Research Requirements

Each fellow will develop a formal research project which will be their primary focus during the second and third year of fellowship. The subspecialty resident will be expected to formulate a three member Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC), identify a mentor and begin organizing a research project during the first year of fellowship. Time will be provided during the subspecialty elective rotations to identify a mentor and begin planning a research project. All subspecialty residents will be expected to engage in projects in which they develop hypotheses or in projects of substantive scholarly exploration and analysis that require critical thinking. Areas in which research may be pursued include, but are not limited to:  basic, clinical, or translational biomedicine; health services; quality improvement; bioethics; education; and public policy. Fellows must gather and analyze data, derive and defend conclusions, place conclusions in the context of what is known or not known about a specific area of inquiry, and present their work in oral and written form to their Scholarship Oversight Committee (see below) and elsewhere. The SOC is to meet every 6 months in the 2nd and 3rd year, formally or informally, to review your progress. A written report from the meeting is to be placed into New Innovations.

All fellows will participate in the two week Clinical Research Center’s short course entitled “Introduction to Clinical/Translational Research”. This course includes ten three-hour didactic sessions over two weeks, and consists of didactic lectures covering the following topics:

  • Developing a hypothesis
  • Developing a research question
  • Study design
  • Data management tools
  • Statistical considerations
  • Local resources and CTSI
  • Other local resources
  • IRB and regulatory considerations
  • Extramural support
  • Hot to overcome obstacles

During this program, fellows will develop a patent oriented research proposal, which will be formally reviewed and critiqued by the program leaders. Goals for this program include:

Objectives

  • Develop skills in organizing and carrying out a research project.
  • Develop skills in biostatistical methods.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of research ethics, and perform research projects in an ethical way.
  • Develop skills in grant writing.
  • Develop skills in writing research manuscripts.
  • Develop an area of focus and expertise.
  • Develop skills in presenting research data by lecture or poster.
  • Develop understanding of how to critically read biomedical literature, as it relates to study design and bias.

Fellows who chose a clinical track are expected to write a Master’s thesis that summarizes their activities during their research years. They will participate[ate in the NIH funded Advanced Post-graduate Program in Clinical Investigation, where they will complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health or a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research. Fellow’s will be expected to present their research progress throughout the year to the division. Goals for this program include:

Objectives

  • Manuscript and abstract writing for the clinician/scientist
  • Biostatistics
  • Analysis of research data
  • Grant writing
  • Scientific writing for publications and grants
  • Ethical and policy issues in clinical research
  • Principles of Epidemiology
  • Practical issues in design and data collection

The Scholarship Oversight Committee, in conjunction with the trainee, the mentor, and the program director will determine whether a specific activity is appropriate to meet the ABP guidelines for scholarly activities. In addition to biomedical research, examples of acceptable activities might include a critical meta-analysis of the literature, a systematic review of clinical practice with the scope and rigor of a Cochrane review, a critical analysis of public policy relevant to the subspecialty, or a curriculum development project with an assessment component. These activities require active participation by the subspecialty resident and must be mentored. The mentor(s) will be responsible for providing ongoing feedback essential to the trainee’s development.

Fellows who choose a basic science track will develop a specific research program in consort with their mentor. The mentor and the scholarship oversight committee will identify specific courses which the fellow will audit.  Fellows will be expected to present their research progress throughout the year to the division.

A timeline and milestone guide for the research may be as follows:

Year one (1)

  • Interview with different labs and PI (mentors) based on your interests.
  • By the end of the 1st year, designate a lab, mentor and potential project.

Year two (2)

  • Develop a hypothesis(es).
  • Build/develop a model.
  • Develop experimental details.
  • Establish preliminary data.
  • Write an abstract suitable for presentation at a National Conference(s).
  • Identify potential sources of grant support.

Year three (3)

  • Develop enough project data for publication.
  • Write and submit for a grant supporting the project.
  • Decide if further research year is desired and develop a plan for this.