Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP)

A yearlong clinical research training program for medical students

The Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP) offers clinical research training and scholarships to University of Pittsburgh medical students who are committed to careers in clinical investigation. Students may complete the dual MD/MS in clinical research or the MD/Certificate in clinical research.

The CSTP involves a research year taken typically between the third and fourth year of medical school (sometimes between the second and third year, depending on the candidate). We expect most CSTP candidates to take their research year after completing their core clerkships in the third year of medical school in order to ensure that their research will be informed by their clinical knowledge. However, we recognize that there may be candidates who have identified their research interests and project early and have compelling arguments for choosing to do the CSTP between their second and third years.

The CSTP year would begin on July 1st of the year of acceptance and last until June 30th. Students will not be enrolled in medical school during this year and thus cannot schedule any rotations during this time period. The research year includes:


  1. Formal Coursework

    Students complete the ICRE core curriculum (11 credits). Those completing the MD/Certificate complete 7 additional elective credits. Those completing the dual MD/MS program complete 6 units of thesis research and 10 additional track-specific required and elective credits. Master of Science candidates will need to write a master’s thesis or two first-author, submission-ready research manuscripts prior to graduation from medical school.

  2. 2

  3. Mentored Clinical Research

    Students complete a mentored clinical research project with their CSTP mentor.

  4. 3

  5. Financial Support

    During the research year, students receive a living stipend, health insurance, and travel funds. Additionally, they receive a full tuition scholarship for the cost of the Certificate. The cost of the additional credits for the MS are the student’s responsibility to pay. Students who successfully complete their research year objectives additionally receive a substantial tuition scholarship toward the fourth year of medical school upon returning from the research year.

For information on the program curriculum, financial support, and the mentoring component, see the Program Details page.


Advisory Committee

Doris M. Rubio,

Advisory Committee Chair

Paula Davis,

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Diversity

Susan L. Greenspan,

Professor of Medicine

Alda Gonzaga,

Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Joan Harvey,

Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Gretchen L. Haas,

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

MaCalus Hogan,

AVice Chair of Education and Residency Program Director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

John Horn,

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Amber Johnson,

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Cynthia Lance-Jones,

Associate of Professor of Neurobiology

Matthew Rosengart,

Professor of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine

Jason Rosenstock,

Professor of Psychiatry

Richard Steinman,

Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Galen Switzer,

Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry

Institute for Clinical Research Education
200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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