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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a research fellow?
If you are a physician also interested in clinical training in critical care medicine, the best approach is to apply to one of our clinical fellowships. You can then apply to the research fellowship during the first year of your clinical fellowship. If you are only interested in research training, either because you’ve already completed a clinical fellowship or you are not a clinician, simply fill out our on-line application.

How long does the research fellowship last?
In order to maximize your chances for academic success we require two years of research training. Many fellows decide to stay for a third year of research training in order to become even more competitive for federal grants and other research funding opportunities.

Can research training overlap with clinical training?
That depends on the duration of your clinical training. Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine fellows require two years of clinical training. In those cases, the second year of clinical training could coincide with the first year of research training, and the second year of research training would come after you have completed clinical training. Thus the total duration of your fellowship would be 3-4 years. For Surgery, Anesthesiology and Neurology fellows, there is only one year of clinical training. In those cases, research training would follow clinical training and there would be no overlap. The total duration of fellowship training would still be 3-4 years.

What if I only have time for one year of research training?
We do not offer one year research fellowships. In special circumstances, we do allow highly qualified individuals to do one-year periods of supervised work in our department as visiting scholars. Interested individuals should identify a mentor from our list of research faculty and contact them directly to determine what opportunities are available.


Can I get a Masters degree?
Research fellows are encouraged to obtain advanced degrees. After acceptance into the program we will work with you to develop career development plan that includes didactic education and apply for the relevant degree program. The most popular program is the School of Medicine’s Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE). ICRE has a separate application process and deadline. Please check their website for more information, although we will help facilitate this process once you are accepted into our program.


How is the research fellowship funded?
US citizens or permanent residents with doctoral degrees (MD or PhD) can be funded through one of our National Research Service Awards (T32) from the National Institutes of Health. These awards provide fellows with a stipend for living expenses as well as financial support for travel, research and tuition. Individuals not eligible for the T32 and not enrolled in our clinical fellowship must provide their own funding.


How much does it cost to live in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is an extremely affordable, livable city. Typically, the cost of living to cover rent, food and personal transportation for one adult is $15,000 annually. In addition, most research fellows 8-12 credits of coursework each semester. The estimated cost of education credits is $400 per credit hour. Thus research fellows providing their own funding through the support of their home country or hospital should expect to spend around $25,000 per year. Additional information about living in Pittsburgh is available from the University's Office of Academic Career Development.