Research Training Overview (for basic science PhD's)
Two predoctoral positions for PhD trainees who are engaged in dissertation research in one of the basic science laboratories are also available. As noted elsewhere, we have several outstanding scientists whose primary appointment is in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery but who also have joint appointments in basic science departments.
We feel it is very important to have predoctoral fellows for two reasons. The success of our Resident Postdoctoral Research Training Program is based, in part, on residents working in very active fundamental science laboratories. This means that they should be constantly interacting with advanced graduate students, PhD postdoctoral fellows, other MD fellows and skilled technicians. In reality, much of the daily conceptual and technical training comes from these interactions. Thus, to help insure that MD fellows work in optimal environments, we need these predoctoral positions.
A second and equally important reason for requesting predoctoral positions on our training grant is to train future leading scientists in the fields of auditory and vestibular sciences, and communication disorders. The faculty on this grant, the development of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, and the overall quality of the associated basic science departments at the UW ensure that these predoctoral students will be carefully selected and given broad training in their basic science field, as well as in hearing sciences. In addition, by carrying out their dissertation work in our laboratories, these students will have the unique experience of working collaboratively with clinically trained investigators.
As previously noted, predoctoral candidates are supported during the final 2-3 years of their PhD program, when they are almost exclusively involved in dissertation research. During this time, they will not be involved in or will be taking a minimum amount of course work (i.e., specialty seminars related to their specific fields of interest). They are also required to attend weekly otolaryngology-head and neck surgery conferences (see description above) in order to gain a foundation in the clinical side of this field. In addition, the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center sponsors 10-15 special seminar speakers per year in the field of Hearing Science at which the attendance of predoctoral students is mandatory.