C T S C T R A I N I N G P R O G R A M S
B R E A K D O W N B A R R I E R S
THE FLEDGLING MCRTP curriculum has matured substantially since its inception in the early 2000s. Program integration and development of team science, advanced grant writing, focused training in translational research, and other curriculum components have greatly strengthened the MCRTP as the complement of CTSC training programs has expanded.
All of the programs are oriented toward interdisciplinary research, according to Jennifer Greenier, manager of CTSC Research Education and Training. "Each of our scholars is pursuing translational research focused on advancing health," Greenier said. "Our approach is to bring together scholars from divergent research backgrounds with diverse skill sets and areas of expertise, and to create an environment in which they work together on course projects, constructively critique each other’s research, and engage in discussions about topics pertaining to translational research, career development, and ethics. In that way, CTSC training programs break down barriers between the cultures of basic science, clinical research and community-based research."
CTSC training programs welcome not only health sciences faculty members but also medical students, clinical fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers from departments, disciplines, graduate groups, schools and colleges throughout UC Davis. "Our scholars exhibit a tremendous amount of diversity in research interests, career stages, skill sets and perspectives," Greenier said. "That’s an important aspect of our training programs, because bringing together people from such diverse backgrounds creates a natural environment for generating novel research hypotheses, interdisciplinary collaborations, and innovative solutions that might not occur within a homogenous group of trainees in a more insular environment."
CTSC training programs offer numerous other intangible benefits in the view of Julie Schweitzer, the CTSC’s Research Education and Training program co-director. "Researchers can feel isolated when they are working on their own, but beyond structure and curriculum, CTSC programs offer camaraderie and opportunities to gain insights from colleagues about how to better balance time, find resources, work with mentors, and even navigate politics within science. You will be at a disadvantage if you are trying to make those discoveries on your own," said Schweitzer, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
"Participants in our programs find they have to learn to talk a common language that cuts across different disciplines. Developing these communication skills is important because it helps participants understand the relevance of their work to other areas that they might not have considered if they had been working only within their own discipline," Schweitzer added. "That’s a vital role that the CTSC plays in helping transform academic scholars into the translational scientists of the future."
The Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP) has the longest history of the numerous educational programs that the CTSC administers, all with the overarching goal of building research teams of the future.
Visit http://ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/ctsc/area/education/training_table.html to find links to summary pages about the MCRTP and the other CTSC training programs:
• Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program (T32)