Academic Development Time

Our goal is to launch surgical trainees on an impact-focused career trajectory through personalized pathways.

Surgical trainees are guaranteed protected academic development time per the specifics of their program, usually after PGY 3. For most residencies, this is a designated one or two-year experience without clinical responsibilities, although opportunities for moonlighting experiences are available. Funding for this time is guaranteed. We offer a selection of majors and minors to provide structured academic development time, although residents are not limited to these options. Academic development time for all students includes the following key features:

  • Flexibility is an absolute priority. Scientific discovery requires that young investigators are given the opportunity to pursue deep interests and curiosities. Structured academic centers are intentionally designed to foster this freedom and not to limit trainee self-actualization. If there is a passion or interest outside of “the norm”, we will find opportunities and resources to support it.
  • Residents will work within an academic center for their major. This will provide resources in a community for academic achievement.
  • Residents will have the option to choose an academic minor. The minors provide flexible and unique opportunities for academic achievement in important domains academic surgery.

Preparing for ADT

The Department of Surgery is committed to supporting residents leading up to and during the ADT portion of their training. In addition to guaranteed funding during ADT, residents are also given a variety of channels for mentorship, including resident launch teams and meetings with faculty mentors. Residents will also have the opportunity to apply to the Center for Basic & Translational Science's Surgeon Scientist Accelerator Track for full-time technician support during the year following ADT in order to continue research projects started during ADT.


We have incorporated a focus on intentional mentorship for the ADT experience. In preparation for ADT, residents meet with Dr. Michael Englesbe, the department's vice chair for mentorship. Additionally, residents will have a faculty mentor who will provide guidance for grant applications and study plans. Residents will also be assigned a launch team. This team is designed to provide diverse mentorship and assure opportunities for professional growth and academic achievement.

Mentorship opportunities will be offered alongside professional development opportunities for residents. Professional development opportunities will be led by Gurjit Sandhu, PhD, the department's vice chair for resident professional development.


Funding is guaranteed for residents during their academic development time. Faculty mentors assist residents with grant applications and study plans in anticipation of ADT, and we frequently partner with our T32 grants and the National Clinician Scholars Program for funding.

Our T-32 grants include:

  • Health Services Research Training
  • Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Training
  • Obesity Surgery Scientist Research Training
  • Plastic Surgery Research Training
  • Surgical Oncology Research Training
  • Vascular Biology Research Training


  • Conduct an environmental study to review lab websites and publications.
  • Meet with Dr. Englesbe to discuss potential areas of interest.


  • Meet with ≥ 3 primary mentor candidates
  • Meet with Dr. Englesbe to solidify mentor choice and funding logistics.


  • Start grant applications and study plans with mentor assistance.

ADT Majors

Basic & Translational Science

The Basic and Translational Science major is supported by the Center for Basic and Translational Science (CBATS). This center, led by Dr. Timothy Frankel, brings together researchers from across the department and Michigan Medicine to create a community of staff, learners, scientists, and faculty members focused on investigating different aspects of human disease.

Please email Dr. Timothy Frankel at [email protected] to become a member of CBATS.

The Education Research major is supported by the Center for Surgical Training and Research (CSTAR). The center, led by Dr. Brian George, is a community of education scientists, ranging from faculty members, researchers, learners, and staff, who come together to share resources and insights around their work, such as curriculum research, teaching, learning, assessment, educational culture, and education policy.

Contact CSTAR Program Manager Greg Wnuk at [email protected] to become a member of CSTAR.

Health Services Research

The Health Services Research major is supported by the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP). The center, led by Dr. Jennifer Waljee, is a consortium of over 100 faculty and staff from the medical school and school of public health who are interested in conducting research around clinical practice optimization and health policy to increase the efficiency of healthcare in the United States.

Please contact CHOP Administrative Specialist Ashley Chang at [email protected] to become a member of CSTAR.

The Surgical Innovation major is supported by the Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI). The center, led by Dr. Rishi Reddy, includes innovators and entrepreneurs from across U-M and provides education and support to surgical faculty and trainees interested in commercialization for innovations aimed to enhance the field of surgery and better outcomes for surgical patients.

Please email Candice Stegnik, Associate Director of Innovation, at [email protected] to become a member of CSI.

ADT Minors

The minors available for residents to explore during their ADT include:

Contact Us

Michael Englesbe, MD

Vice Chair for Mentorship

Gurjit Sandhu, PhD

Vice Chair for Resident Professional Development