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Fellow Research Opportunities

Protected Time for Research

  • Fellows have 20 months of protected time, excluding vacation.
  • The amount of time increases from the first to the third year, and is clustered to enhance productivity.
  • In order to optimize research activities, calls are limited during research blocks (four calls per block in the first year, three calls per block during the second and third years). Each fellow has one call-free research block every year.
  • Mentored Research Project and Scholarship

    Mentored Research Project and Scholarship

    • Ninety-five percent of the graduates have completed and published at least one manuscript arising from their research endeavors.
    • Each fellow is expected to complete a research project under the guidance and with the help of a mentor and a scholarship oversight committee. Many fellows have obtained internal and/or external funding for their research projects.
    • Each fellow is encouraged to select the type of research that best meets her or his own interests and career plans. This project is expected to lead to presentation of one or more abstracts at regional or national meetings and publication of a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.
    • Scholarship also includes chapters, state-of-the-art reviews, and case reports. In addition, each fellow completes a mentored quality improvement project.
  • Opportunities for Specialized Training

    Opportunities for Specialized Training

    Fellows who plan for a clinical research career may apply for training as Master in Public Health (M.P.H.) or for one of three certificates available in the Department of Clinical Sciences: Graduate Certificate (two-year program), Master’s Degree in Clinical Science (two-year program), or Master’s Degree with Distinction (three-year program). Additional information is available on our Clinical Sciences Graduate Program website.

    Fellows who plan a career in quality improvement can take the Clinical Safety and Effectiveness Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

  • Opportunities for External and Internal Funding

    Opportunities for External and Internal Funding

    • Fellows in Neonatal-Perinatal are eligible for several external sources of funding from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the NIH, and several other national organizations and foundations. List of Funding - Neonatology Fellowship 
    • UT Southwestern Medical School offers a Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), which provides three years of salary and allows highly individualized research training and career development. Additional sources of funding include Children's Health℠ Children’s Medical Center and the Department of Clinical Sciences. List of Funding - Neonatology Fellowship
    • The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH)/Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) offer a new Multimodal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Training Program. This program covers a portion of the tuition for trainee fellows. The UTSPH/BCM Multimodal MCH Training Program has four tracks:
      • The MCH concentration, available to M.P.H. students enrolled in any of the six campuses of UTSPH (Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, and El Paso)
      • MCH Certificate Program, open to students not enrolled in the M.P.H. program
      • MCH Intensive Training Fellowship: Year-long intensive, experiential MCH training program
      • Tailored training programs for state and local Title V staff
  • Grants Available to Support Salary for Fellows Interested in Additional Research Time

    Grants Available to Support Salary for Fellows Interested in Additional Research Time

    Salary funding can be obtained:

    • Before starting the fellowship, or during the first year of fellowship, by applying for the Physician Scientist Development Program (PSDP), which requires the selection of a mentor and the completion of a grant application. The PSDP pays for 2-3 years of research training. You have two application submission options: residency year three (Feb) or fellowship year one (Feb). If you apply during residency, your PSDP-supported training and research project would begin in July of the second year of fellowship, after 12 months of clinical patient care training. Therefore, you would have to complete the remaining clinical training component after the completion of two years (with an option of a third year) of PSDP-supported research training. If you apply during the first year of fellowship, your PSDP-supported training would start after completing the clinical component of fellowship training.
    • Before starting the fellowship or during the first year of fellowship by applying for Extramural Training and Career Development. One option is to apply for participation in one of the National Research Service Awards (NRSA, T32) available at UTSW. To learn more, go to NIH RePORTER. For Funding Mechanism, select Training, Institutional and for Congressional District, select Texas-30. As an example, fellows in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine may be eligible for participation in Lance Terada's or Philip Shaul’s training program in Lung Biology and Disease (1T32HL098040-01).
    • After starting fellowship, by applying to the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) here at UT Southwestern. The application and all supporting documentation must be complete and submitted by December 1 of the second year of fellowship, to start funding in July of the third year.
    • After starting fellowship, by applying to an NIH K Award.
    • During the second or third year of fellowship, by applying for participation in the UTSW Department of Clinical Sciences KL2 Grant: 5 KL2 RR024983-04, which supports the Clinical Research Scholars Program. This program implies a three-year commitment with 75 percent protected time and requires approval of the Chair of Pediatrics.

    Additional funding available includes:

Read about some of our Research Mentors

Lina Chalak, M.D.

Lina Chalak, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics, is the Director of the Neurological Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NeuroNICU) Program and Co-Director, Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Fellowship Training Program. She leads a multiscience research team that includes physiologists, biomedical engineers and specialists in MRI to evaluate various diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of neonatal asphyxia including those with so-called “Mild HIE”. She has developed a novel “Neurovascular bundle” for a critical real-time evaluation of the coupling of cerebral blood flow and neuronal activity in newborns with brain injury.

Imran N. Mir, M.D.

Imran N. Mir, M.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, is the Program Director for the Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program. He organizes the Pathophysiology Course for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellows. The purpose of the three-year course is to provide insight into the pathophysiology of various diseases in neonatal-perinatal medicine and to provide an understanding of developmental physiology. He is the site P.I. for national educational randomized study comparing flipped classroom methodology to traditional instructional techniques for neonatology fellows. Dr. Mir’s research focus is on the influence of the placenta on neonatal outcomes. He has made several key observations including the placental contributions to neurodevelopmental outcomes after birth asphyxia, and role of placenta in clearance of fetal inflammatory responses.

Julie Mirpuri, M.D.

Julie Mirpuri, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, is a physician-scientist trained in mucosal immunology. Considered an expert in the field of the neonatal microbiome and early innate immune cell development, she is involved in both basic and translational projects focused on establishing new therapies to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Her laboratory is currently focused on understanding how maternal diet alters the neonatal microbiome and the role of empiric antibiotics on increasing susceptibility to NEC/sepsis. Her translation work includes analysis of the microbiome in NICU babies who develop anemia and development of immune cells in the intestine of newborns undergoing intestinal surgery. She has mentored several fellows and post-doctoral students.

Learn More About Neonatal-Perinatal Research