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Education and Training

ACTRI is committed to developing clinical researchers at every stage of their careers—from undergraduates to post doctoral researchers, high school students to faculty. The Education, Training, and Career Development Unit provides funding, training, seminars, and mentorship to researchers and students who want to advance health sciences.

With ACTRI grants, the ACTRI CREST program, and the ACTRI Translational Science Certificate, students, post-docs and early career researchers can strengthen their skills in clinical and translational research as they learn from experienced faculty and biomedical industry professionals at UC San Diego.

ACTRI gives researchers the training they need to develop new skills and discover new ways to help patients.

CREST

The ACTRI Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) program, under the direction of Ravindra L. Mehta, MD, is designed to improve the skills and knowledge of clinician investigators and translational researchers by providing a comprehensive, cohesive learning experience in an environment that promotes interaction between basic scientists and clinical researchers. Click here for more information about the program.

SUSTAIN (Supporting Under-represented Scholars in Translational and Interdisciplinary Networks)

ACTRI Seeks Applicants for SUSTAIN program to support successful grant resubmissions among under-represented minority faculty

The purpose of the ACTRI SUSTAIN (Supporting Under-represented Scholars in Translational and Interdisciplinary Networks) program is to support Under-Represented Minority (URM) faculty members in submitting successful resubmissions of grant applications. National data indicate that URM faculty members are less likely to sustain research careers. Increasing the rate of successful resubmission of grants during early critical career phases could positively impact sustainment of research careers among URM faculty. The SUSTAIN program provides up to 1-2 years of protected time and grant writing training to awarded scholars.

Eligibility

This is not a post-doctoral fellowship, but is intended for UC San Diego faculty members in any academic series who will have completed their training and have a faculty appointment. Applicants from all departments/divisions of UCSD are eligible. 

Candidates must:

The SUSTAIN program provides 50% support (including benefits) for up to 2 awarded scholars per year. The other 50% must be matched by the department, and the total effort devoted to research must be 75% or greater. Applicants who have already received an R01 or equivalent grant are not eligible. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. ACTRI will grant up to $60,000 towards salary, plus benefits. Up to two years of support can be provided, and it is expected that during this year of support, resubmission will be completed. 

The program is intended to be flexible in research and training  activities, as specified in the Research and Training Plan. The Research and Training plan should detail expected activities, to include collection of additional preliminary data, expansion of scientific networks, and/or additional methodologic training.  All participants are expected to apply for participation in a grant writing workshop, in particular those led by the UC San Diego Office of Faculty Affairs. A timeline should be provided for these activities, including the anticipated date of resubmission. 

Note that eligible applicants for the KL2 Program do not need to submit a separate application for this opportunity. Candidates will can simply opt-in during submission of their KL2 application using the Webgrants application. 

Questions regarding this program should be directed to ACTRI-Education@health.ucsd.edu, including Adriana Tremoulet (atremoulet@health.ucsd.edu) and Colin Depp (cdepp@health.ucsd.edu)

Application Instructions

Applicants should use the following table to guide the structure, content and page limitations of their proposals:

 Item  Description Maximum Number of Pages
Chair Letter

The chair letter should make an explicit statement regarding support for 50% effort in conjunction with the 50% provided by the SUSTAIN award, and should indicate that 75% of the Candidate's total time will be devoted to research

None
Mentor Letter (if re-applying for a Career Development award) The mentor letter should be the applicant's primary mentor and should detail mentor activities and support during the year None
Research and Training Plan

The Research Plan should state the following:

1.     Project Specific Aims (original submitted Aims can be provided)

2.     Plans to address scientific concerns raised by reviewers (or if new opportunity) such as collection of new preliminary data, add establish new collaborations, or other such activities pursuant to the novel opportunity  

3.    Timeline for research and training activities over 1 year

 

The Training Plan should state the following:

1.    Long-term career goals and how the research and training plan fits into those goals

2.    Plans for participation in OFA/ACTRI grant writing workshops

3.    Plans to participate in any of a) didactics, or skill building training b) expansion of mentor network, c) other career development activities such as NCLAM, HCOE, or others.

