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Clinical Scientist Training Program

Houston, Texas

The Alkek Building at Baylor College of Medicine
Clinical Scientist Training Program
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Current Scholar Information

Communication

We are excited about participating in your education and training as clinical investigators, and hope to make your commitment to the program time well-spent. We realize that you are a unique population of scholars, and we will do our best to make registration in classes and other form-filling activities as headache-free as possible.

We ask that you help us by putting us on your list of people to be informed of my progress and any changes in my status. Let us know when you present a paper at a conference, or publish a paper. If your address changes, or you are going out of town and will miss a class, let us know.

We welcome your feedback. If you experience problems or are unhappy about any part of the program, please tell us. We are, of course, always open to ideas on how to improve the program.

The first year is essentially the same for degree and certificate scholars. (The degree scholars will continue with elective courses and be appointed to the Baylor IRB for one year, in their second year in the program.)

Mentors

Your mentor should guide you in your research and educational decisions. Be sure to maintain regular contact. Ask for guidance when you need it, and keep him or her abreast of your progress. Invite him or her to attend all presentations you give in the program. You will need to ask your mentor to sign all class registration forms. For degree scholars, the mentor is also responsible for supplying a grade for your research for each of the five terms every year; we will send out the requests.

Annual Retreat

Everyone is required to attend the all-day annual retreat, which will be Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Scholars, mentors, faculty and several clinical researchers outside Baylor are invited. The retreat provides an opportunity for you to formally present your research projects and receive critical feedback. It also provides an opportunity for critical assessment of the program by outside reviewers, our faculty, and our scholars.

Curriculum

Degree Scholars: Every Baylor term (of which there are five) you are required to register for 12 credit hours. These hours will come from formal courses, and "Special Projects," which is your research time. For the Ph.D. you must have 180 credit hours. For both M.S. and Ph.D. the requirement is that you have 30 credit hours from graded courses. The only exception to this rule is for two courses at Baylor (Method and Logic--Term 1, and Research Design, Term 4) and several courses at the UT School of Public Health that are currently pass/fail. (Check with us before signing up for any courses.)

The CSTP requires that you take the FCI, CICS, and seminar classes the first year, together with one or two elective courses. The FCI and CICS courses are graded and count for 3 and 5 credit hours. Any graduate level graded courses at other institutions will also count.

CAQ Scholars: You are required to complete the core courses, and one or two elective courses.

You should receive grades of A, B or Pass. Attendance at all sessions of the core courses is required; it is understood that you may miss a few classes because of scheduling conflicts, but we ask that you give the classes top priority, and let us know when you are unable to attend.

Core Courses

Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation
The objective of this course is to teach students to interpret the scientific literature. It is a 4-week course that will start on July 2, 2007, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Alkek N315. Food will be available at 5 p.m. outside the room. No food is allowed in the lecture room. A multiple-choice final exam will be given. If you have already taken this course for credit, then you do not need to repeat it. If you have taken the course but not received credit, then you will need to take the final exam. The course is 3 credit hours.

Clinical Investigation for the Career Scientist
The objectives are to broaden the student's background in scientific writing, translational research, and health services research, and to foster the application of the knowledge gained to the design and analysis of clinical studies and the interpretation of the literature. The course runs from August through May. An integral part of this course is the writing of a K-23 grant proposal, and during the first module, scholars will present their research ideas to the class.

View the timeline for development of the K-23 proposal.

Fifty percent of the final grade for the CICS course will be based on the completed K-23 proposal.

The course will be every Monday, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the CNRC (2002) starting late August. The course is 5 credit hours.

Seminar Series

As the writing of a good K-23 grant proposal is such an important part of the program, we will use the seminars primarily for scholars to present their research ideas for feedback from their committee, their mentor, and the class. We will start with new students presenting their Specific Aims and Hypotheses, and finish with the same students presenting their complete proposals. All students in the program are expected to present their research in this series. We hope that this will provide a good sounding board for students' ideas, and lead to honing of research questions and a better understanding and execution of the grant writing process.

This course runs from August through May and will be every Wednesday from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the conference room on the second floor of the CNRC (2002) starting late August. It is graded pass/fail and does not count towards the 30 credit-hour requirement of the degree program.

Electives: Intermediate Biostatistics

Scholars usually choose to take the Intermediate Biostatistics classes at the UT School of Public Health. The fall semester will start the last week of August. The spring semester will start the middle of January. We will help you to register for these courses. Each course is 6 or 8 credit hours.

Other Electives

Students may enroll in additional classes that have been specified as supporting coursework by their mentor or advisory committee and approved by the program director. Courses offered at Baylor College of Medicine (in the Graduate School Service Curriculum), Rice University (business courses in the Jones School of Business, which may be integral to outcomes research programs), University of Houston (School of Pharmacy and Health Law and Policy Institute), University of Texas School of Public Health (in-depth courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, biometrics, health services research) and Texas Woman's University (leadership courses), may be of value as electives.

Baylor Institutional Review Board

Degree students are required by the graduate school to participate in the Baylor Institutional Review Board, directed by Dr. Stacey Berg, for one year. You will be assigned to one of the six IRBs. Each IRB meets once per month. About 7-10 days before a meeting, you will be assigned to review 7-10 research protocols and consent forms related to human subject research. You will submit your reviews in BRAIN. You are then expected to attend the IRB meetings and discuss any safety/regulatory/scientific issues related to human subject research activities and vote to accept, modify, or reject the research proposal. At the end of the year you will receive a certificate of completion of this requirement

Committees

Advisory Committee: Every scholar, together with their mentor, will choose an advisory committee in the first month of the program. The committee will be made up of at least 4 faculty members, including the mentor. One of the members should be a faculty member outside the candidate's program and/or outside Baylor. Other members will be from the program faculty. At least one of the faculty members must hold a Ph.D. degree. This committee will be responsible for monitoring the scholar's progress (didactic and research). The program director will be an ad-hoc member of this committee. (CAQ scholars may have fewer members on their committee.)

The committee will meet at least twice a year with the scholar to review the work accomplished and assess progress through the program. A "status report" will be submitted to the program director, after each meeting. These reports are due in the CSTP office on the first Monday of May and December each year.

You should ask your committee to attend any presentations that you give in the program.

For Degree Scholars:

Qualifying Examination Committee: This will consist of the members of the Advisory Committee and the program director or associate director. Degree students take the qualifying exam at the end of their first year. This exam tests the students' knowledge of their area of expertise, the quality of their K23 grant proposal, and their knowledge of statistics and other subjects covered by their course work.

Thesis Defense Committee: This will consist of the members of the Advisory Committee and one or two additional members, appointed by the program director. The thesis defense is taken when the student has written a thesis and fulfilled all other requirements for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

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