The UICDRTP aims to provide closely mentored research training and promote the long-term development of independent investigators who can thrive within a multidisciplinary environment. This program aims to help trainees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to pose meaningful questions, collect reproducible data, analyze, interpret and present research results, think independently, and work collaboratively.
The selection of a primary mentor and mentoring team that promotes multidisciplinary thinking, the development of an individual development plan (IDP), and identification of an initial project that is appropriately aligned with ongoing studies, while allowing for growth and the development of independence, are important goals at the beginning of training.
Postdoctoral fellows will devote at least 75% effort to mentored research, supplemented by conferences, seminars, and coursework based on individual needs. Each trainee will develop an individual development plan, and progress will be continuously monitored and formally evaluated.
Progress towards achieving training milestones, including the completion of required and elective coursework, presentations at regional and national meetings, and publications, is monitored. The submission of an application for an independent training (e.g., NRSA (F32)) or career development award is a major goal for postdoctoral fellows in this program.
Each trainee will be appointed to the T32 program for 2 years. Select trainees may be offered a 3rd year based on their accomplishments, promise, and continued research commitment.
- Mentored research – Effective mentoring, individualized development, and career planning are at the core of this program. Mentoring faculty are selected for their record of training, research accomplishments, and opportunities for training. Each trainee will identify one primary mentor, one aligned with the main interest of the fellow, and 1-2 secondary mentors to enhance the fellow’s experience.
- Selected coursework and didactic training may lead to a master’s degree, such as Master of Science in Clinical and Translation Science (MS-CTS).
- Trainees also will benefit from the variety of research, academic and clinical seminars, journal clubs, and lectures regularly presented at UIC based on relevance to the fellow’s research interests.
- Grant writing workshops and courses are offered to promote grant-writing skills, master the mechanics of the NIH grant application process, and provide consultation and grant reviews to new investigators.
- All trainees will be required to attend at least one annual national meeting related to their research area of interest. As the program encompasses a wide range of disciplines, many national organizations may provide suitable venues for attendance and presentation.
- Professional and Career development – fellows will also receive training on communication skills, professionalism, and leadership and management skills, which are essential to increase their competitiveness in the next stage of their career.