American Society of Hematology

Career-Development Timeline for Fourth Year of Fellowship

Published on: January 26, 2015

Trainees seeking an academic research career frequently benefit from an extra year of research training. Discuss possibilities with your mentor and program director.

Why Do A Fourth Year of Fellowship:

A fourth year of Hematology/Oncology fellowship may provide trainees with protected time for research or for further clinical development and specialization.

Clinical fellows that desire more time to develop a portfolio that allows for competitive transition to a tenure-track position may benefit from a fourth year of fellowship/clinical lecturer year. This latter group of individuals may take a position as a clinical lecturer at their home institution.

Planning For a Fourth Year

During your second and third year of fellowship, effort should be made to obtain grant funding through your institution, industry, or government that can be used for research efforts during fourth year fellowship. If planning to stay at same institution, government mentored awards like K08 and K23 grants are ideal. Funding obtained for the fourth year should support productivity that allows for career development award applications.

What To Do During Your Fourth Year: 

  1. Clinical lecturers should develop a teaching portfolio as they take the leadership role when rotating on inpatient services and in clinics.
  2. Attend scientific meetings, ideally presenting any available data as an oral abstract or poster, remembering that these meetings are valuable opportunities for networking.
  3. Similar to third year fellows who are exiting their program, fourth year fellows need to begin to identify the types of professional environments they favor and identify academic institutions that they believe can meet their needs.
  4. Organize research presentations and give to division for feedback. The presentations will be expected during interviews and should highlight your individual accomplishments and contributions to your mentored research.
  5. Consider applying for the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute during year two or three of fellowship. If interested in clinical research, this experience will allow expert mentorship and fine tuning of a protocol that can be initiated during the fourth year.
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