Objectives: The Research Career Development Institute for Psychiatry is a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University to recruit and train a broad-based group of promising junior physicians by providing the necessary skills and support for successful research careers in academic psychiatry.
Methods: Participants whose interests span the spectrum of clinical and intervention research attend a multiday career development institute workshop and follow-up annual booster sessions conducted with the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The program identifies and trains 20 new physician-researchers each year, with particular emphasis on women, minorities, and those from less research-intensive psychiatry departments, and provides booster sessions for all trainees. An annual evaluation is used to renew and update the content of the institutes and to measure the long-term value in research and career success.
Results: This report is based on the results of 77 participants from the first four Career Development Institute classes. Qualitative assessment of the program content and process led to improvements in each successive year's workshop. Preliminary quantitative follow-up assessment of participants indicated successful career progress toward individual objectives.
Conclusion: By providing early career investigators with skills to cope with local and national forces in academic medical centers, the Career Development Institute is significantly contributing to the development of the next generation of leading academic clinical researchers in mental health and can serve as a model for other biomedical research arenas.