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Clinical Fellowship and PGY4 Programs

The Office of Fellowship Training in the Intramural Research Programs works with individuals who are interested in the research conducted in the labs of the National Institute of Mental Health. Listed below are different categories of fellowships or training programs, according to level of experience. A few programs are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only, while others are open to foreign scientists. Please read the descriptions carefully in order to find the category that fits your level of experience.

Training and Educational Opportunities for Physicians and Medical Students

Clinical Fellowship Program

The NIMH Clinical Fellowship Program provides post-residency training in clinical neuroscience research for highly motivated and qualified MDs and MD-PhDs.

PGY4 Psychiatry Residency Program

The NIMH IRP offers an ACGME accredited one-year PGY4 psychiatry residency program focused on clinical neuroscience research training that is closely tied to the clinical fellowship program.

Clinical Electives Program

The Clinical Electives Program (CEP) provides medical students with 4 or 8 week clinical research elective rotations during their 4th year of medical school.

Clinical Fellowship Program

The NIMH Clinical Fellowship Program provides post-residency training in clinical neuroscience research for highly motivated and qualified DOs, MDs and MD-PhDs. The Clinical Fellowship Program is designed to attract and inspire future academic psychiatrists and train them for successful research careers in the clinical neurosciences. The 3-year training program is mentorship driven and focuses on the acquisition and refinement of research skills including the evaluation and clinical care of research subjects, development of research protocols, performance of clinical and/or laboratory research, and preparation and presentation of study results. Skills are developed through didactic course work and interaction with experienced research mentors. Clinical fellows join specialty research groups that study the mechanisms or treatments of major psychiatric illnesses in adults and children. Successful candidates have a strong background in research and a commitment to an academic career path.

To be eligible for this program, candidates must have a DO, MD or MD-PhD degrees and completed residency training in psychiatry or related specialty, e.g. neurology, radiology. Additional information can be requested by contacting Lisa Cullins, M.D., Program Director, NIMH Clinical Fellowship Program.

PGY4 Psychiatry Residency Program

The NIMH PGY4 psychiatry residency program offers research training in clinical neuroscience and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The PGY4 resident who seeks admission to this program must have completed all ACGME psychiatry clinical rotation requirements prior to beginning the program. There is a formal application process that includes submission of a written application and letters of recommendation, followed by invitations to interview with potential research mentors and NIMH training staff. If accepted, the PGY4 resident transfers to the NIMH residency program and completes residency after one full year. Residents generally transition immediately to the NIMH clinical fellowship program (see above) after completion of their PGY4 year at NIMH.

Additional information can be found at this link:  or by contacting Lisa Cullins, M.D. , Program Director, NIMH PGY4 Psychiatry Residency Program.

Clinical Electives Program

The goal of the Clinical Electives Program (CEP) is to provide medical students with first-hand experience in the conduct of clinical research after completion of their core clinical rotations. Four to eight week elective rotations are offered in: Adult Psychopharmacology (Course coordinator: Carlos Zarate, M.D.), Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (Course coordinator: Haniya Raza, D.O.), and Psychosomatic Medicine (Course coordinator: Maryland Pao, MD). Other elective options are possible on request.

Participants are assigned a senior staff member who serves as a preceptor. In conjunction with the student, the preceptor develops and oversees an individually-based tutorial program. Students perform psychiatric evaluations on assigned patients and participate in regular clinical research unit meetings, rounds and seminars. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • be enrolled in a medical school fully accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges, and
  • have completed their initial rotation/clerkship in psychiatry prior to arriving at NIH.

Although applicants are considered on a continuous basis, it is recommended that application materials be received four months prior to the start dates of the preferred session. The fall, winter and spring sessions usually commence the first week of September, January and March, respectively. Additional information on this program can be found at this link:  or by contacting Debbie Snyder, M.S.W.