Max of 4 pages
Summary Statement A copy of the Summary Statement that accompanies the revised application should be provided.  Even if a new opportunity is to be pursued, these Summary Statements are useful for understanding the basis of the application. None
Eligibility Checklist This checklist accompanies the application and details a) under-represented scientist status, b) faculty member status 1 page
Applicant's Biographical Sketch BioSketch must be in current NIH BioSketch format. Please click here for guidance. 5

 

Applicants should submit their application as ONE file in PDF format as an attachment to ACTRI-education@health.ucsd.eduThat file should contain all information as detailed in the above table. Font minimum is 11 point and no less than 0.5-inch margins must be observed on all margins. Applications that do not adhere to these guidelines will be viewed as non-responsive and may be removed from consideration.

KL2 Grant Support

The ACTRI KL2 Grant Support program is an institutional equivalent of a K23, K01 or K08 award, a research training grant for junior faculty,  provides up to three years of research career development support and up to $120,000 for UC San Diego instructors or assistant professors.

This is not a post-doctoral fellowship, but is intended for UC San Diego and ACTRI partner research institution instructors or assistant professors in any academic series as well as fellows or post docs who will have completed their training and have a faculty appointment by the time of receipt of funding.

Eligibility

Applicants from all departments/divisions of UCSD are eligible as well as ACTRI partner research institutions include San Diego State University, J. Craig Venter Institute, Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Research Institute, Salk Institute, and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. In addition, fellows and faculty from UC Riverside are also eligible to apply.

Candidates must be 5 years or fewer post-completion of a post-doctoral fellowship. Candidates must have a letter of support from their departmental chair to apply. Individuals who have already received a K grant, R01, or R01 equivalent grant are not eligible. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. Candidates from groups underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply. The NIH has recently formalized the definition of underrepresented groups: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html

Awardees must commit to 75% research effort and the awardees' home departments must commit to honoring this 75% research effort as documented in the Chair's letter. In return, ACTRI will grant up to $120,000 towards salary, plus benefits. Practicing clinicians in certain procedurally-oriented fields such as surgery may be eligible to commit 50% research effort. Please contact us for more information about this exception for procedurally-oriented fields.

Extensive formal and informal mentoring will be provided to awardees. Awardees are expected to develop and complete a training plan that includes relevant Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) courses or other courses available at UC San Diego or elsewhere. For more information regarding CREST courses, see here. The application is to be prepared in a similar format as an Individual Career Development (K) Award application to the National Institutes of Health. In addition, proposals will include a one-page, 250-word maximum summary written in lay language, which will be independently reviewed by a community member panel.

Proposals will also include a letter of support from the candidate's primary mentor, which include the mentor's plan for the candidate to achieve research independence within three years. If the candidate does not have a faculty appointment at the time of application (for example, if the applicant is a project scientist or is on a contract), the departmental chair's letter must specify which appointment is proposed, indicate where the file currently is in the review process, and include a projected timeline for faculty appointment. Letters that do not specify the status of the appointment and its timeline will not be sent for review. Please be advised that funding will not be initiated until the file is approved for the proposed appointment by the department and is in process with CAP.

Upon receipt of all applications, the process continues with the following steps. After competitive review, all applicants will be notified and successful applicants will need to complete a secondary regulatory review (similar to an NIH Just-In-Time process) from the parent funder of the KL2 program, NCATS. At that time, successful applicants will provide a budget and budget justification for the $25,000 research funding (note, a budget and budget justification does NOT need to be included in the application materials).

Please Submit Inquiry to be on our announcements list for further updates and deadlines.

Application Instructions

The format for this application resembles that used in individual K grant applications. Please use the links below for guidance, when appropriate.

Applicants should use the following table to guide the structure, content and page limitations of their proposals:

Item Description Maximum Number of Pages
Abstract ​Brief summary of proposed research project 250 words, on separate page
Specific Aims 1
Candidate Information, Research Strategy & Mentoring Plan 

Candidate's Background, Career Goals and Objectives, and Research Strategy, including references. Please click here for guidance

AND

A plan for mentoring and all relevant career development/training activities during award period.

  • Include specific planned CREST or other courses, and how they fit into the candidate's professional development goals.
12 - not including references
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research Please click here for guidance 1
Mentor’s Support Letter, BioSketch and Other Support Page

The mentor's support letter should specify mentor's plans for supporting the applicant's training.

