Research training is a major aspect of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital. Training opportunities are available in both bench research and clinical research, and both career tracks are encouraged.
Research opportunities exist in a wide variety of basic and applied research relevant to infectious diseases, including:
- bacterial, mycobacterial, parasitic and viral pathogenesis
- infection control
- clinical trials
The goal of this training is to prepare fellows for a career in academic pediatric infectious diseases that includes clinical or laboratory research. A Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) will be established for each fellow beginning in their first year. The role of the SOC will be to monitor the research progress of the trainee over the course of their fellowship and to ensure that the research efforts meet the guidelines for Scholarly Activity as established by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Early in the first year, fellows identify a research mentor from among the faculty of the Division, faculty in other Divisions at Boston Children's Hospital, and faculty in other affiliated hospitals and Harvard Medical School. Preparation for the research training to be undertaken in the second and third years requires substantial effort on the part of the fellow, working in consultation with the Division Chief, Program Director, and other members of the Division.
Once a mentor is identified and agrees to supervise the fellow's research training, the mentor and fellow formulate a research project based on the fellow's interest and the mentor's expertise. In addition, funding sources for the research years are identified. Fellows apply during the first year for one or more fellowships to provide salary support for the second and third years.
Clinical Research Training Course
In addition to the mentored research experience, fellows take an intensive short course in clinical research at the beginning of the second year. In some cases, fellows may choose to take courses to further their research training, e.g., at the Harvard School of Public Health or Harvard Medical School. The extensive menu of scientific seminars offered by the institutions in the Harvard Medical area are an additional valuable resource for acquiring up-to-date knowledge in the fellow's area of interest.