Pediatric Scientist Development Program

PedSDP group

Mission

Our mission is to develop pediatrician-scientists through an individualized six-year program that combines residency and fellowship. Our trainees embody excellence in care, inquiry, and leadership.

Who Should Apply?

We are looking for candidates who possess a proven track record of interest and skill in discovery in a broad set of scientific disciplines - MD, PhD graduates as well as others with significant research experience in clinical basic science.

Curriculum

The curriculum for the Pediatric Scientist Residency Program track is focused on mentoring, educational conferences, and development of the resident's skills. 

A key component of the PedSDP is a longitudinal curriculum that is designed to facilitate mentoring experiences, integrate scientific management topics and develop individual leadership skills. These goals will be accomplished through:

Mentoring Development

  • Mentoring begins in Intern year with Bridges Mentoring Program
  • Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) forms early in residency; SOC can change composition over time
  • Program Directors attend a ex officio
  • Leadership Academy beginning in 3rd year

Teaching Conferences

  • Monthly seminars with focus on career development and introduction to NIH
  • Molecular Medicine seminars feature cutting edge basic research (choose 1 to attend each month)
  • United Fellows Course (UFC) includes responsible conduct of research, statistical analysis, intro to IRB
  • Access to Postdoc Career Club seminars and presentations 
  • Each year of program ends with PedSDP focused retreat for trainees in all PGYs

Milestones

  • Deliverables are flexible but serious goals
    • Scholarly work product (review or case report) in 2nd to 3rd year of residency 
    • Compete for T32 within first years of Fellowship
    • First author scholarly work product before last year of fellowship
    • Development of award application in last year of fellowship
  • Focus on writing and publishing frequently 
  • Travel funds for meeting attendance 
  • Integration into Department of Medicine NRSA writing course

Program Training 

The PedSDP is a flexible track providing key experiences in mentoring, administrative fundamentals, and leadership development. Candidates can pursue an Integrated (IRP) or Accelerated Research Pathway (ARP) to provide more research time during residency (IRP) or fellowship (ARP). Preferential fellowship acceptance at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC programs is provided with extra training opportunities beginning in the intern year.

Integrated Research Pathway

  • Residents enter IRP
    • 36 months of residency training (39 blocks)
    • 3 dedicated blocks in Resident 1 (can be contiguous or distributed)
    • 6 dedicated blocks in Resident 2 (should be contiguous, most likely with identified mentor/SOC member)

Accelerated Research Pathway

  • Residents enter ARP
    • 24 months of residency training
    • 4 years of fellowship training (with 12 extra months of research integrated)

Program Leadership

Learn more about Pediatric Scientist Development Program Directors, Committee, and Administration

Contact Information

Andy Nowalk, MD, PhD
Andrew.Nowalk@chp.edu

Jackie Ho, MD
jacqueline.ho2@chp.edu

Jessica Brown, MBA, MM
Jessica.brown8@chp.edu