The Vanderbilt Psychiatry Residency Research Track is designed as a flexible program that guarantees mentorship and protected time for research track residents to conduct their research projects.  The intent of the research track is to facilitate the successful transition of graduating residents into tenure track research faculty positions. Applicants to this track should intend a career in psychiatric research. Most often, successful applicants to this track will hold the MD, PhD degree. Other applicants having a strong track record of research will also be considered.

For applicants not on the Research Track, there are many opportunities to become engaged in research. Research experiences are available to all residents in the Vanderbilt Adult Psychiatry Program as part of their elective time.
 

Research Opportunities

The Department of Psychiatry offers a range of research opportunities for residents. These include research with faculty in:
 

In addition to the rich research opportunities offered by psychiatry faculty, residents may also opt to choose their research mentor from faculty in other departments in the medical school. There is a broad range of options for research across the medical center and the university: (http://research.vanderbilt.edu/centers-institutes/)

Research Support

The Research Track Committee will oversee the progress of residents in this track. 

The department offers considerable administrative support for trainees submitting grant and funding applications, including applications to the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program (NIH LRP). In addition, we offer internal review of applications by senior faculty. 

Department funding support for those accepted into the research track:

All research track residents:

Up to $1,000 in travel per year to attend and present at scientific meetings.

Research track residents pursuing research outside the psychotic disorders program

Up to $10,000 per resident to support research

Research track residents pursuing research in the psychotic disorders program

Up to $50,000 per resident to support research

Potential offer of Junior Faculty (Instructor) position after graduation.
 

Educational Leave

The department offers educational leave days and funding to support residents who present scientific results at major psychiatry research meetings. 
 

Research Support Resources

Research Track Timeline

The exact structure of the track and the amount of protected research time varies with the individual resident’s specific clinical interests and research and career goals. 

Example timeline for research track residents:

PGY1:  
  • Research activity: Work with research advisory mentor to identify a research area of interest and mentor
  • Clinical: Required clinical rotations
  • Advising: Assigned to research advisory mentor
  • Instruction: Psychiatry research seminar
                         Journal club
                         Didactics
PGY2:             
  • Research activity: Work with research advisory mentor to identify a research area of interest and mentor
  • Clinical: Required clinical rotations
  • Advising: Choose research project mentor
                      Develop research project proposal
  • Instruction: Psychiatry research seminar 
                         Journal club
                         Didactics
PGY3:            
  • Research activity: 30% protected time to conduct research in the research mentor’s lab
  • Clinical: Required and elective clinical rotations
  • Instruction: Psychiatry research seminar
                         Journal club
    ​                     Didactics
PGY4:             
  • Research Activity: 65% protected time to conduct research in the research mentor’s lab
  • Clinical: Forensic and elective clinical rotations
  • Instruction: Psychiatry research seminar
                         Journal club
                         Didactics

Click here to view Research Track Block Diagram

Research Supporting Partners

Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry collaborate with or are provided research support by the following programs:

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science

The Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education (ACCRE)

The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR)

A primary goal of VICTR and its Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) is to bring together academic and community partners to improve community health through research. We seek to develop transformative collaborative structures and strategies that will bring Vanderbilt clinical and translational investigators together with academic and community partners to shape and support innovative and community-engaged research. Below is a list of VICTR resources available to academic and community partners. Some require collaboration with a VU investigator; others do not:

VICTR Clinical/Translational Research Center (in/out patient nursing care/facilities)
Community Resources (investigator consultation: planning, design, analysis)
Pilot Funding (funds for pilot and preliminary data)
Synthetic Derivative (de-identified data from Vanderbilt's electronic medical record)
Database Management (easy to use research database and survey tool)
Expert Consults (individual consultation with experts)
Studios (structured, dynamic sessions with research experts)

Research Track Steering Committee Members

Ronald L. Cowan, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Residency Training Program
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychology
Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Stephan Heckers, M.D., M.Sc.
Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
William P. and Henry B. Test Chair in Schizophrenia Research
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychology
Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Warren D. Taylor, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry

Director, Mood Disorders Program