Postdoctoral Physician Scientist Training
physicians working in lab

Postdoctoral Physician Scientist Training

Providing mentorship, workshops, career guidance and much more for Physician Scientists in training.

The Challenge of Balance

For those already in training, balancing clinical responsibilities with meaningful engagement in research can be challenging, and often depends on the availability of dedicated research time within your postdoctoral residency and fellowship training program, strong mentorship and role models.

The Office for Physician Scientist Education and Training (OPSET) offers career development support throughout your residency and fellowship training. We provide mentorship and career guidance programs; guidelines for the development of departmental physician scientist training programs, workshops and symposia; and maintain a data base and listserv to keep the physician scientist community connected.

Learn more about physician scientist training opportunities available in each of the clinical departments:

Department Based Physician-scientist Programs
  • Anesthesiology residents who have successfully completed their first year of clinical anesthesia training and passed their basic science examination are eligible to apply to the Clinician-Scientist Translational Anesthesiology Research (C-STAR) program. 
  • C-STAR allows six months of mentored research training time, consistent with American Board of Anesthesiology requirements, without routine clinical responsibilities. 
    • There are typically two spots available each year.
  • After the completion of residency or clinical fellowship, emerging scholars are eligible to become Anesthesiology Postdoctoral Fellows through the department’s NIH-funded T32 program. 
    • T32 fellows have two years of 80% protected non-clinical time for mentored research training and didactics. 
    • There are typically two spots available each year.


  • George Mashour, Chair
  • Chad Brummet, Director of Research Residency Track 
  • George Mashour and Sachin Kheterpal, Co-PIs of T32

Anesthesiology Department

The Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Cardiac Surgery has as its primary goals:

  • Train surgeon-scientists during their academic research years to conduct mentored research in cardiovascular diseases in one of two tracks: (1) basic/translational and (2) clinical/health services.
  • Provide an individualized learning environment, including opportunities for advanced coursework and master’s degrees, where trainees can develop foundational skills needed for future research independence. Trainees will develop and apply their methodological and analytical skills to advance significant contributions to the field of congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease research, while starting to create a research network for mentorship and future collaboration.
  • Mentor trainees to become skilled investigators and mentors so that they can lead future cohorts of surgeon-scientists focusing on acquired and pediatric cardiovascular disease.

Each PSTP trainee will work with a mentorship committee to establish an individualized clinical training plan that reflects the applicants career goals as a surgeon scientist.

  • The mentorship committee will help guide the residents to identify a mentor and laboratory experience for academic development time during years PGY1 and PGY2.
  • The mentor and laboratory experience for the academic development time may focus on basic/translational and clinical/health services dependent upon the resident’s career goals.
  • The research mentor can be a faculty mentor from the T32 potential mentor list in the Department of Cardiac Surgery or, with approval, another department at the University of Michigan. Should the mentor reside in another academic department, a co-mentor from the T32 surgeon scientist training program in the Department of Cardiac Surgery will need to co-mentor the trainee to help as these co-mentors have more extensive experience in the specific needs of training surgeon scientists.
  • Metrics for a superlative lab for academic development time would include: (1) availability of resources, including instrumentation and reagents to perform experiments; (2) time availability of mentor for mentoring (3) dedicated trainee space in laboratory; (4) publications by prior trainees and (5) laboratory ethos.

Trainees will be encouraged to apply for career development awards, including through the NIH (F or K series), American Heart Association, Department of Defense, and/or private foundations, such as TSFRE, at the beginning of PGY3 in association with the mentor for the academic development time. Salaries throughout the training period will be adjusted to the same level as residents and fellows at the equivalent post-graduate year (PGY) level. 

Since this is a post-graduate training experience, the emphasis of this training program will be on advanced didactic program and independent research. Each trainee will come to the training program with diverse academic backgrounds; therefore, each trainee’s individual needs may differ. The trainee mentor Committee will plan and direct the individual coursework curriculum for the individual trainee. There is also a supplementary core curriculum within the research training program for all trainees. This curriculum is designed to provide each trainee, irrespective of their research background, with certain common requite elements for success as basic/translational or health services/policy researchers.

Face-to-face training in the responsible conduct of research also will be provided at the departmental and University-wide levels. All trainees will receive the required information for the responsible conduct of research by attending courses offered through U-M MICHR and the Michigan Medicine Program in Biomedical Science.

The PSTP program in the Department of Cardiac Surgery is currently supported by a NIH T32 award from the NHLBI entitled “Surgeon Scientist Training Program in Cardiac Diseases”.

