Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Research Fellowship

The Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at Stanford University School of Medicine is now accepting applications for a one to two-year Research Fellowship. The Stanford ADRC is part of a nationwide network of Alzheimer’s Disease Centers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The centers work together to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD). The clinical and research focus of the Stanford ADRC includes both Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body diseases (dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease). Our center has particular strength in neuroimmunity, synapse biology, brain imaging, clinical assessment and clinical research, biostatistics and bioinformatics, epidemiology, and caregiver outreach. As such, the Stanford ADRC Research Fellowship provides specialized training in AD/ADRD.

The mission of the Stanford ADRC Research Fellowship Program is to prepare the next generation of researchers for careers in brain aging and AD/ADRD though participation in integrated clinical and basic science training opportunities and mentored research experiences. In collaboration with their mentors, Fellows will develop and implement a research project, present and publish findings, participate in grant writing, and learn to use the latest technologies for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Our Fellows receive mentorship in AD and ADRD from internationally renowned clinical and basic science researchers. Please see Appendix A  for a listing of Faculty Mentors.

Funding and Eligibility

The Stanford ADRC Research Fellowship is funded by the NIA and the Stanford ADRC. The current annual stipend at the Stanford ADRC is up to $30,000 annually. Funds can be used for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, salary/benefits, funds for coursework or travel to ADRC meetings, and funds for research project-related expenses, if applicable and as the budget permits. Budgeted items must be scientifically justified as essential for a successful fellowship.

Applications will be accepted from three broad categories: (1) Junior Faculty: defined as an instructor or assistant professor, who have completed an MD and/or PhD with clinical residency/fellowship and/or post-doctoral training, (2) Fellows: clinical fellows (behavioral neurology, movement disorders, psychiatry, neuropsychology, geriatrics, palliative care) and post-doctoral research fellows, and (3) Residents/Students: residents (neurology, psychiatry, geriatrics), graduate students and medical students. The number of Fellowship positions available within this Fellowship can vary but it is expected to be at least 2 in the 2020-2021 training year.

The Stanford ADRC strongly believes in the value of diversity in our training program and we are focused on recruiting and supporting individuals from all backgrounds. We encourage applications from candidates that are underrepresented in medicine, economically disadvantaged, and whose backgrounds or experiences would diversify our clinical field.

Research Fellowship Structure

This fellowship consists of one to two calendar years of training; Fellows start on or around September 1 each year. The length of the proposed training (1 or 2 years) must be scientifically justified as essential for a successful fellowship. At the beginning of the training year, the Fellow will work with the Research Mentor and REC Leadership to develop an individualized training plan that balances taking advantage of the rich training and professional development opportunities with conducting clinical and basic science research in AD and ADRD. An example Training Plan can be found in Appendix B.

Research Opportunities and Expectations

Each Fellow is expected to actively participate in research during their training tenure with the Fellowship. Fellows work collaboratively with their Research mentor to: a) identify or develop meaningful clinical research projects that address key areas within AD and ADRD research b) identify roles on ongoing clinical research projects (including the numerous ongoing projects available at the Stanford ADRC) that may foster the advanced development of both clinical and research skills; and c) participate in the development and submission of empirical manuscripts, grants and other scholarly projects focused on the AD and ADRD.

Fellows are expected to complete a meaningful research project during their Fellowship, and to consistently show clear markers of their research productivity. Key markers of productivity may include a) the development of a grant proposal; b) generating an article and submitting it for publication; and c) presentation of this project at a professional meeting, or some other marker of productivity.

Didactics

Stanford ADRC Research Fellows have the opportunity to participate in many didactics throughout the training year. There are several required core year-long didactics as well as numerous optional didactics. A listing of these didactics and coursework can be found in Table 1 (*available courses or course format during the 2020-2021 year are subject to change due to COVID19).

