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Psychiatry Residency Program Research

Research Excellence at UC San Diego

The tradition at UC San Diego, both on the general campus and within the Medical School is that of academic excellence. UC San Diego is ranked among the top twenty research/graduate institutions in the country and is an elected member of the Association of American Universities, an honor reserved for top research institutions. The Department of Psychiatry shares in this tradition of excellence in research. Using any criteria by which scientific productivity is measured, the Department excels, whether it is by numbers of grants or total peer reviewed grant dollars, or numbers and quality of peer reviewed publications, honors and eminence of its faculty, UC San Diego is among the top handful of psychiatry departments.

World-class scientific programs in basic and clinical neuroscience

We have established world-class scientific programs in basic and clinical neuroscience, mood and affect disorders, panic and related anxiety disorders, alcoholism and substance abuse, molecular genetics, cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, AIDS research, schizophrenia, psychopharmacology, neuropsychoendocrinology to highlight some but not all, of our research programs. Currently the Department is one of the few in the country, which has three funded NIMH Clinical Research Center programs, one in neurobehavioral effects of HIV (Igor Grant, M.D., Principal Investigator), another one in Geriatric Mental Disorders (Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., Principal Investigator) and a third in Child/Adolescent Health Services.

Superb scientific resources and scholars

The Department has acquired superb scientific resources in terms of wet laboratory research space, laboratory equipment, has three fully equipped sleep laboratories, one of the nation's outstanding biological rhythms research laboratory, a research neuroendocrine and neurochemical markers laboratory, state-of-the-art functional imagining and molecular biology programs and a full primate facility available to the department and its investigators. Most importantly, we have been able to recruit and gather some of the most outstanding scientists in our field. A list of the faculty at the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry is a "Who's Who" of scientific scholars, whose research foci are germane to improving our understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders across the lifecycle. The end result is an unparalleled ambience in which to conduct science, superb and readily available collaborators together with a very strong central departmental support.


Independent Research Project (ISP)

Residents in our program have the unique opportunity to collaborate with our nationally recognized faculty as they develop and pursue their individual research projects. 

Residents are encouraged to start planning early for their independent study projects and may be given time during their PG3 year to pursue a well-devised project. During the PG4 year residents can select a longitudinal elective, several afternoons a week, to finish their research.

Completed resident projects are presented to the entire department with the Chairman's Research Prize awarded to the most outstanding research effort. Furthermore, resident's research frequently results in journal publication.

The purpose of Independent Study Project is to develop critical thinking skills and provide a basis for continued learning and scholarly pursuit of which will last throughout the trainee's career. This project represents an opportunity for residents to work closely with UC San Diego faculty who conduct leading research programs in every major area of psychiatry.