The Washington University Department of Otolaryngology Physician-Scientist Training Program provides a pathway directing medically trained individuals toward a successful research career in academic otolaryngology.

Why WashU?

  • Trainees are part of an extensive research enterprise spanning basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, and population health sciences research.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration enriches the training experience
  • Technology and expertise from other specialties — including biomedical engineering and neuroimaging — augment research possibilities
  • Emphasis on professional development fosters skills in critical thinking, experimental design and grantsmanship

We invite you to view a five-part video seriesOverview of the Physician-Scientist Research Training Program, to learn more about the core components of the program through the words and wisdom of current residents, recent alums, faculty mentors and program leadership – Director Jay Piccirillo, MD, and Associate Director Craig Buchman, MD.

Program Description

Two residents per year are selected into the program by a special residency match mechanism. These residents perform mentored research, complete didactic coursework in research methodology and biostatistics, and participate in career development seminars in a contiguous two-year period, free of clinical responsibilities.

The research years are supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many program residents qualify for the NIH Loan Repayment Program which can pay up to $70,000 in medical school loans.

Residents are to conduct research in any of the several mission areas of the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD): hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech and language.

Residents choose mentors from throughout Washington University School of Medicine. In addition, these residents also engage in didactic coursework and career development seminars.

The two-year block research period takes place after completion of PGY-2 year.  The stipend paid for the two research years is at the PGY-2 salary level. The research block provides a “home laboratory” in which trainees conduct their research and continue their investigations throughout their subsequent years of clinical training with emphasis on increasing their research and career development skills by competing for small grants.

What’s it like to be a physician-scientist trainee?

Read trainee stories »

Learn more about the ACDC »


Each scholar benefits from a two-member Trainee Advisory Panel that assists the scholar in selecting a project and research mentor. The research mentor and Advisory Panel guide the trainee through the two years of specific hands-on research training and ongoing career development curriculum which includes: grant writing, manuscript preparation, public speaking, and responsible conduct of research.

Outside of the lab

  • Milestone timelines and quality benchmarks are set for the trainees throughout their entire seven-year residency.
  • Regular seminars and conferences, including monthly Academic Career Development Conferences and the annual Resident Research Day provide additional “research culture” experience.
  • Presentation, competition, and attendance at national research meetings are strongly encouraged and financially supported. 


Current funding for two-year research fellowships is provided by a training grant from the NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, R25DC020706: Otolaryngology R25 mentored research pathway for residents and medical students (Jay Piccirillo, PI). All trainees must be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

In July 2023, NIH funding for the Physician Scientist Training Program transitioned from a T32 mechanism to R25 grant funding.

R25 grant acknowledgement in publications

Please include the following funding acknowledgement in all your research publications and documents. This is mandatory. Do not edit. Use verbatim:

“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders within the National Institutes of Health, through the “Otolaryngology R25 mentored research pathway for residents and medical students” training grant, award number R25DC020706. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

PMC ID Numbers: NIH-funded investigators are required to submit (or have submitted for them) their final, peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance of publications to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication. Note: PMCID is not the same as PMID. More information available online at

Questions? Contact program coordinator Jana Richardson at