BWF Physician Scientist Training Program

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) has a strong tradition of producing world-renowned physician-scientists and is at the forefront of revolutionary change in biomedical research and patient care, with an emphasis on basic, clinical, translational, and population-based research.

The DGSOM is proud to be a recipient of a Physician-Scientist Institutional Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF). This BWF initiative aims to tackle one of the most difficult challenges facing the biomedical research enterprise, which is the development of MD scientists who possess a unique combination of expertise bridging frontline patient care and rigorous research. By concentrating resources on the challenges facing MDs, and with special emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women, BWF and its institutional awardees hope to better understand pressure points that cause barriers to lifelong research careers and offer effective, long-range solutions.

In addition to the creation of mentoring and leadership training programs for all medical students, residents, fellows and junior clinical faculty with an interest in pursuing research programs, one key component of DGSOM’s BWF program is the establishment of a BWF Physician Scientist Training Program that will provide funding to help extend the research training of a few highly motivated clinical fellows.

Program Overview

The BWF Physician Scientist Training Program is a 2-year intensive add-on program designed to extend an existing clinical fellowship and catalyze the transition of highly motivated fellows to successful academic careers. In this program, fellows will receive approximately $75,000 per year of salary support, thereby providing protected time to immerse themselves in the research training and mentorship required to become a successful physician-scientist.


Important Dates

  • November 1, 2021
    Application forms and supporting documents must be submitted
  • December 1, 2021
    Final decisions announced
  • July 1, 2022*
    Training program start date
    *Funding start date for most senior cohort

program and application Information:

1. Two years of funded research training (approximately $75,000 in salary support per year) following completion of a clinical fellowship.

2. Support from a curated and dedicated mentorship team that will include:

  • Assistance, when appropriate, with research mentor(s) selection for the applicant based on the applicant’s field of interest.
  • An academic career mentor to assist with the post-fellowship transition to a junior faculty role.
  • A clinical mentor to provide mentorship toward the integration of research training and clinical career goal.
  • Peer mentorship from other fellows working in the same clinical or research areas of interest.

3. Completion of coursework curated to the fellow’s unique research needs.

4. Membership for the applicant and their research mentor in the Dean’s Physician-Scientist Leadership Academy.

The Program will typically aim to select participants during their first year of fellowship training for the purpose of guiding career advancement beginning at an early stage, with the two years of funding provided after the clinical fellowship ends. However, to jump-start the Program, three separate cohorts of participants will be selected during the current application period: these three cohorts will currently be in either 1) their final year of fellowship training, 2) their penultimate year of fellowship training, and 3) their third to last year (often the first year) of fellowship training. In all cases, the two years of funding will be provided after the final year of clinical fellowship training. Participants selected in earlier years of fellowship training will obtain career guidance and will be eligible to participate in Program activities throughout their clinical fellowship; with funding commencing at the conclusion of the clinical fellowship.

  • Applications will be considered from all ACGME or equivalent organization fellowship programs in any medical specialty.
  • The DGSOM BWF Physician Scientist Training Program focuses on MDs who would like to pursue a career in laboratory basic or translational research.
  • Participation will require a departmental commitment to provide 80% protected time for research during the two years of BWF funding.
  • Applications from female and underrepresented minority (URM) fellows are strongly encouraged.
  • Fellows who possess PhDs or are already part of the UCLA STAR or other MD/PhD programs are not eligible to apply.

The following documents are required in your application. Please use Arial 11 font and 1-inch margins for all text documents. Please assemble all documents in the order indicated below into a single PDF prior to upload.

  1. Application Form →
  2. Up-to-date NIH-Style Biosketch →
  3. A document summarizing leadership experience* (1/2 page), academic accomplishments (1/2 page), and short- and long-term academic interests (1/2 page)
  4. Describe the research directions you wish to pursue through the BWF Training Program and your long-term research interests (1 page).

Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from previous research or academic mentors.  Mentors can upload confidential letters at the following link.

* Leadership experience may include any leadership roles during your undergraduate, medical school, residency or fellowship years. Examples include a student society or association leadership, managing a team or project, coaching a sports team, being a chief resident and so on.

Applicants: Upload your materials

Mentors: Upload your letters

Contact Information:

Please direct questions to