Research Training

We have several options for residents interested in research in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado, School of Medicine. The Pathways Resident Research Track is the most intensive of these options.  It is designed for residents who have a strong track record of research successes and are interested in pursuing research as part of their current and future career. Typically, residents in this track intend to apply for NIH funding and/or pursue a post-doctoral fellowship following residency. The track offers the opportunity to conduct research with a primary faculty mentor throughout residency. Successful applicants will have a plan to publish early in the track years (e.g., review paper, use of mentor’s already collected samples), while also developing and running a data collection project (e.g., as an add-on to a mentor’s ongoing project, or a small independent pilot). The track individualized research plan and progress report forms are available via these links (Individualized Research Plan 2023IRP Scoring Rubric 2023; PR Scoring Rubric 2023).

Yunliang Luo
Business Services Manager

Joseph Sakai, MD
(303) 724-7402

The goals of our scholarly program for all residents are to: prepare psychiatrists to critically evaluate scientific literature and understand the importance of research in driving evidence-based practice; teach residents to apply the basic principles of research to clinical questions they encounter in their practice; encourage residents to develop an area of expertise relevant to their career goals; and, to ensure our residents become psychiatrists who are lifelong learners and scholars, regardless of whether they themselves conduct research post residency.

While some residents do more intense research through the Pathways Resident Research Tracks, all residents will develop and complete a scholarly project with a primary mentor beginning in their PG2 year, and all will be encouraged to participate in the Department's annual poster session, present at a national meeting, and/or submit to a peer-reviewed journal.

During the PGY-2 year, all residents receive a specialized curriculum in research methods, QI development, and scholarly writing skills. All PGY-2 residents have a one-month, mentored scholarship rotation to develop and begin implementing a project with a primary mentor. Residents may also choose to dedicate some additional elective time to research/scholarship.

The Pathways-RRT is a unique track within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado. This track incorporates research experiences and training throughout the PGY-2 through PGY-4/5 years (depending on whether residents pursue fellowship training in child/adolescent psychiatry). Applicants to the residency program with a strong track record of successful research may indicate an interest in the track and may be invited for additional specific interviews for Pathways-RRT. Those admitted into the Pathways-RRT must complete an individualized research plan in collaboration with their identified primary research mentor by January of their intern year. This track maximizes research time and training concurrently with acquiring clinical competence in psychiatry; its goal is to develop physician-scientists for future academic roles in psychiatry.

For those who choose the general residency, the research time allotted by PGY year is outlined below. This track can lead to one or two more years of funded, full-time research (see the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group T32 Training Program).  During the PGY-3 and 4 years, Pathways-RRT residents are provided up to $10,000/year to support their research. Through their mentors, residents in the track also have access to the Psychiatry Research Innovations (PRI) program, which is a departmental resource for biostatistics, research operations, clinical research support and research education and training.  Residents attend a monthly research meeting and are required to submit a progress report annually – the Pathways-RRT Resident Recruitment, Selection and Evaluation Committee reviews individualized research plans and progress reports and provides written feedback to each resident and primary mentor. The time commitment in the PGY-3 and 4 years is intended to allow application to the NIH Loan Repayment Program.

Structure for residents in the general program:

  PG 1 PG 2 PG 3 PG 4
Adult No time 2-3 months (17-25%) 50% effort 50% effort


For those who choose to pursue fellowship training in child/adolescent psychiatry, the Pathways-RRT integrates training in psychiatry, child & adolescent psychiatry, and research throughout the PGY-2 through PGY-5 years. This track can lead to a 6th year of funded, full-time research (see the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group T32 Training Program). During the CR1 and CR2 years, residents are provided up to $5,000-10,000/year in funds to support their research. Through their mentors, residents in this track also have access to the Psychiatry Research Innovations (PRI) service center which is a departmental resource for biostatistics, research operations, clinical research support and research education and training. Residents attend a monthly research meeting and are required to submit a progress report annually – the Pathways-RRT Resident Recruitment, Selection and Evaluation Committee reviews individualized research plans and progress reports and provides written feedback to each resident and mentor. The primary goal of the integrated track is to prepare clinician-scientists for future academic roles in child psychiatry.

