Why physician–scientist fellowships?
Physician–scientists are doctors who combine the practice of medicine with a mix of basic or clinical research. Trained in a multidisciplinary approach, physician–scientists are uniquely equipped to explore research ideas that link the biomedical sciences to the clinical care of patients, leading to discoveries that enhance human health.
In recent years, the number of physician–scientists has decreased dramatically. This pilot program aims to provide young doctors with a new track to pursue scientific training and to reduce the barriers to explore those interests. The fellowship also tests whether there is demand for programs like this and if providing this kind of opportunity will increase the number of physician–scientist trainees.
What is the physician–scientist fellowship program?
The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Physician–Scientist Fellowship program is an immersive, hands-on experience in biomedical research (laboratory or computational) intended as an introduction or as a supplement to prior experience. Most importantly—no prior research experience is required.
The core aspect of the program is a research-intensive experience for 24–36 months in the laboratory of a faculty mentor at one of CZ Biohub’s three collaborating campuses (Stanford University, UCSF, or UC Berkeley)—or in one of the intramural research labs at CZ Biohub.
Who will be the mentors?
Faculty from Stanford University, UCSF, and UC Berkeley eligible to serve as Graduate Student Advisors are eligible to serve as mentors. Fellows may also choose to be mentored by a CZ Biohub group or platform leader. Mentors will focus on optimizing career development, meeting regularly to guide training and provide feedback, and attending program-wide events and presentations.
I already have a faculty research mentor lined up and will start working in her lab in 2022. Will I need to be matched with a new faculty mentor or can I continue with that mentor?
You will be able to continue working with the same faculty mentor, provided she is a faculty member at Stanford, UCSF, or UC Berkeley and is eligible to serve as a Graduate Student Advisor.
Can I choose a mentor at an institution outside the bay area?
Faculty mentors must be based at one of CZ Biohub’s three collaborating campuses (Stanford University, UCSF, or UC Berkeley)—or in one of the intramural research labs at CZ Biohub.
Who will be the program faculty for the boot camp?
A boot camp will be presented by iBiology, a team of curriculum developers, content creators, and facilitators of interactive virtual classrooms, with a focus on community-building as well as diversity and inclusion.
What is the curriculum?
The fellowship program curriculum will eventually be taught in a peer-to-peer fashion focused on biomedical and clinical research. Fellows will determine topics and meeting cadence with a goal of 25 classes in a calendar year. Fellows can invite faculty members to teach a class up to once per month.
When does the program begin?
This year’s fellowship program begins July 1, 2022.
What if I am not able to begin the program until a later date?
Applicants must be able to begin the program on July 1, 2022.
How many fellows will be selected?
Approximately six each year.
Will more fellowships be awarded in 2023?
Yes, a call for applications will be made each year, with each new cohort starting July 1 of the following year.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Be enrolled in or have completed a full-time postgraduate medical training program at UCSF or Stanford.
- Hold an M.D., and neither hold nor be pursuing a Ph.D.
- Not hold a tenure-track or equivalent faculty position at the time of application or during the fellowship period.
- Commit to participate in the fellowship program for 24 months, with an option of extending to 36 months.
- Commit to at least 75% research effort while maintaining at least 20% clinical effort.
Applicants who have completed postgraduate medical training must hold a full-time appointment at UCSF or Stanford at the time of application and maintain a full-time appointment at either university during the fellowship period.
No prior research experience is required.
Awardees will be expected to attend core curricular events, make regular presentations to their peers, and give research-in-progress talks at the annual program retreat.
Are there limitations as to what year of residency an applicant must be in?
There are no limitations other than being beyond the first year of residency.
Am I eligible to apply if I am on a visa?
Yes, provided that the university continues to sponsor your visa as part of your employment and the visa remains valid for the entire fellowship period.
Is CZ BioHub prioritizing those with no research experience? Will those with prior research experience be at a disadvantage?
The program is primarily aimed at helping trainees with no research experience, but all applicants will be considered. It will be important for applicants who have prior research experience to explain how the fellowship will provide new opportunities or avenues for achieving their goals.
I am nearing the end of my clinical fellowship. Am I eligible to apply?
