Clinical Investigation for the Career Scientist


The central objective of this series of five courses, listed below, is to increase the trainees’ skills in scientific grant writing and grantsmanship, and to facilitate discussion and honing of their research ideas. Each trainee will present their research goals, hypotheses and specific aims, his or her research design and methods, and career plan. Trainees will receive constructive critiques from their classmates, and course directors; mentors and thesis committee members are encouraged to attend the presentations.

  • GS-CT-6201 CI 1: Research Development – Initial presentation of hypothesis and specific aims
  • GS-CT-6302 CI 2: Research Design – Hypothesis, specific aims, and outline of experimental design
  • GS-CT-6303 CI 3: Career Development - Career development plan and mentor letter
  • GS-CT-6304 CI 4: Research Application - Refinement and completion of proposal
  • GS-CT-6205 CI 5: Grant Evaluation - Mock study section

Scientific Writing


The primary deliverable outcome for the CICS series of courses is for trainees to develop and submit a NIH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) proposal, or equivalent career development award application. Trainees are mentored to write the proposal over the course of the year and submit the finished product in term 5, and to the NIH or another granting agency later in the year.

Class sessions are focused on preparation and submission of the K23 or equivalent clinical research career development grant. Each trainee presents his/her project goals, hypotheses, specific aims and approaches for class discussion and constructive critiques. Trainees learn to hone their ideas, and to write succinct, testable hypotheses, and develop rigorous research approaches that can be conducted within the framework of a K23 (five years). As each section of the K23 is written, class peers and course directors review it and provide constructive feedback to the trainee author on how to better communicate the research goals and career development plans. The end result should be a well-developed K23 grant proposal (or equivalent) that stands to be competitive for funding by the NIH.




Term lectures focus on specific areas of clinical research: clinical trials, health services, and translational research. The topics covered include protocol and regulatory issues, bench to bedside research, and medical genetics in clinical investigation.