Pathologist Investigator Residency / Research Training Program - PIRRT Phase II Application

For accepted PIRRT trainees seeking approval for research time. Materials should be sent to:

Department of Pathology
Residency Program Office
Scaife Hall Suite A711
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Or electronically to: Patricia Zrimsek

For the initial 12 month full time PIRRT research fellowship (generally taken after the first full year of residency training as a leave of absence from clinical training):

Please provide the following materials by January 15 of the year of the proposed PIRRT research fellowship year (July-June).

  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
  • 1-2 page statement of the goals of the proposed research period and plans for the transition to independence
  • Letter of support from proposed mentor indicating commitment to mentoring you and a training plan (see below) for helping you achieve independence, and indicating support for your participation in the Physician-Scientist Grantsmanship course offered Weds 2-4 pm in July-August, unless you have already completed a similar course
  • Mentor's NIH biosketch and training record

For additional Research Electives integrated with ACGME residency training: Please provide the following materials by February 28 for electives requested during the next July-June period.

  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
  • 1-2 page statement of the goals of the proposed research period and plans for the transition to independence
  • Progress report to include summaries from the 6 month PIRRT advisory committee meetings with committee and research mentor endorsement of the new integrated research and clinical training plan

Lab Selection

Funded PIRRT trainees will work in a laboratory of an independently funded faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. Trainees are encouraged to investigate scientists with a primary appointment in Pathology to serve as either mentor or co-mentor. Upon selecting a laboratory, the applicant and mentor(s) should work together to construct the training/mentoring plan. The training plan should detail how the mentor(s) will foster the applicant's development as an independent investigator with emphasis on integrating a clinical and research career. The mentor should explicitly state the level of their commitment towards imparting skills and assistance with the transition to independence, beyond simply training in techniques and approaches. This should include the frequency and types of contact that will continue to occur after the trainee has finished the formal research year. The PIRRT year is part of a continuum of training and mentors are expected to contribute to planning and evaluation of long-term career goals of the applicant including the negotiation for start-up packages, and not just confine themselves to getting a free post-doc for a year. Mentors without clinical responsibilities are encouraged to have co-mentors who integrate research and clinical careers.

Training Plan

  • Describe the career development plan incorporating consideration of the candidate's goals and prior experience. A systematic plan should be presented for obtaining the necessary biomedical science background and research experience to launch an independent research career.
  • Include information on research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor. The applications must also include information to describe the nature of the supervision that will occur during the proposed award period, and plans to promote professional service, networking, and collaborative skills.
  • Include a statement of commitment from the mentor detailing tentative plans to assist PIRRT fellow in balancing demands of clinical training with elective research time during remainder of fellow’s residency training. One of the criteria for evaluation is the level of communication and concordance between the applicant and the mentor in achieving goals for mutual benefit.
  • Similar information must be provided by any co-mentor. If more than one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility should be described.