In the last quarter of 1987-88, 95 second- and third-year geriatrics fellows were surveyed to examine their perceptions of the quality of research training available through their programs. A three-phase Delphi survey method was used, with the numbers of individuals responding per phase ranging from 58 (61%) to 68 (72%). The responses were clustered in five areas by means of factor analysis using a varimax rotation procedure. The fellows perceived their research training to be inadequate, primarily due to insufficient time for research activities and to inadequate exposure to research-qualified scientists. The authors conclude that although the fellows strongly supported the notion of a research-focused third fellowship year, implementing such a plan may be futile if new resources are not made available.