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Children's Nutrition Research Center

Houston, Texas

Children's Nutrition Research Center - CNRC
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center
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Postdoctoral Research Training Program

The National Postdoctoral Association defines a postdoctoral scholar as An individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring scholarly, scientific and/or professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her own choosing.


To prepare our postdoctoral fellows at the CNRC to be highly competent and competitive scientists in an area of the nutritional sciences from conception to adolescence.


To develop an internationally recognized postdoctoral training program of the highest quality in human nutritional sciences.


The postdoctoral research training program at the Children's Nutrition Research Center is designed for individuals with MD and/or PhD. training in general pediatrics, obstetrics or other areas of medicine and/or virtually any biological discipline that may have an effect on the nutritional well-being of mothers and children. For MDs this training can be in conjunction with an established clinical subspecialty training program at Baylor College of Medicine or elsewhere; research training at the CNRC can fulfill that requirement of many clinical subspecialty training programs.

The training program is generally two years in duration for MD and three years for PhD fellows. However, a shorter program can be arranged for those wishing simply to gain expertise in a specific methodology. Longer periods of training also are possible but must meet Baylor College of Medicine’s Guidelines, and without special exception will not be funded by the CNRC.

Research training at the CNRC is a modification of the typical mentor/trainee format involving supervision by the primary mentor as well as a required research committee of 3 – 4 people selected jointly by the mentor and trainee and approved by the program director. The research committee is responsible for approval of a written research proposal, review of the trainee’s progress every 6 months with submission of a status report following each meeting signed by the trainee and all of the members of the committee, and identification of desired coursework as well as the potential for collaboration with other research programs at BCM or neighboring institutions. The committee is chaired by the trainee's mentor and can include any appropriate member of the faculty of BCM or another institution.


With first-rate mentors and advisory committees provide scholars with the knowledge and skills necessary for them to be successful in academia or industry, and inculcate a zest for lifetime learning.
All scholars should acquire superior:

  1. Oral and written communication skills
  2. Knowledge of state of the art scientific methodologies as they relate to the nutritional sciences
  3. Academic skills of scientific experimentation, appropriate scientific methodologies, and writing manuscripts and grant proposals
  4. Ability to generate sound hypotheses.
  5. Productivity in research and publications.
  6. Values:
    • Competence: Training, knowledge, empowerment, efficiency, prudence, wisdom, quality
    • Confidence: Trust, Integrity, Accountability, Accuracy, Loyalty, Punctuality, Professionalism
    • Completion: Goal Setting, Implementation, ClosureCommitment: Flexibility, Adaptability, Dedication, Teaching, Initiative, Exceptional Service
    • Courtesy: Teamwork, Mutual Respect, Listening, Patience, Non-Judgmental, Humility
Creativity: Imagination, Originality, Thrust for knowledge, “Outside the Box Thinking”

Program Requirements

Formal requirements of the training program include:

  1. Attendance for credit at the BCM graduate course entitled, "Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation," which is equally appropriate for those pursuing non-clinical investigations. The course includes lectures on "Responsible Conduct of Research" as well as biostatistics and writing a grant proposal and scientific paper.
  2. Attendance and participation in the Fellowship Seminar Series. This includes formal presentations by trainees on at least an annual basis, formal didactic lectures by faculty members, and journal club.
  3. Attendance at the weekly CNRC Seminar series, where faculty members both in the Houston Medical Center and from across the country report on their research.
  4. Attendance at periodic meetings with the Program Director and staff.
  5. Development of an Individual Learning Plan, which may include:
    • Attendance at any seminars/lectures/rounds of any department at BCM or other institution within the Texas Medical Center.
    • Enrollment in any of the courses offered by the Graduate School of BCM.
    • Enrollment in any elective courses from the entire BCM curriculum and those of the University of Texas, Rice University, and the University of Houston.

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