Structure for residents in the child/adolescent psychiatry fellowship:

  PGY 1 PGY 2 PGY 3 CR 1 CR 2
Child No time 2-3 months (17-25%) 1 day per week (20% effort) 40% effort 50% effort
CUPathways Resident Profile

Haskins, Cole

Cole Hasking, MD PhD

I am a third-year resident at the University of Colorado in the Department of Psychiatry. Prior to residency, my MD/PhD training (Epidemiology) was at the University of Iowa and my research experiences included pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, health services, treatment adherence, and the interface between mental health and medical comorbidity. My PhD dissertation evaluated the influence of mental illness on breast cancer treatment adherence. Here at the University of Colorado, my mentor is Dr. Spero Manson and my research is focused on changes in mental health among urban American Indian and Alaska Natives in the COVID-19 pandemic. We have two projects on this topic nearing completion and I recently received funding through the CU-Pathways RRT Small Grants Program to further expand this work.

Ali, DIab

Diab Ali, MD

Dr. Diab Ali graduated with a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, at which he gained a background in behavioral neuroscience and optogenetics, completing translational research internships at Harvard, Cambridge, and the United Nations ICGEB center in Italy. Graduating from the University of Queensland - Ochsner M.D. program in Brisbane, Australia and New Orleans, Louisiana, he was presented the Excellence Award in Psychiatry. His advocacy in the areas of social determinants, vulnerable populations, investment policy, and cultural psychiatry has resulted in 5 published manuscripts (2 first authored), including a publication in Nature - Molecular Psychiatry following a collaboration across 6 continents. After his successful grant application, he was awarded the competitive Ochsner Excellence Fund for co-developing the first telehealth literacy screening tool (with a recently published paper on this in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease) and clinical trial addressing access barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project won the AMA Student, Resident, and Fellow Impact Challenge - Clinical Informatics and Health Technology Division. Starting residency at the University of Colorado, he has combined his biological and sociocultural interests in studying the intergenerational transmission of stress and trauma, including research of markers and mediators of psychiatric risk and resilience. Meanwhile, he maintains multi-site involvement in TBI, PTSD, and trauma-informed treatment projects, recently presenting at multiple conferences on the psychiatric manifestations of TBI.  

Panchal, Zoe

Zoë Panchal, MD

Dr. Zoë Panchal graduated from Williams College (Bachelor of Arts) in 2013 and the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2020.   She developed her interest in research in medical school, publishing a first-author manuscript and receiving a University of Colorado School of Medicine Adler MSA Scholarship Award for her work during that time.   Zoë was accepted into the Pathways RRT later than most during her second year of residency.  She is excited to be pursuing her research interests in the role of circadian and sleep pathophysiology in psychiatric illness and circadian and sleep-based clinical interventions for psychiatric illness in the track, and has received a Pathways RRT grant to support this work.

Scarborough, Hannah-web
Hannah Scarborough, MD
I graduated with a BS in Physics from Agnes Scott College and entered the MSTP program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, receiving my PhD in Molecular Biology in 2017 and my MD in 2019.  As a physician scientist with plans for a career in inpatient psychiatry, my long-term research interests are to develop a comprehensive understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of psychotic spectrum disorders. The research track and mentorship within Dr. Law’s lab is an ideal environment for fostering my interest in mechanistic questions while providing me with the rigorous neuroscience training that will be essential to my development as a psychiatrist. For several years, the work of Dr Law’s lab has focused on understanding genetically regulated developmental pathways associated with risk for schizophrenia and its treatment. My recent work in the Law lab focuses on the examination of one of these pathways, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, through the use of a mouse model of genetic mTOR deficiency. The research track has allowed me several opportunities, including participating in the NIMH ORAP program in 2021.
Sorabh Singhal, MD
Sorabh Singhal graduated from the University of Wisconsin and began working at Epic Systems in Madison Wisconsin. He later attended Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine, where he was elected into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (graduating in 2022).  Dr. Singhal seeks to become an academic psychiatrist and healthcare delivery and disparities researcher and to channel his prior experience with the electronic health record (EHR) into projects that improve access to care and the quality of mental healthcare. He aims to refine, implement, and broaden the reach of EHR-based interventions to improve mental healthcare for marginalized populations.



