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Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) K12 Scholars Program

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Education and Training

The Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) offers a core didactic program that is taught by multidisciplinary faculty members and provides excellent training in a diverse set of fundamental skills for clinical research. Scholars could take any combination of courses customized to their specific interests and career plans.

In addition to learning research skills, scholars were guided in developing an individualized advanced training plan that included advanced comparative effectiveness research (CER) methodology, meta-analyses and systematic reviews, modeling and simulations, and courses in other disciplines that were critical to their research endeavors and future concentration.

Scholars also attended a series of seminars on leadership, team building, and innovation. The seminars focused on cross-functional team building, team problem solving, developing innovative approaches, and successfully completing work within the constraints of time, cost, and quality.

A writing group for scholars was offered to refine their skills in writing manuscripts and grant proposals. The scholars met regularly with their group to review and critique one another's work. Biostatisticians and epidemiologists were also available to review drafts of manuscripts and proposals. In addition, the scholars participated in a 9-month grant-writing course, with the ultimate goal of submitting a competitive grant proposal to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for future funding.

Scholars attended biweekly meetings of the Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee for K scholars, in which important career development and research-related issues were discussed. Once a year, scholars presented their research project and described their progress to this committee and their mentors for feedback. In addition, they attended workshops on specific topics to help them with their career development.

CER scholars were encouraged to request a mock review session to present information about grant applications that they planned to submit for external funding. The mock review process provided the scholars with objective critiques from several senior-level faculty who had NIH review experience. The goals of the process were to help the scholars refine their grant-writing skills, improve the science and design of their proposed studies, and obtain funding.