Are you interested?


  1. Look for a mentor
    • Ask your training director for suggestions
    • Or, your Chairman (don’t be worried, Chairs usually like to be asked)
    • Ask a “Vice Chair for Research” if there is one in your Department
    • Ask other residents in your program who are doing research, and postresidency fellows doing research.
  2. Find someone to read journals with
    • A journal club
    • An interested faculty member
  3. Explore opportunities to do research
    • Ask your training director if there is elective time available to do research
    • If any resident has received time off of clinical duties to do research, ask how it was arranged.
  4. Find out about ways that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the National Institute of Mental Health support young researchers
    • Contact Ernesto Guerra at the APA to sign up for the Psychiatric Research Report at
    • Explore the APA website about research training and funding:
    • If you are in a racial or ethnic minority category, be sure to find out about the PMRTP (Psychiatry Minority Research Training Program) from Ernesto.
    • Look at the NIMH research training website. You could write an F Award, or there may be a T32 award in your institution, even in another department, that might support you as a research fellow.
    • Attend the APA annual meeting and go to talks on subjects that interest you. Ask the speaker after the talk if you could come to work with him/her after residency, and if he/she knows of any funding that would support that.
    • Try to decide what type of research you want to pursue
      • A type of research, such as genetics, epidemiology, clinical trials, brain imaging.
      • An illness focus, as Autism, Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, Borderline Personality Disorder.
        • You will find that each of these areas is likely to have a meeting of psychiatric researchers sometime during the year. Use the internet to explore such meetings, and see if your program will let you attend. Some groups even sponsor travel awards to come to the meeting.
    • Think about research-related activities such as writing case reports, literature reviews, quality improvement projects, or leading educational activities related to research such as journal clubs and Evidence Based Medicine sessions. Do them with a faculty member who will guide you.
    • Prepare a poster about your work, or of work on which you were a collaborator. See if there is a poster session at your institution. Also submit it for the APA Young Investigator Sessions at the Annual Meeting.
    • Get a “Primer” on research. One we can recommend is the “Research Manual: A Primer for Basic Research Competencies and a First Research Project” by Alan Podawiltz, Chair of Psychiatry at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (write to ask for it). Also excellent is “Scientific Integrity” by Francis Macrina, with chapters on mentorship, authorship and peer review.
    • Pay attention to the research-oriented lectures/seminars in your department and medical school. There are usually online calendars or email lists to announce such events.