Program for Mentored Clinical Research


The primary goal of this program, coordinated by Dr. Alp Ikizler is to facilitate the growth of the mentee through development of independence, self-confidence, job satisfaction, decision-making skills, and problem-solving skills in a structured and challenging environment. The fundamental components of this program include recognition and development of the clinical investigator, emerging independence and ultimate autonomy of the new clinical investigator. Once the beginning clinical investigator joins the mentor’s laboratory, a developmental program will be initiated. The program is expected to last 2-4 years. During the first 6 months of the research training, the emphasis will be on learning fundamental methodologies in clinical research including, but not limited to, study design, biostatistics, data acquisition, and data analysis provided by the mentor and statistical consultant. Within the first 12 months, the trainee will be expected to identify a research project based on the available resources in the mentor’s laboratory as well as the resources available at the institution and write the project in a proposal format. The trainee will also submit the proposal to a grant program to obtain grant support. The trainee is also expected to apply to either MSCI program or MPH program during the first year of research fellowship. The next two to three years will be devoted to further development of the clinical investigator. MSCI or MPH programs will provide the didactic training component of the training program. The trainee’s Career Development Committee will provide ongoing guidance about the development of research skills and independence together with the primary mentor. The final component of the mentoring plan is establishing independence by the beginning clinical investigator. While extraordinary clinical investigators may obtain independent research support early in their careers, bridge funding, such as a mentored research career award between early career and independent research will normally be pursued.