” ethics, and which illness or injury screenings should be prioritized and why.

Upon successful completion of all duties, Editorial Fellows receive a stipend of $3,000 (or split with co-Fellow).