The PSDP provides a training environment in which talented young pediatricians address central problems in child health with the most current scientific tools. Ultimately, these pediatric scientists, dedicated to continuing careers in basic, translational, and clinical research, will translate research advances to improvements in clinical care for children. The PSDP also provides career development support for pediatricians committed to careers in academic medicine.
The PSDP is an intense postdoctoral experience in basic, translational, or clinical research training. Fellows conduct research in eminent laboratories in Canada and the USA. After completion of the clinical fellowship years, the first year of PSDP research training is funded by the Scholar’s sponsoring institution. The last two years of PSDP research training are funded by the Program. A sponsoring pediatric department supports the clinical fellowship apart from the circumstances described below. No patient care or clinical duties are allowed during the first two years of PSDP training unless requested at the time of application and approved by the Program Director prior to the PSDP training.
Applicants may request up to 10% clinical time in years 1 and 2, and allow up to 15% clinical time in year 3. Specifically, the 10% in years 1 and 2, should be designed around enhancing your research training, not just serving the clinical needs of your division and should have minimal impact on your protected research time. Justification must be given on how proposed clinical time will benefit research and career development as a physician-scientist.
The PSDP is sponsored by The Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC). In a unique collaborative arrangement, the program is funded by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and numerous private agencies and foundations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Pediatric Society, the March of Dimes, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Weill Cornell Medicine.
The PSDP provides three years of training for pediatricians with an MD, DO or MD/PhD degree who will devote themselves to academic careers with a strong research component. Candidates must be nominated for the PSDP by the Chair of the department in which their residency training is being completed (nominating chair). The Chair of the department into which the candidate has been accepted for clinical fellowship training must also contribute a letter of support (sponsoring chair) affirming the candidate’s first year of PSDP training will be funded by the sponsoring institution as well as affirm the candidate will have no clinical or patient care responsibilities for the first two years of PSDP training.
In most cases, PSDP training will take place at the sponsoring institution. Ideally, trainees will be mentored by senior investigators in basic science departments, epidemiologists, statisticians, or health policy experts. The PSDP requires that the first two years of research training be devoted to full-time work in the laboratory, uninterrupted by clinical or patient care duties. Note: Moonlighting is considered clinical work, detracts from the research program, and is strictly prohibited. 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. Clinical activities (numbers of days rounding, call nights, clinics) will be tracked while on the PSDP fellowship in order to ensure that it stays below the approved 10% allotment.
PSDP trainees will pursue the following career path:
- One year of clinical fellowship training in a sub-specialty area that will lead to sub-board eligibility. This training will be funded by the Fellow’s sponsoring department. Subspecialty programs, such as cardiology, critical care, emergency medicine, and neonatology, may cause fellows to extend their clinical training requirements to 18-24 months. In such cases, more than one year of clinical fellowship training may be required (see additional details in “Applying” section).
- PSDP Year 1: The first year of PSDP research training will be supported by the Fellow’s institution.
- PSDP Years 2-3: Two years of PSDP-supported research training, typically in a laboratory outside the sponsoring department of pediatrics, in a field applicable to a pediatric subspecialty. These are the only years of training funded by the PSDP.
- To facilitate the fellow-to-faculty transition, PSDP Scholars in their third year of NICHD-funded research will be promoted to instructors or equivalent rank, or assistant professor at a salary of at least $86,000. Fifteen percent clinical time is allowed during this third year of the PSDP program. Third-year PSDP Scholars attend the national meeting of the PSDP and receive all other benefits (e.g. career mentoring) of the PSDP program. Effective for 2022 applying candidates and beyond, PSDP Scholars can take the fellowship award with them to a different institution during their third year of PSDP training, if they choose to accept a faculty position outside of their home intuition.
Funding for the first year will come from the sponsoring institution, not the PSDP. The institution must be prepared to provide at least 90% protected research time for the PSDP Scholar during their first year of PSDP training, pay salary and fringe benefits commensurate with the rank of fellow at the sponsoring institution, and cover the fellow’s research supplies and travel costs to the annual PSDP meeting.
Salary $82,000 plus 15% fringe benefits and $25,00 for research supplies and related travel.
Salary $86,000 plus 15% fringe benefits and $25,000 for research supplies and related travel.
The institution must be prepared to appoint the third-year scholar as an instructor or equivalent faculty rank, or assistant professor and to protect the Scholar for 85% time in research.
The Facilities and Administration (F&A) cost rate for each year is 8%. There can be no re-budgeting of dollars among the salary, benefits, or supply/travel categories, nor can unexpended dollars in any category be carried over from year to year.