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Research in GI fellowship

First year research

First years have a one-month block in February to identify an area of academic interest, choose a research mentor, initiate preliminary research activity (present the background of the proposed research and generate specific hypotheses) and identify a Scholarship Oversight Committee.

Second and third year research

Our program trains academic gastroenterologists. The research experience of the pediatric GI training program at UNC Chapel Hill is designed to teach the fundamentals to pursue a career in academic medicine after graduation. The pediatric GI residents may choose a clinical, translational or basic science research project.

Second and third year subspecialty residents have 18 months of fully protected time without other duties (except for half a day continuity clinic and attendance to didactic sessions) to devote to their scholarly endeavor. Our fellows acquire the necessary skills through a combination of mentoring, tutorial teaching, course work, on-line tools, conferences and seminars.

UNC Chapel Hill offers virtually limitless opportunities for scholarly training. Our fellows may choose a mentor within the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology or outside the Division, depending on career interests. Nonetheless, the Program Director closely monitors the resident’s experience, from choosing a mentor, a research environment, and ensuring appropriate support for the pediatric GI resident.

A substantive scholarly product is required to graduate from the program. Examples include:

  • A peer-reviewed publication in which the fellow played a substantial role
  • An in-depth manuscript describing a completed project
  • A thesis or dissertation written in connection with the pursuit of an advanced degree (e.g. MPH, Masters in Clinical Research)
  • A progress report for projects of exceptional complexity, such as a multi-year clinical trial

With help from a mentor, the second year fellow writes a research protocol, submits it for scientific review, addresses the comments; submits the protocol for IRB review or Animal Care Committee review and address contingencies, with the goal of having the protocol approved by the appropriate regulatory body in the first three months of the research experience. The fellow learns appropriate lab techniques, data collection and analysis, and statistical methodology to complete the project. Scientific language writing and grant writing is also taught.

At the end of the third year, the fellow is competent in all areas of scholarly research.