Other Educational Opportunities for Research Fellows

Ultimately the goal of all REC participants is to obtain independent funding and launch a career as an independent investigator. As part of the Training Plan, the REC Fellow and Mentor will identify personalized barriers to this transition and develop a clear path to overcome those barriers. One of the most common barriers is grant writing. With this in mind, the REC Fellows will have the opportunity to apply for the Stanford Proposal Bootcamp. This 8-week course is hosted by the Stanford Grant Writing Academy and is available to post-doctoral research fellows. The Proposal Bootcamp course participants must be actively working on a proposal and their 1-page Specific Aims document is peer-reviewed during the first week of the course. The expectation is that the proposal is written during the 8-week course. This program was honored with an Innovations in Research Education Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Evaluation

The Research Mentor and the REC Fellow will meet with a member of the REC Leadership team at the mid-year and the end of the year to review the Fellow’s progress towards meeting the goals set for in the Fellow’s Training Plan. This meeting will serve as an opportunity for the Research Mentor, Fellow and REC Director to identify any potential areas for adjustment in the Training Plan, to ensure that the full breadth of experience leading to independence in all competency areas will be obtained by the end of the training period.

Application and Selection Process

Selection of REC Fellows is done by the REC Selection Committee using the following criteria:

  1. Breadth and quality of previous general training experience
  2. Breadth, depth, and quality of training experience areas relevant to the Stanford ADRC mission
  3. Quality and scope of scholarship, as indicated partially by research, convention papers, and publications
  4. Relationship between clinical and research interests/experience of the applicant
  5. Evidence of personal maturity and accomplishments
  6. Thoughtfulness of answers to the application questions
  7. Goodness of fit between the applicant’s stated objectives and the training program and medical center’s resources
  8. Strength of letters of recommendation from professionals who know the applicant well

The Fellowship program follows a policy of selecting the most qualified candidates and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes attempting to ensure an appropriate representation of individuals along many dimensions, including (but not limited to) gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic/racial minorities, and persons with disabilities.

To apply to the Stanford ADRC Research Fellowship, you must submit via email the required application elements listed below. Incomplete applications will not be read by the REC Selection Committee.

All application elements from you (#1-3) should be sent electronically to klposton@stanford.edu in one email (Please place REC Application in the email Subject line). Letters from your recommendation letter writers should be emailed to klposton@stanford.edu from their institutional (e.g., agency or university) email address with your name indicated in the Subject line.

Application Requirements List:

1. A signed letter of interest (up to 3 pages) that strictly follows the instructions. Please review the Stanford ADRC website so that you are familiar with the faculty and research interests. In your letter please describe:

  • Your previous educational, clinical and research experiences
  • Your areas of clinical and research interest and its alignment with the Stanford ADRC research area(s) and mission
  • Specific clinical and research goals and objectives for your Fellowship Year
  • our career “next steps”
     

2. NIH Biosketch

3. Research Proposal (up to 3 pages, not including references)

  • Purpose: state the goal and specific objectives of the proposed research; clearly describe the question to be addressed. Also indicate the length of fellowship proposed (1 or 2 years) with brief justification.
  • Background: explain scientific rationale for project; describe how research will advance knowledge in AD and ADRD field.
  • Methods and Research Plan: Outline proposed study design methods.
  • Key Personnel: Identify Research Mentor and other potential collaborators. ADRC Faculty are not required to be the primary research mentor, but are encouraged to be collaborator or part of the mentorship team.
  • Resources Needed with Associated Costs: Proposed use of funds (up to $30,000) and scientific justification for the proposed project.
  • References


4. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members or clinical supervisors who know your research work well. Letter writers should email an electronic copy from his/her university or agency email address, and this will be considered an official “signed” copy. We encourage letter writers to send documents as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat files.

Key Dates

  • July 5: Applications open
  • July 14: 4:00 PM PST: Informational Webinar [email Marian Shahid (mshahid@stanford.edu) for link]
  • August 7: 5:00 PM PST: Application Deadline
  • August 2020: Review of Applications and Notification of Funding Decisions
  • October 1, 2020: Fellowships begin
  • January 2021: ADRC External Advisory Council Meeting
  • September 30, 2021: End of fellowship
  • October 31, 2021: Final reports due

Please join the Informational Webinar on July 14th for more information and a chance to ask any questions regarding this Fellowship. Further information can also be obtained by contacting the Stanford ADRC Research Education Component Lead, Dr. Kathleen Poston by email at klposton@stanford.edu or Dr. Kaci Fairchild by email at jkaci@stanford.edu.

Informational Webinar for ADRC REC Fellowship