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This FAQ list is for information purposes only and is not intended to address every contingency. If you do not see your question answered below, have extraordinary circumstances, or would like additional details, please call or email PSDP Administration.

What Do I Have To Do To Apply For The PSDP?

The first step is to complete an eligibility form.  Please review the Applying section of this website for more details. If you are found eligible, the PSDP Administrator will send you an application packet with instructions.  If you would like to request a paper copy of the eligibility form, please contact the PSDP Administrative Office at Duke University Medical Center (919-660-3192 or

What is the PSDP Application Deadline?

The application submission / receipt deadline is March 10 of each year, no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. If March 10 is on a weekend day, then the deadline will be extended to 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on the following Monday.

Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the completed application and all supporting documentation is received by the PSDP Administrative Office at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center before the deadline.

My Application For Permanent Residency Is Pending. May I Apply For A PSDP Award?

Yes. However, at the time of award, candidates for the NIH funded PSDP slots must be citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States of America so funding can be issued. A smaller number of non-NIH funded slots, when available, are open to non-U.S. citizens

Are Non-U.S. Citizens Eligible For A PSDP Award?

Yes. However, the NIH funded PSDP slots of the award are only available for citizens or lawful permanent residents of the USA. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. A smaller number of non-NIH funded slots, when available, are open to non-U.S. citizens.

Will I Be At A Disadvantage Coming From A Department/Division Where Another Candidate Plans To Apply To The PSDP?

No. All applications will be judged first on their merit. Given the high quality of applicants that we receive, successful applicants from all departments/divisions/schools will need to exhibit extraordinary capabilities, research questions and potential.

Is this just for MDs? Can PhDs apply?

Anyone with a DO, MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent degree (e.g. MBBS) may submit an Eligibility Form. PhDs without an MD are not eligible to apply.

Since its inception, the PSDP has sought to broaden the cadre of research-trained pediatricians and so gives priority to those in a first-time research experience who do not have the PhD.

Individuals who have the MD/PhD degree who are found eligible for the PSDP are welcome to apply, but are advised that the process is extremely competitive. PSDP aims that no more than 25% of funded positions each year are awarded to those with the MD/PhD degree. For MD/PhD applicants, the PSDP Selection Committee has typically given preference to those whose PSDP project was in a new area, outside the research area of the PhD.

Is prior research experience a prerequisite for eligibility?

Not at all; the PSDP especially encourages applications from pediatric residents without previous research experience.

Can the research time be broken up?

No. Awardees are expected to have uninterrupted research time for two consecutive years. Special arrangements are made for family medical leave.

What is the percent of effort required on the project?

 Each Fellow must spend 100 percent effort on the research project in the first two years of the PSDP, unless up to 10% clinical effort is requested and approved in  the application process.

Is clinical work allowed?

The PSDP stipulates that each fellow must dedicate 100 percent effort on the research project in the first two years of the program. If conducting your research project requires patient contact, you may include a request for up to 10% clinical time in your research proposal (for enrolling, collecting specimens, interviews, etc.).

PSDP fellows who receive a third year of funding may request up to 15% of their time for clinical work.

The application requires a letter from my nominating chair. Who is the nominating chair?

The nominating chair is the chair of the Department of Pediatrics from which you apply to the PSDP as a resident or as a first year fellow, depending on your area of specialty. The nominating chair is NOT your fellowship director.

The application requires a letter from my sponsoring chair. Who is the sponsoring chair?

The sponsoring chair is the chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the institution where you will complete your fellowship, which will include your PSDP-supported research. In some cases, the nominating and sponsoring chairs are the same person. In that case, you only need to submit one letter. When you contact the PSDP Program Office with your Eligibility Form, we can help you to identify nominating and sponsoring chairs.

How many PSDP first-year funded positions do you have each year?

Five to six PSDP Fellows were selected in 2017 through 2019. The exact number of PSDP Fellows will vary from year to year depending on a number of factors, including the amount and duration of support from non-NIH funding sources.

I applied for the PSDP, but I did not receive funding. May I re-apply?

No. Unfortunately, the program rules do not permit re-applying.

What is the duration of support for the PSDP?

PSDP Fellows are supported for a minimum of two and a maximum of three years. However, renewal of funding is contingent upon successful annual progress reports. A third year of continued funding for existing projects is potentially available through a competitive application process in the autumn of the second PSDP year.

Is moonlighting allowed?

No, moonlighting is considered clinical work, distracts individuals from the research program, and is prohibited.

What are the salary and budget limits of PSDP-supported awards?

PDSP policy requires Fellows to devote 100 percent effort to research and research-related activities during both years of the PSDP award, unless otherwise requested and approved in the application. PSDP provides up to $75,000 salary in year one and $80,000 salary in year two (plus 15% fringe benefits) and up to $24,750 for supplies and research-related expenses each year.

A third year of mentorship is awarded by a separate competitive application process to those candidates attaining satisfactory progress during the first 18 months. Funding for the third year will come from the sponsoring institution, not the PSDP. The institution must be prepared to appoint the third-year scholar as an instructor (or equivalent faculty rank), to protect the Scholar for 85% time in research, and to pay salary and fringe benefits consonant with the rank of instructor at the sponsoring institution.

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