Research and Scholarly Activities

Every Internal Medicine resident conducts research during residency
Research opportunities exist in all of our departments, and residents conduct research in five domains:

  • Basic Science
  • Clinical/translational
  • Quality Improvement
  • Medical Humanities
  • 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. The residency’s research component is structured to help each resident design a meaningful and academically rewarding research project.

The University of Pittsburgh is 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

Residents with a stronger interest in research can join the Clinical Scientist Track or the International Scholars Track, if they are a foreign medical graduate. The University of Pittsburgh also offers an ABIM Research Pathway for fast-tracking in fellowship. Participants in any of those three tracks will receive specific guidance on their research requirements.

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

More Information on Research Tracks

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

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

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. 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.

Through an NIH R38 grant and in collaboration with the Departments of Pathology, Pediatrics, and Surgery, the Pittsburgh Innovation in Collaborative Training of Residents alliance, or PICTOR alliance program, provides residents with dedicated research time during residency to foster the next generation of physician scientists. Drawing upon the experience of established investigators focused on research along the continuum of the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood and from health to disease, residents may focus in either basic translational or clinical translational research in the cardiovascular, lung, sleep, and blood fields.

Finding a Research Mentor and Project is Easy

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

Available resources include:

  • Funds and coverage of clinical responsibilities are provided for all three years when presenting at local, national and international conferences
  • Research Interest Group (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