Dr. Brad Gaynes, M.D., Director of The Research Training Program

The Research Training Program is designed to provide progressive and intensive research training and experience to residents, in preparation for an academic career. The General Psychiatry Residency Curriculum emphasizes established and evolving knowledge relevant to the practice of psychiatric medicine, application of this knowledge to patient care, critical analysis of psychiatric literature and scientific evidence, and issues relevant to career develop­ment. The Research Training Program provides an in-depth opportunity for didactic and experiential training in research methodology and academic career development.

Training opportunities are available in a wide range of clinical and neuroscientific disci­plines, including descriptive phenomenology, epidemiology, clinical psychopharmacol­ogy, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, epidemiologic and molecular genetics, behavioral and molecular pharmacology, molecular and developmental neurobiology. A wide array of world-class resources, facilities, and faculty are available to support research within UNC and affiliated programs, and to provide extensive training opportunities.


Residency Research: Track of the General Psychiatry Residency Curriculum

  • PGY 1 residents interested in an academic career may apply for the Research Training Program within the General Psychiatry Residency Curriculum.
  • PGY 2 res­idents selected for the Research Training Program will spend one day per week devoted to research and research training, matched with a mentor or preceptor based on the inter­ests, level of experience, and motivation of the trainee. The program includes participation and implementation of research protocols on clinical service rotations, development of an independent research project, or laboratory-based training experience. Didactic activities could include directed readings and tutorials, supervisory meetings with their research mentor, and participation in lab meetings.
  • PGY 3 residents spend a minimum of ½ day per week devoted to research activities as outlined in PGY 2. In addition, they can elect to serve as research psychia­trist at the North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center (NCPRC) focused on clinical trials in schizophrenia. Other clinical research options include rotations through the Early Psychosis Research Program at the Outreach and Support Intervention Service (OASIS) Clinic, the Schizophrenia Research Program at the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP) Clinic, the Autism Research Program, the Women’s Mood Disorders Research Program, and the Eating Disorders Research Program, among others.
  • PGY 4 residents in the Research Training Program can devote their elective time to research and research training and continue work with their mentor on a research project. In addition, they receive instruction in scientific scholarship, writing for profes­sional journals, and fundraising and grantsmanship.
  • Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows: In addition to mentoring psychiatry residents on the research track, faculty currently provide research training to 12 post-doctoral research trainees within the Department, and more than 30 postdoctoral trainees outside of the Department, including fellows and faculty from other departments in the School of Medicine, other schools within the University, and other universities. Over the last five years, faculty have provided research training to over 150 MD- or PhD-trained scientists.