Jesse HinkleyDr. Jesse Hinckley received a BS in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University on 2005, completed his PhD in Human Molecular Genetics in 2013 and received his MD in 2015. He completed General Psychiatry Residency Training (2018) and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training (2020) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Hinckley has 14 published manuscripts (6 first authored), including in Nature Genetics.  Dr. Hinckley was awarded a competitive Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Pilot Award in early 2020. Upon completion of fellowship training, Dr. Hinckley joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at CU and was awarded a NIDA-funded (AACAP Physician Scientist Program in Substance Use K12 Career Development Award) K12 Award in March of 2021.  

Devika BhatiaDr. Devika Bhatia graduated from Pomona College (Bachelor of Arts) in 2010 and from Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Doctor of Medicine) in 2016.  She completed General Psychiatry Residency Training (2019) and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship (2021) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Devi realized her passion for research later than some, finding an interest mid-way through residency.  After completing a research elective and showing strong productivity, Devi was accepted into the Pathways-RRT during Child Fellowship.  Still, with relatively limited dedicated research time in residency (in an older version of the Pathways-RRT), Devi published two first-authored and one co-authored manuscripts, received the NIDA-AACAP Resident Training Award in Substance Use Disorders and submitted two grant applications.  Her first-authored paper in Pediatrics was selected by the editor as one of the best articles in the journal, representing 1 of 10 “articles that had the greatest impact on our readers in 2020.” Devi will start as a post-doctoral research fellow with the DPRG in summer of 2021.

Clinical Training Tracks

The Psychotherapy Scholars Track is designed for psychiatry residents who seek advanced psychotherapy training and psychotherapy scholarship during residency and who plan to pursue additional psychotherapy training and practice post-residency. This track builds upon the comprehensive psychotherapy curriculum that is a core component of our residency program and uses elective time to add intensive supervision, reading, and projects. The goals of the Psychotherapy Scholars Track include: 

  1. Advanced knowledge base in psychotherapy theory, literature, and history. 
  2. Clinical competency in five forms of psychotherapy including brief treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, group therapy, and family and couples psychotherapy. 
  3. Completion of a scholarly project related to psychotherapy. 

The Women’s Reproductive Psychiatry (RP) Track is designed to provide residents with an in-depth exposure to RP during residency training and to support career development within this sub-specialty field.   Residents in good standing through the December of their PGY 1 year may apply.  As the track begins in PGY 2 year and continues through PGY 4 year, the resident must plan to complete four years of residency training.  This track consists of the following components:

Clinical:  In the PGY 2 year, residents rotate at a variety of clinical training sites over a one-month period.  Potential sites are selected to provide exposure to treatment of women across the reproductive lifespan, and may include the Women’s Behavioral Health outpatient practice, the Women’s Integrated Services for Health (WISH) primary care practice, Women’s Mental Health at the VA, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), inpatient obstetrics units, the Young Mother’s Clinic, and the Healthy Expectations mother-infant group therapy program. In PGY 3 and 4 training years, residents will rotate in a diverse array of half-day electives. 

Educational: In PGY -2 year, residents in the RP track will attend dedicated weekly didactics specific to RP.  PGY 3 residents will complete a variety of didactic mini-series in conjunction with clinical electives.  For the PGY 4 year, dedicated didactics will center on the neurobiological basis of sex differences as pertaining to mental health.

Scholarship:  Residents completing the Women’s RP Track will pair with a designated faculty member for the planning, initiation, and execution of a scholarly project within RP. Additionally, all residents will be paired with an individual core mentor for additional mentorship, career development, and curricular advisement.

The Community/Public Psychiatry Track is designed to provide interested residents with in-depth exposure to—and training in—the nuances of community psychiatry from years 2 through 4. This track will appeal to those who plan on working in a community or nonprofit/low-profit setting after graduation, treating those individuals who are economically, socially, or otherwise disadvantaged. This track may also appeal to those who would like to do much of their outpatient psychiatry work in an integrated behavioral health clinic (primary care).

