Research activities comprise 19 months of the three-year training period. Fellows pursue their research experience in clinical/ translation, basic science, quality improvement or education research, based on their individual interests and career goals.
During the first months of training fellows learn about faculty-led ongoing research studies and meet with prospective mentors to discuss potential research projects. The Program Director and Director of Neonatology Research assist fellows in selecting a research mentor and project that best aligns with their area of interest. For fellows whose research interests lie outside the Division of Neonatology, the Program Director and Director of Neonatology Research assist fellows in finding mentors within the Department of Pediatrics, other sub-specialty Divisions and/or Rush University.
Each fellow is required to have a Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) to provide ongoing guidance and evaluation of their scholarly activity throughout the three-year training period. Fellows are expected to plan and initiate their program of research prior to the end of the first year of training.
During the second year of training fellows develop their program of research. Second year fellows are encouraged to apply for internal/external funding and submit research abstracts to national meetings. Fellows meet with their SOC to summarize their research progress, review updates and address areas of concern. They are expected to meet regularly with their primary research mentor.
During the third year, fellows further develop their research projects. They are expected to apply for internal/external funding and submit abstracts to national meetings. Fellows continue to meet with their SOC and are required to demonstrate meaningful research by the end of the third year of training, evidenced by a manuscript or other written work-product, as a requirement for certification by the American Board of Pediatrics.
In addition to direct mentoring from their research mentors, fellows participate in a research lecture series that includes topics such as biostatistics, research methodologies, grantsmanship, study design, IRB and ethics. The overall goal is for graduates to gain skills in critically critiquing research studies, designing and conducting studies, analyzing data to answer a research question, and developing skills to present research findings.