Education : Resident Clinician Researcher Program

Neurology Resident Clinician Researcher Program



The Resident Clinician Researcher Program (RCRP) provides residents with the faculty mentorship, administrative guidance, infrastructure, and research facilities to pursue clinical and basic neuroscience research during residency. Similar to other neurology residents, a research track resident will fulfill all required clinical obligations toward certification in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in the same four-year period of residency.

Parallel to his/her clinical training, the RCRP resident will also participate in scholarly neuroscience research. The RCRP is an opportunity for a neurology resident to excel in an area of his or her interest and to launch a rewarding academic career. An RCRP resident will likely become a university-based academic neurologist after completing their residency.


The core curriculum for residents in the RCRP is identical to that of other neurology residents. The main difference in the RCRP curriculum include additional monthly educational activities to complement and expand knowledge in ethics, epidemiology and statistics in order to then be able to plan, design and execute research projects:

  • Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Bootcamp (5-day intense course with mentorship)
  • Analytical techniques: Linear regression, logistic regression, survival analysis
  • Practical statistics
  • Association and causal inference
  • Clinical trials (advanced)

In addition, the office of graduate medical education is currently implementing the residency scholarly activity program (RSAP) to increase scholarly activity during residency. The program is an experiential model through which epidemiology and biostatistical knowledge is acquired and maintained through practice and hands-on opportunities.

Protected time: (“Research blocks”)

  • PGY2: 1 block
  • PGY3: 1 or 2 blocks
  • PGY4: 2 blocks


Considerable planning and commitment is required to bring the research to fruition during the otherwise busy period of residency. Generally, a research track resident will have some prior research experience and will decide, in collaboration with his or her faculty mentor, early in residency the line of clinical or bench neuroscience research he or she wishes to pursue. An additional graduate degree (e.g. MS, MPH, PhD) is a not a requirement for entry into the RCRP. The research mentor(s) will guide and monitor the progress of all research track residents during their residency. The minimum goals for residents in the RCRP are:


  • Research project identified
  • Mentor identified
  • Research project designed
  • Attends RCRP educational activities
  • Starts RSAP and/or attends CTS bootcamp’
  • Gives one Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) lecture
  • Presentation at Annual Resident’s Research Day


  • Regular meetings with research mentor
  • Abstract submission and/or presentation at national/international meeting
  • Poster presentation at national meeting (e.g. AAN, ANA)
  • Presentation at Annual Residents’ Research Day
  • IRB submission
  • Attends RCRP educational activities
  • Continues RSAP, attends CTS bootcamp if not possible during PGY2
  • Gives one Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) lecture


  • Regular meetings with research mentor
  • Publication in peer-reviewed journal
  • Mentorship/teaching of junior residents interested in research
  • Presentation at Annual Resident’s Research Day
  • Assists with and prepares RCRP educational activities
  • Finishes RSAP
  • Gives one Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) lecture

The RCRP residents will become conversant in research techniques and should consider applying for a career development grant, such as NIH K08 award, by the end of their residency. In case the resident requires extra time to complete the grant submission, the program will attempt to provide a post-residency fellowship in the resident’s chosen area of research. Success in getting a career development award, productivity during residency, and future research potential will be the main criteria for appointing a research resident to the neurology faculty at the University of Miami after completion of the residency training.
The RCRP residents will also be encouraged to participate in the University of Miami Office of Research Education and Training Opportunities, and for those interested in developing advanced research skills, a masters’ degree program in Clinical and Translational Science will be available.

Application and acceptance:

Residents interested in joining the RCRP must submit their CVs, a filled application form and a personal statement during their PGY1 or early PGY2 year. Deadline for applications is April 1st. Specific formats for application will be made available to interested residents after contacting the corresponding scientific/research chief resident, who will receive the applications.

The evaluation committee comprises Dr. Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD (RCRP Chair), Dr. Leticia Tornes, MD (Program Director) and the corresponding research/scientific chief resident. Official acceptance to the RCRP will be granted at the end of PGY1 or PGY2 year, after review of submitted applications.

For more information, please contact Terry Crugnale at 305-243-4323 or Dr. Dani Spengler (Chief Resident in charge of Research 2016-2017)