Psychiatry Residency Research Program

Because of the powerful integration of science, technology,and clinical care, the Semel Institute has been a magnet for the most gifted young physicians and scientists seeking to refine their research skills in combination with exemplary clinical training.


UCLA's  competitive program for Research Scholars admits 15 physicians each year to the  residency program in neuropsychiatry.  While all physicians in training are encouraged to hone their research skills with our dedicated faculty, the Semel Institute  offers two highly competitive research track positions that are designated specifically for “research scholars.” Those who apply for this M.D. Ph.D Psychiatry Residency Research Training Program  will have completed their medical school training (graduating with the M.D.) and also will have completed a Ph.D program in neuroscience or the behavioral sciences. The applicants to this program are outstanding individuals from the nation’s finest medical schools and the leaders of tomorrow.


UCLA’s program is one of a handful of such training opportunities in the country.  The goal  of this program  is to enable the most talented individuals to continue their growth as research scientists while offering parallel exemplary clinical training in neuropsychiatry.


Transitioning from medical school and formal research training to a clinical specialty in the brain sciences is a complex challenge for individuals with outstanding talent.  They do not wish to lose the momentum from their research training nor do they wish to stand aside from the time-intensive opportunity to acquire clinical expertise as a resident physician. The Semel/Resnick Research Scholars program is designed to embrace and solve these difficulties.


During the recruitment process to UCLA,  the would-be scholar selects a faculty mentor with whom he or she will work in the next phase of his professional development. An independent faculty committee selects the two most promising for the scholarship award.  Those selected are provided with time that is sheltered from clinical duties in the first and second years of their training so they may sustain their research with their training mentor. The clinical residency is four years and the amount of research time increases in the third and fourth years, culminating with a fellowship in the fifth year.


The salary and cost of the clinical training is borne by the Resnick Hospital and the Semel Institute but in addition the Research Scholar receives $50,000 of research support that may be expended over the course of the research training. Using these scholarship monies the resident, with the oversight of his mentor, may recruit laboratory assistance, explore new technologies, learn complex research procedures, travel to present his work, and so forth. Ultimately The Semel Institute  hopes to endow these scholarships but for the moment they are sustained by the generosity of the Friends of Semel and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Board of Advisor,  and other generous benefactors.