T-32 Research fellowships

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by masterofmonkeys, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    I hear nowadays it's impossible to get a K23 or R01 or any decent funding without one. Is that really true?

    I would personally like to avoid doing 8 years of postgraduate training like my neurosurgery buddy but I will if I have to.

    I also want a pretty even 50/50 split of clinical/research time (woudl actually prefer 75 clinical but meh) once i'm an attending. Although I guess you do get some protected time for clinical responsibilities even during your research fellowship. I have no idea if you're considered an attending during that time or not though (don't see why you wouldn't since you'd be a fully trained psychiatrist at that point).

    I have a master's, have some publications (as sole/lead author) and have about 5 more in the pipeline (ony two connected to psych, though).

    My current gameplan is to do the full four years of psych residency before going for my C&A fellowship. I'm hoping with 6 years i'll have enough time to demonstrate research proficiency and get enough experience to get a K23 out the gate.

    I also interviewed for two integrated programs with funded research fellowship time included.

    Obviously the integrated tracks would be a better guarantee of getting solid grant funding earlier in my career, but yeah.

    Anyway, thoughts? Anyone on here actually doing a substantial amount of research
     
  2. atsai3

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    Overall I would say it would be difficult to obtain a K given the game plan you propose, but it's not impossible. The prior Master's only helps you in the sense that you don't have to waste as much time getting acquainted with statistical methods, and you can be that much faster with setting up your core ideas for your K. The prior publications help a little bit only in the sense that you can be viewed as someone with follow-through; but really in your K application you would need to be able to describe how those research experiences helped you get to where you are now (eg., "for this research paper I learned how to conduct a field survey", "for this research paper I learned statistical method X which I will use for the proposed study").

    Whether you can stick to the compressed timetable depends largely on whether you are able to accomplish a significant amount of coordinated research during residency + C&A. If your residency program offers a research track where the PGY3 and especially PGY4 years are heavily weighted towards research, then you can probably get going with a substantial research project before C&A hits. And whether you get anything done during C&A depends on the structure of the fellowship. If your C&A program allows for a substantial research component, then you may be able to devote quite a bit of time towards working on your K application. But many C&A programs are largely clinical, and you might have to fight for more research time.

    You might need to spend a year or two doing a research fellowship.

    Cheers
    -AT.
     
  3. CarleneM

    CarleneM patent pending
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    I talked about this with one of the junior attendings at Brown (Gus) who applied for a K award as a resident(!), no T32, though he already had a PhD. He told me that a T32 is not necessary for everyone and actually told me in my case it would likely not be necessary given my research background. I don't have a PhD so that surprised me. My PI also got a K award shortly after fellowship without a T32 or a PhD so it does seem possible.

    I personally haven't decided if I want to go down such a hardcore research road but I do think that the programs are out there (Yale, Brown, probably others outside my Northeast field of view) that allow for C&A research tracks.
     
  4. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    The key is MENTORING. You really can't move on to an RO1 or a K without a solid research program behind you. A T32 is supposed to have that built in. But I've know lots of people who have moved up the ladder merely by getting started with a good mentor who wants to help you establish your credentials as an independent investigator.
     
  5. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    yeah mentoring is up there with psychotherapy training tied for the most important factor in how I'm ranking programs.
     
  6. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member
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    Not sure if you meant this in the long-term (vs. the funded period), but it's worth mentioning that a K award carries with it a minimum of 75% time effort.

    As for your original question, and as for all things related to the game of NIH funding, there are no hard and fast rules here. What it comes down to is an excellent and relevant research plan, solid mentoring, clear and realistic training goals that are tied to your larger career development plans, and an environment that is going to facilitate all of the above. You also need to think hard about NIMH funding priorities.

    A T32 is nice because several of these programs integrate year-long grant writing workshops that provide trainees with opportunities to learn the grant-writing game (because it is a game!), and offer feedback from faculty who have sat on study sections and Council, etc. Of course you can do this without a T32, but then you would have to be more pro-active about getting those experiences.

    And in the spirit of full disclosure, I currently have a K23 award...
     

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