This award funds 2 candidates annually for research in cardiovascular diseases through 2 potential pathways:  

  • Clinical/Health Services; or 
  • Basic and Translational Sciences 

The award is under the Directorship of Drs. Eugene Chen, Gorav Ailawadi, and Donald Likosky and has 35 potential mentors. Applications for this award are due in the fall preceding the academic development time.

Training Specialties for the Department of Cardiac Surgery T32: The diverse T32 training program preceptor pool has been grouped into several training groups by subspecialty within the two discrete career paths, basic/translational sciences and health services offered for surgeon-scientist training. The T32 will leverage the exceptional expert faculty at U-M to provide trainees with expert training in specific areas of cardiovascular research during their academic research years in several sub-specialties:

  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Thrombosis, Inflammation, and Vascular Biology
  • Metabolism
  • Clinical/Health Services
  • Computational/Big Data Research
  • Cardiac Myocytes, Heart Failure and Arrhythmia
  • Genetics of Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Stroke


  • Gorav Ailawadi, MD, MBA, Chair

I6 Program:

  • Shinichi Fukuhara MD, Program Director
  • Karen Bowring, GME Program Admin
  • Heather Hogue, GME Associate Program Admin


  • Bo Yang MD, PhD, Director for Research
  • Eugene Chen MD, PhD, Section head of Basic and Translational Research
  • Donald Likosky PhD, Section of Health Services Research and Quality (HSRQ)
  • Brandy Baloh, T32 Program Admin

Cardiac Surgery Department

  • Trainees will commit to a minimum of two years of research training, which will occur under the supervision of one of thirteen primary preceptors.
  • Laboratory-based fellows (M.D. and Ph.D.) will learn to formulate hypotheses and to design, perform, and analyze experiments, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes the use of human skin tissue as an experimental system.
  • M.D. trainees in clinical/translational research will acquire proficiency in hypothesis-driven clinical research design and methods and in statistical analysis of data, while gaining an appreciation of the basic science knowledge underlying their clinical observations and interventions.
  • To maximize multidisciplinary training, and to broaden our outreach into the broader University community, we have added highly qualified primary preceptors from outside the Department of Dermatology. 
  • In addition to mandatory participation in selected departmental didactic activities, introductory and advanced courses in clinical research methods and a molecular biology course for clinician-scientists will be available for trainees through the Medical School and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR). 
  • Face-to-face training in the responsible conduct of research also will be provided at the departmental and University-wide levels.
  • In order to attract more dermatologists into academic careers, we have incorporated research fellowship opportunities in cutaneous oncology, appearance-based dermatology, and dermatopathology.  
  • We have also changed our resident selection procedure in order to identify and attract NRSA-eligible M.D.s with strong research potential.  
  • We have also added a MICHR-sponsored Translational Research Training Program for Ph.Ds. 


  • Christopher Bichakjian, Chair
  • JT Elder, T32 Director

Dermatology Department

Emergency medicine has a research professional development track for interested residents to get the time and mentorship they need for meaningful, long-term research projects within the domains of both clinical research and the basic sciences. Residents have several opportunities during residency training to receive practical and didactic training in research methodology. They are required to complete and disseminate findings from a scholarly project before graduation. Opportunities for training include:

  • Mentored apprenticeship by working with faculty on a federal/industry-funded projects
  • Critical review and presentation of scientific data during monthly journal club meetings
  • The opportunity to apply for a T32 training program in Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS). This is the nation’s first T32 program on preventing firearm injuries among children and teens.

Opportunities for funding resident research work include:

  • Annual Resident and Fellow Research Development Grant Award. This one-year award supports up to $10,000 of direct research costs per project.
  • Annual Massey Traumatic Brain Injury Grand Challenge. This one-year award supports an average of $100,000 of direct research costs per project focused on developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics for the acute phase of care of traumatic brain injury.


  • Robert Neumar, Chair
  • Fred Korley, Associate Chair for Research
  • Colin Greineder, Director of Resident Research

Emergency Medicine Department

  • Every Family Medicine resident participates in a scholarly project curriculum. 
  • The longitudinal curriculum is delivered via didactic presentations, peer presentations, small group sessions, individual work, and collaboration with research and clinical mentors. It is focused on preparing FM residents to ask and answer scientific questions in practice, understand elements of study design and bias, recognize strengths and limitations of published research, and be able to evaluate clinical questions. 
  • The curriculum culminates in the completion and presentation of an original research project by every FM resident. 
  • Residents considering careers as physician scientists are encouraged to consider applying for the National Clinician Scholar Program and to meet with the Residency Research Program director to discuss this early in the second year.


