NIH T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Comprehensive Anesthesia Research Training Program

Funding Source
Since 1996, the UCSF Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care has received funding from the NIH to support an institutional training grant (Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T32 GM08440) with the purpose of training postdoctoral scholars to conduct research in the broad areas encompassed by the discipline of Anesthesiology.

Goals and Objectives
The primary goal of the program is to provide rigorous training in research fundamentals and techniques in areas of concern to clinical anesthesiologists and the larger practice of medicine. Training is offered in clinical, translational, and basic research and includes hands-on research, coursework in biostatistics, grant writing, and ethics, and other support required to obtain the skills necessary for academic achievement. 

Program Environment
Trainees will work directly with experienced and renowned faculty researchers, all of whom are independent investigators with a track record of mentoring. The program mentors include both anesthesia faculty, as well as faculty in other clinical and basic science departments engaged in research that is relevant to anesthesiology and the perioperative sciences. Trainees will select a primary faculty research mentor, as well as an advisory committee comprised of faculty investigators with deep scientific expertise complementary to that of their primary mentor. See the full list of T32 faculty mentors here.

The program is structured around five integrated tracks, which are listed below, along with sample topics:

  • Critical Care and Immunology: ICU topics, including sepsis, acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), organ failure, asthma, and immunologic mechanisms and processes.
  • Neurosciences and Pain: Neuronal ischemic preconditioning to injury, pain, traumatic brain injury, neurologic dysfunction and cognitive decline following surgery and trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Omics, Bioinformatics, and Medical Informatics: Research spanning bench to bedside and a wide variety of topics, including genomics, the microbiome, and cardiovascular, neurological, and pulmonary diseases, with a common theme of generating and/or analyzing ‘big data’.
  • Health Outcomes, Disparities/Equity, and Implementation Science: Outcomes, access to care, and health care practices including quality improvement, health policy, community health, international and domestic health equity/disparities (i.e., global health equity). Trainees in this pathway have the opportunity to also participate in the CHESA Fellows program that includes structured global health equity training with Fogarty and other fellows from multiple disciplines. 
  • Molecular Biology and Biomedical Imaging: The molecular basis of biological processes, development of novel molecules, compound delivery methods, and biomedical imaging techniques to understand and treat disorders such as AVMs, stroke, vascular aneurysms, chronic pain, and infections such as COVID-19.

Appointment Structure

Trainees will enter the program in one of four ways:

  • In the latter years as residents within the UCSF Research Scholars Track of the Anesthesia Residency.
  • As faculty (Clinical Instructors): This entry point is available to both internal and external candidates that have finished their residency training and will do some clinical work (20% effort without call) during the T32 fellowship.
  • As postdoctoral scholars: This entry point is available to candidates who will do 100% research during the T32 fellowship.
  • As an NIH Fogarty GloCal Fellow: This entry point is available to postdoctoral scholars as well as internal and external candidates that have finished their residency training. The GloCal Fellowship will support the first year of training (100% research) at one of 21 international collaborating partner sites, after which time fellows who are non-anesthesiologist postdoctoral scholars can continue in the T32 with 100% research time. Anesthesiologist fellows can transition from GloCal to the T32 with 20% clinical time (as Clinical Instructors) in subsequent years. 

Residents and Clinical Instructors on the T32 who do not possess a PhD are eligible to participate in the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Physician–Scientist Fellowship Program concurrently.

Fellowship Award

Fellowship Features:

  • Research with an experienced faculty mentor and team of advisors
  • Well-established departmental research training program (Pathway to Scientific Independence) that incorporates longstanding NIH T32 fellowship 
  • The benefits of training in the world-renowned research environment of UCSF
  • $4,500 annually for conference travel, coursework, or other research expenses
  • Ability to apply for an annual $20,000 department research grant
  • Training activities include grant writing, bioethics, research presentations, career development plans, and regular dinners with other research trainees and junior faculty
  • Ability for anesthesiologists to maintain their clinical skills through 20% clinical work (no call) and volunteer shifts

Fellow Requirements

  • Candidates must be able to commit 2-3 years to the training program.
  • Candidates must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (in possession of a valid Alien Registration Receipt Card, or "green card") at the time of appointment.
  • Candidates must have received an MD, PhD, or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.
  • Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a CV, and three reference letters. Contact [email protected] for more information.
  • Trainees must attend research seminars and symposia presented by the training program and meet regularly with their mentor, research advisory committee, the program director, and the appropriate research track coordinator. Attendance at sessions on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Rigor and Reproducibility in Science is required.
  • Trainees are expected to have written at least one scientific article as first author and one competitive research grant application by the completion of the training. 

Former T32 trainees have gone on to successful academic research careers. Over ten alumni are on the faculty of the UCSF Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care and others have joined academic anesthesiology departments at other institutions, including UCLA and Washington University in St. Louis. Our alumni have a strong track record of publication and have received extramural research career development awards and independent research grants from the NIH, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, International Anesthesia Research Society, and more.

Read more about the program and its alumni here.

For more information about the training program and to request an application, contact:
[email protected]