The Vanderbilt Residency Program is committed to fostering the career development of talented child health scholars in the residency program who utilize the American Board of Pediatrics Research Pathways to optimize and individualize general pediatric, subspecialty, and research training. 

The Department of Pediatrics is very excited to offer our residents the Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (R38 StARR Program). This is a mentored training program for residents possessing both the aptitude and passion to become a new generation of basic, clinical, and translational clinician-scientists. This program provides a nurturing mentored environment for Resident Investigators for one to two years of rigorous research training to facilitate the transition to a research-focused fellowship. Each resident investigator will participate in societies/communities for clinician-scientist development and will complete a mentored research project. They will also have a personalized Scholarly Oversight Committee to assist in achieving program goals, to provide independent evaluation of their progress, and to develop, advise on, and track their career development plan. All departments, research laboratories, and core facilities reside on a single campus offering an integrated research environment for early career physician-scientists.

All pediatric housestaff complete a scholarly project during their residency. These take a variety of forms, from quality improvement projects based in the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic to advocacy to clinical and basic research. 

Many resident projects result in presentation at scholarly meetings or publication in peer-reviewed journals.

We strongly encourage residents to present original research at regional and national scholarly meetings. The residency program will work with the sponsoring division to provide funding for residents to attend any meeting where they are accepted to present research findings.

Residents complete a six-month individualized curriculum geared toward future career goals. Those interested in an academic research career will be able to incorporate additional protected research time during these blocks.


    Kelly Wolenberg Harris, MD

    "The Physician Scientist Academic Community (PPSTP) provided me the opportunity to seriously consider a career as a physician-scientist and take meaningful steps towards that goal. My research endeavors have allowed me to engage with patients on a level deeper than what is allowed with a single patient encounter. Through this work, I am able to take a step back and take a more "big picture" approach to treating patients and helping them through their disease process. For example, while I am learning how to develop meaningful patient-physician relationships within palliative care, I am also studying the intricacies of developing that bond by studying parental distress after prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease. By applying the scientific method to this problem, I aim to make it more replicable and accessible to the physician community at large."


    Kelly W. Harris, MD
    Vanderbilt Pediatric Residency Class of 2020
    Current Fellow in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

    Stephanie L. Rolsma, M.D., Ph.D.

    "I had a great experience with research as a pediatric resident at Vanderbilt. I found that faculty were eager to talk to me about potential projects resulting in a lot of options when it came to finding a project that was a good fit for me. Setting up research electives was an easy process, and I was even able to schedule multiple research electives in a row to maximize my research time. The program also provided financial support for me to present a poster about my research at a conference."

    Stephanie L. Rolsma, MD, PhD
    Vanderbilt Pediatric Residency Class of 2019
    Current Fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

    Michael R Miller M.D., Ph.D.

    “The Vanderbilt pediatrics residency did an excellent job of fostering my intent to go into basic biomedical research. As a member of the physician scientist academic community, I received one-on-one guidance from Dr. Moore who provided insight into grantsmanship, mentor seeking, and project development. Dr. Swan and the administration went out of their way to provide blocked, protected research time during the second and third years of fellowship in compliance with ACGME training requirements. This work helped me to springboard into my fellowship research project which was recently funded by a T32, and I'll be taking this work and continuing with an F32 submission. None of this would've been possible without the guidance and support of the residency leadership.”


    Michael R. Miller, MD, PhD
    Vanderbilt Pediatric Residency Class of 2018
    Current Fellow in Pediatric Critical Care, Vanderbilt

    Julie M. Chase, M.D., Ph.D.

    "The Vanderbilt residency community, including the program leadership, scientific mentors and my co-residents were all incredibly supportive of my interest in basic research. During my residency, I was awarded a competitive private grant and completed a significant block of protected research time. The Vanderbilt residency community truly supports the career development of their residents, including those with interests in basic, translational and clinical research." 


    Julie M. Chase, MD, PhD
    Vanderbilt Pediatric Residency Class of 2018
    Current Fellow in Pediatric Rheumatology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia