Research Track

The Department of Neurology has a sustained commitment to excellence in the three major components of academic medicine: teaching, clinical care, and research that advances scientific/medical knowledge as well as therapeutics and diagnostics. The department welcomes residency applications for the Research Track from MD-PhD candidates, or others with a serious interest in a research career.


The goal of the Research Track is to provide an extended and individualized research exposure for interested Neurology residents during their PGY1-4 clinical training years. Further, it is expected that by the time they complete their residency training, this dedicated research time will allow trainees to apply for competitive fellowships, such as NIH K-series awards or disease foundation career development awards that combine subspecialty clinical training and focused research time.


 Although residents can become involved with research projects at any stage of their PGY1-4 years (independent of the Research Track), in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, it is recommended that applicants declare their intentions as early as possible. Ideally, individuals interested in the Research Track should make this known at the time of application to the residency program in an effort to schedule an interview with one of the Research Track directors. 

Once accepted and matriculated in the residency program, those interested in the Research Track will schedule a screening interview with the Research Track and Residency Directors to ensure that residency and career goals are appropriate and realistic. Once accepted, residents in the Research Track may choose as their mentor any faculty member in any department at the School of Medicine or the University at large. In some, but not all cases, the directors of the Research Track may be able to help match residents with faculty of similar research interests. The faculty member must agree to be the mentor and also agree to pay any associated research expenses.

For a longitudinal research project to be approved, applicants must submit a brief (1-2 page) project description with Specific Aims and the proposed mentor’s CV. Residents in the Research Track will meet twice yearly with a committee composed of the directors of the Research Track and at least one of the Residency Directors.

Maximum time*** available for research is as follows:

  • PGY1: 8 weeks
  • PGY2: 6 weeks
  • PGY3: 8 weeks
  • PGY4: 10 weeks

Total: 32 weeks (and up to 18 consecutive weeks with sufficient advance planning)

*** Note that Neurology residency training provides a relatively short (3-year) period in which to learn clinical neurology – and that research elective time comes at the expense of clinical electives.

We are thrilled to announce that we are currently applying for the R25 grant which will be an option for residents in our research track, allowing them to further extend the time needed to develop their research career, while receiving the necessary funding to do so. 

Dr. J. Timothy Greenamyre and Dr. Sarah Berman will be the directors of the Research Track. Applicants/residents interested in the research track should indicate their interest to our Program Director and/or to Dr. Greenamyre at or before their interview day. 

J. Timothy Greenamyre, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Vice Chair, Academic Affairs
Director, Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND)

T: 412-648-9793