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Trauma Research Fellowship

International Research Fellowship

The Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care (TESSCC) offers an International Research Fellowship Program providing physicians interested in research an opportunity to accumulate a solid experience in an outstanding training program.


The approved applicant will hold a Massachusetts General Hospital and a Harvard Medical School appointment as a Research Fellow. Applications from non-U.S. candidates are encouraged. The program involves clinical and laboratory research activities, allowing the Fellow to participate in single- and multi-center studies. The Fellow will participate in multiple clinical research projects related to retrospective, prospective, and randomized controlled studies. The Fellow will also participate in basic science research at the Trauma Research Laboratory and the Animal Operating Rooms. The precise balance between clinical and laboratory research will be decided on a case-by-case basis according to the Fellow’s preference and the Divisional needs.

The Research Fellow will be assigned to one faculty member of the Division and become actively involved in clinical and laboratory research. The Research Fellow will attend all educational programs of the Division and participate in an observational capacity in clinical activities. Direct contact with patients is not allowed under this program. At the end of the fellowship, the Fellow is expected to have rich knowledge in trauma, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care research, and have completed multiple studies, which can be presented at major surgical meetings and published in major surgical journals.


Individuals interested in applying for a Research Fellow position must meet the following criteria:

  • Medical degree
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written
  • Minimum one-year commitment
  • Although USMLE scores are not an absolute prerequisite for admission to the Research Fellowship Program applicants who have taken USMLE will be preferred. In particular, for applicants who after the Research Fellowship Program would like to continue with residency in the U.S., high USMLE scores will play a very important role in the selection process.

Financial support is possible through grants. The research program of the Division is heavily funded by multiple federal agencies and industry. However, financial support of the Fellow cannot be promised. Evidence of own financial support is desirable. Decisions about financial support are made on case-by-case basis, depending on the availability of funds, nature of research, and performance of the fellow.

The Fellow is expected to be familiar with study design and methodology and simple statistical analysis (e.g. univariate analysis, t-test, chi-square). A higher level of statistical knowledge is desirable and should be emphasized in the application. The Fellow is expected to be familiar with commonly used computer programs (e.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc). A higher level of computer knowledge is desirable and should be emphasized in the application.

How to Apply

To apply for a Research Fellow position, interested individuals should submit:

  • Application, including current photo
  • One-page letter of intent describing the candidate's goals and expectations from the research fellowship; a statement should clarify if the candidate requests full or partial or no financial support and clearly state the intent (or lack of intent) to pursue residency in the U.S. after the completion of the program
  • Detailed and chronologically organized Curriculum Vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation from  Professors or Directors at the applicant's institution in English (from past 12 months)

This material should be mailed to:

Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, White Building, Room 505
Boston, MA 02114
Attention: Michelle Sanchez

The applicant will be notified via e-mail within five business days upon receipt of all the requested documentation.

Usually, two to four Research Fellows are hired every year, based on need. Start dates are either in January or July. The Selection Committee, chaired by the Division Chief, Dr. George Velmahos, and the Director of Trauma Research, Dr. David King, will review all applications and select applicants based on need and funds availability. Telephone or Skype interviews may be arranged during the selection process. Important dates in the application and selection process for each year are, as follows:

  • Submission of applications by: September 30
  • Meeting of the selection committee by: October 31
  • Notifications to applicants by: November 15

The current round of applications for the Trauma research fellowship is now closed.  All applications we receive going forward will be considered for 2017.

Appointment Process

If accepted, the Fellow will receive by mail the Research Fellow Appointment Package, which should be promptly completed and returned. Delays on receiving the complete appointment package, may compromise the appointment. Please  note that the appointment and visa process can take three to four months.

Among other forms, the Research Fellow Appointment Package includes:

  • Mass General application for initial appointment to the Professional Staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Visa application
  • Doctoral degree diploma translated to English and notarized (or official letter from institution stating degree obtained)
  • Source and evidence of financial support per year that must be equivalent to the most recent class NIH NRSA stipend level according to the years of experience

*As part of the appointment process, candidates are required to pass a CORI background check (Criminal Offender Record Information: details convictions, pending cases, non-convictions, and juvenile data).

For more information on the Research Fellowship Program, contact Michelle Sanchez

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