Research for General Psychiatry Residents

Residents may also pursue research interests without participating in the NIMH-funded Research Training Program (RTP). The director of research training guides non-RTP residents in choosing an area of research interest and finding a research mentor. Although non-RTP residents may start doing research as early as PGY-1, this is not required. We recommend that non-RTP residents who wish to do research begin doing so no later than the middle of PGY-3 to give them sufficient time to do meaningful work on a project and, ideally, participate in presenting and publishing their research findings.


Requests for protected research time are considered and granted if possible, depending on the resident’s rotation requirements. For example, residents may use one-half day a week in the PGY-1 and PGY-2 years to do an approved research project, and they can do a research elective during PGY-4 (see below).

All residents in all PG years are welcome to attend a resident research seminar that is overseen by the Director of Research Training (RTP residents are required to attend). The seminar covers a broad range of topics relevant to doing research. It includes didactic topics (for example, selecting a research topic, study design, ethics, writing a manuscript for publication) and career development issues. It also provides a forum for residents to discuss their research ideas and projects, practice presentations, and discuss manuscript drafts. As their time allows, PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents who are involved in research may attend the RTP Career Planning Seminar, which is led by Dr. Steven Rasmussen, our department chair, as well as research seminars and lectures offered by Brown’s federally funded T32 research fellowships, the Brown Institute for Brain Science, and other Centers, Institutes, and Departments at Brown.

Residents are encouraged to publish their research findings and to present at local and national meetings.

Research Elective During PGY-4

The research elective rotation is an elective training experience for residents who do not participate in the RTP. During this rotation, residents gain additional knowledge, skills, and experience relevant to conducting research. This rotation enables residents who are not participating in the RTP, under the mentorship of a researcher faculty member, to conduct a research project, learn research methods, and gain other research-related skills. The rotation requires an interest in research and a commitment to conducting a research project.

This rotation occurs during PGY-4. The rotation is a minimum of one month and may be longer. It is expected that residents who participate in the full-time elective described here will have had some involvement in research or related scholarly activity earlier during their training.