  • It is helpful to specify space, laboratory resources as well as proposed frequency of meetings with the applicant.
  • Mentor should also specify plan for candidate to achieve independence as a researcher within 3 years.
  • Include Other Support and NIH BioSketch documents for lead mentor.

Letters from co-mentors, if any, are also included in this section

Lead Mentor:  2 page max mentor letter / 5 page max NIH biosketch / Other Support no page limit

Co-mentors: 2 page max mentor letter only

Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development (i.e. Chair's letter)

The chair's letter must indicate department's plan for applicant, proposed academic title, and space.

Letter must also include statement that applicant will dedicate at least 75% of effort to research, and that all departmental obligations (night call, inpatient or outpatient clinical coverage, teaching obligations) will not add up to more than 25% and that such activities need approval of CTSA education committee.

Practicing clinicians in certain procedurally-oriented fields such as surgery may be eligible to commit 50% research effort. Please contact us for more information about this exception for procedurally-oriented fields.

If the applicant does not yet have a faculty appointment (for example, if the candidate is a project scientist or is on a MOP contract), the chair's letter must also include the following:

  • Assurance that file is currently being processed for a faculty appointment
  • Specific faculty position proposed for the candidate
  • Current status/progress of proposal of candidate's file for faculty appointment
  • Projected timeline for faculty appointment
2

Applicant’s Biographical Sketch

BioSketch must be in current NIH BioSketch format. Please click here for guidance.

​5

Community (Lay) Summary

For independent community reviewers, draft a lay-language summary of your proposal, answering the question, “How important is funding this research to improving human health, either in the near future or distant future?”

​250 words, on separate page

See here for Frequently Asked Questions

See here for KL2 and SUSTAIN Programs

MedGap Program

Cultivating the next generation of translational physician researchers requires time dedicated to hands on experience in clinical or basic science research. Medical students often have a strong interest in conducting research in more depth than time allows during the busy four-year curriculum of medical school. As a research-intense institution, UCSD has a commitment towards producing graduates who have the training and experience to successfully continue down the educational pipeline towards careers in academic medicine.

The MedGap program seeks to meet the goal of developing the next generation of physician researchers through providing support for UCSD medical students participating in a yearlong research program.

Clinical and translational research training program:  

The program draws support from the UCSD School of Medicine and the ACTRI.

UCSD medical students will participate in this 12-month program between their 3rd and 4th years of medical school. Students in the program will identify a UCSD faculty research mentor, and will work in their mentor's lab or research group over the year. Students will receive training in biostatistics (2 courses), and will have the option to further their research education with supplemental courses within UCSD. The seminar series will incorporate high-yield presentations on research skills, and will incorporate a works-in-progress series where students present their ongoing research.

Application and review process:  

Students apply to the program through a structured application:

  • Clinical, translational, health services, outcomes, and basic science research proposals (the latter with a translational focus) will all be considered for support. 
  • The application will include a personal statement, mentor biosketch, and a research proposal.
  • The research proposal (4-6 pages in length), consists of specific aims, background and significance of the work, training goals, and the research approach. 
Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee which includes members of the ACTRI Education Committee, and leadership from the Division of Medical Education within the School of Medicine.

Financial support:  

Support will be provided at the current NIH predoctoral stipend levels ($25,320/year, divided into every other month allocations), and will include a health insurance supplement of $4680, equivalent to SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan) for three quarters.

Deadlines:  

Application deadlines will be posted in the fall each year, though typically the application due date will fall in February. Please feel free to contact program director Dr. James Murphy with questions about the program.

Translational Science Certificate

Future biomedical leaders, innovators, or entrepreneurs looking to accelerate the translation of ideas into high-quality and differentiated biomedical products.​

Apply Now

Deadline: November 15

Gain a real-world understanding of translational science applied to the discovery/design and development of biomedical products including drugs/biologics, cell & gene therapies, and medical technology.

This certificate is ideal for individuals with the motivation and potential to become leaders, innovators, or entrepreneurs:

  • Biomedical and healthcare professionals
  • Postdoctoral scholars in a scientific, engineering, or business field
It offers maximal flexibility for the working professional:
  • Classes on weekday evenings 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time
  • Hands-on learning approach taught by a faculty of experienced biomedical industry leaders.
  • Once a week, one course per quarter
  • Four courses total, each offered twice a year
  • Flexibility to complete the certificate within 1 to 5 years • No need to commit to the whole certificate at once, only one course at a time

Our multidisciplinary faculty team constantly co-develops and updates course content, providing expertise on emerging knowledge and practices in their respective fields, thus ensuring that the certificate program remains up to date in the rapidly evolving discipline that is translational science.

