Research Opportunities

The University of Utah is one of the top 50 research institutions in the United States. University of Utah Health, of which the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is a part, promotes research of such quality and quantity as to ensure national recognition as a scientifically excellent institution. 

U of U Health has consistently been in the top tier of obstetrics and gynecology departments for NIH funding.

Grant and contract activity within maternal-fetal medicine over the last decade includes clinical research in: preterm birth, recurrent pregnancy loss, stillbirth, anti-phospholipid syndrome, and venous thromboembolism.

The Department continues to focus its laboratory research on human genetics and immunology, working collaboratively with discovery scientists in these disciplines. 

Summer Curriculum

Fellowship begins with a six-week summer research curriculum in epidemiology, data management, bioethics, biostatistics, and genetics. Our curriculum provides the necessary skills to begin your transition into an independent clinical investigator and gives you time to settle into your new home in Salt Lake City. 

These summer credits can be applied to the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) or Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees. 

Unless you already have an advanced research degree, we strongly encourage you to complete the MSCI or MPH by the end of fellowship. Over the last five years, 86% of graduating fellows have completed an advanced research degree.


Each fellow is assigned 1-2 mentors when they start their fellowship. Mentorship is reevaluated at least annually and fellows are encouraged to develop their own personalized mentorship team to optimize their developing research interests. Strong clinical and research mentorship is one of our program’s greatest strengths.

NIH-Funded Research

Seven maternal-fetal medicine faculty have NIH-funded research. We have a successful track record of obtaining funding for fellows and junior faculty: Three junior faculty currently hold NIH K awards (training grants). 

Current NIH awards include:

  • Chin (MFMU K12)
  • Clark (MFMU K12, K23)
  • Esplin (MFMU Co-I, GPN Co-I, NuMOM2b Co-I)
  • Manuck (K23)
  • Rose (P20 Co-I)
  • Silver (NuMOM2b PI, SCRN PI, MFMU Co-I)
  • Varner (MFMU PI, GPN PI, NuMOM2b Co-I, SCRN Co-I)

In 2013, the University of Utah Department of OB/GYN was awarded $5,450,894 in NIH funding; the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division was responsible for $3,575,940.

We have also been a site in the Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit (MFMU) Network since 1996 (Dr. Varner, PI; Dr. Silver, co-PI). Numerous fellow papers (eight publications from 2010 – 2013) and presentations have resulted from secondary analysis of MFMU Network data. 

Multi-Center Research

The MFM division has participated in other NIH-funded multi-center research including:

  • The Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network,
  • the Genomics and Proteomics Network for Preterm Birth Research, the NuMOM2B Network,
  • the EAGeR Trial,
  • the National Children’s Study,
  • the Consortium on Safe Labor,
  • and FASTER, among others.

Basic and clinical research projects under the supervision of Maternal-Fetal Medicine faculty have repeatedly resulted in SMFM oral and poster presentations by current and past fellows. 


T. Flint Porter, M.D.
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Contact Us

Education Program Manager

Natalie Moore
Phone: 801-581-5501