Skip to main content

The School of Medicine is soliciting the third round of applications for the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP)– a  training initiative to support career development of Physician Scientist trainees near their transition to faculty positions.

This program, supported by the SOM Strategic Plan, supports physician scientists at two stages: resident/fellowship level and early stage faculty level. The program partners with trainees’ home departments and provides funding to support research efforts of the trainees (Resident/Fellow Award -$ 35,000/year and Faculty Award -$ 55,000/year salary support + $ 25,000/year project support). Additionally, trainees enter a career development training program with peer level physician scientists across multiple clinical disciplines. Each awarded trainee will receive two years of support from the program.

The program is seeking nomination of eligible applicants from the UNC Clinical Departments for awards with support to begin for the 2024-2025 academic year (July 1, 2024). Each department may nominate up to two candidates for each award.

Eligibility Criteria:

For all SOM PSTP trainee applicants:

  • Trainees must have an M.D. or equivalent degree and be licensed or qualified to become licensed to practice medicine in the state of N.C.
  • Trainees must have commitment from the applicant’s Department to provide at least 50% protected time for research and fund difference between SOM PSTP funds and actual stipend/salary.
  • Trainees must have Scientific mentor and project plan in place.

For SOM PSTP Resident/Fellow Award applicants:

  • Resident/Fellow Award applicants may be clinical trainees (GME residents, or GME or non-GME clinical fellowship trainees with specialty training program that allows for protected research time during the award period) or postdoctoral fellows/clinical instructors (with a clinical degree and completion of clinical training program in an American Board of Medical Specialties discipline) at the time of application.

For SOM PSTP Faculty Award applicants:

  • Faculty Award applicants must be currently at UNC or committed to start at UNC as an Assistant Professor at the start of the funding period.
  • Faculty Award applicants will have held a faculty position (Clinical Instructor or Assistant Professor) for less than two years, although exceptions for physician applicants with longer times as a faculty member can be considered by the review committee.
  • If the Faculty Award applicant is in an Instructor position at the time of application, the home Department Chair must be committed to opening an Assistant Professor position focused on research area specific to the trainee’s interest by the end of their term of support.

UNC SOM PSTP is a committed to supporting diversity within the physician scientist workforce including support of women and members of groups historically underrepresented within the physician scientist community. Departments are encouraged to nominate candidates from these groups for consideration.

Individuals interested in applying for this award should consult with their Department Chair or Vice Chair for Research to learn about their department’s specific procedure for determining its nominees.

Questions about potential nominee eligibility can be directed to Alex Duncan, Director of the SOM Physician Scientist Training Program.

Application details (Due March 5, 2024): Completed applications should contain the following elements (A-C) combined as a single PDF and should be emailed from applicant’s Department Chair or designated representative to Andrew Mara-Williams and copy  Alex Duncan, Director of the SOM Physician Scientist Training Program.

  1. Proposal (Resident/Fellow applications should be no longer than 3 pages, Faculty applications should be no longer than 4 pages – not including references) :
    • Specific aims – (1 page maximum) outlining the project conceptually
    • Background and significance – covering literature in the field and preliminary data (if the candidate has preliminary data the proposal should indicate in the text or figure legends whether data was generated by others in the mentor’s lab or data generated by the applicant) that support the approach.
    • Approach – covering details of research plan
    • Training Plan – (1/2 page maximum) – describe what training has been done and what is the current status of the applicant (GME trainee, postdoc/Instructor, Assistant Prof.), what remaining clinical and/or scientific training will be undertaken during the award and any additional training the applicant will seek after participating in the Physician Scientist Training Program.

2. NIH style Biosketch

        3. Letters of Support

    • Letter from the candidate’s mentor who will supervise the research training while in the physician Scientist Training Program.
    • Letter from the candidate’s chair – indicating support for 50% protected time and paying difference between PSTP funds and full stipend/salary, description of the chair’s commitment to candidate as a future faculty member in the department, statement of any other departmental resources committed to candidate (start up money, lab space, support for trainee working under applicant via departmental T32, etc.)
    • Letter of support from previous mentor or other scientist familiar with the candidates accomplishments and promise as a future independent investigator.