The UCSF Physician-Scientist Scholars Program (PSSP) was established in 2013 with the goal of providing financial resources, career guidance and protected research time to facilitate the early career development of physician-scientists who have high potential to conduct transformative laboratory-based research to advance human health. 

PSSP Scholars are physician-scientists (MD/PhD or MD) with exceptional scientific training and potential and have also completed ACGME residency training in a clinical specialty area. The Program is governed at the level of the Dean, School of Medicine, who appoints a PSSP Director and a Steering Committee who review and appoint candidates and oversee the Program.

PSSP Eligibility and Support

Candidates must be nominated by a clinical department in UCSF. Individuals can be nominated as early as when they are considered for residency training, or as late as two years after completing ACGME-mandated residency/clinical fellowship training if those two years involved >50% effort in laboratory research. This flexible window for appointment to the PSSP recognizes the dynamic nature of medical training, differences among different specialties, how clinical experiences can inform career goals, and the occasional “late bloomer” who may not hold a PhD degree but shows truly exceptional aptitude and motivation soon after she/he enters the lab. 

Each PSSP Scholar will hold an appointment in a clinical department at a level appropriate for her/his level of training (e.g., Resident, Fellow, Assistant Professor). Because of the nature of medical training, PSSP Scholars can activate their research support at multiple time points while they are pursuing or after completing ACGME residency/fellowship training.

The Dean’s Office provides each PSSP scholar with a maximum of $1.25M research funding over five years. PSSP Scholars are encouraged to apply for extramural funding and the annual award is reduced by 50% the dollar amount of any active external grant support.

Nomination for PSSP Awards

A call for nominations is sent out to clinical departments once a year, generally in December. The PSSP currently has funding to appoint one or two new scholars each year.