Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success (LEADS)

Online Training

LEADS is comprised of two online training components: didactic instruction through the completion of training modules (Year 1), and individualized support through skills sprints (Year 2):



Training Modules

In Year 1, Scholars will complete a series of online training modules around an area of professional competency essential for success in a scientific research career. Scholars will view videos, read articles, engage with their colleagues and instructor in asynchronous discussions, and meet weekly via web-conferencing. The weekly web conference will be on Mondays, 3-4:30 PM Eastern Time. They will also complete challenge assignments that help them advance their career goals.

Module Topic
Module Dates
Corresponding Competency
April 2022
Management
May 2022
Management
June 2022
Management
July and August 2022
Written communication
October 2022
Written communication
November 2022
Ethics and professional norms
December 2022
Management
January – July 2023
Management

Introduction to Team Science

Innovative and significant scientific advances often come from teams rather than individual scientists. But what makes a good team? And are there ways to make a good team great? In this module, we will cover the basics of team science so that you can answer these questions. Assembling the right team and reaping the full benefits of working with a team requires active planning and mindful management. We will discuss how to bring together the right mix of collaborators to enhance the success and impact of your research. We will also review best practices for building and maintaining positive and productive working relationships with diverse collaborators from different disciplines, professions, and social backgrounds.

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Maximizing Mentoring

Mentoring is critical for career success, though many early career faculty struggle to develop robust mentoring relationships. In the Maximizing Mentoring module, you will identify the areas of expertise and qualities of your ideal mentor. You will then identify a mentor or team of mentors using a combination of strategies and resources, including the National Research Mentoring Network, NIH RePORTER, and the broader RCMI community. You will be coached on how to contact potential mentors and manage mentoring relationships.

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Defining Your Research Question

Developing the right research question(s) requires as much skill as finding the right answer and yet is often neglected in academic research training. Albert Einstein once said: "If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." In this module, you will learn how to define a significant research problem, articulate important, researchable questions, and use a conceptual framework to develop testable hypotheses based on your questions. We will discuss criteria to evaluate the significance of a problem and prioritize questions. By the end of this module you will be able to develop questions to guide the investigation of an impactful problem.

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Grant Writing

You have worked hard with your mentor(s) and colleagues to identify an important gap in scientific knowledge and to develop a study question to address that gap. Now you must find a way to support the work needed to answer the question. It is time to write and submit a grant application to a funding agency! The pursuit and securing of research funding are some of the most crucial elements of a successful and rewarding scientific career. Unfortunately, many early career researchers do not develop the skills necessary to develop and write a competitive grant application. Without such skills, your outstanding research question may languish in the unfunded wilderness or be answered by someone else. In the Grant Writing I and II modules, you will learn critical elements of the grant preparation and writing process, develop a Specific Aims page and extended Research Strategy outline, and provide constructive feedback to other participants in the modules.

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Medical Writing and Communication

Biomedical scientists must be able to present their work clearly and effectively in many written forms to successfully advance their careers. Yet important aspects of their scientific work are often poorly communicated or even obscured by ineffectively composed abstracts and peer-reviewed manuscripts. Don’t let poor writing skills or an uninformed approach to writing impede your professional development and academic promotion!

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Effective Peer Reviewing

Scientific peer review is the evaluation of scholarly work by experts in the same field to enhance the quality of scholarship. Although the peer-review process and its relationship to professional success are critically important for all individuals pursuing biomedical careers at academic institutions, most early career faculty typically gain knowledge on these crucially important subjects on “the fly” and not through curricula designed to de-mystify many key aspects of peer review.

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Launching Your Research Career

As you embark on your research careers, it is helpful to know what works and doesn’t work for you to facilitate your productivity. How are you doing with regards to work-life balance or is it really work-life integration? How do you avoid burnout? What kinds of obstacles might you encounter in pursuing your goals, and what strategies can you use to overcome them? This module focuses on self-discovery. Several experiential exercises will help you develop strategies for a successful research career.

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Career Coaching

This course is a group coaching approach that uses topical primer material to initiate exploration of career management in facilitated group discussions and asynchronous reflective exercises. The topics cover three overall categories: (1) Foundational capacities underlying career management and professional development; (2) Self-awareness of strengths, interests, skills, and work values and their integration into to career management; (3) Expansion of your personal career management strategies through the exploration of multiple models and tools.

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Instructors

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Skills Sprints & Office Hours

In Year 2 of the fellowship, each week, scholars will attend a brief lesson on a variety of topics centered around grant submissions and overall career advancement. Following these lessons, scholars will have the opportunity to attend office hours with a variety of experts to receive personalized feedback on their individual work products. Note that the time commitment of Year 2 is more flexible than that of Year 1.

Short lessons on Creating Beautiful Grant Proposals, Whipping Data into Shape, 3 Statistics Sprints, Captivating Your Audience, and Expanding Your Social Media Presence will be presented, and office hours will be hosted by the lecturer. Scholars will also participate in extended sprints in Manuscript and Grant Writing, along with a specialized series on developing Grant Aims. The weekly lesson and office hours will be on Mondays, 3-4:30 PM Eastern Time.

Instructors

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Institute for Clinical Research Education
200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

      

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