Multiple Areas of Interest

  • Biomarkers 
  • Omics 
  • Precision medicine 
  • Translational imaging 
  • Intellectual property 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Drugs/Biologics
  • Cell & gene therapy 
  • Diagnostics 
  • Medical devices 
  • Digital health

A Stepping Stone for In-Demand Entrepreneurial and R&D Professionals:

  • Senior Scientist
  • Principal Scientist
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Principal Clinical Scientist
  • Clinical Operations Specialist
  • Clinical Safety Officer
  • Associate Director, Translational Science/ Translational Medicine
  • Director, Translational Science/ Translational Medicine
  • Associate Medical Director
  • Medical Director 

What is Translational Science?

"The (discipline) turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and populations – from diagnostics and therapeutics, to medical procedures and observational behaviors"- National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH

From bench to bedside

Translational science is introduced as a bridge between the scientific and the clinical fields; it gives evidence based research a backbone by connecting the dots of clinical research. In the past years we have seen the incremental costs of pharmaceutical development, with very few successful new developments. It requires the coming together of disciplines such as biology, chemistry, informatics, computer science, engineering, medicine, dentistry and public health. This way they can come together to create a real life impact in the healthcare community.

"The pressure of increasing R&D costs and low output in terms of critically novel drugs forced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its own actions and those of major players in biomedical research in terms of timelines, costs, design, and, ultimately, success." (Principles of Translational Science in Medicine)."Translation will only work if clinical researchers and pre-clinical scientists have an educated vision on how to translate early findings (mostly in vitro findings) into useful, human medicines." - Principles of Translational Science in Medicine.

Basic Science: An important scientific input is combined with a strong clinical motivation 

Between each of these steps, there are key points that need to be achieved to move on to the next step. 

What we already know as scientific based evidence research is that we begin with a thesis, and we test it pre-clinically in a lab until we reach a proposal to be tested in humans. Eventually we pass this on to humans and test it in what we know to be the Phases 1 to 3. After this we take the project in to market and we start Phase IV trials to analyze how the market reacts to our now product. 

What this new science proposes is that everyone from the scientist to the physician educate themselves from the beginning on how to translate a scientific discovery and take it to a useful human application. Everyone in the process needs to have an idea of the unmet need they are working for and understand the role they play in the process of solving it. Therefore, we introduce Phases T1 to T4 – T for translation. 

T1: Describes the translation of a scientific concept to a proposed human application that is proven to work pre-clinically. 

T2: Combines preclinical studies in labs and animals to be tested in patients and used in clinical trials. This usually takes place in specialized health research institutions that are many times affiliated with universities. 

T3: Takes these proven clinical trials in patients into clinical practices where we have a much larger number of people being affected by our product. 

T4: The translation to the community at large, where we have gathered all sorts of data and done many clinical trials. We have gathered all sorts of permits, talked to insurance companies, state governments, other companies and so on. This is where we create a real-life impact.

Program Calendar

Apply Now

Deadline: November 15

Real-Time online weekly Zoom lessons

Translational Research Fundamentals (CLRE-236)

Learn and discuss the various topics that encompass translational science. Learn about the application of translational science principles and tools to the discovery/design and development of biomedical products. Encompassing everything from drugs/biologics and cell & gene therapy to medical technology, including diagnostics, devices, wearables, and digital health. 

Each topic taught by a different expert faculty from the biomedical industry!

Lesson Topics:

  • Overview of Translational Medicine & Biomarkers 
  • Omics Tools
  • Functional Omics Analysis / Precision Medicine 
  • Translational Imaging
  • Diagnostics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Non-Clinical Development
  • Clinical Development
  • Cell & Gene Therapy
  • Medical Technology

Applied Translational Research (CLRE-238)

The complete arch from ideation of a new biomedical product to marketing authorization for the diagnosis or treatment of patients.