  • Phillip Rodgers, Chair
  • James Aikens, Associate Chair for Research Programs

Family Medicine Department

  • Residents have two years of dedicated research time between the 3rd and 4th years of clinical training for academic development. 
  • Several NIH-funded T32, F32, and other grants are available for residents, and many receive funding via these mechanisms each year.
  • Mentorship of residents during the PGY1 through PGY3 years prepares interested residents to seek out basic science and translational research mentors and experience for their academic development time.


  • Justin Dimick, Chair
  • David Hughes, Residency Director
  • Mike Englesbe, Vice Chair for Resident Mentorship

General Surgery

  • The Internal Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) has as its primary goal the recruitment, mentoring, support, and retention of our next generation of NIH-funded physician scientists. 
    • The programs’ trainees spend two years in internal medicine residency before entering their subspecialty fellowship of choice. 
    • Fellowship slots are secured at the time of recruitment into residency. 
    • As part of their fellowship training, recruits complete their subspecialty clinical requirements and then spend three years in a protected (80:20) research:clinical phase.
    • Trainees are supported by $75,000.00 in laboratory start-up funds.  Graduates of the program receive a $60,000.00 salary bonus paid over three years if they remain active in research at Michigan Medicine.
  • Since its inception in 2004, the Internal Medicine PSTP has recruited over 50 trainees who have subsequently entered 9 different subspecialties.
  • Program graduates have an impressive track record of obtaining career development awards/initial grants (e.g. K08, R21, R01 and VA-CDA), and in alignment with program goals, the majority of these grant awardees remain on faculty.


  • Timothy Blackwell, Chair
  • Tom Sisson, PSTP Director

Internal Medicine Department

Neurology has a long tradition of launching and accelerating the careers of physician scientists at all stages of their training. 

Specific programs that support Physician Scientists include:

  • All residents are paired with advisors during their internship year. These mentors act to facilitate partnerships with relevant Michigan Faculty. 
  • An NIH R25 program provides support for research time during residency and fellowship training. Additional research time is available as elective time.
  • A long-standing T32 is in place to support neurology physician-scientist trainees after residency. 
  • We have a long-standing tradition of successful applications for K-08 and K-23 career development awards - including two successful applications within the past year.


  • Dawn Kleindorfer, Chair
  • Zachary London, Residency Director
  • Peter Todd, MD/PhD, Professor and Associate Chair for Research
  • Brian Callaghan, Associate Residency Director
  • Roger Albin, Professor and Director of the R25 Program
  • Henry Pauslon, MD/ PhD, Co-Director of the Neurology/Neuroscience T32 program

Department of Neurology

  • There is no formal pathway for physician scientists. However, all residents have a protected two years of their seven-year residency in which to undertake research (basic, translational or clinical). 
  • We are part of a T32 with Neurology and an R25 with Neurology and Neuropathology, designed to train the next generation of clinician scientists. 
  • The last 15 residents to complete their residency here had an average of 23 publications from their time here and almost all went into academic positions.


  • Aditya S. Pandey, Chair
  • Richard Keep

Department of Neurosurgery

Residents are required to complete a research project, as well as a quality improvement project.

  • They are supported by a full-time epidemiologist that provides methodologic and statistical support, as well as oversight of the trainees’ progress. 
  • Research milestones are formalized and include annual evaluation and documentation.

Fellows are required to complete a rigorous research project for graduation.

  • Fellows are supported with a didactic series, access to statistical/analytic support, and data sources. 
  • Two fellows are currently supported on T32s (Cardiology and Bioethics). Small grant funding is available to support resident and fellow research.


  • Dee Fenner, Chair
  • Vanessa Dalton, Associate Chair of Research
  • Maya Hammoud, Associate Chair for Education
  • David Marzano, Residency Program Director

Obstetrics & Gynecology Department

While Ophthalmology does not have a formal program during residency (GME) training for clinician-scientists, there are several avenues.  

  • All residents are expected to do, present and publish at least one research project; many do multiple projects. To facilitate this, all residents have a research block during their second year of residency. 

Personalized pathways: 

  • Structured post-doc followed by residency, with time during residency to run a lab with supported staff.
  • Support for laboratory research in a basic science department with supported staff, space and mentor time.

Several residents have received > $100K in research grants and patents for their research.  


  • Shahzad Mian, Chair
  • David Zacks

Department of Ophthalmology

  • While specialized research tracks are not offered, all residents are provided dedicated research time and resources for clinical / outcomes, epidemiological, health services as well as traditional lab-based research (Orthopaedic Research Laboratories).  
  • A formalized Research 101 curriculum with faculty involvement prepares residents for their research experiences. 
  • Motivated residents participate in research that spans from translational animal model-based studies to prospective clinical trials and have been supported by NIH P30 funding and foundation grants.
  • Competitive internal funding awards (Research Advisory Committee grants) support more advanced research projects.


