Fellows on the Investigation Pathway aim to pursue careers as physician investigators, advancing the field of nephrology through research, from Basic Science, to Translational and Clinical Science. Some fellows on the Investigation Pathway enter the program with an area of research or even a project in mind while others identify their research focus from a formative clinical experience during the first year. By winter of the first year, fellows have had ample opportunity to meet with faculty to discuss their interests and choose a mentor whose scientific and career guidance will help them launch their promising academic career.
During their second and third years, fellows on the Investigation Pathway conduct original research under the mentorship of a faculty member at BWH, MGH or one of our affiliated institutes. As part of the research years, fellows participate in didactics and other formal opportunities to learn research techniques and methods and develop the skills they will need for success as an investigator. Fellows are expected to write grants early in the second year, a valuable experience that requires them to develop expertise in their area of investigation, construct the case for their project’s scientific merit, and learn the art of grant writing and grantsmanship under the tutelage of their scientific mentor. Both divisions hold institutional training grants from the National Institutes of Health (T32) and fellow research years are supported by a combination of these institutional and divisional funds as well as fellows’ own individual fellowship grants. Our fellows have been remarkably successful in obtaining individual fellowship grants from the NIH (F32), the VA, from foundations such as the American Society of Nephrology, American Heart Association, American Kidney Fund and American Society of Transplantation, and from industry. During their research years, fellows are supported to attend ASN Kidney Week, an invaluable opportunity to learn from their peers and others in their chosen space, network, and of course compete in the FIT Bowl!