The course is taught using as an example a family of drugs used to treat one the most prevalent chronic diseases today. The course will illustrate the critical analysis of all the steps necessary to progress a new idea into clinical development and to the market. Through carefully designed home assignments the students will learn the fundamentals of how to analyze the relevant literature and publicly available data. The students will also have opportunities to discuss with the faculty their real-world experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Using drugs as the archetypal biomedical product you will learn how to perform critical analysis of the following tasks:

  • Evaluate the science behind the new concept and potential for translatability to humans
  • Determine which additional fundamental research may be needed
  • Assess whether real-world conditions are favorable for going into proof of concept in patients
  • Assess the regulatory environment
  • Identify the Investigational New Drug (IND)- enabling pre-clinical activities
  • Define clinical development activities needed to reach proof of concept in patients (the true translational step)
  • Determine clinical development activities needed to obtain drug approval for desired indication(s)
  • Assess market penetration and pricing
  • Assess post-marketing activities
  • Assess life cycle management and competition

Applied Translational Research II (CLRE-239)

Now it's your turn to show what you have learned so far

This course applies the translational scientific knowledge acquired in previous courses to create a comprehensive plan to develop a new biomedical product.

Students are divided into cross-functional teams and assigned a drug class and indication to develop, focusing on a different translational science concept each week. Each team is guided/mentored by a pharmaceutical industry veteran.

Scenarios where this is fundamental:

  • New academic discovery – should it be carried into translational activities?
  • New mechanism of action, pathway, molecular target, cell type, drug, metabolite, protein, etc.
  • Perform a proof-of-concept trial in patients with a "prototype" biomedical product in an academic environment. Publish and let the biomedical industry discover/design a bona fide biomedical product.
  • Start up a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical technology company based on a new academic discovery
  • Promote a new project at a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical technology company
  • Perform a due diligence exercise at a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical technology company for in-licensing a biomedical product
  • As background while involved in any role in biomedical product discovery/design & development in a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical technology company
  • As background while involved in clinical development in academia/research institutions
  • As background for independent professional occupation
  • Intellectual property lawyer, venture capital evaluator, patent agent, physician, pharmacist, therapist, medical writer, etc.

Capstone Project: Certificate Project (CLRE-40004)

The Capstone project is the certificate program's culminating activity. Through this activity, students, working in teams or individually, apply their learnings gained from prior courses and their own experience as professionals. The project focuses on addressing the needs that actual life science companies or academic groups have in the translational science and/or business areas. Such efforts could include new asset due diligence assessment, positioning research, indication selection investigation, Investigational New Drug (IND) application development, Investigator’s Brochure (IB) creation, and clinical trial protocol writing. At the end of the project, the students present the final deliverable to course faculty and the client company management or academic group leadership for evaluation. This last stage successfully completes the certificate and, most importantly, aids the student's career development with valuable skills and experience.

 

Admission

To apply you need at least one of the following degrees:

  • Academic doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, DPhil, DSc)
  • Professional doctoral degree (e.g., MD, DVM, DMD, DDS, PharmD)

Significant prior exposure to or work experience in medical and/or biomedical science will make the experience more meaningful and fulfilling

Documents that you need to provide with your application:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Purpose

The Certificate Program Admission Committee will judge the applicant competencies on a case-by case basis.

Scholarship opportunity

The Certificate Program Admission Committee chooses our recipients carefully. The ideal applicant is either a:
  •  Postdoctoral scholar without a fellowship to support course fees.
  • Biomedical industry or healthcare professional from a company that does not offer educational support.

To qualify for financial assistance to offset the cost of the certificate, we require you to have significant prior exposure to or work experience in medical and/or biomedical science. We will offer this scholarship twice a year at the Winter and Summer admission points. Through the scholarship, we cover 80% of the tuition fees per recipient.

What we need from you

Your work experience, research experience and overall admission profile can qualify you to receive financial assistance to help offset the cost of your certificate

  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Statement of purpose (read below for more details)
  • Online Zoom Interview
  • Commitment to complete the certificate program within one year

Statement of Purpose 

To apply for the scholarship, please send us a video* describing your career and personal accomplishments, and why you feel you are deserving of such an award from us.
*The video must be in .MP4 format and no longer than 6 minutes.

Include any and all materials that support your case in the email, sent to us together with the video. Be specific and persuasive in your video. We will judge the quality and success of the applicant on a case-by-case basis and will be inclined to give awards to those who best communicate their merits, accomplishments, and future plans.

