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Research Fellowships and Scholarships

Pediatric Craniofacial Research Fellowship

The 2024 Pediatric Craniofacial Research Fellowship applications are currently being accepted until November 30, 2023.

The Department of Plastic Surgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is seeking a highly motivated medical student or resident to conduct a fully funded dedicated research fellowship year. Research focus will be in pediatric plastic surgery, cleft and craniofacial surgery, imaging and machine learning as well health services research. As the fellow, you will manage the extensive research enterprise within the Department, work closely with amazing residents, craniofacial fellows, and leaders in the field of pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgery, and gain invaluable experience in organization, grant funding, data collection and analysis, as well as abstract and manuscript preparation and presentation. Self-starters and motivated applicants should expect to have over 10-15 manuscripts from their fellowship.

Please send a brief statement of interest, two letters of support, and a CV to:

Maya Andrews
Research Coordinator
Plastic Surgery
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2023. If chosen for an interview, applicants will be notified by December 20, 2023.

Fellowship Director: Dr. Jesse Goldstein

Head & Neck Microsurgery and Craniofacial Trauma Research Fellowship

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Plastic Surgery has a long history of pioneering advanced reconstructive techniques to restore form and function. The Department manages a REDCap database with over 1200 H&N microvascular free flap patients. We have a full-time research coordinator who facilitates all aspects of clinical research projects. A similar database for craniofacial trauma is underway. This infrastructure facilitates high-level research capable of introducing new technologies and practice patterns into the field.


The University of Pittsburgh H&N Microsurgery and Craniofacial Trauma Research Fellowship is intended for individuals training for a career in plastic surgery. Senior medical students, surgical residents, and trained plastic surgeons interested in H&N microsurgery or craniofacial trauma are welcome to apply.

Position Description and Goals

The University of Pittsburgh H&N Microsurgery and Craniofacial Trauma Research Fellowship is a predominantly clinical research fellowship focused on patient outcomes and integrating new technologies and clinical care paradigms into practice. There is also the opportunity to engage in cadaver and survey studies. The H&N Craniofacial Trauma and Microsurgery Division has a dedicated, full-time research coordinator. This person manages IRB protocols, mines the databases for specific projects, and facilitates the organization and execution of all projects. The research fellow may select from multiple active projects, proposed projects that have not been initiated, and/or develop new ideas. The fellow may be the lead on a project where the expectation is 1st authorship on a manuscript or take a supportive role on another fellow’s or resident’s project with commensurate authorship. There is an abundance of research opportunities with support at all levels to see the projects to completion. The fellow is expected to complete a minimum of two 1st authorship publications and a presentation at a national meeting, though the resources exist to be far more productive. Upon completion of the fellowship, the fellow will not only have expertise in the topic of their research projects but will know how to develop new ideas, formulate hypotheses, navigate institutional regulatory oversight, review the literature, gather and analyze data, and complete and submit manuscripts. The overarching goal is to provide the fellow with the tools necessary to improve their own practice and contribute to the fields of H&N reconstruction and craniofacial trauma through sound research practices.

Fellows are not limited to H&N/craniofacial trauma projects. They are welcome to work with other Department of Plastic Surgery faculty in other areas of plastic surgery.

Areas of Focus

The University of Pittsburgh H&N Microsurgery and Craniofacial Trauma Research Fellowship has a focus on H&N microvascular reconstruction, acute craniofacial trauma, and secondary reconstruction after cancer or trauma. Active lines of research include:

  • Outcomes in H&N microvascular reconstruction (VTE, bleeding, infection, salivary leak, etc)
  • Outcomes related to virtual surgical planning (VSP) and computer-assisted design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) in vascularized bone reconstruction
  • Improvements on existing VSP protocols including tumor mapping, cutting guide variations, adaptation of new surgical techniques, and merging other imaging modalities.
  • Outcomes in craniofacial trauma, virtual fracture reduction, and associated clinical pathways for 3D printed dental splints and models for acute fractures

For more information, please contact:

Matthew T. Bottegal
Program Coordinator
UPMC Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery
University of Pittsburgh



The fellow will attend weekly meetings with Dr. Solari where research progress is discussed, and any administrative issues are reviewed. The research coordinator and any residents or fellows involved in research are in attendance. The fellow will meet individually with the senior faculty investigator on each project as needed. The fellow will present their work at the Department of Plastic Surgery Research Day in June, and at least one regional and national meeting of an appropriate Plastic Surgery Society.


A formal framework of the educational activities is described below. Each project will involve background research/reading which the senior faculty on each project will delineate.

  • H&N Recon planning conference: This is a weekly 1hour conference where all microvascular reconstruction cases for the following week are discussed. This incorporates trainee education and clinical planning.
  • Grand Rounds: The fellow may attend the Department of Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds every Wednesday morning.
  • H&N Free Flap Course. There is an annual two-day free flap course with didactics and cadaver dissections in which the fellow will participate.
  • Craniofacial Trauma Courses: There are at least two craniofacial trauma courses per year. This usually involves lectures, sawbones, and cadaver dissections/plating.
  • Optional: There are optional educational activities including enrolling in a formal University of Pittsburgh Biostatistics course if the fellow lacks this background, monthly journal clubs for the Departments of Plastic Surgery, and all other formal departmental and university educational events.

Fellowship Director- Mario Solari, MD

Remote Clinical Outcomes Research Scholarship

The Department of Plastic Surgery is seeking highly motivated medical students to conduct remote clinical outcomes research. Research projects focus on topics such as health disparities, leadership qualities, and medical student education, to name a few. As a remote researcher, you will work with University of Pittsburgh faculty, residents and student leaders in the field of plastic surgery.  Access to PubMed for extensive literature searches as well as experience with statistical analysis is required. Priority will be given to those who are committed to plastic surgery and do not have the available resources to conduct plastic surgery research at their current hospitals. The scholarship aims to encourage students from diverse and underrepresented communities to pursue careers in plastic surgery and biomedical-related research.

Congratulations to our 2024 Remote Research Scholars:

Anna Bazell MS2, University of South Carolina
Yousef Husseiny MS5, New Giza University
Coleen Lewis MS2, American University of Antigua
Douvae Miller MS4, St. George's University
Connor Morson OMS1, Idaho College of Medicine
Ertha Sefu Omba MS2, Morehouse School of Medicine
Ana Paula Fontoura Andrade Reis MS5, Università degli Studi di Milano
Abigail Royfman MS1, University of Toledo
Alexandra Savage MS2, University of Alabama 

Important dates:

September 1-October 31, 2024: Applications accepted
November 11-30, 2024: Virtual interviews of top applicants
December 1, 2024: Notification of acceptance into program
January 1-December 31, 2025: Program period

To apply, please email Dr. Kacey Marra your CV and statement of interest:

Congratulations to the inaugural scholars participating in our 2023 Remote Research Program:

Tarek Arabi MS4, Alfaisal University
Nicole Eregha MS4, Ross University
Julia Kasmirski MS4, University of São Paulo
George Lear MS1, Quillen College of Medicine
Guillermo Lopez MS2, University of Puerto Rico
Arslan Mohamed MS2, City University of New York (CUNY)
Xuan-Mai Nguyen, PhD MS3, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Hazem Saqr MS7, New Giza University
Dhipthika Srinivasan MS2, AT Still University