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. Two years of research training are funded by the Program after the completion of the clinical fellowship years. 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-supported training. Exceptions are made for up to 10% clinical time for clinical exposure related to the research project when prior approval from the Program Director is sought prior to the time of the application.

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 Sick Kids Foundation (based in Toronto), and the March of Dimes.