Key Documents

For any Certificate questions, please contact us directly:

Dr. M. Paz Rodriguez, Communication Director
Email: mpr002@health.ucsd.edu

Mentoring and Career Development Resources

Effective mentoring is a critical component of translational research. Below are mentorship and career development resources at UC San Diego and other organizations.

Completing an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an important early step in career development, and can help initiate successful mentorship. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that any NIH-funded graduate student and postdoctoral scholar should have an IDP. New UC San Diego guidelines encourage all graduate students and postdocs, regardless of funding mechanism, to complete IDPs. Junior faculty and research staff may also create an individual development plan to facilitate career development.

In addition, creating a formalized Mentor Compact clarifies roles and expectations from the start of a mentorship. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) created a mentor compact template for postdoctoral researchers to use with their mentors. With AAMC's permission, we have broadened the scope to create a form that can be used by others as well. Access the modified mentor compact. Document may be further modified to suit your mentorship needs.

Mentoring

For Faculty:

For general information about UC San Diego's faculty mentoring program, including roles and responsibilities of mentors and mentees, please visit Academic Affairs.

UC San Diego Health Sciences National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine (NCLAM) is a unique UC San Diego faculty development program created to support junior Health Sciences faculty through the initial years of adjustment after they choose academic careers. Provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, NCLAM brings together a group of junior faculty for a seven-month program that includes faculty development workshops, a junior/senior mentoring relationship based on a professional development contract, academic strategic career planning, and individual academic performance counseling sessions. The program emphasizes an understanding of the UC San Diego Health Sciences educational mission, as well as the research and clinical practice environment.

The UC San Diego Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) and Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research (MAS) programs offer broad-based curricula encompassing major areas of clinical research. There are now several opportunities for faculty involvement as trainees, mentors, lecturers, project or dataset advisors, or directors of learning modules. For more information, please contact Maureen Eijsermans.

For Postdoctoral Researchers:

UC San Diego Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs provides an overview of the Individual Development Plan and other mentoring resources.

For Research Staff:

Career Connection is a free, comprehensive career development program for UC San Diego staff. It provides information and tools to assist you in achieving greater job satisfaction, current job enhancement, and lateral or upward career mobility. All UC San Diego staff employees, retirees and individuals on lay-off status are eligible to join Career Connection.

The UC San Diego Health Science Research Compliance Program offers Research Coordinator and Administrator Training (RCAT) for all UC San Diego research staff. The program consists of monthly training sessions in which research staff will have an opportunity to network with their peers, learn about current research issues, and how to effectively conduct research at UC San Diego. The program is designed to provide research staff with the necessary foundation to conduct research at UC San Diego from the receipt of protocol through study closure. Please contact the UC San Diego Health Science Research Compliance Program for more information.

For Students:

The NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education has published a guide to selecting a research mentor.  

The Faculty Mentor Program is a two-quarter program that helps UC San Diego undergraduates find research positions with faculty mentors. Students receive two quarters of independent study credit, attend training sessions on topics such as how to present at an academic conference and how to write a research paper, and present at the annual FMP Research Symposium. All majors and disciplines are welcome. For information, please contact program coordinator Jessica Davis at jjd010@ucsd.edu.

For NIH Training Grant Directors and Applicants:

The UC San Diego ACTRI Education, Training, and Career Development Program provides consultations regarding incorporating mentoring into your training grants and proposals. Please contact the UC San Diego ACTRI Education, Training, and Career Development Program for more information.

Additional External Mentoring Resources

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has several mentoring resources.

UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute has a Mentor Development Program seminar. Course materials for various aspects of mentorship are available free to the public.

Career Development Award Seminar Series

This series demystifies scientific communication. The sessions are increasingly interactive and participants are required to bring in their own writing and reviewers’ comments to discuss and learn from each other. The series also includes some sessions on “career husbandry:” how to help trainees develop crucial skills needed for a successful research career. The series follows the academic year, and there is one seminar each month.

The series is open to Early Career K or equivalent Career Development awardees from UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and partner institutions.

Past Seminar Videos

Some segments of our seminar series are recorded and made available for general viewing. To watch one of these sessions, please click on the relevant link below. This will lead you to the ACTRI’s YouTube Channel, where you can watch the sessions directly.

