Details and FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What materials are required to apply?
Applicants will be asked to submit a CV, writing sample, and a letter of recommendation. Writing samples may vary, and abstracts or unpublished drafts may be submitted if a peer-reviewed journal article is not yet available. These documents will be requested via email shortly after filling out our Contact Form.

How many fellows are selected?
We select one qualified research fellow each year for the urologic oncology position.

Will completing the fellowship enhance my ability to match into urology?
All of our past fellows have successfully matched into their desired specialty at one of their top-ranked programs.
 
Have any past fellows matched for residency at Utah?
Yes, fellows are equally considered alongside other applicants. Our 2017-18 fellow is now a Utah urology resident, for example.
 
When does the fellowship begin and end?
Dates for completing the fellowship are flexible and can be tailored to the fellow’s individual scheduling needs. In general, fellows begin around May-June and spend 50-52 weeks with us at the University of Utah. We encourage all interested students to apply regardless of their academic schedules.
 
What is the stipend paid to fellows?
Fellows are compensated well for their time and efforts, and cost of living in Salt Lake City is very reasonable. Currently, a stipend of $25,000 is offered for the year, however this may increase up to $30,000 as a given year’s budget allows. These rates are at or above the standard rates for similar positions nationwide, including those with the NIH.
 
What other benefits are fellows eligible for?
Fellows are considered full-time employees and as such are eligible for health insurance, retirement contributions, and other related benefits. Health insurance is both affordable and excellent, with the standard plan costing just $38/mo after a wellness credit is applied. Most medical visits to Utah providers cost just $5, and prescriptions are usually under $10. Retirement contributions are also made by the University each month, regardless of whether or not the employee contributes anything.
 
What does a fellow’s typical week look like?
Fellows should aim to spend a standard 40-hour week on campus, but hours are flexible and not strictly monitored. Fellows can expect to come in at 7:00am 2-3 days each week for resident conferences and team meetings, but are otherwise free to manage their time independently. For more information on a sample week’s schedule, see the section below.
 
What type of research will the fellow participate in?
Fellows will assist with ongoing projects headed by the primary mentor, such as Dr. O’Neil, and are free to pursue other collaborations or generate their own research projects as their time allows. Generally, time is split between large dataset projects in collaboration with our biostatisticians and clinic trials currently enrolling or underway in the department. Nearly all projects are clinically oriented, and fellows are usually first author on resulting manuscripts.
 
Will there be opportunities to present work at meetings and conferences?
Yes, fellows are encouraged to present posters and talks of their research at multiple national and regional conferences related to urology, oncology, and health services research. In a typical year, productive fellows can expect to attend the AUA Western Section, AUA Annual Meeting, SUO Annual Meeting, GU ASCO, and may attend others including Academy Health’s Annual Meeting, ASCO’s Annual Meeting, and various local/regional meetings.
 
How are fellows mentored by the PI?
This fellowship offers very strong and frequent mentorship, which can be tailored to the fellow’s unique needs. The research team meets weekly on Thursday mornings to discuss ongoing projects, which provides the fellow with regular contact with the primary mentor and numerous MDs and PhDs in the department. Tailored, 1-on-1 mentorship is also provided by the primary mentor at scheduled meetings on a regular basis. Furthermore, all urologists in the department will be invested in the fellow’s clinical and academic success.
 
What opportunities exist for clinical exposure?
Fellows are welcome to shadow in the clinic and OR at any time, and are encouraged to do so throughout the year. Fellows may also choose to schedule a dedicated clinical month, similar to a sub-I rotation, while here in the department. With insurance coverage, fellows will be able to fully participate in all clinical activities at the normal level of a motivated MS3-4 student. Additionally, fellows are invited to attend all resident conferences and related events, providing the opportunity to build strong bonds with our current trainees and faculty.
 
What does the team look for in an ideal fellow?
Ideally, a fellow should be professional, driven, inquisitive, and skilled at working on teams. Additionally, applicants who are self-starters and value independence will be particularly suited to the position’s flexible structure. Apart from this, we welcome all types of applicants and will work with you to guarantee a successful year.
 
How is life in Salt Lake City?
Life in SLC is exciting, diverse, and very easy to adapt to as the city is a very comfortable size. The city is a thriving hub of activity, with good food, drinks, and culture on nearly every block. Cost of living is comparatively low and housing options are plentiful. Public transportation is very strong, with many residents utilizing bikes, scooters, or the renowned TRAX light rail (which runs right up to the University and hospital) to get around. Of course, the biggest attraction is our proximity to the mountains, with world-class skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, and all sorts of other outdoor adventures just steps away. For this reason, SLC locals are some of the happiest and healthiest around!
 
How can I learn more about Utah Urology or the fellowship?
Please feel free to explore the Division of Urology’s website and follow us on Twitter (@UtahUrology). To get in touch with the current fellow, please navigate to our Contact Form.

A WEEK IN THE LIFE

Fellows can expect their weekly schedule to vary based on the current ongoing projects and approaching deadlines, but most weeks will follow a similar structure. To help applicants get a feel for the fellowship, our current fellow has described a typical week in his life here at Utah.
 
Monday
7:00-9:00am – attend resident lectures/conference, grand rounds, simulations, etc.
10:00-11:00am – cancer database meeting with interdisciplinary oncology team
Afternoon – reading papers and collaborating with biostatisticians to move projects forward
 
Tuesday
8:00am – arrive and get breakfast, no scheduled morning meetings
Morning – generally reserved for manuscript writing, grant writing, etc.
Afternoon – schedule meetings as needed with collaborators, continue to read/write, shadow in clinic as time allows
 
Wednesday
7:00-8:00am – attend resident lectures/conference, grand rounds, simulations, etc.
8:00-9:00am – attend genitourinary tumor board
9:00-10:00am – meet with PIs/mentors as needed for project troubleshooting
10:00-10:30am – biweekly formal mentorship meeting with Dr. O’Neil, rotating topics
Afternoon – collaborate with biostatisticians and gather updates on all projects, knock off to-do list items and move projects forward to prepare for team meeting
 
Thursday
7:00-8:00am – weekly team research meeting to discuss all ongoing projects, share progress, troubleshoot issues, brainstorm new projects, and share successes with the team
8:00am-9:00am – meet with PIs/mentors as needed for project troubleshooting
Morning – meet with biostatisticians and others to address action items from team meeting
Afternoon – generally reserved for reading, writing manuscripts, etc.
 
Friday
8:00am – arrive and get breakfast, no scheduled meetings
Morning – continue to work on action items from Thursday’s team meeting, shadow Dr. O’Neil in the OR as time allows
Afternoon – read urology textbook, read papers, write, and finish up to-do list prior to weekend
3:00pm – leave early and finish the day’s work from a local coffee shop
 
Weekends
Off – not expected to report to campus. Ski, hike, and enjoy life in Utah!