Research Tracks

The research fellowship at UCSF has been highly successful with a track record of numerous scientific publications, extramural grant funding, and post-fellowship academic faculty positions, including several nephrology division chiefs. Fellows take advantage of the world class research environment of UCSF, working with nephrology or non-nephrology faculty mentors and receiving formal training to prepare them to be independent investigators.

The research fellowship track includes one dedicated clinical year, which is identical between research and clinical fellows, followed by 2-3 years of formal research training. During the research years, the focus is on intensive training in research methodology and hands-on experience. Fellows have ample protected time for projects and formal training - approximately 75% protected time in the second fellowship year and 85% in the third fellowship year and beyond.

We offer two pathways for fellows in the research track:

Common Features of Clinical & Basic Science Research Tracks

The UCSF fellowship program is unique in the breadth of opportunities available for fellows. Based on their research interests, fellows select a primary research mentor by the spring of the first year of training.

Mentorship
Our program includes faculty members with diverse research interests and extensive mentorship experience. Research mentors and program leadership are committed to providing a supportive training environment and are invested in the fellow's success. The research mentor provides individualized guidance regarding research progress, career development, grant submissions, and manuscript preparation. In addition, each fellow has a research mentorship committee, which regularly reviews research progress, plans for publications and grant submissions, and career development.

Didactic Instruction
All research fellows will receive formal didactic instruction in research methodologies, writing grants and papers.

Research Experience
All research fellows have the opportunity to present and discuss research methods, results and conclusions at numerous settings, including Renal Grand Rounds and individual lab/research group meetings. They also have supervised research projects that provide hands-on laboratory or analytical experience. They gain grantsmanship skills through mentored grant applications.

Funding
For over 40 years, our NIH T32 training grant has supported eligible fellows (U.S. citizens or permanent residents). We also have VA research funds for fellows - T32 eligible or not. Regardless of citizenship status, we guarantee salary support for the first two research years. We fully cover tuition for coursework related to research training such a master's degree in clinical research through the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics or an MPH through UC Berkeley. Since 2000, dozens of UCSF nephrology fellows have obtained master's degrees - up to three fellows per year.

Our trainees have been very successful in obtaining individual extramural funding from outsides sources such as the NIH, American Kidney Fund (AKF), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Nephrology and others.

Fellow salaries are based on the UCSF PGY payscale, not the NIH payscale - a significant difference of thousands of dollars per year. Fellows also receive the UCSF housing stipend ($13,210.68 per fellow for 2020-21).

Resources

Previous Research Fellowship Outcomes

Our track record in successful extramural funding during the transition from fellow to faculty is unsurpassed. Since 2005, 26 of the UCSF ACGME nephrology fellowship graduates have successfully obtained 36 career development awards.

  • 6 K08: Vivek Bhalla, 2005; Alan Pao, 2006; Sunfa Chang, 2006; Denise Marciano, 2008; Denis Glenn, 2009; Steven Kim, 2016 (declined);
  • 14 K23: Andy Choi, 2008; Carmen Peralta, 2009; Nisha Bansal, 2010; Yoshio Hall, 2010 [at UW]; James Wetmore, 2010 [at Kansas]; Ruth Dubin, 2012; Cynthia Delgado, 2012 (declined for VA DCA); Vanessa Grubbs, 2012; Delphine Tuot, 2012; Meyeon Park, 2013; Raymond Hsu, 2013; Julie Ishida, 2015; Elaine Ku, 2016; Vasantha Jotwani, 2016;
  • 2 Beeson Career Development Awards: Ann O'Hare, 2006; Manjula Kurella Tamura, 2007;
  • 9 K12/KL2: Kathleen Liu, 2005; Afshin Parsa, 2006 [at Univ of Maryland]; Harini Chakkera, 2008 [at Mayo]; Carmen Peralta, 2008; Nisha Bansal, 2010 (declined for K23); Delphine Tuot, 2011; Raymond Hsu, 2013; Elaine Ku, 2015; Vasantha Jotwani, 2016;
  • 1 AHA Fellow to Faculty Award: Joachim Ix, 2005;
  • 2 VA Career Development Awards: Adriana Hung, 2009 [at Vanderbilt]; Cynthia Delgado, 2012;
  • 2 Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Awards: Carmen Peralta, 2011; Vanessa Grubbs, 2012;
  • 1 Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award: Meyeon Park, 2015.

Within this same time span, 14 of the 26 have progressed to become principal investigators of VA Merit Review (Dr. Hung) or R01-level grants (Drs. Bhalla, Ix, Liu, Marciano, O’Hare, Peralta, Tamura, Bansal, Tuot, Pao, Dubin, Park, Ku) and an 15th fellow become principal investigator of a PCORI award (Dr. Mitch Lunn).