NeuroART provides options for training in a broad range of research methodologies and is designed for residents in adult and pediatric neurology who are interested in pursuing a career in academic neurology. By the end of the program, in addition to satisfying all requirements by the ACGME for board eligibility, the trainee will submit one or more highly competitive mentored research proposals in one of three core areas: basic/pre-clinical research, patient oriented research, or health services research.
Through individualized scheduling, the program allows trainees to spend between 6-8 months of protected time carrying out mentored research. Clinical responsibilities during this time will be restricted to ½ day per week in the resident clinic and participation in the weekend call pool (approximately 80% protected time). Aside from mentored discussions, structured readings and primary research, additional activities geared towards expanding the trainee’s skill set may include: participation in journal clubs, coaching on manuscript and grant writing techniques among other necessary skills required for academic productivity.
Schematic of the NeuroART flexible research track. Arrows indicate the points of entry into the program. After spending between 6-8 months of protected time in research, trainees will submit mentored career development grants during the PGY4 year. The program provides an additional year of support during the first yar of fellowship to allow for grant resubmission. Existing departmental training grants are also shown.
The Program Director of NeuroART is Dr. Marc Halterman who also serves as the Associate Chair for Basic Research. The Executive Committee is composed of the department associate chairs and provides oversight to the program and participates in candidate interviews, with individual members providing direct mentoring support where appropriate. Trainee progress in the program will be monitored through annual progress reports due April 1st based on established milestones (Table 1). Direct mentorship will occur on two levels. First, each trainee will establish a home laboratory and research advisor responsible for guiding his work. Second, the resident will also convene a mentoring committee comprised of senior faculty with complementary expertise and an established track record of research productivity. This group would also likely serve as the mentoring team on the candidate’s career development proposal.Timeline/Milestones for the Neurology Academic Research Track.
A unified PGY-1 to PGY-5 salary structure exists for NeuroART. This yields a direct benefit to trainees in the form of a continuously progressive pay scale. A yearly budget will also be established during the PGY-3 to PGY-5 years to provide the trainee with funds supporting travel to clinical or scientific meetings, books and journals, library services, and computer network accounts. Disbursement of funds will be contingent upon demonstrated progress in the program, achievement of specific benchmarks and available funds. Qualified participants will also be supported by department administration to apply to the NIH loan repayment program (LRP-CR) for debt forgiveness.