  • Michelle Caird, Chair
  • Jaimo Ahn, Associate Chair for Education 
  • Kurt Hankenson, Associate Chair for Research
  • Karl Jepsen, PI/director, P30 funded musculoskeletal research center
  • Mark Hake, Residency Director
  • Ilyas Aleem, Resident Research Director

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Residents in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery are required to engage in mentored research training throughout the residency period. 

  • To support this requirement, residents spend six months doing research during the PGY-4 year. One resident each year pursues an extended 18-month research rotation beginning during the PGY-3 year, through our NIH-supported Advanced Research Training in Otolaryngology Program. 
  • Our residents have been remarkably successful in competing for extramural grants, and research productivity has been impressive. 
  • Recent accomplishments include a mean of 3 peer reviewed publications per annum per resident: and an 80% funding rate for residents’ extramural grant submissions.

The Research Committee continues the Department's long history of promoting research excellence among trainees. 

  • Residents meet monthly to review progress, assist with grant-writing and manuscript preparation, review research methodology and liaise with departmental faculty. 
  • The committee also provides financial support for trainee research projects through the Otolaryngology Resident Research Committee Research Grant. This grant, which awards $10,000 total annually, aims to supplement extramural funding mechanisms in order to foster meaningful and substantive clinical and/or basic science research. Results are presented during the annual Charles J. Krause Lectureship.


  • Mark E.P. Prince, Chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Marc C. Thorne, Associate Chair for Education and Quality
  • Robbi A. Kupfer, Residency Program Director
  • Shannon Rudy, Associate Residency Program Director
  • Steven Chinn, Erin Kirkham, and David Kohrman, Chairs, Resident Research Committee

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

  • Trainees in the Pathology Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP) will complete all requirements for ABP certification in AP, CP, AP/CP, or AP/NP as members of the University of Michigan Pathology Residency Program. 
  • Each PSTP trainee will work with a mentorship committee to establish an individualized clinical training plan and identify a suitable laboratory and mentor for their research fellowship. The research mentor may be a faculty member in the Department of Pathology or, with approval, another department at the University of Michigan. 
  • During their clinical training period, it is expected that PSTP trainees will use six months of research elective that can be credited toward ABP eligibility to work with the research mentor and transition into the laboratory. 
  • The department will support a trainee’s postdoctoral research training for at least two years, and to support an early pathway to independence, trainees will be encouraged to apply for career development awards, including through the NIH (F or K series), Department of Defense, and/or private foundations.
  • Clinical fellowship training can be incorporated into a trainee’s program, either prior to, during, or subsequent to their postdoctoral research fellowship, depending on a trainee’s individual career goals and clinical fellowship desired. Salaries throughout the training period will be adjusted to the same level as residents and fellows at the equivalent post-graduate year (PGY) level.


  • Charles Parkos, Chair
  • Asma Nusrat, PSTP Director
  • Aaron Udager, PSTP Associate Director

Department of Pathology

There are two pathways for the Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program (PPSTP):

  • Integrated research pathway: Three-year residency with two clinical years and one research year with 9-10 research months replacing clinical electives integrated into years 2-3. IRP participants must receive American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) approval prior to 9 months into a resident’s first year of residency. There is no formal integration with a fellowship program in this track.
  • Accelerated research pathway: Two-year residency and four-year fellowship with extra research year during fellowship. ABP approval must be obtained prior to 9 months into a resident’s first year of residency. This is closely coordinated with Division and Fellowship Directors and the match is still required for fellowship.

Financial support is available for research associated activities up to $5,000 per year based on each individual's needs and goals. PPSTP residents who continue on to subspecialty training at one of our fellowship programs or in the Medical Genetics Residency Program are eligible for research support of up to $15,000 per year during the research phase of their training and guaranteed salary support up to the level set by the House Office Association during research years.


  • Donna Martin, Chair
  • David Olson, Associate Chair for Research
  • Suzanne Dawid, MD, PhD, PSTP Director

Department of Pediatrics

  • The PM&R Resident Research Program is a mentored and experiential research experience designed for PM&R medical residents to complete a small but meaningful research project over the course of their three-year residency.
  • The ultimate goal of the training program is to provide residents with research experience to promote the generation and utilization of evidence in practice.
  • The program pairs each resident with a team of two faculty mentors providing complementary expertise in research methodology and the clinical population of interest.
  • Multiple departmental funding mechanisms in amounts ranging from $500-2,500 are available to support project costs as well as results dissemination.
  • All residents formally present their projects in the spring of their PGY-3 and PGY-4 years during the PM&R Department’s Annual Theodore M. Cole Resident Research Day. 


