About the Clinician Investigator Program

The Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) is one of three programs under the portfolio of the Director, Integrated Physician Scientist Training Programs; the other two being the MD/PhD Program, the CREMS program and the Graduate Diploma in Health Research, in the Faculty of Medicine.

The goal of the University of Toronto CIP is to educate physicians towards an independent career as a clinical investigator combining medical practice and research. The University of Toronto CIP is an accredited postgraduate medical education program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The Royal College approved the CIP in 1995. The University of Toronto (U of T) Clinician Investigator Program was the first fully accredited program in Canada, with Dr. Mel Silverman as its first program director. Today, there are fourteen fully accredited programs located at major Canadian universities. The University of Toronto CIP is the largest of these programs with over 130 trainees enrolled at present.

Residents enrolled in a specialty/subspecialty training program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada are eligible to enroll in the CIP. The U of T Faculty of Medicine website includes a list of all specialty and subspecialty programs. All CIP trainees commence their research training while registered as a postgraduate (PGY) trainee at the Faculty of Medicine, Postgraduate Medical Education office. The CIP gives residents the opportunity to integrate research and clinical training, and provide the skills and knowledge fundamental to a career as a clinician investigator.

University of Toronto CIP residents engage in research in fields spanning the disciplines of biomedical research, clinical research, population health, health economics and policy, and social determinants of health.

The CIP is designed to educate a new generation of physician investigators. Residents who complete the CIP will have engaged in a curriculum that features the knowledge, skills, and attitudes fundamental to embarking on a career in health research. Approximately 70% of the CIP graduates across Canada are engaged in investigative careers as a faculty members.

Advantages of the CIP:

  • Residents in a specialty/subspecialty program have an opportunity to train as clinician investigators in an accredited and audited Royal College research training program and concomitantly pursue a Masters of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree, or a Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • CIP provides dedicated research time within the context of a rigorous training milieu.
  • CIP trainees have the opportunity to participate in seminars specifically designed for the clinician scientist trainee.
  • CIP trainees at the University of Toronto share their education with a large group of fellow trainees with whom they can share experiences, discuss relevant issues, and mold their training environment.
  • CIP graduates obtain a certificate of completion from the RCPSC, attesting to the completion of the research and clinical components of the program.
  • CIP graduates are positioned for success as independent investigators because they have research training credentials and practical research experience.