Research Block

Goals and Objectives

Level: PGY2, PGY3, PGY4 and PGY5

EPAs covered during the Research Block include: TTD#4, C#16, C#17, TTP#4


Research is an integral and mandatory component of the Anatomical Pathology Residency Training Program. Research blocks are only available during the PGY2, PGY3, PGY4 and PGY5 training years.

Scope of research includes, but not limited to, case series studies, clinical research projects and basic science projects.

  • Some trainees have considerable pre-residency research experience. Research projects may span a wide range of intensity. 
  • Early consideration of a Research Ethics Board application may be advantageous and for most research projects is considered mandatory.

Supervising faculty will be available to discuss concepts and research approach. Faculty will examine results of project and discuss significance of findings. 

The resident is expected prepare a poster or platform presentation of project which will be presented at the Annual Departmental Research Day and/or a national or international meeting.

It is mandatory for a resident who takes a research block to present at the Annual Departmental Research Day and/or a national meeting.


Anatomical pathology resident room

  • The resident is expected to be present daily in the resident room during their research block
  • In addition to completing tasks associated with their research project, the resident is expected to:
    • Attend and participate in academic day
    • Assist with medical student and/or off-service resident supervision
    • On-call or frozen section responsibilities, if applicable or required
      • In the event of limited daytime frozen section coverage (number of on-site residents limited) or unexpected lack of coverage for daytime frozen sections, the resident on research block will be preferentially scheduled to cover the service.
  • With approval of AP residency research director and direct staff supervisor, certain tasks may be completed outside of the hospital (typically no more than 2-3 days/block).

Number of Research Blocks:

  • Research Blocks are considered to be electives.
  • For AP residents in good academic standing, residents will be permitted the following number of research blocks
    • PGY2-1 block
    • PGY3-1 block
    • PGY4 - may choose between a research block OR a study block
    • Additional blocks with approval of the Program Director
  • In the event that a resident is required to repeat a rotation block (complete or partial repeat), the research block will be converted to the required block (see details of complete or partial rotation block repeat policy)

Rotation Blocks Assignments

  • Using the research form (located in resident's folder), the resident MUST provide the Resident Research Director with a list of specific tasks that they will perform within the framework of the Goals and Objectives outlined below with the names of their supervisors before the start of the rotation. These objectives will be reviewed at the end of the block.
    • A research block will not be approved if the only tasks are to write a Research Ethics Board (REB) application, paper and/or abstracts.  Protected time for these activities is available during the weekly Academic Day.
  • These tasks will be assessed by the supervisors as part of the overall ITER evaluation.
  • PGY1
    • Not applicable
  • PGY2
    • Ethics Training Module by OHRI should be completed.
    • The resident will select a suitable supervisor and discuss projects with them.
    • In the event a resident cannot find a research project and/or supervisor, the Resident Research Director or Program Directory Faculty will provide guidance of a research area which may be suitable for the resident research interests.
    • Project outline will be refined after staff/resident discussions.
    • Most projects will be undertaken during regular service rotations.
      • If required, the resident will take research block as indicated above. 
      • For larger scale projects, additional research blocks may be taken as electives in consultation with and approval of the Program Director
    • Projects should be completed within one or two academic years; a larger scale project may be extended or may carry through to subsequent years.
    • Financial support for small projects may be solicited from the Department and through the other appropriate sources (application for PALM funds, or other funding sources)
    • The resident is expected to present preliminary data or the completed project at Annual Research Day
    • Residents should attend available courses on critical appraisals and biostats/epidemiology through the PGME
  • PGY3
    • Continuation of initial project.
    • Residents who have completed a project or who are in the final stages of completion may embark on another project.
    • Resident must present at Research Day.
    • Presentation at a national meeting is expected.
    • Preparation for publication is encouraged.
  • PGY5 (or PGY4)
    • Presentation of results at a national meeting required if not accomplished in PGY3
    • If not already done, submission of project for publication is expected.

Medical Expert

  • The resident is expected to develop a background knowledge about the research project
  • The resident is expected to display adequate knowledge of the research, particularly unanswered questions in the area of interest.
  • The resident can explain the clinical relevance of the research approach employed.   The resident is expected to know how to obtain resources for research project.
  • The resident is expected to participate in application for internal or external funding support.
  • The resident is expected to demonstrate appropriate research skills (both laboratory and information-based).
  • The resident is expected to demonstrate appropriate and adequate use of statistical techniques and can select and appropriately apply statistical procedures.
  • The resident is expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of the scientific and technical principles of the research techniques/platforms.


  • The resident is expected to communicate effectively with supervisor(s), technical staff and collaborators.
  • The resident can demonstrate platform (oral) presentation skills.
  • The resident is expected to provide a concise overview of research project in an intradepartmental setting.
  • The resident is expected to produce a timely, accurate and well written research project.
  • The resident is expected to generate research communication appropriate to the project (poster presentation, platform presentation, and/or publication).


  • The resident is expected to maintain team relationships.
  • The resident is expected to recognize the importance of a collaborative approach to translational research.
  • The resident is expected to seek consults with clinical/scientist collaborators in an effective and timely manner.


  • The resident can demonstrate effective use of the LIS in handling clinical cases.
  • The resident can demonstrate appropriate use of information technology for pertinent literature searches.
  • The resident is expected to have clear understanding of the principles of laboratory safety and to abide by those standards.
  • The resident is expected to disclose all pertinent data to supervisor(s).
  • The resident is expected to demonstrate knowledge of regulations pertaining to handling and storage of research data pertaining to individual patients.

Health Care Advocate

  • The resident is expected to understand the importance of incorporating research ethics, with particular attention to patient confidentiality in project design.
  • The resident is expected to obtain Tri-Council Research training certificates as needed for Research Ethic Board approval for research projects.


  • The resident is able to demonstrate continuous learning commitment to lifelong learning and self-directed study.
  • The resident is expected to critically appraise the scientific literature, incorporating findings into the design and presentation of the research project.
  • The resident is expected to transmit research findings to fellow trainees and the academic community when needed in different settings


  • The resident is expected to demonstrate concern and respect for others as well as sensitivity to gender/ethnic and other social issues, with members of the research team.

Research Activities: The resident will meet with the Resident Research Director and go over this document and the overall aspects of the rotation on the first day of the rotation.

Updated April 2022

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