Clinical and Translational Science Fellowship (TL1)

Program Details

Learn more about the TL1 Fellowship, including eligibility requirements, specifics about the program curriculum, the supplementary training involved in the specialized Fellowship in Innovation, and financial information.



Candidates may be either pre-doctoral or post-doctoral candidates who are currently enrolled in one of the following schools at either the University of Pittsburgh or at one of our 18 partnering (minority-serving institutions) MSIs:

  • Schools of the Health Sciences (Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Pharmacy, and Dental Medicine)
  • School of Engineering
  • Social Science Departments

Candidates should have a passion for translational research—with a commitment to any phase of translation (T1–T4)—and have an intention of becoming a translational investigator. Preference will be given to trainees that have conducted research or have been actively involved in research projects.

  • Pre-doctoral candidates:
    • Must be US citizens or permanent residents (green card)
    • Must be enrolled as doctoral students in one of the schools listed above. Candidates typically include:
      • Students enrolled in doctoral degree programs (for their first doctorate) in the schools of the health sciences (e.g., MD, DO, DNP, PharmD, DHS, or PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences students)
        • Medical students will generally enter the fellowship after their third year, taking a research year between the third and fourth year.
      • PhD students in programs in basic sciences, biomedical informatics, or the MSTP (MD/PhD)
        • These generally enter after their initial clinical training so that they may participate fully in the clinical and translational research methods curriculum.
    • Must commit to at least one year of full time mentored research and training (with additional years granted on a competitive basis).
  • Post-doctoral candidates:
    • Must be US citizens or permanent residents (green card)
    • Must be enrolled as postdoctoral trainees (clinical fellows, residents, postdoctoral candidates, etc.) in one of the schools listed above.
    • Must commit to at least one year of training and research. Postdoctoral fellows may be supported for 2-3 years, depending on successful progress, accomplishment of milestones, and demonstration of need for additional training.
    • Individuals who have completed a clinical doctoral degree (MD, PharmD, DNP, or DHS) are encouraged to apply as a post-doctoral candidate.

Upon appointment, fellows will meet with their mentor to develop an Independent Development Plan (IDP), with individualized goals and objectives in three areas:

Training in Research Methods and Interdisciplinary Professional Skills

  • Research methodology training: While course requirements will be tailored to each trainee’s individual research background, it is strongly recommended that all trainees take the ICRE Summer Core, which consists of:
    • Computer Methods in Clinical Research
    • Clinical Research Methods
    • Biostatistics
    • Measurement in Clinical Research

We strongly recommend that fellows take other pertinent courses during their fellowship such as:

  • Medical Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Managing Your Career in Clinical and Translational Science
  • Advanced Grant Writing Parts I and II
    • Interdisciplinary Professional Skills: In order to develop skills in leadership, management, and collaboration, fellows receive training in:
      • Team Science
      • Leadership and Management Skills
      • Stakeholder Engagement
      • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
      • Effective Teaching Techniques
    • Externships: Fellows may also gain real-world experience through externships with:
      • Business groups
      • Health systems innovations branches
      • Policy analysis organizations
      • The FDA
      • Community organizations

Research and Mentoring

The central component of the fellowship is the conduct of one or more research projects under the mentorship of a multidisciplinary team of outstanding scientists.

  • Fellows will receive assistance in a number of areas as they implement their research project(s):
    • Writing a research proposal
    • Developing a protocol
    • Data collection and management design
    • Pilot testing
    • Research study implementation
    • Analysis
  • As they conduct their research project, fellows will have at minimum weekly meetings with their primary mentor and at minimum monthly meetings with their multidisciplinary mentoring team.

Communication and Dissemination Experience / Career Coaching

Fellows will gain experience in communicating and disseminating research in peer-reviewed journals, to stakeholder groups, and the public at large—a critical step in the process of translation.

  • Publication: Through coursework and writing group sessions, trainees are given the opportunity to develop skills related to writing and publishing a journal article or abstract.
  • Presentation Skills: Fellows deliver presentations periodically on their research project and receive constructive feedback from the program directors.

Career development seminars conducted by professionals from across the university provide fellows with advice on:

  • Promotion and tenure
  • Commercialization
  • Time management
  • Reproducible research

In addition, we offer a highly rated program on Career Coaching for fellows who are passionate about research but uncertain about their careers. Our career coach helps empower fellows to self-author their own authentic career vision.

The Fellowship in Innovation provides supplementary training for fellows interested in further developing new methods, ideas, or products, with the intent or interest in translating their innovation to market via licensing or generating a company. Fellows in Innovation will have the opportunity to investigate intellectual property, various distribution channels, and develop a business plan with the ultimate goal of commercializing their innovation.

Accepted Fellows in Innovation will complete a sequence of courses in the MS in Clinical Research Innovation Track — the Idea 2 Impact and Benchtop to Bedside courses — as well as an innovation externship. Innovation Fellows will be encouraged to complete other courses within the Innovation Track course sequence as scheduling permits.

  • Pre-Doctoral

    The CTS Fellowship will provide stipend support at NIH NRSA levels, partial tuition, and travel funds. In addition, limited support is available for research-related and/or health insurance costs.

  • Post-Doctoral

    The CTS Fellowship will provide stipend support at NIH NRSA levels based on postgraduate year level, tuition, and travel funds, and additional limited support for research-related and/or health insurance costs.
    The NIH requires a 12-month payback commitment following the first year of support under a training award. For many awardees, a second year of appointment fulfills this commitment. For those that will not remain in their funded role for the 12-month period following a one-year appointment, there must be a plan for satisfying this obligation. Click here for more information on the NIH payback requirements.

Clinical & Translational Science (CTS) Fellowship Program (TL1) Handbook

A comprehensive record of information relevant to the TL1 including information about Mock Reviews, a Mentoring Expectations Agreement and details about program evaluation.


Institute for Clinical Research Education
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