  • Ed Hurvitz, Department Chair
  • James T Eckner, Director of PM&R Resident Research Program

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

The Department has a long-standing Research Track Training for psychiatry residents, which was the first psychiatry residency training program to be funded by an NIMH R25.

  • The program connects with a post-residency, intensive research fellowship for two years, funded by either an NIAAA T32 (for residents interested in addiction research) or a (pending) NIMH T32 (for residents interested in psychopathology).
  • Residents apply to the program in their first or second year of residency, after identifying a mentoring team and research project, and they initiate their research project during 12 months of elective time, which can be taken as six months in PGY-III year and 6 months in the PGY-IV year, or all in the PGY-IV year, or some other combination that best suits the needs of the fellow. 

The post-residency fellowship phase introduces various training modules, and clinical activity (as a lecturer) linked to the fellow’s research project, usually around 10-20%. The fellowship training is designed to lead to K-award applications.

Since initiation of the RT Training in the late 1980s, the program has enrolled a total of 34 trainees (44% women, 12% Black/Hispanic), and 28 completed (46% women, 14% Black/Hispanic). Of the completers, 89% currently occupy academic positions, and 61% have academic ranks of full or associate professor.


  • Gregory Dalack, Chair
  • Stephan Taylor, Associate Chair for Research and Research Track Training Director

Department of Psychiatry

  • The residency training program has historically supported the American Board of Radiology Holman Pathway training program, with an average of one Holman Pathway resident in every other residency class that matriculates at the University of Michigan (11 residents total in the program at any given time). 
  • The Holman Pathway presents an alternative residency structure for selected residents in radiation oncology. In this pathway, residents are eligible to be board certified after up to 21 months of research and at least 27 months of clinical training. The traditional pathway requires 48 total months of residency in radiation oncology with a minimum of 36 months in clinical radiation oncology. 
  • The Holman Pathway is primarily designed for residents with an MD/PhD, or with an MD with a strong research background who are interested in pursuing a physician-scientist career and who have exceptional clinical skills such that clinical competence can be achieved in this abbreviated time period. 
  • Prospective candidates should have a documented history of research, i.e., a specific research plan with a suitable research mentor and environment. 
  • There are only 8-10 programs nationally that support the Holman Pathway program. 
  • More information, including application requirements, is available on the American Board of Radiology website at


  • Daniel Chang, Chair
  • Jennifer Shah, Residency Program Director
  • William Jackson, Associate Residency Program Director

Department of Radiation Oncology

Residents with an interest in an intensive and collaborative research experience can complete a longitudinal pathway as follows:

  • Years 1 and 2: residents work with a mentorship committee to identify a suitable mentor and develop research ideas while completing routine clinical rotations
  • Year 3: 3 months dedicated research time in the summer/fall, other 9 months on clinical rotations including call
  • Year 4: 9 months dedicated research time spread throughout the year, 3 months on clinical rotations including call
  • Fellowship: Clinical fellowship training can be incorporated into a trainee’s research pathway, depending on a trainee’s individual career goals and clinical fellowship desired

Radiology residents with established mentoring and projects who do not wish to complete the longitudinal pathway may spend up to six months participating in an elective research experience during the R4 (PGY-5) year.

Residents in the R2 (PGY-3) and R3 (PGY-4) years have two weeks of clinical research time.


  • Vikas Gulani, Chair
  • Kara Udager, Residency Program Director
  • Peter Scott and Gary Luker

Department of Radiology

  • The University of Michigan Department of Urology is the first urology residency training program selected by the American Urological Association to receive the Physician Scientist Residency Training Award (PSRTA). This award supports a three-year research training program embedded within urology residency.
  • Motivated to train more surgeon-scientists in the field of urology, our residency program also recently launched a six-year surgeon-scientist training track, offering one year of protected research time in basic science, translational science, health services research, or surgical education research.  
  • The focus of these two programs is to prepare young surgeon-scientists to become successful leaders in research and make discoveries that will impact their patients on a broader scale.
  • Each Urology resident presents a research project at the annual Urology Resident Research showcase, held in the spring. Support for these projects is provided by protected research time built into the standard residency rotations, and by dedicated statistician effort funded by the Department. In addition, in 2021 the Department funded five short-term (1-2 year) resident research projects (Urology Incubator Grants).


  • Ganesh Palapattu, Chair
  • Priyanka Gupta, Residency Director
  • J. Quentin Clemens, Associate Chair for Research

Department of Urology