The Washington University Department of Otolaryngology T32 Physician-Scientist Training Program provides a pathway directing medically trained individuals toward a successful research career in academic otolaryngology.

Why WashU?

  • Trainees are part of an extensive research enterprise spanning basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, and population health sciences research.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration enriches the training experience
  • Technology and expertise from other specialties — including biomedical engineering and neuroimaging — augment research possibilities
  • Emphasis on professional development fosters skills in critical thinking, experimental design and grantsmanship

What is it like to be a Physician-Scientist trainee?

Read trainee stories »

Program Description

Two residents per year are selected into the program by a special residency match mechanism. These residents perform mentored research, complete didactic coursework in research methodology and biostatistics, and participate in career development seminars in a contiguous two-year period, free of clinical responsibilities.

The research years are supported by a T-32 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many program residents qualify for the NIH Loan Repayment Program which can pay up to $70,000 in medical school loans.

Residents are to conduct research in any of the several mission areas of the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD): hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech and language. Click here to view potential mentors and their research areas.

Residents choose mentors from throughout Washington University School of Medicine. In addition, these residents also engage in didactic coursework and career development seminars.

The two-year block research period takes place after completion of PGY-2 year.  The stipend paid for the two research years is at the PGY-2 salary level. The research block provides a “home laboratory” in which trainees conduct their research and continue their investigations throughout their subsequent years of clinical training with emphasis on increasing their research and career development skills by competing for small grants.


Each scholar benefits from a two-member Trainee Advisory Panel that assists the scholar in selecting a project and research mentor. The research mentor and Advisory Panel guide the trainee through the two years of specific hands-on research training and ongoing career development curriculum which includes: grant writing, manuscript preparation, public speaking, and responsible conduct of research.

Outside of the lab

  • Milestone timelines and quality benchmarks are set for the trainees throughout their entire seven-year residency.
  • Regular seminars and conferences, including monthly Academic Career Development Conferences and the annual Resident Research Day provide additional “research culture” experience.
  • Presentation, competition, and attendance at national research meetings are strongly encouraged and financially supported. 

Physician-Scientist Supplemental


Funding for two-year research fellowships is provided by a training grant from the NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders,  T32DC000022: “Development of Clinician/Researchers in Academic ENT” (Jay Piccirillo, PI).