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 (M.D. equivalent)
  • 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 their USMLE's are preferred. In particular, for applicants who after the Research Fellowship Program would like to continue with residency in the U.S., high USMLE scores (above 245) will play a very important role in the selection process.

The research program of the Division is funded by multiple federal agencies and industry. Financial support is possible through grants, but limited, and therefore cannot be promised. Evidence of external institutional financial support is highly desirable. Decisions about financial support are made on a case-by-case basis, depending on 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 and computer knowledge (e.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc) is desirable and should be emphasized in the application.

How to Apply

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

  • Application Form, including current photo
  • One-page Letter of Intent describing the applicant's goals and expectations from the research fellowship; a statement should clarify whether the candidate requests full, partial or no financial support, and clearly state the intent (or lack of intent) to pursue residency in the U.S. upon 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 properly ordered and compiled into 1 (one) PDF and emailed to Zilia Munguia.

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

Start dates are normally in/around July. The Selection Committee, chaired by the Division Chief, Dr. George Velmahos, and the Director of Trauma Research, Dr. Haytham Kaafarani, will review all applications and select Fellows based on need and funding availability (usually, two to four Fellows are selected each year.) Telephone and/or Skype interviews will be arranged during the selection process. Important dates in the application and selection process, as follows:

  • Deadline for Applications: October 4, 2019 (for 2020 fellowship slots)
  • Selection Committee Meeting: By October 31, 2019
  • Notifications to Applicants: By November 11, 2019

Appointment Process

If accepted, the Fellow will receive a Research Fellow Appointment Package, which should be promptly completed and returned. Delays on receiving a completed 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:

  • Application for initial appointment to Professional Staff of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Visa application
  • Doctoral degree diploma, translated to English and notarized
  • Letter verifying source and level of any external institutional financial support 

*As part of the appointment process, candidates are required to pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check.

For more information on the Research Fellowship Program, contact Zilia Munguia.

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