Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,440
18,915
City of the Future
Status
  1. Medical Student
Basically the question in the title. At my institution, it looks like this is an 80/20 research/clinical postdoc position for physician scientists trying to transition to their first faculty position. But what exactly is this position? How long does it last? Are they ever tied to faculty positions or tenure track? How much do they pay? Is your research funded? Are you like any other postdoc in a group or is there something "special" about being an Instructor? On clinical service are you an attending physician? What are the expectations and goals for someone who obtains this kind of position? Is it an obligatory step towards becoming a PI or do some "skip" this postdoc phase following fellowship? Is there an appreciable difference, other than funding source, from say something like a Whitehead/Sandler /HHMI Fellowship vs. an instructor position?

Is there any difference in the length or nature of "instructorship" for an MD scientist versus someone who has completed a PhD?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

tr

inert protoplasm
Gold Donor
Nov 17, 1999
1,916
1,238
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Differs from institution to institution. Generally this is a 'pre'track' position, from which the individual could then differentiate to either a tenure track or nontenure track assistant professorship. They are often used as the first attending level position for the clinical portion of an 80/20 appointment in which the 80% is a postdoc position. People heading for clinical track faculty jobs may spend a year or two in a 100% clinical instructor position.

Length of time is variable but the research portion is often supported by a T32 institutional training grant which has a time limit of 2 years, max 3 upon request. T32 funds salary only, so funding for the actual work comes from elsewhere. Could be PI's funding or trainee's. Provides time to write an application for a K award, which would be difficult to do while in full clinical service residency.

I don't think it's super common to go straight to assistant professor out of residency, but if you're a research superstar and good at bargaining it seems like it could be a possibility. Distinctly more likely if you have independent funding.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,440
18,915
City of the Future
Status
  1. Medical Student
Differs from institution to institution. Generally this is a 'pre'track' position, from which the individual could then differentiate to either a tenure track or nontenure track assistant professorship. They are often used as the first attending level position for the clinical portion of an 80/20 appointment in which the 80% is a postdoc position. People heading for clinical track faculty jobs may spend a year or two in a 100% clinical instructor position.

Length of time is variable but the research portion is often supported by a T32 institutional training grant which has a time limit of 2 years, max 3 upon request. T32 funds salary only, so funding for the actual work comes from elsewhere. Could be PI's funding or trainee's. Provides time to write an application for a K award, which would be difficult to do while in full clinical service residency.

I don't think it's super common to go straight to assistant professor out of residency, but if you're a research superstar and good at bargaining it seems like it could be a possibility. Distinctly more likely if you have independent funding.

Do MD only scientists jump straight into 80/20 instructorship positions as well? 2 years seems like a short time-frame for someone who hasn't run their own project before.
 
About the Ads

tr

inert protoplasm
Gold Donor
Nov 17, 1999
1,916
1,238
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Do MD only scientists jump straight into 80/20 instructorship positions as well? 2 years seems like a short time-frame for someone who hasn't run their own project before.

I think most MDs who are interested enough to commit to an 80/20 research fellowship will have substantial research experience coming in. Not everyone who is interested in research does MSTP. They may have done HHMI or other one- or two-year research experiences, and some residencies (I think derm, neurosurg, rad onc) have research time built in, which clinically oriented residents will treat like a relative vacation but which can be leveraged productively by individuals with genuine interest. It may also be easier to hew to a specified timeline with clinically oriented projects than it is with basic research.

Additionally, T32 is supposed to have a 2 year timeframe but certainly it is possible for interested individuals to find other sources of funding to continue their research. Some institutions have internal sort of 'pre-K' awards or other career development mechanisms, or if the PI has funding for a postdoctoral position this is also an option to fund additional research years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,440
18,915
City of the Future
Status
  1. Medical Student
I think most MDs who are interested enough to commit to an 80/20 research fellowship will have substantial research experience coming in. Not everyone who is interested in research does MSTP. They may have done HHMI or other one- or two-year research experiences, and some residencies (I think derm, neurosurg, rad onc) have research time built in, which clinically oriented residents will treat like a relative vacation but which can be leveraged productively by individuals with genuine interest. It may also be easier to hew to a specified timeline with clinically oriented projects than it is with basic research.

Additionally, T32 is supposed to have a 2 year timeframe but certainly it is possible for interested individuals to find other sources of funding to continue their research. Some institutions have internal sort of 'pre-K' awards or other career development mechanisms, or if the PI has funding for a postdoctoral position this is also an option to fund additional research years.

thanks for the helpful response! Makes sense. In general I think we get a lot of exposure at the med student stage to established physician scientists and residents but the period between residency and becoming an attending/independent is like a black box to me and my impression is that it might also be the most critical part of one's career.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Neuronix

Total nerd
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
13,822
4,307
the beach
Status
  1. Attending Physician
thanks for the helpful response! Makes sense. In general I think we get a lot of exposure at the med student stage to established physician scientists and residents but the period between residency and becoming an attending/independent is like a black box to me and my impression is that it might also be the most critical part of one's career.

Transitioning from trainee to faculty is strongly specialty and institution dependent. This is where good mentorship at your institution and within your specialty really matters.
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads