Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD)

About Our Services

The Office of Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD) supports research trainees across different career stages and at various academic levels.

How We Support

TECPAD supports educational programs and events, including seminars, workshops, symposia and poster sessions, in order to create forums for researchers to interact with, learn from one another and share ideas within our pediatric research community. Additionally, we provide assistance with research trainee onboarding and offer individualized support to early-career physician and clinical/translational scientists. TECPAD also manages an intramural funding program to support scientists at all career levels. The TECPAD Resource Hub is designed for the CHLA research community and provides information about TECPAD events and activities, funding opportunities, research achievements, and links to relevant CHLA resources. Access requires sign-on using CHLA network or remote network connection.

Research Training Opportunities

When searching for traineeships, trainees should identify potential mentors by contacting investigators directly, based on their area of research interest. To find researchers based on research interest, please visit our investigator page, or visit USC Health Sciences Profiles.

Once trainees have identified and secured a CHLA mentor, the TECPAD team will be contacted by the mentor to assist with any questions and help with the onboarding process for the trainee. 

View the Research Observer Onboarding Guidelines

Research Success Teams

We support the successful development of early career faculty who seek to become independently funded investigators. Research Success Teams provides specialized support and resources to help junior investigators prepare and submit competitive proposals for career development awards or independent research awards by connecting them with services such as mentorship, mock grant reviews and professional grant writing support. Research Success Teams members are nominated for participation by their division heads. 

The George Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists

The George Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists is dedicated to improving the health of children by training physician scientists to perform innovative and high quality research. The Society provides mentorship, infrastructure and a community for pediatric physician scientists in training. The Donnell Society sponsors one or more Donnell Fellows per year, who are chosen at the beginning of their pediatric internship year.

TECPAD Resources

The following resources may be useful for those interested in fellowships, graduate programs, research funding, and educational events.

  • Clinical Subspecialty Fellowships
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellows
  • University of Southern California Graduate Programs
  • Programs for High School Students and Undergraduate Students
  • Intramural Funding Program
  • Training and Education Events

Subspecialty fellowship training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers an exciting range of opportunities, including research opportunities at The Saban Research Institute for an advanced pediatric education.

Postdoctoral Researcher is a trainee in residence at CHLA, pursuing advanced study beyond a doctorate, is in preparation toward a full-time academic, public and/or private sector career, and working under the oversight of a faculty research mentor. Postdoctoral Researcher appointments are not part of clinical (patient care) training programs. To be considered for appointment as a Postdoctoral Researcher at CHLA, the individual must qualify as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow or Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles shall annually set minimum compensation for all categories of Postdoctoral Researchers.

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for newly hired and renewed appointments for Postdoctoral Researchers (Postdoctoral Research Fellows and Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellows) is $54,080 (12 months).

  • Effective 1/1/2021 the minimum will increase to $58,240
  • Effective 1/1/2022 the minimum will increase to $62,400

Appointment term

  • Appointments can be renewed up to a maximum of five, one-year appointments on the recommendation of the faculty mentor
  • There is no obligation to renew appointment.
  • Appointments for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow or Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow should not exceed five years each unless approved in advance by the Chief Scientific Officer.
  • All Postdoctoral Researchers are categorized as exempt employees and must be dedicated to full time research scholarship. Postdoctoral Researchers may not be appointed on a part-time basis. 

Degree requirements

  • Postdoctoral Researchers have been awarded an MD, PhD, or a doctorate in a relevant field
  • If the Postdoctoral Researcher candidate has not yet obtained a doctoral degree, the candidate should provide evidence that a thesis has been approved together with a documented indication of the expected date of formal graduation. It is the responsibility of the faculty mentor to verify this documentation.


  • Postdoctoral Researchers are expected to engage in high-quality full time research
  • Postdoctoral Researchers are expected to publish results of scholarship during appointment period
  • The faculty mentor is expected to encourage and support publication of research, for the benefit of the Postdoctoral Researcher’s professional development
  • Postdoctoral Researchers and faculty mentors must abide by institutional policies, including those that define intellectual property rights, as modified from time to time.

Appointment letter

  • Postdoctoral Researcher must be issued a fixed-term offer letter following institutional templates that sets forth the terms of the appointment, and is signed by the faculty mentor and her/his division chief. Appointment letter must be countersigned by appointee. 
  • Fully executed letter must be filed with CHLA Human Resources and TECPAD prior to the initiation of the appointment.


Other research personnel job titles such as Research Associate or Research Specialist are reserved for long-term, career employees. Unlike a Postdoctoral Researcher appointment, Research Associate and Research Specialist appointments are not preparatory toward full-time academic, public and/or private sector careers.

National Postdoctoral Association Membership

CHLA is a proud member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), a professional association that advocates on behalf of postdoctoral scholars. By virtue of our membership, CHLA postdoctoral research fellows are eligible for free affiliate NPA memberships.

The Saban Research Institute is committed to cultivating interest in research early on in the research trainee pipeline by sponsoring summer programs for high school and undergraduate students.

Samuels Family Latino and African-American High School Internship Program (LA-HIP)
Short Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP)

Each year TSRI offers financial support aimed at developing the next generation of leaders in pediatric research. We fund awards that cut across career stages.

Our team organizes research seminars, poster sessions, symposia and other events, engaging the CHLA/USC research community around the most pressing child health issues, promoting our research learning environment and encouraging leadership.

Click here for a list of upcoming events.

Wednesday Research Seminar Series

TSRI’s weekly research seminar series features presentations by renowned experts on current basic, clinical and translational research topics.

At least once per year, we organize the Discovery and Innovation Speaker Series, to host distinguished speakers to present the most cutting edge research pertaining to the developmental origins of health and disease.

Floyd H. Gilles Lecture in Neuroscience Research

Each year TSRI invites a preeminent speaker whose work embodies the distinguished career of Dr. Floyd H. Gilles who has dedicated more than 50 years to improving the lives of children by searching for innovative cures for neurodevelopmental diseases.

The Saban Research Institute Annual Symposium

The TSRI Annual Symposium highlights exciting strides researchers at The Institute and from around the globe are making in understanding the developmental origins of health and disease. Each year the theme of the event reflects an institutional research priority area.

Annual Poster Session

Over two decades ago, The Saban Research Institute (TSRI) Annual Poster Session was established to showcase the diversity of research investigated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Every June, the event provides the CHLA research community the opportunity to spend time learning about, thinking about and interacting around the scientific findings and questions of our clinical and research trainees and faculty. It also offers a forum for participants to share their recent project findings and network for future research endeavors.

National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week

Every year during the third week in September, TSRI celebrates our outstanding postdoctoral community during National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week by offering career development and networking opportunities as well as social events.

Research Resource Fair

Each year, we host an event showcasing the resources that are available at CHLA to support one’s research. Resource representatives include those from Research Operations, Core Facilities, the Southern California Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (SC CTSI) and more.