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Home > Degree Programs > Master of Science in Clinical Research: Thesis or Substantive Research Project

Master of Science in Clinical Research Thesis or Substantive Research Project


Master of Science in Clinical Research students are required to complete a formal thesis or substantive research project. The project may count for up to three (3) credits of CLRES 2080: Masters Thesis Research. Students must register for at least one (1) credit of CLRES 2080. You must defend at least 8 (eight) weeks prior to the last day of the term you graduate. The project must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Meet the National Institutes of Health (NIH) definition of clinical research or translational research:
    • Clinical Research: "1) Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. Patient-oriented research includes (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, and (d) development of new technologies. 2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies. 3) Outcomes research and health services research." (accessed on 12.12.2013)
    • Translational Research: "Translational Research includes two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science (Rubio D, Schoenbaum E, Lee L, Schteingart D, Marantz P, Anderson K, Platt L, Baez A, Esposito K. Defining Translational Research: Implications for Training. Acad Med. 2010 March; 85(3): 470-475)."
  2. It must be primarily independent work by the trainee.
  3. It must receive preliminary approval from both the trainee's academic advisor, thesis committee members and the Director of Academic Programs.
  4. It must form the basis for a comprehensive review of competence by a formal review committee.

Thesis Committee Make Up:

Members of the committee must be identified on the Project Prospectus Form and Project Approval Report. Committee members must approve the students’ Project Prospectus Form and Project Approval Report. At least one member of the committee should be from the students’ department. In addition at least two members of the committee must be independent of the project.

The Committee must be comprised of:

  1. ICRE Academic Advisor (serve as the Committee Chair)
  2. ICRE Faculty Member
  3. Project Mentor
  4. Faculty Member (familiar with students’ project )

Project Options:


* This timeline is to serve as an example for a typical Master of Science in Clinical Research student. Students may take longer or shorter to reach the defense stage of their academic career.