Residency Research Rotation


The research rotation is an elective during the PGY4 year and is an opportunity for future leaders to demonstrate their vision for success as clinician-scientists. Our department values the recruitment of individuals who will change the way we think about H&N surgery and push the frontiers of our field forward in an effort to provide the best care for our patients. As such, the research block is a privilege that will be awarded to residents who, having demonstrated clinical acumen appropriate for their training level, successfully complete a research proposal in accordance with the application process outlined below.

Needs Assessment for Grant Writing

Having a sound idea for research is critical. Howver, the ability to translate ideas into rational well -controlled experiments may not be as seamless. Questions as to whether some ideas are feasible given resources, funds, expertise, or timing may be clear. However, some of the nuances of experiments that would address a well-reasoned, hypothesis-driven research plan are best defined and refined through a formal research proposal. In addition to the skills one gains from writing the proposal, the review process is also very informative as it allows the author to gain an outside perspective regarding the research questions posed and the clarity with which they are communicated. Extramural funding of the proposal will be the goal, however it is not required as part of the research rotation. Internal H&N departmental grant funding will also be available to support the most competitive proposals, in addition to the potential extramural opportunities such as CORE grant funding.

Grant Review Committee

The resident grant proposals will be reviewed by a 3-4 person faculty committee of basic scientists, clinician scientists, and educators (tentatively: Chair: Dr. Hoffman, Other members: Dr. Chhetri, Dr. Nabili, Dr. St. John, plus other faculty who are interested). Primary reviewer will evaluate focus, testability, and feasibility of research plan; secondary reviewer will focus primarily on clarity and scientific impact of research plan.


PGY 3 June 30

Letter of Intent due (independent of intended research block start during PGY4)

  • Hypothesis(es) and specific aims.
  • Plan for all appropriate research approvals (safety training, DLAM, CITI, IRB, PPD, etc.)
  • Signed by PI acknowledging approval.
  • NIH biosketch of resident and PI required
PGY 3 October 1  Draft 1 of grant due.
PGY 3 November 1  Draft 2 of grant due.
PGY 3 December 1  Final grant due.
PGY 3 December 4 Submit Grant to Head & Neck Finance office to begin processing
(Make yourself available to collect signatures and answer questions)
PGY 3 December 15 DUE DATE: Last day to submit formal LOI to funding organization (e.g. CORE, TRIO, FPRS)
PGY 3 February 1

Proposed plan for research block organization due
(identify Block I residents entering July 1; Block II residents entering Jan. 1)

PGY 4 July 1 Research Block I commences.
PGY 4  September 15  Block I progress reports due to research committee /approved by PI.
PGY 4 December 31 Final reports for Block I approved by PI, due to research committee.
PGY 4 January 1 Research block commences for Block II.
PGY 4 March 15 Block II progress reports due to research committee/approved by PI.
PGY 4 June 30 Block II final reports approved by PI, due to research committee.

Letter of Intent

The letter of intent includes:

  1. Project Title
  2. PI (with contact information)
  3. Institution (if not Department)
  4. Is the proposal a resubmission (note date if yes)
  5. Laboratory resources required to complete research plan
  6. Total award amount requested (note: internal H&N departmental funding contribution will be up to maximum of $10,000)
  7. Start date and end date
  8. Project Summary/Abstract
    1. (2,000 characters max. including spaces. Text only; no special characters or formatting). More on abstracts in the section below State the project's broad, long-term objectives and goals, making reference to the health relatedness of the project. Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving these goals. Avoid summaries of past accomplishments and the use of the first person. This description is meant to serve as a succinct and accurate description of the proposed work when separated from the application.
  9. Selected 'Focus Area' from key words provided (can select multiple key words)
  10. Selected 'Discipline' from key words provided (can select multiple key words)
  11. Selected 'Topic Area' from key words provided (can select multiple key words)

NIH Biosketch Instructions

Grant Application Format

AAO-HNS CORE Grant Application Instructions