Tri-I StARR (Stimulating Access to Research in Residency)

Physician-scientists comprise an essential and irreplaceable component of the healthcare workforce due to their specific intellectual preparation and flexibility to identify and respond to major human health challenges, both known and unknown. Yet, the heightened acuity, volume, and complexities of healthcare delivery have focused clinical training on the acquisition and application of existing knowledge, rather than generation of new knowledge. At the same time, scientific training has required an increasingly complex combination of training in both fundamental and disease-specific biology. As a result, despite unprecedented opportunities to advance human health through science, the career path for physicians interested in pursuing full time investigative careers has become paradoxically less and less accessible.  This program seeks to remedy this deficiency by offering residents a longitudinally structured pathway to pursue full time careers in investigative medicine as a formal vocation. The program explicitly integrates scientific training with career development within and across clinical career stages through the following four components:

  • a pragmatic curriculum that teaches scientific method using the NIH grant application and applies it to the design of hypothesis-based projects that address human disease across the lifespan, including those of disparities,
  • individualized, multidisciplinary, and multilayered mentorship in the design and completion of a research project and acquisition of project-specific knowledge and skills
  • horizontal and vertical networking among physician-scientists within and across career stages and institutions
  • short, intermediate, and long term Individual Development Plans (IDPs) with pre-defined milestones and hand-off mechanisms that integrate scientific and clinical training across career stages through faculty independence.

In addition to fully funded salary support at 80% effort for up to two years, resident trainees will be eligible for:

  •  Research supplies and technical support (including after returning to clinical training)
  • Registration and material for short-term scientific and career development courses or workshops
  • Travel to scientific conferences and NIH-sponsored workshops

Resident trainees supported by this program will leave residency with:

  • Clearly defined career goals and research path
  • A network of diverse research-focused peers and preceptors
  • A track record of scholarly activity that will help resident trainees reach their desired position and career goals
  • Eligibility for medical board certification and competitive application for a subspecialty fellowship
  • Eligibility for up to two years of continued training support through an individual K38 StARR award, after which trainees retain eligibility for K08, K23 and/or K99 awards

Reflecting the mission statement of the NIAID, this program places specific emphasis on infectious, immunologic and inflammatory disorders, including those across the lifespan and linked to healthcare disparities.

Participating Departments

Principal Investigators

Kyu Rhee M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology Weill Department of Medicine

Division of Infectious Diseases


Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D.  

Nancy C. Paduano Professor and Chair Department of Pediatrics



Ethel Cesarman, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Vice-Chair for Education Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Contact Us

For more information, email Jeanne Tejada (Program Manager) at