Psychiatry Research Pathway

When compassion for those suffering from mental illness converges with a deep curiosity about the nature of the underlying problem, a passion for mental health research emerges. The specialized Psychiatry Research Pathway (PRP) enables residents to simultaneously receive clinical training and pursue their passion for research through mentorship, conducting research projects, and receiving training that facilitates their career development into highly successful investigators.

PRP Resident, Angela Ianni, MD, PhD, and her mentor Alexandre Dombrovski, MD
PRP Resident, Angela Ianni, MD, PhD, and her mentor Alexandre Dombrovski, MD

The PRP enables psychiatrists-in-training to learn how to perform research while they fulfill the requirements of their clinical training. Graduates of this program engage in true “bench-to-bedside” research, translating clinical observations into research hypotheses that can be tested in a laboratory and ultimately transformed into improved diagnosis and treatment.

The program is designed with the long-term goal of investigator independence in mind. From PGY1 through to a faculty appointment, our trainees are provided with ample support along their career trajectories: 

  • During residency, PRP participants receive help with finding a mentor, are granted dedicated research time, are provided instruction on how to write grants, and hone their research presentation skills by participating in annual events like the PRP Symposium and the Department’s annual Research Day
  • Graduates of the program receive continued support through the Department’s broad career development framework, including our eight NIH-funded training programs and Career and Research Development Seminars.
  • For those interested in joining our faculty, we have a special K Review Program.
  • Several Departmental mechanisms exist to foster continued research success after completion of postdoctoral training, including a progress check-up through the Department’s Mid-K Review program, pilot funding through our PRIME-the-R program, and the creation of a highly competitive first R-series NIH grant application through the First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) program.   

Our PRP graduates have an exceptional record for receiving grants and being appointed to faculty. Read our resident biographies to learn how the PRP has helped past and current residents in their career development.

Why Join Pitt Psychiatry’s PRP?

  • Mentorship is our lifeblood, and we are a core component of a broader and vibrant neuroscience community. An individualized mentor matching program is provided to PRP residents.
  • Our Department has sustained success and is recognized internationally as a leader in multiple domains of psychiatric research. Consequently, abundant resources exist to provide a rich and nurturing environment for young investigators to thrive.
  • PRP residents get the research time during residency plus up to three years of postdoctoral training as needed (we have all these mechanisms to support talented trainees).
  • PRP residents receive protected time for research:
    • Participants can apply for a four-week research elective during PGY1 (available to unlimited number of residents).
    • PRP residents have flexibility in the afternoons during PGY2 to conduct research-related activities and can apply for a ten-week research elective during PGY2 (available to two residents annually).
    • A minimum of 40% research time during PGY3, and a minimum of 60% research time during PGY4 is offered to residents in this program. 
Pitt Psychiatry trainees with their faculty mentors
Mentorship is our lifeblood.