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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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Aimee L. McRae-Clark,
PharmD, BCPP

Clinical Neuroscience Division
Associate Professor, Departments of
Psychiatry and Neurosciences


Resident Research Training Program for Physician-Scientists

DART Home 

DART ResidentsSeminar Schedule

Application Information




Research Resources

Please Click Here for ***** DART SUMMER FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM *****


The MUSC psychiatry residency program offers an NIH-sponsored research track (R25  DA020537: PIs Back & Brady) for residents committed to pursuing research careers. The research track can be integrated within any of the three main residency programs and encompasses the last one or two years of residency training.  The goal of the research training program is to increase the number of psychiatrists with the skills to conduct patient-oriented research as independently funded investigators. (Please note, there is also a summer research fellowship for undergraduate students; if you are an undergraduate student interested in this opportunity, please click the link above for the DART Summer Fellowshop Program.)

The program is directed by Dr. Sudie Back, Dr. Sarah Book, and Dr. Kathleen Brady.  The program accomplishes its objectives within the same four-year time period required for clinical training and board certification in psychiatry.  In addition, the training format qualifies residents for the new NIH Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program initiative.

As a trainee in the research track, you will benefit from receiving individually-tailored, mentored research training; assistance with designing research studies; support in submitting applications to the university’s IRB and local or national funding organizations; assistance with statistical design and analysis questions; financial support to conduct your research; financial support to attend and/or present at research conferences; assistance with preparing conference abstracts, manuscripts to be submitted for publication, and grant applications; the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of accomplished researchers from various backgrounds including psychiatry, psychology, pharmacology, nursing, and biostatistics; and work space including wired cubes at the program’s main office location in the Charleston Center.

Selected residents participate half-time, in a well-coordinated curriculum that includes intensive mentored research rotations (each resident is matched with an active researcher who will serve as the primary mentor responsible for guiding the individual's research experience in their principal area of research interest), and formal didactic training in the skills typically necessary for a successful research career.  These include, for example: methodological skills (e.g., study design, data collection, and statistical techniques); communication skills (e.g., written and oral communication, presentation skills); research ethics; and attitudinal skills (e.g., seeking and accepting advice, collaboration with colleagues).  Seminars are held each week at 9:00am on Tuesdays in the Roper Medical Office Bldg, Suite 140.  While these seminars are mandatory for trainees in the research track, they are open to residents and students outside the program and all are welcome to attend.  Contact Dr. Sudie Back at for more information or to be added to the seminar email list.

Selected residents will have an initial assessment of their current research knowledge and skills, which will guide the individualization of the curriculum.  This assessment will ensure that deficiencies in training that would serve as an impediment to a successful independent research career will be targeted in training.  For example, most residents present with inadequate skills in research methodology, experimental design, and statistics which impedes their ability to fully participate in issues of study design, study execution, and data analysis.  Thus, the program takes responsibility for ensuring that these voids are filled for each individual either through formal course work, attendance at seminars, mentoring activities, and/or exposure to relevant research experiences.

Research Track Objectives & Corresponding Program Components



Program Component

Research Design & Methods

Critically evaluate research literature; 
Formulate hypotheses and variables;
Design, assessments, operational definitions;
Sampling techniques, sample size, power;
Rating scales, questionnaire/survey design

Mentored Clinical Research;
Research Coordination Course
Research Journal Club
Research Seminar Series
Other Coursework

Human Subjects Protection and Research Ethics

Learn about principles of Good Research   Practice;
Understand ethical considerations in conduct of clinical research

CITI Training Program
Responsible Conduct of Research
Research Coordination Course
Research Seminar Series

Data Collection, Management,
& Analysis

Construct plan for data collection & entry;
Construct data file management plan;
Understand statistical significance;
Commonly used statistical tests & software;
Interpret statistical output
Mentored Clinical Research;
Pilot Project Funds;
Research Resource Unit;
Research Journal Club;
Research Seminar Series;
Other Coursework

Disseminating Research Findings 

Display outcomes data;
Scientific presentations;
Prepare/submit conference abstracts;
Prepare/submit journal manuscripts;
Integrate findings into existing literature;
Offer caution in interpreting results
Mentored Clinical Research;
Pilot Project Funds;
Research Seminar Series;
Research Resource Unit.
GCRC Rotation

Research Administration 

Secure and maintain IRB approval;
Develop and revise study timelines;
Prepare and manage budgets;
Supervise research staff;
Liaison with clinical personnel
CITI Training Program;
Research Coordination Course;
Mentored Clinical Research;
Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar;
Grant-Writing Workshop

Grant Writing

Learn about funding sources, mechanisms,
forms, cycles, and review procedures;
Grant-Writing Workshop;
Dr. Geller’s Workshop;
Research Seminar Series;
Mentored Clinical Research;
Research Resource Unit

Professional Development

Career phases and academic expectations;
Collaborators, consultants, networking;
Time management
Mentored Clinical Research;
Research Resource Unit

Computer Skills 

Searches, software, file sharingMUSC Library Services
Please click on the following link for Application Information: DART- Resident Research Training Program Application Information