Developing Your Independent Research Program


Developing your own research program is a critical step on your way to becoming a faculty member. Research from UCSF's Office of Career and Professional Development found that 67% of research-focused institutions required that candidates' proposed research programs did not appear to conflict with their current research advisor's in order to be offered a position (for more, see our Academic Career Readiness Assessment website). It can also be daunting, difficult, and unclear how to do it. That's why we've designed PAC-UP 201, a 3-session course in which current UCSF faculty will walk you through the process of developing your own research program, independent from that of your advisor.

In this course, biomedical trainees will be given the tools to begin designing and communicating an independent research program in preparation for a faculty position. This course will help trainees understand the expectations for faculty candidates, develop important scientific relationships early on in their career, and be more strategic with their time at UCSF. View the course syllabus on Google Drive.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe the research program expectations that faculty hiring committees have of candidates
  2. Describe the successful components of a research program
  3. Identify a unique research niche that would distinguish them from other scientists in the field
  4. Identify mentors and collaborators that would allow them to develop this unique research niche
  5. Present their research program in the form of both a research statement and a chalk talk


  • Laurence Clement, PhD - Program Director, Academic Careers; Associate Adjunct Professor
  • Isha Jain, PhD - Sandler Faculty Fellow
  • Ernesto Diaz-Flores, PhD - Assistant Professor
  • Felice Dunn, PhD - Assistant Professor
  • Todd Nystul, PhD - Associate Professor


Course syllabus
Slides from the workshop, including Isha Jain's and Ernesto Diaz-Flores' portions
Felice Dunn's slides



These resources are part of the Faculty Career Series.



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UCSF is committed to making its facilities, activities and events accessible. To request accommodations for this event, please contact Trish McGrath ([email protected]) at the Office of Career and Professional Development at least one week before the event.