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Clinician Investigator Program (CIP)

A Postgraduate Research Intensive Track in Psychiatry:
The Clinical Investigator Program (CIP) at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences 

There is a longstanding tradition of research training in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster through the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP). At McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, there is one CaRMS position allocated to CIP training, where funding is protected for the successful candidate. The goal of the CIP program is to provide residents with a research-intensive training experience to support the next generation of clinician scientists in Psychiatry.  

CaRMS applicants who are interested in the CIP Psychiatry position must submit an application as outlined below, specific to the CIP position application requirements. Candidates interested in the CIP position must also apply separately to McMaster University Postgraduate Psychiatry Training program through CaRMS. If there are any questions about application requirements, applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Coordinator, Menika McKeegan

For more information: McMaster University - Clinician Investigator Program


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to CIP at McMaster when I am also applying to McMaster Postgraduate Training Program in Psychiatry through CaRMS?

For the CIP Psychiatry application, applicants must provide a two-page statement outlining their interest in CIP and a future research career, as well as three separate letters of reference, discussing the applicant’s potential for research. These documents must be submitted to Menika McKeegan by the CaRMS submission deadline via email at: mckeegm@mcmaster.ca. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the CIP Lead in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Dr. Zena Samaan at a very early stage of their planning (i.e., at least a year before they might start in CIP). 

If I don’t apply to CIP during CaRMS, can I apply as a resident later in my residency?


Yes.  The CaRMS CIP position can only be applied to at the time of CaRMS.  However, all residents are eligible to compete annually for a CIP position, at any time after their PGY1 year. The timing of the research activities is individualized and arranged with your Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences Residency Program Director.  CIP includes a minimum of two years of research training; during these years, 80% of the trainee’s time must be committed to research.  Trainees may enroll in a Masters or PhD program, unless the applicant already has a doctoral graduate degree.  

CIP offers trainees links to graduate training, monthly academic sessions with experts, excellent mentorship from a CIP supervisory committee and Royal College certification as a “Clinician Investigator”.  CIP training provides individualized mentorship and promotes the development of broad and specialized research knowledge, skills and expertise that are important for future clinician investigators. 

When do residents typically begin CIP training?


Psychiatry residents typically begin full-time CIP training in the later stages of residency. Psychiatry residents have 12 months of elective time, most commonly used in PGY5, in which up to 100% of time may be spent doing research. If a resident begins CIP in PGY5, they usually apply for CIP funding to complete a second CIP year as a PGY6.

Can I do a graduate degree earlier in my residency as part of CIP?


This is a possibility, however the graduate training has to fulfill the CIP requirements. For example, a graduate degree needs to be a research-based (i.e., thesis requirement), and not exclusively a course-based degree. CIP requires that you dedicate 80% of time on research during a 24 months period.

What advantages does CIP offer beyond research skills that can be acquired through research electives?

CIP advantages include:

  • Coordination of clinical and research training
  • Academic research sessions and peer contact
  • Completion of course work can be done during residency, which is salaried
  • Assistance and support in obtaining protected time to engage in longitudinal research
  • Royal College certification of CIP training upon completion of program requirements 
  •  
    If am a graduate from MD/PhD programs or I have obtained previous doctoral graduate degree prior to medical school, am I still eligible to apply to CIP?  If so, do I have to complete another degree? 

    Residents in this position are still eligible to apply to CIP. Post-doctoral positions require advance consideration prior to admission.

    Further information on Clinician Information Program

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