Vanderbilt SCRIPS: Supporting Careers in Research for Interventional Physicians and Surgeons

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Vanderbilt received a $2.5-million Physician Scientist Institutional Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to help bolster the dwindling number of active physician-scientists in the United States.

The grant supports a Vanderbilt program called SCRIPS — Supporting Careers in Research for Interventional Physicians and Surgeons. SCRIPS aims to recruit, train and foster successful academic careers for surgeons and other procedure-based physicians pursuing basic and translational research. SCRIPS promotes physician scientists through mentored basic research training in the medical school, residency and fellowship years and through early faculty career development. SCRIPS accepted its first resident/fellow scholars in Fall 2018 and medical student scholars in Summer 2019.

Mentoring of all SCRIPS scholars will be facilitated by an Academy of Career Mentors, comprised of active MD basic research surgeons/physician-scientists, and an external advisory board consisting of surgeon/procedural-physician leaders in basic and translational research.  Support of mentored research pathways for residents/fellows and early career faculty will be enhanced by targeted loan repayment to ameliorate personal financial exigencies that can derail pursuit of academic research careers. The program will offer a quarterly scientific and professional development events aimed at creating relationships between the scholars and Academy members. Together these and other innovative elements will actualize a model approach to facilitate productive careers in basic research for surgeons and procedure-based physicians.  

Out of 92 award proposals, SCRIPS was one of only five chosen for funding in the first cycle. Read more here about the complementary Burroughs Wellcome-funded programs being established at our peer institutions across the country.

SCRIPS Program Leadership:

Program Director

  • James R. Goldenring, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Surgical Research

Associate Program Directors  

  • Katherine Hartmann, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development
  • Christopher Williams, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Education and Training and Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program

Program Administrator

  • Amy Martinez, PhD, Lead Program Officer, Office of Research

For more information…