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Research Training and Scholarship

Our fellowship program is aimed at preparing trainees for careers as independent investigators, thus fellows spend a minimum of two years in research activities, and often extend their research training to three years. This extension provides fellows with additional time for course work, and, more importantly, allows them to undertake more challenging research projects. It is our perspective that the acquisition of high- quality research skills is fundamental to a viable long-term career in academic medicine. The core of the trainee research experience is the pursuit of a specific project under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty. The Yale University School of Medicine is unique in having a large group of outstanding investigators who are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in a broad range of biomedical disciplines relevant to nephrology and hypertension. Specifically, the program includes faculty with expertise in developmental biology, molecular genetics, cell biology and experimental pathology, cellular and molecular physiology and encompasses state of the art technology and approaches. The overall emphasis of the program is on research of the highest quality, regardless of the specific focus.

It is the philosophy of the program that preceptors should be chosen by trainees rather than assigned. To this end, each fellow is provided with extensive information, advice and time to make a careful and deliberate selection of preceptor and project. During the first six months of fellowship, each trainee will have many opportunities to meet with the faculty whose research programs are of possible interest to them, and may spend 7-10 days in their laboratories, prior to choosing a preceptor. Each fellow will choose a preceptor with the advice and approval of the program director. The research training begins during the second semester of the first fellowship year. To ensure progress towards a successful career as a physician-scientist, a Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) is established for each fellow, as recommended by the American Board of Pediatrics.

A training grant from the National Institutes of Health can provide salary support for U.S. citizens or individuals holding permanent residency in the United States who are pursuing basic research during their fellowship. Potential research mentors in adult and pediatric nephrology for basic research include:

Examples of mentors from outside of nephrology include Michael Caplan, Richard Flavell, Ruslan Medzhitov, Jordan Pober and Bill Sessa.

All trainees will give oral presentations at least yearly as part of a monthly Nephrology Research Conference. In addition, each fellow attends departmental Child Health Research Seminars weekly, and fellows are encouraged to attend research seminars relevant to nephrology in the Departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Cell Biology, Pathology, Molecular Immunology and Human Genetics.

There is also the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees (MSc, MEd, PhD) which can be arranged on an individual basis.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

We encourage our fellows to be involved in a variety of activities during their training:
  • Writing of case reports
  • Co-authoring of chapters or review articles with faculty members
  • Submission of interesting patient cases to national forums (Pediatric Academic Societies, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, American Society of Nephrology, Eastern Society for Pediatric Research, Annual Dialysis Conference)
  • Committee involvement (Quality and Safety, Graduate Medical Education)
  • Teaching via didactics to a variety of audiences (residents, medical students, PA students)
  • Attendance at regional and national conferences
  • Involvement in a quality improvement projects
  • Participation in the peer-review process