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Drug Abuse Research Training (DART)

Residency Program

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) psychiatry residency program offers an NIH-sponsored research track for residents committed to pursuing research careers. The research track can be integrated within any of the three main residency programs and encompasses the last one or two years of residency training. The goal of the research training program is to increase the number of psychiatrists with the skills to conduct patient-oriented research as independently funded investigators.

As a trainee in the research track, residents will benefit from receiving individually-tailored, mentored research training; assistance with designing research studies; support in submitting applications to the university’s IRB and local or national funding organizations; assistance with statistical design and analysis questions; financial support to conduct research; financial support to attend and/or present at research conferences; assistance with preparing conference abstracts, manuscripts to be submitted for publication, and grant applications; the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of accomplished researchers from various backgrounds including psychiatry, psychology, pharmacology, nursing, and biostatistics; and work space including wired cubes at the program’s main office location in the Charleston Center.

Selected residents participate half-time, in a well-coordinated curriculum that includes intensive mentored research rotations (each resident is matched with an active researcher who will serve as the primary mentor responsible for guiding the individual's research experience in their principal area of research interest), and formal didactic training in the skills typically necessary for a successful research career. These include, for example: methodological skills (e.g., study design, data collection, and statistical techniques); communication skills (e.g., written and oral communication, presentation skills); research ethics; and attitudinal skills (e.g., seeking and accepting advice, collaboration with colleagues). Seminars are held each week at 9:00am on Tuesdays. While these seminars are mandatory for trainees in the research track, they are open to residents and students outside the program and all are welcome to attend.

Program directors: Dr. Sudie Back, Dr. Sarah Book, Dr. Kelly Barth, Dr. Kathleen Brady

Eligibility: Residents at MUSC

To apply:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • 1-2 page personal statement
  • Name of primary research mentor
  • Two letters of reference, one of which should be from your primary research mentor who will be supervising your work in the DART program

Application materials should be submitted to Dr. Sudie Back ( by the deadline (April 1 of every year)

For more information: contact Nicola Thornley ( or visit

Our Mission

To understand, prevent and treat alcohol, tobacco, and drug addiction through innovations and excellence in research, treatment, and education.
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