The fellowship program is expected to engage fellows in specific areas of scholarly activity.

Areas in which scholarly activity may be pursued include, but are not limited to: basic, clinical, or translational biomedicine; health services; quality improvement; bioethics; education; and public policy. In addition to biomedical research, examples of acceptable activities might include a critical meta-analysis of the literature, a systematic review of clinical practice with the scope and rigor of a Cochrane review, a critical analysis of public policy relevant to the subspecialty, or a curriculum development project with an assessment component.

In the first year, the fellows identify research mentors, after having a chance to interview with prospective mentors based on their area of interest. The fellow spends three months with the mentor within his/her laboratory/research group, determining the project of study, performing an extensive literature review, and beginning the designing and undertaking of experiments. First year fellows receive support to attend the annual Western Society for Pediatric Research (WSPR) Regional Scientific Meeting in Carmel, CA.

The second and third year fellows are devoted to working closely with the mentor in developing a research proposal following the NIH guidelines (specific aims, including the hypothesis to be tested, rationale for the proposed studies, background, methodology, references, and an assurance from the mentor that these studies can be performed in his/her laboratory). In addition, second and third year fellows are encouraged to submit research abstracts for the annual WSPR and Pediatric Society International Meetings.

The Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) in conjunction with the fellow, the mentor, and the program director determines whether a specific activity is appropriate to meet the ABP guidelines.

Involvement in scholarly activities must result in the generation of a specific written "work product," which may include:

  • A peer-reviewed publication in which a fellow played a substantial role
  • An in-depth manuscript describing a completed project
  • A thesis or dissertation written in connection with the pursuit of an advanced degree
  • An extramural grant application that has either been accepted or favorably reviewed
  • A progress report for projects of exceptional complexity, such as a multi-year clinical trial