AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program

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John Payne Fellowship

Purpose of the Fellowship

The purpose of the John Payne Fellowship is to honor the memory of John Payne and the contributions he made for nearly twenty-five years to the North Carolina AHEC Program. The Fellowship will enable non-medical faculty to further their professional interests and explore innovative educational efforts. As such, the Fellowship not only memorializes John’s leadership of AHEC, but also his lifelong commitment to community-based education, his love of travel, and his interest in exploring new ideas.

Program Description

The Fellowship is awarded annually to one or more faculty members of the AHECs in North Carolina. It provides support to allow the Payne Fellow to study some aspect of health professions education relevant to the AHEC Program. Projects emphasize lifelong learning, involving experiences and activities which explore new models, new ways of thinking, and innovation. Fellows are expected to share what they learn with AHEC colleagues through discussion, publication, or presentation. The length of the fellowship may vary, depending on the project, and will be in the United States. The Fellowship funding helps to cover travel and living expenses for the individual during the Fellowship. The individual’s AHEC is expected to cover salary and other compensation costs during the Fellowship.


The Payne Fellowship has, as its primary focus, full-time AHEC faculty in allied health, dentistry, mental health, nursing, ORPCE, health careers, library services, pharmacy, CME, quality improvement, and public health disciplines. Other AHEC faculty who fulfill a significant educational role will also be eligible. Physician faculty have the Mayer Traveling Fellowship for similar educational travel. Applicants must have been employed at an AHEC for three years or longer. The applicant must state in writing, in no more than three (3) pages, how he/she envisions the Fellowship to be professionally useful and related to the mission and goals of the North Carolina AHEC Program. The applicant must be willing to write a brief report within two (2) months of the completion of the visit and submit the report to the AHEC Program Director.

Application Procedure

Interested faculty should submit his/her written statement and curriculum vitae to his/her AHEC Director. The AHEC Director will review applications and transmit them to the AHEC Program Director along with a letter of support. Although there are no restrictions on the number of applications that can be forwarded by any AHEC Director, it is requested that each AHEC try to limit itself to one nominee. Each AHEC Director is asked to submit the names of nominees, together with their statement, curriculum vitae, and supporting documents, to the NC AHEC Program Director by a date to be determined each year.

Selection of the Fellow(s)

Fellows will be chosen from the nominees by a committee appointed by the NC AHEC Program Director. The committee will evaluate applications based on the following criteria: a professional development opportunity, new or innovative educational activity, leadership development, benefits to the NC AHEC Program and strength of the letter of support from their AHEC Director. Selected Fellows are expected to share their experience with a presentation at a future Statewide AHEC Conference. 

Arrangements for the Fellowship

Once selected, the Fellow will discuss preliminary plans with his/her AHEC Director. The stipend for the John Payne Fellowship will be $2,500 per fellow and can be used for airfare, lodging, meals, and associated costs.

Previous Winners