Physician Scientist Training Community

Faculty Lead: Daniel Moore, MD, PhD

The mission of the Physician-Scientist Training Community is to accelerate established research career trajectories for residents with MD/PhD or other significant research background.


  1. Identify appropriate mentors for longitudinal, hypothesis-driven research
  2. Engage in productive, short-term research that initiates longer term research efforts
  3. Foster a sense of community among early career investigators that leads to recruitment and retention of physician-scientist trainees
  4. Develop knowledge of career development pathways and resources
  5. Sharpen scientific reasoning, design, and presentation skills

Community Work Product

AC members will be guided to prepare and submit high-quality research grant proposals that are appropriate to stage and career goals. Targets include the PSDP program (for 3rd year residents and 1st year fellows) and F32 awards (for 2nd and 3rd year fellows) as well as relevant foundation grants Members may also prepare and submit a high-quality review article.


Community participants will benefit from exposure to training modules during repeated learning cycles as they progress in the community throughout residency and fellowship training. Community meetings will foster discussion and resolution of barriers to physician scientist training. Modules will include discussion and further training in mentor selection, hypothesis generation, preparation of specific aim, biostatistical analysis, presentation of background and ideas, giving and receiving feedback, and working with fellow scientists and administrators. The community will meet every two to three months as a group. Members of the community will interact between meetings when subgroups of members participate in module activities, such as presentation of their research plan at a studio.

Career Development

The Physician-Scientist Academic Community will be the cornerstone for Career Development of physician-scientists through this phase of their training. A core mission of the Pediatrics Residency Program in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is to inspire and educate physician-scientists destined to change the future of child health through biomedical discovery and application of this new knowledge to patient care. The academic community will foster the career development of talented child health scholars in the residency program who may pursue a traditional three year clinical residency or use the American Board of Pediatrics Research Pathways (Accelerated Research Pathway and Special Alternative Pathway).

Candidates will be assisted in developing research projects that carry them through the fellowship stage of training. Community members may work in any of the more than 450 research labs at Vanderbilt (VUMC Research), supported by over $500 million in extramural funds including research labs in the Department of Pediatrics. At the completion of clinical and post-doctoral training, community members will be ideally positioned to continue their career development at Vanderbilt through numerous support mechanisms including the Vanderbilt Faculty Research Scholars and the Pediatrics K12 Mentored Scholars Research Program.

We have also established a mentored training program (V-StARR) for residents possessing both the aptitude and passion to become a new generation of basic, clinical and translational clinician-scientists. This program, Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (R38 StARR Program), provides a nurturing mentored environment for Resident Investigators for 1-2 years of highly rigorous research training to facilitate transition to a research-focused fellowship with the ultimate goal of achieving independence as clinician-scientists. This program offers mentored training integrating with the proven and highly successful institutional clinician-scientist training programs at Vanderbilt.

Click here to read more about the R38 StARR Program.