Pediatric Scientist Development Program

  • Application Guidelines

    There is a critical need for pediatric clinician scientists prepared to participate and eventually lead the emerging programs in clinical and translational research for children’s health care. Therefore, in evaluating applications, Committee members evaluate whether the mentor’s laboratory has substantial extramural funding for outstanding research programs in basic or translational investigation. In most instances, preference is given to candidates who train in laboratories outside clinical departments. Candidates who wish to train in epidemiology or statistics are advised to find mentors with primary appointments in schools of public health.

    All interested applicants must complete an Eligibility Form and submit it to the PSDP Program Office before applying (applications received from anyone who has not previously submitted an Eligibility Form will not be considered). The Program Director and Administrator will review the form. If the applicant is eligible, s/he will be sent an application packet with instructions.

    A complete paper application and electronic Adobe pdf, both compiled in the precise order listed below, must be received by the PSDP Administrator no later than 11:59 pm on February 1st (17 months prior to entering the Program):

      • The application form, which includes applicant’s name, the names of the Nominating and Sponsoring Chairs, residency information, and name(s) of proposed research mentor(s) and laboratory site.
      • The applicant’s personal statement addressing the rationale for the clinical sub-specialty, choice of research area and career goals.
      • A detailed research proposal, typically 8-10 pages in length, prepared in conjunction with the PSDP mentor. Candidates proposing patient-oriented research or translational research that requires patient contact may request up to 10% clinical time in Years One and Two. This request must be incorporated into the initial PSDP application and must have the signed approval of the mentor. The candidate must be explicit as to the populations to be seen, the way in which time is to be spent and will be expected to justify why the clinical time is essential to the performance of his/her research. PSDP Fellows who request clinical time after having begun the PSDP-sponsored research years will be denied.
      • Letter from Nominating Chair. A candidate must be nominated by the Chair of the pediatric department in which the candidate completes his/her pediatric residency. The nominating department bears the responsibility of sponsorship or identification of another sponsoring department for support of clinical fellowship training and must commit to assist the candidate in finding a junior faculty position at the conclusion of PSDP training. The letter will acknowledge the department’s commitment to help the candidate identify a junior faculty position providing two years of support with 75% time for research.
      • Letter from Sponsoring Chair. The Chair of the sponsoring department (which may or may not be the same as the nominating department) must commit to funding the clinical component of fellowship training and to helping the candidate identify a junior faculty position that provides two years of support with 75% time free for research. The Sponsoring Chair must further verify that the candidate will have no clinical duties during the first two years of PSDP-sponsored research training. Candidates receiving funding for a third year may incorporate up to 15% clinical time in their program. Exceptions to this plan must be approved by the Steering Committee.

    Note: the applicant’s Sponsoring Chair’s letter must include a departmental commitment of $10,000 annually to be used for the PSDP fellow’s supply budget should the application be accepted.

      • Letter of support and acceptance from proposed research mentor, which includes a description of laboratory, scope of research, educational curriculum for trainee (mentoring plan), other personnel to be involved in the training process and cites agreement with the policy of no clinical duties during first two years of fellowship. Approval must be acknowledged by the mentor if the candidate is proposing patient-oriented research or translational research that requires patient contact.
      • Mentor's NIH grant application Biographic Sketch (four pages).
      • Applicant's curriculum vitae or Biographic Sketch with a recent photograph listing publications, honors, and awards.
      • Applicant's final medical school (and graduate school, if applicable) transcript(s).
      • Letters of Reference. At least three letters of recommendation are required, not including letters from the nominating chair, sponsoring chair, and research mentor.

    Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application and all supporting documentation have been received by the deadline.