In 2011 the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) issued a funding opportunity announcement (RFA-HD-12-209) for pediatric scientist research career development (K12) programs. Today the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) is sponsored by the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC). In a unique collaborative arrangement, the program is funded by grants from NICHD and numerous private agencies and foundations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Pediatric Society, the Sick Kids Foundation (based in Toronto), and the March of Dimes.

The PSDP provides intensive training in research relevant to specialty areas of pediatrics. The goal is to prepare entry-level faculty for research careers in academic pediatrics. Physicians presently in pediatric training programs who wish to train in basic, translational, clinical, or health services research with an established investigator/mentor are encouraged to apply. A commitment to an investigative academic career is essential.

Candidates completing the PSDP are eligible for subspecialty boards because the training typically takes place after the completion of the clinical fellowship year(s). Support includes salary, fringe benefits, and research training expenses. The active involvement and support of Pediatric Department Chairs in the nomination/application process, and career development of PSDP scholars, are essential to the program’s success. The mission is to train pediatricians as scientists. Therefore, PSDP Fellows agree to have no clinical responsibilities or patient care in Years One and Two of PSDP training. The Fellow’s sponsoring department chair and clinical fellowship program director must also agree to this stipulation.

The PSDP administrative office is located at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. The program office coordinates application and evaluation materials, arranges all meetings for the PSDP fellows and committees, and is charged with day-to-day management of the program and its budgets. Fellows’ salaries and expenses are administered as subcontracts through their approved training institutions.

Read more research news from the AASM.

Updated Sept. 3, 2019