Diversity Supplement Resources

What is a diversity supplement?
  1. NIH Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supplement)  provides additional funds to principal investigators to recruit eligible investigators from underrepresented groups to engage in research experiences in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences.  
  2. Provides funding for trainees and faculty to work on an existing NIH-funded project with 2 award years or more left.  
  3. Much less competitive than peer-reviewed grant funding mechanisms and can provide an excellent entry point for a research career. 
  4. Goal: to enhance the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting students, post doctorates, and eligible faculty investigators from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds, including those from groups that have been shown to be nationally underrepresented in health-related research.

Where can I find out more information about them?

How to apply?

We are using this site to identify candidates and PIs interested in pursuing diversity supplements and potentially facilitating connections as a resource. We are gathering names and pertinent information.  If submitting an inquiry, please let us know a little bit about what specifically you are looking for in terms of a project and your current research interests.

You can Submit an Inquiry if one of the following choices applies to you:  

  1. I believe I am eligible for a diversity supplement and I want to know how to find someone to work with on a project.
  2. I am a PI and am interested in how to find an eligible candidate to apply for a diversity supplement who wants to work on my project.
  3. I have a general question about diversity supplements, eligibility, how to apply, deadlines, etc.

Diversity Supplement Repository

Our Diversity Supplement Repository is a collection of successfully funded NIH and NSF research projects made available as an internal resource for review by the UCSD community and its affiliates.

We are grateful to the generosity of UCSD Principal Investigators and award recipient who have agreed to donate their successful grant applications for the purpose of sharing with grant writers, investigators at various stages of their careers, residents, students, volunteers and others interested in developing future successful applications. Because these are voluntary contributions, we need to respect the confidential nature of each individual application. We will allow secure access to the repository for affiliated individuals who complete a request form and agree to follow specific terms of use. Our team will approve access and maintain a list for our future reference.

Submit Access Request

Please use the “Submit Access Request” button to open a Diversity Supplement Request Form which routes to our team when you send your request. Please enter your information in the form and follow the steps for completing our Terms of Use attestation toward the bottom. Be sure to open the link “Click Here” and DocuSign will open the Attestation. Once completed, click the finish button in DocuSign and please download a copy to be uploaded into the Request Form by dragging and dropping. Once submitted, our team will review and be in contact by email within 1-3 business days to accept your request. Upon acceptance, two separate emails will be sent: 1) a OneDrive link for accessing links within a table of contents listing our selection of successful applications and 2) a password for opening any application’s link.  

Game Based Learning

ACTRI Teaches Team Science Through Gaming

Welcome to the UCSD Game Factory.  We are a research unit within the UCSD School of Medicine exploring the benefits of games in medical education. We take both our inspiration and our challenges from our faculty. Our games have taken on such diverse issues as properly submitting and IRB application, understanding the fiscal consequence of medical decisions and the practical use of Clinical Practice Guidelines.

IRB Please Video Game

Screen shot of avatars in IRB Please game scenario.

IRB Please is designed to complement existing training (such as CITI) to teach PIs the common mistakes made in filling out IRB paperwork. Avoiding common mistakes results in efficient, and less frustrating, approval to begin clinical studies. Your participation and feedback will help us improve on our mission. IRB Please takes about thirty minutes to complete and is from the perspective of an IRB Analyst. You can play as often as you wish and at the end of each session you will receive a score, be placed on a leaderboard, as well as receive feedback on the types of mistakes, if any, you may make in IRB Applications.

To access the game, please click on this link and complete the brief survey to receive your instructions and download.

 


Clinical Trials Video Game


Screen shot of avatars in Clinical Trials game waiting room.

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is pleased to introduce an online game to teach team science. The Clinical Trials Video Game is a novel online learning platform that uses a multiplayer video game interface to reinforce teamwork skills such as communication and shared strategy. It has been beta tested with diverse trainees, including medical students, early career “K” awardees, post-doctoral fellows and Master’s students. Different techniques of collaboration can be tested interactively by the participants, who learn how to adapt team strategies. ACTRI collaborated with UC San Diego Rady School of Management to develop the game. It is now in production, and is being disseminated to University of California BRAID sites and the University of Pittsburgh for initial testing.

To access the game, please open the PDF, “Facilitator Guide—Clinical Trials Video Game,” and follow the instructions.

Seminars