Primary Care Research Fellowship at ZSFG

The Department of Medicine in conjunction with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco offers a Primary Care Research Fellowship designed to train physicians for careers in academic medicine and clinical research.

Director: Margot Kushel, MD.

Core Faculty: Daniel Dohan, PhD, Alison Huang, MD, MPhil, MAS, Karla Kerlikowske, MD, Diane Rittenhouse, MD, MPH, and Steve Schroeder, MD.

How To Apply

We emphasize tangible research goals:

Completion and publication of several research projects, presentation of results at a national meeting, and successful application for research funds.

Fellows will master the intricate details of conducting research related to their own project(s), and also participate in the development and analysis of colleagues' projects through advanced scientific seminars.

We are committed to excellence in teaching and leadership.

A faculty seminar series has been designed to fill the gaps between traditional research training and the skills necessary to build a successful academic research career. Fellows also sharpen their teaching skills through presentations at the weekly conference and precepting of residents in the ambulatory care setting.

We provide strong mentorship.

Studies show that the strongest predictor of success during fellowship is a dedicated research mentor. The UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine and the Department of Family and Community Medicine are comprised of a large and diverse clinical and research faculty with a wide variety of areas of expertise. UCSF research faculty direct several active cohort studies, multi-center clinical trials, quality improvement programs, educational research studies and large secondary databases from a variety of sources that can be utilized by fellows to efficiently answer research questions.

Master's in Clinical Research

All fellows will participate in a two-year structured, intensive curriculum designed to provide in-depth and practical knowledge required to design, conduct, analyze, and present research. Successful completion of the course and assignments result in the granting of a Masters Degree in Clinical Research (MCR). The Masters tuition, books and all needed supplies including software are provided by the fellowship program. Classes generally occur on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, with laboratory sessions in statistical programming on Thursday afternoons.

Works in Progress

The weekly fellowship seminar (known as the Work-In-Progress session or WIP) provides an opportunity for fellows to present their research and progress to their peers and an interdisciplinary group of faculty in a supportive environment. These sessions allow fellows to both learn from and teach their peers, and the environment is relaxed and open; all types and levels of questions are encouraged.


The Fellowship Seminar also includes a monthly Faculty Seminar Series, where senior clinical investigators and educational leaders in academic medicine provide fellows with insights regarding clinical research, health services, health policy, and career development.


We believe that the single most important aspect of a primary care research fellowship is the experience of designing and conducting research projects under the guidance of a dedicated and outstanding mentor. The program and site directors begin the process of identifying suitable research mentors for each candidate during the interview process, and make every effort to expose each candidate to a variety of faculty members with similar interest and expertise. We place great emphasis on finding a good "match" between the fellow and the mentor that includes not only a common research interest, but a complementary style that will foster the most productive working relationship.

Salary, Benefits, Financial Aid

For 2018-2019, the salaries are:

  • 1st Year Fellow: $62,018
  • 2nd Year Fellow: $64,556

In addition to salary, all fellows receive medical insurance, disability insurance, and a discounted membership to Millberry Union, which includes a newly renovated health and fitness center as well as Outdoors Unlimited, a UCSF student-run organization that provides teaching and group outdoor experiences (sea kayaking, mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, scuba diving, sailing, etc.).

All fellows receive funds to support travel to one national conference, as well as allowances for books.

Fellows at UCSF have had great success in obtaining NIH loan repayment awards. In exchange for a two-year commitment to your clinical research career, NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of your qualified educational debt, pay an additional 39% of the repayments to cover your Federal taxes, and may reimburse state taxes that result from these payments. Nationally, more than 1200 new and 700 renewal applications were submitted in FY 2005. Nearly 40% of the new applications and 70% of the renewal applications were funded. In FY 2005, more than 50% of awards went to applicants with M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees. Also, a majority of awardees were research trainees. For many applicants with substantial debt, this program is an outstanding opportunity to increase the effective salary of the fellowship program.

How to Apply

The application process is simple. We request:

  1. Your current CV
  2. A one to two page description of your research interests
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. A voluntary reporting form for federal grant purposes

Please e-mail the CV and description of research interests to the Fellowship Coordinator. The letters of recommendation may be sent via e-mail or by mail or fax.

Eva Lo
Primary Care Research Fellowship Coordinator
Division of General Internal Medicine
San Francisco General Hospital
Box 1364
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA. 94143-1364
Tel: 415-206-5164
Fax: 415-206-5586
[email protected]


We will start accepting applications for 2020 on February 1, 2019. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with interviews taking place during the spring. If we have spaces remaining, we may reopen applications in the fall.


Selected candidate will be invited for interviews, which generally occur on Wednesdays. Prospective candidates will meet with each of the fellowship directors and with faculty member(s) at UCSF with similar research interests. Candidates will also attend the weekly fellows Work-In-Progress session and will have an opportunity to meet informally with fellows to discuss specifics of the program. Our goal is to expose potential candidates to the full scope and atmosphere of the fellowship. The directors and current fellows will be more than happy to discuss questions before or after the interview day.