UCSF Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program

Investigator: Joel Palefsky, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Location(s): United States


UCSF has trained over 700 new clinical researchers during the last 5 years and is one of a small number of institutions that is home to both a Roadmap-K12 scholars program and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Fellowship for Medical Students. These programs, together with our outstanding K30 and strong institutional support that exceeds $750,000, will serve as the foundation for the new T32 student training program at UCSF, known as "Pathways to Careers in Clinical Research" (PACCR). The PACCR program will have a major impact on clinical research at UCSF by enhancing the core clinical research curriculum for all medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy predoctoral students. PACCR will include12 two- and 3-month fellowships, 9 intensive one-year fellowships (leading to an Advanced Training in Clinical Research certificate and for medical students an "MD with thesis" designation) and 3 intensive two-year fellowships (leading to a Master's in Clinical Research). The PACCR program will be closely integrated with the K30 and Roadmap-K12 program and will share space with the K12 program in a new Shared Clinical Research Support Facility. In addition to the strong didactic curriculum, students' research projects will be closely supervised by a mentor selected from a rich array of outstanding faculty. Additional mentorship will be provided by the PACCR Advisory Committee, a 3-person thesis committee and K12 scholars. Multiple activities are planned to provide the PACCR students with a high profile on campus and create a strong programmatic identity and group cohesion. These include a series of faculty-student research conferences, biweekly research meetings, a journal club, an annual research symposium and regular social get-togethers. The program will be strengthened by recruitment of students from outside UCSF, including at least 3 minority students per year. Focus groups, exit interviews and alumni reunions will enhance our evaluation and tracking process and we will use this information and advice from our Executive and Advisory Committees in an ongoing effort to improve our program. PACCR will have a major impact on the clinical research landscape at UCSF and will stimulate students to continue their research training, leading to careers as independent researchers wherever they settle.