Objectives: To provide early exposure to many different types of community psychiatry in multiple locations and to foster career development in these same settings. Foci will include: the treatment of severe mental illness and mental illness in the underinsured; addictions; the interplay of mental health treatment and the legal system; and legislative understanding and action.

Possible sites for rotations:

  • Denver Health inpatient psychiatry
  • Department of Corrections
  • Fort Logan state hospital and Pueblo state hospital
  • Denver Health inpatient and outpatient addictions psychiatry
  • Denver Health integrated behavioral health clinics (psychiatrists integrated into primary care)
  • Stout Street and the Coalition for the Homeless
  • Emergency Psychiatry, including mobile crisis unit
  • WellPower (formerly the Mental Health Center of Denver; outpatient community treatment of patients who often have Medicaid and live in Denver County)
  • Visits to (with some possibility to complete a rotation at) community mental health facilities, intensive outpatient programs, acute treatment units, animal assisted therapies, refugee mental health clinics; asylum seeker psychiatric evaluations; rural locations

Specialized didactics are provided for the residents in the CommPPT. A scholarly project is required, due upon graduation. Time for development of this project is provided in the PGY2 year.

Medical students interested in CommPPT may apply to it specifically, and/or to the University of Colorado School of Medicine general psychiatry residency program. Two positions (of 15) are reserved for these incoming PGY1 residents. The track  lasts for 4 years with most content provided PGY2-4 and thus is not compatible with fast-tracking into a child fellowship after year 3.

The Combined Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Track allows residents to do both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with ease and continuity while training at the University of Colorado. The aim of the track is to train residents matching into psychiatry who have a clear desire to specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP). Graduates of this 5-year track will be prepared to be excellent clinicians, leaders in the field, and ready to serve the diverse child, adolescent, and adult patients in our communities. Compared to the usual fast-track option that is still available to all residents, this program will provide earlier and enhanced clinical experiences and mentorship to achieve the goals of training excellent child psychiatrists.

The co-directors for this training track are Dr. Anne Penner, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program Director, and Dr. Robert Davies, General Psychiatry Program Director and Vice Chair for Education.

The general structure of the Combined Child Track will be to incorporate more child experiences, both clinical and career-focused, throughout all five years of training.


  • Child Neurology – Combined Child Track residents will do half of their Neurology time at Children’s Hospital Colorado (4 weeks).
  • Pediatrics Child Track residents will spend two months at Children’s Hospital Colorado doing inpatient Pediatrics.
  • Meet with CAP Training Director to plan individualized plan for mentorship and scholarship


  • Child and Adolescent Inpatient and Consult-Liaison on the child and adolescent Inpatient Unit (IPU) and medical services at CHCO, for a total of 4 months at Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Start meeting with CAP mentor if you haven’t already in PGY-1 year.


  • Child Outpatient is ½ day per week throughout the year.
  • Child Electives and psychotherapy with transition-aged individuals are encouraged.
  • Start doing clinical supervision with CAP faculty and continue to meet with mentor.

PGY-4  (first year of fellowship)


PGY-5  (second year of fellowship)


The Career Program is jointly sponsored by the psychiatry residency and its public mental health partners. The objective of the career program is to provide residents with an in-depth exposure to public psychiatry while still in training and to foster career development in community and state mental health systems. Residents enroll in the program at the beginning of the PGY-2 year and are given a leave of absence after the PGY-3 year in order to perform a year of staff service at a public sector mental health facility. Participating residents are paid the standard salary set by the sponsoring institution for the service year; this salary is partly distributed during the training years as a supplement to the regular residency stipend.

Currently, WellPower (formerly Mental Health Center of Denver) is participating in this program.

The WellPower career program was instituted in 1994. During their service year, residents in the Career Program work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team within a full continuum of recovery-oriented services.  WellPower serves the City and County of Denver and provides treatment to individuals and families with a wide variety of behavioral health problems: crisis intervention, children and families at risk, persons with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.  WellPower employs over 400 professionals to provide a range of services at 32 sites for more than 7000 people each year.  Services include evidence-based and innovative practices such as Assertive Community Treatment, integrated physical health care, and supported employment and housing.

Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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