Research/Academic Time

While we believe dedicated academic time is important to the professional development of our residents, our flexibility during this period is one of the hallmarks of our program. In the past 10 years, residents have pursued advanced degrees at Columbia and other institutions, worked on basic science, translational, and outcomes-based projects, completed clinical fellowships, and initiated the surgical education fellowship at Columbia. Others have completed their clinical training without a break. Our program works with residents on an individual basis starting at the end of PGY1 to establish a plan for their academic years if this is desired. Residents choosing to pursue an academic year or years do so after completion of PGY3.

For those wishing to stay close to home, Columbia's Department of Surgery has a strong history of research, and the Department's Division of Surgical Science is currently carrying out a broad range of research projects. If residents are interested in positions outside of Columbia, they may also do so during this time.

Fully funded non-laboratory opportunities that are available at CUIMC for our residents include positions such as the Surgical Education Fellowship, Adult or Pediatric ECMO fellowship, and the Critical Care Fellowship.

For those seeking outcomes research, multiple divisions within the department have supported resident researchers. Recently, residents have held positions to study outcomes in surgical oncology, hepatobiliary and liver transplantation, renal transplantation, colorectal surgery, hernia and abdominal wall reconstructive surgery, acute care surgery, breast surgical oncology, and pediatric surgery. We have also had support for residents interested in global surgery and health disparities research within the field of surgery.

As for basic science or translational research, there are multiple NIH funded laboratories within the Departments of Surgery and Medicine. Labs that have supported our residents have focused on cancer biology and immunology, transplantation tolerance in liver, kidney, intestinal and heart models, xenotransplantation, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cardiac valve physiology and biomechanics and the ex-vivo perfusion and rehabilitation of liver and lung grafts. Other labs focus on biomedical engineering as well as clinical data science. Please see the links above to learn more about specific research opportunities within the Department of Surgery.

We are pleased to announce that we have funding for two residents per year to pursue the research of their choice. Residents are selected by the Department of Surgery Research Committee based on a brief proposal that is submitted in the fall of their PGY3. These proposals are NIH style and are intended to be a starting point for residents to use towards pursuing external grants should they not be selected for internal funding or as a means to support additional research time beyond the internally funded year. There are also opportunities for funding through NIH T32 Training Awards in the fields of transplantation immunology and cardiovascular research at our institution. All research residents have the additional opportunity to supplement their income by moonlighting as junior surgical residents at our main campus. Support for grant-writing and seeking external funding is available to residents who are interested.


Watch Our Annual Research Symposium Webinar