Features and Benefits of the Program

Vanderbilt offers an extremely supportive environment for research career development, with strong institutional research infrastructure, training seminars, and dedicated mentors. The V-STTaR program will leverage those resources and offer the following features:

 

Research Advisory Committee

The V-STTaR program provides each Scholar with an interdisciplinary Research Advisory Committee (RAC) comprised of an experienced research mentor with expertise in heart, lung, blood, or sleep research, an experienced T4 translational research mentor, an operational leader with real-world implementation experience (an “ImpleMentor”), and one of the program directors. The RAC will guide the Scholar in forming a career development plan and completing a mentored implementation research project related to improving patient or population health in heart, lung, blood, or sleep disorders. 

 

Individualized Career Development

Each Scholar will work with his or her RAC to form an individualized career development plan. Milestones and an evaluation plan will be created to ensure competency in areas including implementation science methods and skills, interprofessional collaboration and teamwork, scholarship and research, leadership skills, and understanding of the dynamic healthcare landscape. Key milestones may include presentations at national meetings, peer reviewed publications, and submission of a strong grant proposal for extramural funding.

 

Didactic Education

All Scholars will participate in two new courses in Improvement & Implementation Science, which cover such topics as measurement and analysis of healthcare processes and outcomes, study designs for research in real-world settings, and implementation frameworks, outcomes, and measures. Scholars will also attend the Center for Clinical Quality & Implementation Research Scholarly Series, Vanderbilt's Elliot Newman Society activities for career development awardees, and additional selected departmental or research training workshops. Scholars who need foundational research training will have the opportunity to matriculate in the Vanderbilt Masters of Public Health Program, which offers tracks in epidemiology, health policy and global health. Additionally, Vanderbilt offers a variety of didactic learning opportunities spanning health services research, behavioral science, biostatistics, biomedical informatics, grant writing, and leadership skills to support individual Scholar needs. On average, didactic coursework will comprise an estimated 20% of each Scholar's time commitment.

 

Mentored Implementation Research

The primary experiential learning activity and a critical component of Scholars’ training will be the performance of a mentored implementation research project. Each Scholar will work with his or her RAC in the design, performance, analysis, and interpretation of the research project. Scholars are expected to lead the process of study design, measure selection, subject recruitment, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. All Scholars are expected to fulfill a minimum of one research project during their training. The mentored research project will typically begin in Scholars’ first year and continue through their 2-3 year period of support. The program offers a diverse clinical laboratory for implementation research that spans academic, community, inpatient, outpatient, adult, and pediatric settings.

 

Dedicated Career Development Time 

Scholars are required to devote at least 75% professional effort toward developing an academic career in implementation research. The planned period of mentored research support is up to 3 years for each Scholar, though some Scholars may progress more quickly and transition to an extramural K award after 1-2 years.