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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 Weill Cornell Medicine (

Is clinical work allowed?

The PSDP stipulates that each fellow must dedicate 100% effort on the research project in the first two years of the program.

However, applicants may request up to 20% clinical time in years 1 and 2 & are allowed up to 20% clinical time in year 3. The clinical time does not need to be directly related to the PSDP research, yet justification must be given on how proposed clinical time will benefit research and career development as a physician-scientist.

What is the PSDP Application Deadline?

The application submission / receipt deadline is April 15, 2022.

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 Weill Cornell Medicine 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 during PSDP training. 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 20% clinical effort is requested and approved during the application process.

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 2020, while nine PSDP Fellows were selected in 2021. 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?

The first two years of PSDP training is funded by the PSDP. Fellows have an option of applying for a third year of PSDP training which is supported by the fellow’s sponsoring institution.

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 allows up to 20% clinical time request).

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.

During the third year of PSDP training, funding will come from the Fellow’s institution. The institution must be prepared to appoint the third-year scholar as a senior fellow, instructor (or equivalent faculty rank) and to protect the Scholar for at least 80% time in research.

Note:  The PSDP will need to submit a renewal for the K12 grant.  Sponsoring institution must be prepared to fund Scholar’s PSDP Year 2 (salary, fringe benefits, and research supplies/travel) in the event the PSDP K12 grant is not renewed.

What is the cycle of your NIH funding?

Our K12 NICHD grant is being renewed for July 2023. PSDP Scholar Awards are contingent on the proposal being renewed.

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