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Policy on Resident Research

Overview

  • Residents are provided an opportunity to participate in dedicated research after their PGY3 year.
  • Residents usually spend 2 years (1 year for plastic surgery residents, and occasionally 3 years)
    engaged in full time research.
  • The Department of Surgery Research Committee advises residents about selection of research
    training programs, including didactic training, monitors residents’ progress, and tracks the
    success of the training programs.

Selection of Training Program

Timelines

 

Timeframe

PGY Year

Activity

Description

Oversight

June

PGY1

Introduction to research

Research Committee Co-Chairs introduce research objectives and policies

In conjunction with program leadership, clinical advisors assigned

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Program Leadership

Fall

PGY1

Follow-up session with Research Committee Co-Chairs

Research Committee Co-Chairs outline detailed research preparation plan

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Ongoing

PGY1

Exploration of research interests

Residents meet regularly with clinical advisors to explore research interests.

Residents get involved in small research projects with the guidance and direction of clinical advisor and Research Commitee Co-Chairs.

Clinical advisor

Research Committee Co-Chairs

June 30

End of PGY1 year

Research pathway deadline

Residents finalize decision of Research Pathway

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Ongoing

PGY2-PGY3

Research involvement in early years

In collaboration with clinical and/or research advisor, residents prepare at least one clinical or research paper/abstract for submission each academic year. 

Clinical advisor

Summer

PGY2

Presentation of preliminary research plans

Residents present preliminary research plans to Research Committee, describing possible directions, research advisors being considered, and research pathway committment.

Clinical advisor

Research Committee

Fall

PGY2

Research Committee follow-up

Residents meet individually with Research Committee to discuss developing plans

Research Committee

December 31

PGY2

Research advisor deadline

Residents finalize research advisor(s)

 

Research Committee Co-Chairs

March 31

PGY2

Research project deadline

Residents finalize research project

Research Committee Co-Chairs

March

PGY2

Presentation of research plans

Residents present update to Research Committee, including finalized research advisor, project, and plans for preparing funding applications

Clinical/research advisors

Research Committee

April

PGY1-3

Research curriculum block

Research related didactic sessions, timed to occur around Resident Research Day:

Grant Writing Workshop

Basic Biostats

The Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Clinical Research Opportunities

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Program Leadership

Pam Derish

April-June

PGY2

Preparation for funding

Residents prepare funding applications

Research advisors

Pam Derish

Summer/Fall/Winter

PGY3

Research funding applications

Residents apply for research funding

Research advisors

Pam Derish

March

PGY3

Presentation of finalized research plans

Residents present finalized research plans and funding to Research Committee.

 

Clinical/Research advisors

Research Committee

Fall

Research Years

Check-ins with Research Committee Co-Chairs

Residents meet individually with Research Committee Co-Chairs to discuss research experience

Research Committee Co-Chairs

December

Research Years

Applicant Interviews

Residents present research during Applicant Interviews

Research Committee Co-Chairs

Research advisor 

Spring

Research Years

 Research Day

Residents submit abstracts and present their work during annual Resident Research Symposium.

 

Research advisor

Research Committee

 

Responsibilities Of Research Mentors

Research mentors are expected to: 

  • Maintain an active research program that provides a supportive environment for training residents in research.
  • Provide funding for the research program, which may include supporting the resident’s research activities and salary if extramural and departmental funds are unavailable for salary (see Policy of Resident Funding in Research).
  • Discuss with the resident at the beginning of the training program the criteria for a successful research experience, including goals and expectations, requirements to present at local, national and international meetings, and publications.
  • Devote adequate time to mentor and train the resident in research.
  • Provide resources (e.g. technical support) to ensure that the resident is trained in the practical aspects of research.
  • Assist the resident in applying for extramural funding.

Responsibilities Of Clinical Mentors

Clinical mentors are expected to:

  • Provide guidance about relating research training to the resident’s long-term clinical careers. During PGY1-3 years, clinical advisors will have primary responsibility in helping residents to explore research interests, getting them involved in small research projects, and providing resources and guidance in focusing research plans. 
  • Ensure that residents are successful in preparing at least one clinical or research paper/abstract manuscript for submission each academic year (starting with PGY2) leading up to their dedicated research time.

Responsibilities of Residents

Research residents are expected to:           

  • Commit to full time participation in the research training program.
  • Discuss with their research mentor at the beginning of the training program their plans for outside clinical activities (e.g. moonlighting).
  • Participate in other scholarly activities (e.g. projects with other laboratories) after discussion with their research mentor. 

Monitoring the Progress of Residents 

  • In collaboration with Research Committee Co-Chairs, Research Committee advisors will ensure that PGY1-3 residents are developing focused research plans and have made sufficient efforts to apply for and obtain funding. 
  • All residents are required to submit abstracts for Residents’ Research Day every year.

Formal Evaluations 

  • The Research Committee will formally evaluate residents’ presentations at Research
    Planning Meetings.
  • Research mentors are required to submit biannual performance reviews (in January and July each year) to the Education Office. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to apply for grants?

Yes, grant writing is an integral component of the training program. Grants should be written with guidance from the research mentor. The Department of Surgery Scientific Publications Office (Pamela Derish) provides guidance in scientific writing. The Department of Surgery Contracts and Grants Office provides guidance in the nuts-and-bolts of grant submission.

What happens if I don’t apply for grants?

You will not be allowed to participate in a research training program.

How many grants do I need to apply for?

Residents typically apply for multiple grants. Usually, the same application can be submitted to several agencies (although funding from only one agency is allowed – unless permitted by the funding agency (sometimes one grant will fund salary and another will fund research costs).

What happens if I am unsuccessful at obtaining grant funding?

You will be eligible to be considered for funding from the Department of Surgery or your research mentor. See Policy on Lab Selection and Funding.

Can I moonlight?

Yes, provided that this does not detract from your training program, which is your primary responsibility. Moonlighting must be discussed with your research advisor at the start of your training program.

What if I want to do something for which there is no grant funding available?

This is problematic and needs to be disucssed on an individual basis.

What if I want to obtain an additional degree?

This is possible at UCSF and elsewhere, but you will usually have to fund this activity yourself.

Will the department fund research at a different institution?

No. See Policy on Lab Selection and Funding

What do I do if I have problems – if I have selected the wrong research program or advisor, or if my research is going nowhere?

First, immediately contact the Research Committee Co-Chairs. If so desired, these discussions will be kept in the strictest confidence. The Research Committee can intercede on your behalf and help you and your research mentor negotiate suitable outcomes. Under exceptional circumstances, the Research Committee can reassign you to an alternative training program.

Revised 4/14/2020

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