Once you have completed postgraduate medical training at either UCSF or Stanford you must hold a full-time appointment at UCSF or Stanford at the time of application and maintain a full-time appointment at either university during the fellowship period. However, you may not hold a tenure-track or equivalent faculty position at the time of application or during the fellowship period.
My current medical training position ends in June 2022. When I apply do I have to have a new position lined up to start in July 2022 when the fellowship begins?
One of the eligibility requirements is that you hold a full-time appointment at UCSF or Stanford for the duration of the fellowship, and that your program director signs a statement of commitment. So yes, you will have to have your July 2022 position and program director confirmed by the October 1, 2021 application deadline.
My current medical training position ends in June 2023 after the first year of the fellowship. When I apply do I have to have a new position lined up to coincide with the second year of the fellowship?
One of the eligibility requirements is that you hold a full-time appointment at UCSF or Stanford for the duration of the fellowship. You do not need to have the July 2023 position lined up at the time of application, but you would need to commit to having one in place by the start of the second year.
The fellowship requires a commitment of at least 75% research effort. Is it possible to have this total time distributed unevenly between the two years to accommodate my clinical schedule?
You would have to commit to at least 75% research effort while maintaining at least 20% clinical effort for the entire duration of the fellowship. The core aspect of the program will be a research-intensive experience for 24 months in a faculty mentor’s lab. The 75% research/20% clinical requirement applies for each of the entire two years, not for parts of each year. So you would not be able to distribute the time unevenly between the two years.
Will there be an option for a 4th year of the fellowship?
The fellowship is 24 months with an option for another 12 months.
Do I need a Google account to submit an application?
A Google account is required to login to submit the application because it is a Google Form.
When are applications due?
Applications are due by October 1, 2021, 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time.
What if my program director is unable to provide a statement of support for my application?
A statement of support from your program director is required to submit an application. If your program director has specific questions or concerns that we might be able to address, please forward their questions to us or introduce them to us by email at the contact below.
If my department is unable to commit to funding half of my salary and benefits, am I still able to apply?
Your program director must commit to fund half your salary and benefits during the fellowship period by submitting the statement of support. Without that commitment your application will be incomplete and not considered for review.
I completed my clinical fellowship so I no longer have a program director. I am now under the leadership of a department chair or postdoctoral mentor. Do I still need to submit a program director statement of support?
Yes, your department chair or postdoctoral mentor will need to submit the form committing to allow you to spend at least 75% time engaged in research during the fellowship period, make reasonable accommodations for you to attend regularly scheduled CZ Biohub events, and provide half your salary and benefits during the fellowship period.
My current medical training position ends June 2022 and I’ll be starting a new position July 2022 when the fellowship begins. Should I have my current program director sign the commitment statement, or the new program director for my position that starts July 2022?
The statement of support should be from the program director for your new position that begins July 2022 because that person is committing your time and salary support toward the CZ Biohub fellowship.
Can I submit personal statements longer than the 300-word limit?
No, applicants must adhere to the limit.
Can I submit a CV longer than the 3-page limit?
No, applicants must adhere to the limit.
Can I submit more than 2 references?
No, applicants must adhere to the limit. Your program director serves as the third reference.
Who will remove applications?
Applications will be reviewed by the program co-directors and expert reviewers.
When will interviews be held?
Interviews will be held in November.
Who will conduct the interviews?
Interviews will be conducted by the CZ Biohub co-Presidents, the program co-directors, and expert reviewers.
When will the decisions be made?
CZ Biohub plans to announce recipients of the awards in December 2021.
Will applicants who are not selected be provided with reviews, scores, or reasons for the decision?
CZ Biohub will inform all applicants of final decisions to award or not award funding, but we will not provide additional information.
How much is the award?
Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Physician-Scientist Fellows will be paid commensurate with others in their respective programs. The cost of salary and benefits will be split evenly between CZ Biohub and the home department/division. Awardees will receive an annual stipend of $5,000 for conference travel and other professional expenses.
While on the fellowship will I be allowed to receive income from other sources provided the overall clinical time will not exceed 25% of my total effort?
CZ Biohub will pay one-half of your salary/benefits for each of the two years, and your department will need to commit to covering the other half. From CZ Biohub’s perspective you could receive additional compensation beyond your salary subject to the policies and approval of your department or program.
How can the stipends be used? Are there restrictions?
The $5,000 stipends are unrestricted, but are intended to be used for professional development.