The Einstein-Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) has developed and supported a highly integrated core of education and career development programs in clinical and translational (C/T) research, accelerated by the funding of our first CTSA grant in 2008. Among our interlinked and coordinated education and career development programs, our innovative PhD in Clinical Investigation (PCI) has developed into a growing and increasingly effective training program; this new application will provide further growth and enhancement.
The Specific Aims i n our new NRSA Training Core application are: 1) to identify, educate, support, and mentor talented PhD and MD-PhD candidates to become impactful and successful clinical/translational scientists; 2) to encourage and facilitate translational research collaborations through interdisciplinary co-mentoring of trainees and novel approaches to supporting team science; 3) to promote a research culture that approaches all research responsibly, conducts all research rigorously, and reports all research in a manner supporting its reproducibility; 4) to rigorously evaluate and continuously improve our preand post-doctoral educational programs. Our students are funded not only by our NRSA training grant and institutional funds, but also (as appropriate) through other extramural sources, including a novel training grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) grant from NIH/NIGMS. We seek to provide our graduates with the knowledge and skills to serve them well in a broad range of settings. The expansion our PhD program, eCLIPSE (education Connecting Laboratory Investigation and Population Science at Einstein), has grown out of our innovative PhD in Clinical Investigation, which began with our first CTSA grant. The overall goal of eCLIPSE is to produce scientists who are cross trained and facile with the techniques and research methods employed by both laboratory-based basic scientists and populationoriented researchers. Our core curriculum includes carefully selected courses from both our biomedical sciences PhD program and our MSc program in Clinical Research, complemented by program-specific seminars and oversight. A cornerstone of eCLIPSE is thoughtful and conscientious co-mentoring from established investigators, with one mentor from the laboratory sciences and one from the population sciences. A new mentor training program, emphasizing co-mentoring, is planned for the next project period, as is a novel recruitment effort to identify candidates from relevant disciplines beyond the biological sciences. Our initial PCI enrollee received her PhD in 2012; since then, 4 additional PhDs were conferred in 2016 (3 PhD, 1 MD/PhD), and there are currently 9 predoctoral students (6 PhD, 3 MD/PhD) working toward their degrees.