Research Tracks

Our general residency program allows all residents the flexibility to use abundant elective time to explore specific aspects of psychiatry and develop special areas of expertise. While all clinical tracks are subsumed under a single NRMP number, each of our research tracks has a separate NRMP number.

Research Tracks

As the fields of neuroscience and genetics have advanced in knowledge base and research strategies and techniques, PhD-level training has become critical for both effective translational research and obtaining research funding. We developed our research tracks with this in mind.

Trainees in our research tracks have been recognized for their excellence and have received some of the most prestigious awards available to residents. To continue this tradition of excellence, we are pleased to introduce Mercedes Perez-Rodriguez, MD, PhD, as our Assistant Training Director for Research. Dr. Perez-Rodriguez graduated from our Physician-Scientist track in 2012 and completed a MIRECC research fellowship in Mood Disorders before accepting a faculty position in 2014. She is currently Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Psychosis Research Integrating Science and Medicine (PRISM) Program. Dr. Perez-Rodriguez’s work in the neurobiology of mood and personality disorders has been funded by the NIH, the Brain and Behavior Science Foundation (NARSAD), and the VA MIRECC. Dr. Perez-Rodriguez works closely with the training directors as well as with Rene Kahn, MD, PhD, and Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, to advise and oversee the professional and scientific development of residents throughout the research tracks, with a focus on successful mentorship relationships and planningfor grant submissions. 

As of 2017, our Department of Neuroscience is #2 in the US as ranked by federal funding, and our Department of Psychiatry is #6, with individual investigators listed among the top funded PI’s. The Friedman Brain Institute represents this large, multidisciplinary effort involving numerous basic science and clinical departments. 

Explore our currently active NIH grants.

Our four-year physician-scientist track is designed for applicants who have previously demonstrated substantial experience in research, usually those with MD/PhD training. The extensive protected research time alongside clinical training facilitates residents’ growth into independently-funded investigators who will make major contributions to the basic science understanding of psychiatric illnesses and create breakthroughs that lead to novel treatment approaches.

Protected research time includes three full-time months in the first half of PGY-2 (though this could be split between PGY-1 and 2), followed by longitudinal protected time (approximately ½ time) throughout the latter half of PGY-2 and continuing through PGY-3. The fourth year allows even more protected longitudinal time for research (~80 percent) and is meant to provide for the execution of projects that could be continued either in a funded research fellowship or following graduation from residency.

Career development and research productivity are further facilitated by extensive mentorship, salary stipends, funding for research needs and technician time, and the possibility of post-residency supported time.

Given the specialty nature of this track and the expectation that applicants will have considerable prior research experience, we often ask applicants for additional information to supplement their ERAS portfolios, including a scientific biography, a statement of research interest, and a letter from a primary research mentor before releasing invitations to interview. Invited Physician-Scientist track applicants attend our usual interview process as well as additional meetings that could occur on the day before or after your interview day. Based on the material you provide, we will select some investigators whom we believe share interests with you, and likewise we would like to know which scientists on our faculty you may be particularly interested in meeting.

We have been awarded NIMH funding for this first-of-its-kind program, in which we longitudinally integrate PhD training in neuroscience or genetics with clinical psychiatry residency over seven years. “PhD+” residents are also eligible for NIH’s Loan Repayment Program (>$150,000), effectively similar to those who obtained their PhDs during medical school MSTP programs.

The PhD+ track is currently full, and we will not be interviewing applicants for it in the 2017-2018 season.

Clinical experiences are front-loaded and continue all 7 years. PGY-1 is a full intern year devoted to meeting residency requirements in Primary Care, Neurology, and Inpatient Psychiatry. For each of the following 6 years, 50 percent is NIMH-supported “PhD time,” and 50 percent is hospital-supported “residency time” that includes core clinical training, core residency didactics, and research electives. Total research-related time is 55 months (4.6 years) and is appropriate for completing a PhD. The PhD-didactic component, overseen by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, occurs in years 2-4 and is similar to that required of current MD/PhD candidates at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The program consists of several components:

  1. Completion of all experiences required for Board Certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  2. Completion of all requirements for a PhD in Neuroscience or Genetics and Genomics, or Clinical Research
  3. Dual mentorship, with true integration of PhD work with your clinical psychiatry training, including training in clinical research settings 
  4. A program customized to your personal career goals, with flexible adjustment of experiences and objectives over the course of your training, including close mentorship, training in research and grant writing, scientific career-building activities (presenting at meetings; joining professional organizations), and connecting with other scientists
  5. Substantial financial advantages through the NIH’s Loan Repayment Program

Learn more about residents in out PHD+ Residency track.