CTSI K Scholars Program: Apply with an Outside Career Development Award

Overview

The UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) K Scholar Program provides clinical and translational research training and mentored support to individuals with career development awards at UCSF and affiliated sites (e.g. Kaiser, San Francisco Department of Public Health, UC Berkeley), including those from NIH (e.g., K23, K01, K08, K12, K99/R00) and other organizations (e.g., VA, AHA). Enrollment in this program provides a supportive environment, weekly works-in-progress and methodology seminars, as well as access to core faculty who provide expertise and guidance in research methods, biostatistical analysis, manuscript and grant writing and career advisement.

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Goal

The goal is to increase the number and quality of outstanding clinical investigators skilled at leading multidisciplinary research teams. The overarching goal is to promote clinical and translational investigation that will have an important impact on the health of the public.

Eligibility

Recipient of a K-type Award. Candidates must be members of the UCSF faculty by July 1 of the application year, and they must hold a K23 or similar career development award that supports 75% effort for training and research and has at least 3 remaining years of funding. An exception to the faculty level appointment is for those who are in the K99 portion of their K99/R00 award.

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Program Requirements

  • Didactic Training in Clinical and Translational Research. Formal training in a rigorous and comprehensive clinical research program is imperative for establishing independence as a clinical investigator and a secondary degree in a clinical research-related field is an important attribute. For K Scholars who do not have a secondary degree in clinical research, the K Program strongly encourages enrolling in UCSF's Master of Advanced Study in Clinical Research Degree or ATCR Certificate programs.

  • Commitment to Regular Attendance at Friday Morning Seminars. Scholars play a key role in providing critical feedback to their colleagues. Absences should be minimized to those required for vacation, illness, and scientific meetings.

  • Payment. CTSI K Scholars will need to pay $3000 per year to participate in the program. Scholars may use funds from their K awards to pay this fee. This fee covers access to core faculty time for consultation in research design, biostatistical analysis, qualitative methods, manuscript and grant writing and career advisement, which would cost substantially more to individuals outside the CTSI K program. We recommend that individuals writing new K grants include this fee in their K grant budgets. Note that the $3000 fee will not be required of those simultaneously enrolled and paying for the Master's in Clinical Research Degree or ATCR Certificate programs.

  • Teaching. CTSI K Scholars are strongly encouraged to teach clinical and translational science methods at UCSF, and will be offered the opportunity to teach a small group section in Designing Clinical Research at least once during their tenure in the K Program. We believe that this experience adds a relevant element to your career development — there is no better way to enhance expertise than by teaching!
  • Duration of Commitment. Initially 1 year, renewable annually for the duration of the career development award.

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Key Program Elements

  • Clinical Research Facility. Scholars will be in residence on Friday mornings with access to space and to the wireless network at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (DEB) at Mission Hall on the Mission Bay Campus. Scholars may occupy a "hotel" space on the 2nd Floor of Mission Hall in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for the days they wish to work at the facility. Having functional space and dedicated personnel for the Scholars embedded in a much larger set of clinical research activities and support technologies is an important strength of the CTSI K Program, one that will optimize the scholars' acquisition of skills in research methodology and ability to build and lead interdisciplinary teams. Core faculty will also be in residence on Fridays to make it easy for scholars to discuss issues regarding their research with faculty or arrange meetings if desired.

  • Weekly Methodology Seminar: Fridays 9-10 AM. These seminars, on a wide variety of topics relevant to research methods and career development, are given by faculty and advanced scholars of the CTSI KL2 Program, as well as invited speakers from UCSF and elsewhere.
  • Weekly Works-in-Progress Seminar: Fridays 10-11:45 AM. This serves as the core conference attended by the K-scholars, in groups of 10, with 2 experienced clinical research faculty: a clinical researcher and a biostatistician. Scholars present and discuss their research works-in-progress each week in a supportive and constructive environment, considering study and grant ideas and designs, implementation issues, analytical quandaries, research results, and drafts of grant applications and manuscripts. The work of two scholars is reviewed each week in the first year, with each scholar presenting about every 5-6 weeks. The frequency of works-in-progress meetings declines in subsequent years.
  • Networking Lunch with Faculty and Scholars. This provides a forum for meeting and networking with other CTSI K Scholars and faculty.
  • Career Mentoring, Expert Advice and Guidance. Each CTSI K Scholar will be assigned a K faculty advisor and a K faculty biostatistician. The K faculty advisor is an important source of career guidance outside your home department. The K Faculty biostatistician provides biostatistical advice on your research, a service that most scholars find invaluable. In addition you have the opportunity to work one-on-one with our manuscript writing coach, Amy Markowitz, and our grant writing expert, Tom Mitchell, on preparing manuscripts and grants.
  • CTSI K Scholar Retreat. In July, there will be an overnight retreat to kick off the program and provide the opportunity for old and new scholars to get to know the program faculty and staff, and each other. The retreat is paid for by the K program.
  • Scholar career development plans, progress reports, and performance feedback.

