Research and Scholarly Activities

All Internal Medicine residents conduct some form of research during their UPMC residency. There are research opportunities in all of our departments, and they cover the spectrum: basic science, clinical/translational, quality improvement, medical humanities, and medical education. In addition, our program is structured so that it meets the academic needs of residents who want a career in research—and those who want to pursue other related paths.

An NIH-Funding Powerhouse

UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the five other Schools of the Health Sciences have combined their clinical excellence and research acumen to create one of the nation’s largest and most respected academic medical centers. Our belief that research is fundamental to human health and health care has transformed UPMC and Pitt into top recipients of federal research dollars. Our School of Medicine is the nation’s fifth-largest university recipient of NIH funding; our Department of Medicine is the 7th largest recipient among the all of the nation’s Departments of Medicine.

Our world-class scientists and clinicians engage in a broad range of disciplines: structural biology, drug discovery and design, immunology, neuroscience, organ and tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, cancer diagnostics, bioinformatics and computational biology, gene therapy, personalized medicine, and medical device development. In addition, we are nationally recognized leaders in clinical and translational research in nearly every subspecialty field. Our program encourages residents to take advantage of our institution’s superb faculty and technological resources.

Research Tracks and LEAD Program

The residency’s research component is structured to help each resident design a meaningful and academically rewarding research project. Residents can choose between two routes, both of which offer multiple opportunities. For residents with a stronger interest in research, there are three options: the Clinical Scientist Track, the ABIM Research pathway or the International Scholars Track. Participants in any of those three tracks will receive specific guidance on their research requirements.

All other residents will be part of  the Leadership and Discovery (LEAD) Program, which was developed to ensure all residents become involved and productive in research during residency.

Leadership and Discovery Program (LEAD)

The LEAD program was implemented in 2012 in response to residents requesting the development of a structured curriculum to teach them the skills needed to design and implement their own academic projects. LEAD is a formalized, three-year program to develop residents’ research and critical appraisal skills, and to support self-directed scholarship in a wide variety of scholarly pathways. Specifically, there are five LEAD concentrations: basic or clinical research, quality improvement, medical education, and medical humanities. Residents are expected, by the end of their third year of training, to present their project at a local, regional, or national meeting or in a peer-reviewed journal. Click here to read more about the LEAD program.

Research Pathways

For residents with a stronger interest in research, there are two research pathways available.

No Worries: Finding a Research Mentor, Project is Easy

We have designed a streamlined process to help you find mentors in your area of interest.

Available resources include:

  • Each Department has a Faculty Research Point Person. Email him or her.
  • Research Interest Groups (RIG) – a monthly journal club discussing novel research topics; specialized seminars on managing a mentor, grant writing and more; and opportunities for peer mentoring for those new to the research world

Additional Resources:

  • Funds and coverage are provided for all three years to allow residents to present their research at local, national and international conferences
  • If statistical analysis confounds you, fear not: our Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) will provide up to 10 hours of statistical consultation at no cost for residents, fellows, and faculty. In addition, the Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics offers free services through its graduate students: https://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/biostatistics/research-practice/consulting.