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Developing the next generation of diverse pediatrician-scientist leaders through exceptional research training and a robust, multilevel mentorship environment

NICHD PSDP Intramural Slot!

The eligibility form deadline is April 1st, 2024 for those interested in the NICHD Intramural PSDP Slot.

Our continued partnership with the NICHD’s Intramural Research Program allows one PSDP Scholar to conduct their research under a scientific mentor from the NIH’s Division of Intramural Research (DIR) in Bethesda, Maryland.  For more details, please click here.

Updated Policies and Changes!

We will be implementing the following changes (effective for current application cycle):

  • Each sponsoring institution is limited to no more than two applicants. For those who have more than two applicants interested in the PSDP, please conduct an internal selection process. Once the applicant is endorsed by their home institution, they may go ahead and submit their eligibility form by the February 15, 2024 deadline.
  • Applicants will be allowed up to 20% clinical time (increased from the 10% historically allowed)
  • All first year fellows from all sub-specialties are eligible to apply as long as there is at least 3 years of guaranteed research (at least 80%) available ~15 months after the application is due.
  • New funding model:
    • PSDP Year 1 will be funded by applicant’s sponsoring institution
    • PSDP Years 2-3 will be funded by the PSDP through the NIH/funding partners


  • PSDP Year 1: your sponsoring institution must agree to pay salary and fringe benefits commensurate with the rank of fellow at the sponsoring institution,
  • PSDP Year 2: $82,000 + 15% fringe benefits + $25,000 for research supplies/travel
  • PSDP Year 3: $86,000 + 15% fringe benefits + $25,000 for research supplies/travel

 If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager, Janet Lam,

What is the PSDP?

The Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) provides intensive training in research relevant to specialty areas of pediatrics. The goal is to prepare entry-level faculty for research careers in academic pediatrics. Physicians presently in pediatric training programs who wish to train in basic, translational, clinical, or health services research with an established investigator/mentor are encouraged to apply.

  • PSDP provides three years of training for pediatricians with an MD, DO or MD/PhD degree who are committed to a career in academic medicine
  • Fellows will be supported from their sponsoring departments during their first year of PSDP. The second and third years of PSDP training will be funded by the NIH or our non-NIH funding partners, ensuring all PSDP fellows receive three years of support for their professional development.
  • Fellows in their third year of PSDP will be appointed as  instructors, assistant professors, or equivalent rank.
  • The involvement and support of pediatric department chairs in the nomination, application process, and career development of PSDP scholars are essential to the success of the program

Building the Next Generation of Pediatrician Scientists

  • The PSDP is an NIH K12 award that fosters basic,
    clinical, translational, and health services research
  • 92% of PSDP graduates work in academic pediatrics
  • As of 2023, 54% of PSDP graduates had obtained NIH
  • PSDP Return on Investment = 22.9
  • External mentorship is offered to residents interested in
    PSDP fellowship opportunity through our alumni
    mentorship program
  • The PSDP is committed to increasing and diversifying
    the pediatric-scientist workforce
What Alumni are Saying...

The PSDP was instrumental in helping me launch my career and provided protected research time and the necessary mentorship to successfully secure three research grants in my last year of fellowship, including an NIH K08 Career Development Award, Harold Amos Award through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a UC President’s Award, which ultimately helped me secure a tenure-track faculty position.

– Erlinda ‘Chulie’ Ulloa, MD, MSc (PSDP alumnus 2019, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine)

Support from the PSDP played a critical role in launching my career as an independent investigator – the support for a multi-year research experience and fully protected time in the lab, the oversight of my research progress by the PSDP leadership team, and the short-term and long-term mentoring and career guidance by the Chairs participating in the PSDP were invaluable.

– Joseph St. Geme, MD (PSDP alumnus 1991, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Former PSDP Steering Commitee Member)

The PSDP has been instrumental to provide me with the time I needed to learn a new animal model and give me a chance to be successful as a physician-scientist. Without participation in the PSDP, especially through COVID, the transition from trainee to faculty would have been much more challenging. The PSDP gave me the time to generate enough preliminary data to be competitive for an institutional K12 which has allowed me to be to submit my first K08 application during my first year on faculty!

– Kristen Noble, MD, PhD (PSDP alumnus 2022, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt)

Without a doubt, this program made my career in academic pediatrics possible. In addition to the financial support, I had access to world-renown pediatric physician scientists as mentors. Their timely and personalized advice allowed me to navigate different stages of my career with success, even after I officially exited the program.”

– Elizabeth Crouch, MD, PhD (PSDP alumnus 2021, Assistant Professor, UCSF)

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