Scholar Milestones

Since our shared goal is for scholars to become independently funded by the end of their K award period (or earlier), we set out these general guidelines for scholars to consider:

By the end of the 2nd year, and each year thereafter:

  • 3 peer-reviewed publications submitted, two of these as first or last author and two representing original research.

By the end of the 3rd Year:

  • 6 peer-reviewed publications
  • Develop Specific Aims for an R01 grant (or equivalent)

Scholar Performance Reviews

August of the first year

  • Scholars, in consultation with their mentors, create a "career development plan" for review by their "K Advisor."

Six months later and then annually

  • Scholars update their career development plan for review with their mentors and with their K Advisor, and these assessments are reviewed at a KL2 faculty meeting.

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Application

There is a rolling admission process so that applicants may apply for this program as soon as they receive a K award and decide that this program fits their needs. Applications should be submitted by June 1, 2017. Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the K Program within a month of applying. Although applicants are admitted on a rolling basis, the number of scholars we can admit is limited by the number of small group works-in-progress seminars we can accommodate each year. Therefore, we encourage your early application to the program as we may need to limit enrollment. The program begins with the retreat in July, and Friday morning sessions begin September 8. The application requires direct data entry by the applicant, as well as uploading PDF formatted documents from your NIH K or other career development award grant application. The intent is that you simply use the materials you prepared for your career award application, no need to update or change. The Department Chair's letter should indicate that applicants will have Fridays available to participate in this program. For questions about the electronic submission process contact Christian Leiva at christian.leiva@ucsf.edu.

Required Elements for CTSI K Application: Apply by June 1, 2017.

CTSI K Specific Information Type of Entry
CTSI K Applicant Contact Information Direct entry
CTSI K Applicant Demographics Direct entry
CTSI K Mentor(s) Information Direct entry
CTSI K Department Chair's Statement CTSI K form (Word doc)
   
NIH/OTHER Career Development Award Application Elements
Candidate’s NIH Biosketch PDF attachment
Candidate Information PDF attachment
Research Plan PDF attachment


Important Notes on the Electronic Submission

  • Once you begin the electronic submission you must submit it within 7 days (a limit of the forms software). Therefore, we highly recommend that you prepare all of the required elements in advance and complete the electronic submission in one sitting (or over a couple of days so you can go back and review what you've included before you press submit).
  • Review the PDF version of the complete application so that you know exactly what is required.
  • Prepare all required elements of the K application as indicated in the table above. Create separate PDFs of the individual required elements to upload to the CTSI K application.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by CTSI K Scholar Program leadership (Bauer, Walter, and Ireland) with final approval by the CTST Director (Bibbins-Domingo). As part of the application candidates must provide a letter from their Department Chair or Division Chief assuring that 75% effort is available for research and career development, and that the K-awardee will be freed up from clinical and administrative duties on Friday mornings in order to participate in the regular seminars.

Program Deadlines and Timeline

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Last date to apply is June 1, 2017.
Decision and Notification: Within one month of applying.

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K-Scholar Online Application

Access application form and deadlines (section titled 'Apply' at top right).

Leadership

Program Director: Doug Bauer MD

Clinical and Translational Science Training (CTST) Director: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo MD, PhD, MAS

Associate Directors: Chuck McCulloch PhD and Louise Walter MD
Deputy Director: Chris Ireland MPH

Program Coordinator: Christian Leiva
Finance Coordinator: Shirley Yuen MPH

For information email: cireland@psg.ucsf.edu

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