The fellowship training program is designed to create an environment that fosters professional growth and development in young investigators, allowing them to mature into independent researchers capable of and interested in pursuing independent research that contributes to the overall VA mission of health care. Each fellow will have a committee of mentors. Consultants from off-site faculty may be included. Dr. Kunik will be on each fellow's committee to provide administrative oversight and to monitor the fellow's progress toward completing each specific task required by the fellowship. The second committee member will be the primary mentor, who will have experience conducting research in the topic areas that the fellow chooses to pursue. This mentor will have primary responsibility for guiding the fellow to meet the research and education goals. Other mentors may be included based on fellows’ interests and needs. Fellows will meet with their primary mentor on a biweekly basis and with their mentoring committee quarterly. The program director will meet with the fellow semiannually to review the fellow's progress.
At the beginning of the fellowship year, the mentoring committee will meet with each fellow to individualize the training experience, with the goal of compensating for any academic or clinical deficits, and to enhance the fellow's existing expertise, academic preparation, and research interests. All fellows are expected to:
- Complete course work specific to their specialty track
- Participate in ongoing research projects and grant writing in their area of interest
- Develop a research project in their area of interest that should result in a publication in a peer-reviewed journal and/or grant application
- Make a presentation at a national meeting
- Participate in clinical activities as assigned
- Attend the annual fellowship national meeting
- Participate in teaching opportunities
- Attend biweekly MIRECC Fellowship video teleconferences.