Trainees receive an academic enhancement allowance ($9,000) available during their clinical years to help with the purchase of books, computer equipment, professional memberships and to support travel to scientific meetings. Base salary level during the research training years is commensurate with postgraduate year plus a $15,000/year supplement. The salary supplement is increased to $25,000 during the final year of research if a trainee submits an application for an NIH K-award or equivalent extramural career development grant.
In the research years, trainees are supported initially by institutional training grants or the equivalent and then are encouraged to pursue individual fellowship awards. The success rate among trainees in obtaining extramural funding has been extremely high. For example, our trainees have a >70% success rate in obtaining NIH Loan Repayment Awards to help relieve them of debt incurred during medical school. In later stages of their research training, trainees are encouraged to apply for NIH K awards and other similar funding mechanisms to enable transition to an independent faculty position. Trainees are also eligible for an intramural Vanderbilt Physician-Scientist Development Award which can provide a similar bridge between fellowship and faculty positions. In many cases, senior trainees have been promoted to Instructor at a commensurate salary level while they complete their training.