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Career Development Pathways for Early-Stage Investigators

August 12, 2022
by Elisabeth Reitman

Yale offers degree-granting programs, funding mechanisms, and advanced research training for aspiring physician-scientists.

There are multiple pathways for advanced research training in cardiovascular medicine. These include dedicated funding by three institutional training grants (T32), focused on bench research, multi-modality molecular and translational cardiovascular imaging, and implementation science.

Also, the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation offers a number of funding mechanisms that support physician-scientist trainees, including The Yale International Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award which will provide an opportunity to recruit a research-oriented resident or fellow who is not eligible for T32 funding due to citizenship requirements. In addition, partnership with the Yale School of Medicine offers Cardiovascular Medicine trainees access to degree-granting programs such as a Master of Health Science (MHS) program prepares fellows and junior faculty for careers in academic medicine while also pursuing general cardiac and subspecialty training, the Yale School of Medicine Janeway Society, and even PhD degrees through the Yale Investigative Medicine Program.

Degree-Granting Programs

Yale Investigative Medicine Program

The Yale Investigative Medicine Program is a training program in clinical investigation that leads to a PhD degree from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A recorded information session for prospective applicants is available online.

The graduate program was created in 1999 at the Yale School of Medicine to address the need for formal training in clinical research. Graduate students develop a broad knowledge base and the hands-on experience demanded of clinical researchers devoted to either laboratory-based or clinically based patient-oriented investigation. Edward J. Miller, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and vice chief of cardiovascular medicine education, graduated from the program in 2008.

Master of Health Science (MHS) Program

Participants enrolled in this program will earn a Master of Health Science (MHS) degree in two years. Students complete required coursework focused on clinical, translational research and medical informatics. The specific courses taken by each fellow can be tailored to that individual's background, interests, and career plans. Past participants include Cesia Gallegos Kattan, MD, MHS, an assistant professor, as well as current fellows Drs. Alaa Alashi, Inga Melvinsdottir, and Jacob Cleman. The program provides research, professional development, and networking opportunities with other academic cardiologists and served as a springboard for future opportunities.

“The MHS program is a time commitment, but this opportunity not only helps you build your research opportunities, but it also opens the doors to make connections with people at other institutions. If that's your goal, it's truly a fantastic program” she added. “It was definitely an important step for me to be accepted into the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Leadership Development Program,” Gallegos Kattan said.

The program has four unique pathways:

  • Clinical
  • Laboratory/Translational
  • Medical Informatics
  • Medical Education

Scholar Programs

National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP)

The Yale National Clinician Scholars Program has been active four over four decades. The program is an educational partnership with the Veterans Health Administration that identifies, nurtures, and strengthens clinician leaders. Scholars develop analytical and leadership skills to positively impact communities. Recent alumni include Elliott Miller, MD, MH, assistant professor and medical director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Erica Spatz, MD, MHS, and Eric J. Brandt, MD, a former trainee, now at the University of Michigan.

Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) Junior Faculty Scholars

Launched in 2006, the YCCI Junior Faculty Scholars Program develops the next generation of translational researchers. Previous scholars have successful careers in clinical and translational research in the section:

YCCI Junior Faculty Scholars have received over $557 million in independent research funding. In 2009, YCCI launched the Master of Health Science Research Program for junior faculty Scholars, followed by a research support fund sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for full-time faculty and early-career physician-scientists who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, YCCI offers robust training courses for faculty and clinical research support staff in biostatistics, how to write a career development grant, and other topics. In the past decade, over 20 clinical cardiology fellows have received T32 training.



Additional Opportunities for Physician-Scientist Development

American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Physician-Scientist Research Pathway with the Yale Internal Medicine Traditional Residency Program

The ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway is a three-year training program designed for physician-scientists involved in basic science, clinical, and translational science. This pathway, led by Dr. Charles Dela Cruz, begins with application to the PSTP program as part of an application to the Yale Traditional Internal Medicine Residency. Trainees that match for PSTP training focused on cardiovascular medicine complete two years of internal medicine training before a minimum of two years of clinical cardiology training and three years of cardiovascular-disease focused research.

Yale Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award

The primary goal of these awards is to provide trainees with a one year long immersive experience in research while still completing their medical training. This program will provide awardees with 75% effort for research while 25% effort will continue to be devoted to clinical training. Applicants will be eligible to request funds for salary and fringe, research support and travel up to $100,000 for one year. Applicants must have a MD or MD and PhD and must be currently completing their medical training as a resident or fellow at Yale School of Medicine or Yale New Haven Hospital. Applicants should be interested in pursuing a career as a Physician-Scientist with a focus in basic research, translational research, clinical research, or community-based research.

Yale Physician-Scientist Development Awards

Yale School of Medicine’s Office of Physician-Scientist and Scientist Development seeks to address the practical challenges encountered at different career stages, to create community and mentorship that spans all phases of training, to ensure protected time and research support, and to foster collaborations that will drive future discoveries.

The Yale Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award, now the Yale International Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award, announced a request for applications for the Yale International Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award through the Office of Physician-Scientist and Scientist Development (OPSSD). The award will provide an opportunity to recruit a research-oriented resident or fellow who is not eligible for T32 funding due to citizenship requirements. Eligible candidates may not be a U.S. Citizen or Permeant Resident and the fellowship or residency program must not have other funding for the individual’s salary during the research years of their residency or fellowship. The award will provide up to two years of PGY-level equivalent salary for fellows or residents to support post-doctoral research training during or directly following residency or fellowship.

Fellowship and Residency programs that have a potential candidate for the Yale International Physician-Scientist Resident and Fellow Research Award would invite the potential candidates to go through their normal application process and if the program would like to offer the potential candidate a position an application would be submitted to OPSSD and after review but prior to the match deadline the program would be notified if their candidate would receive the award.

Candidates that are interested in pursuing a career as a Physician-Scientist with a focus in basic research, translational research, clinical research, or community-based research are eligible for support. Applications will be reviewed based on the candidate, program track record and the needs of the program.

Past recipients include John Stendahl, MD, PhD.


Faculty in the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine have launched their research careers with funding from the National Institutes of Health, American College of Cardiology, and other professional institutions.

The Office of Academic and Professional Development (OAPD) is committed to helping faculty at Yale School of Medicine thrive in their research, educational, and clinical careers. For more information, visit medicine.yale.edu/oapd.

Submitted by Elisabeth Reitman on August 12, 2022