Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers expert advising services free to the Penn State community.
If you do not know what type of consultation you need, complete the service request form with as much information as you have available. A member of our staff will contact you to discuss your request in more detail and connect you with the appropriate service.
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Types of Consultations
BERD consultations pool Penn State resources across campuses to offer training in biostatistical and epidemiological methodologies and assistance to investigators in study design, data management and analysis. BERD provides for free up to four hours of consultation per project for the development of clinical and translational science research proposals and consultations for institute-funded pilot projects. K and T scholars receive free consultations. Up to 10 free hours of support for database development and data management are provided for designing a study database in REDCap.
- Design and analysis strategies for research proposals
- Sample size and power calculations for research proposals
- Advice on the selection and implementation of appropriate statistical methods for research data
- Statistical review of grant proposals, protocols and manuscripts
- Advice on data management and REDCap database development for research studies
Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Generally, up to four hours of consultation can be provided free of charge, after which the faculty or staff handling your project can discuss the billing rates for additional collaboration.
For those interested in learning more on this topic, the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) Recent Topics in Research Methods seminar series takes place during the academic year. Lectures on fundamental research methods are given in the fall semester, with more advanced topics presented in the spring semester. Statisticians and methodologists from multiple Penn State departments present these seminars.
Upcoming seminars are listed here. Click any event to register or add it to your Outlook calendar.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides communication consultations. How research is communicated to different audiences is important for both volunteer recruitment and for dissemination of results.
- Identifying audiences and appropriate messaging for each
- Lay summary assistance
- Recruitment material review (in partnership with the institute’s Recruitment and Retention Project Manager)
- Advertising strategy for recruitment (in partnership with the institute’s Recruitment and Retention Project Manager)
- Media training (in partnership with Penn State Health’s Office of Marketing and Communications)
- Study recruitment poster templates (in partnership with institute’s Recruitment and Retention Project Manager)
- Online visibility enhancement suggestions
Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Communication consultations are free.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides community-centered translational science infrastructure that builds on existing networks of community engagement already in place at Penn State, including the Penn State Cooperative Extension and Outreach system, and focuses on the development, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of evidence-based interventions.
Penn State views the community as our principal “customer and partner,” whose needs we strive to meet and whose collective capabilities we seek to engage. The community is where health problems arise, disease-promoting conditions prevail, and disease can be predicted, prevented and treated. Therefore, it is critical that we establish and nurture trust among people, organizations and the translational research community through transparency, utmost ethical conduct and demonstrated commitment toward the common good.
- Assistance establishing a research project in the community
- Assistance to identify stakeholders who can provide input at all stages of research, from conceptualization and discovery to dissemination
Guidance in selection of approaches for community-engaged health research (CEHR) that promote trust and benefit all parties
- Research project design involving interdisciplinary teams and community partners
- Community-based research approaches and protocols that effectively engage stakeholders in urban and rural settings
- Support coordination among community members, health care providers and research scientists
- Identification of needs and priorities for health-related research in Central Pennsylvania communities
- Tools for increasing diversity of community member participation in health research through awareness and involving community members in the development of effective recruitment, retention and dissemination strategies
- Assistance with patient and stakeholder engagement for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute – also known as PCORI – applications
Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community. Consultations are required for all CTSI pilot funding recipients.
Community engagement consultations are free.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers health policy impact consultations to support policy-relevant research and promote its translation between researchers and regulators. These consultations are open-ended and can be tailored to specific questions.
The following are examples of how previous investigators have used consultations:
- Identifying policy objectives of relevant regulatory agencies
- Supporting researchers in increasing the policy relevance of proposed projects
- Discussing policy-relevant dissemination opportunities
- Providing education and educational opportunities on legal and regulatory issues related to health policy
- Reviewing grant applications to identify ways to enhance policy relevance
Health policy impact consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Health policy impact consultations are free.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides implementation science consultations to Penn State investigators and trainees to improve research and evaluation of intervention implementation efforts. Implementation science is an emerging field that focuses on integrating evidence-based interventions into real-world public health and clinical practices. Our consultations are available to inform existing projects, research ideas, grant applications, manuscripts, and abstract submissions.
- Guidance selecting implementation science-oriented theories, models, or frameworks
- Identification of implementation strategies to test alongside interventions
- Identification of implementation measures and the creation of data collection tool(s)
- Grant and manuscript writing support
- Assistance identifying external funding opportunities
- Assistance identifying collaborators and community partners to conduct projects]
Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community. We especially welcome consultation requests from faculty and postdocs. Doctoral-level students (MD, PhD, DrPH) are also eligible for this service.
An initial one-hour consultation and follow-up (up to 4 hours/year total) are provided free of charge, after which the faculty or staff handling your project can discuss the billing rates for additional services.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute is engaged in standardizing and integrating disparate data sets that include electronic health records, environmental, socioeconomic and other data to develop novel methods and artifacts for predictive analytics that solve real-world health problems.
- Integration of informatics in translational research activities
- User training and education
- Integration of electronic health records with genomic, contextual (environmental and socioeconomic) and wearable sensor data, etc.
- Design, implementation and deployment of advanced data analytics
Informatics consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Informatics consultations are free.
Project ECHO is a model with the power to rapidly transfer knowledge and exponentially increase capacity to deliver best-practice care to underserved populations. The ECHO model’s “all teach, all learn” approach is the infrastructure for knowledge-sharing in rural and underserved communities around the world. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert specialist teams (hub), mentoring multiple community providers (spokes) via teleconferencing. The ECHO model is not “telemedicine” where specialists assume the care of the patient; it is a guided model aimed at practice improvement, in which providers retain responsibility for patients, and operate with increasing independence as skills, confidence and self-efficacy grow. Unlike traditional learning, Project ECHO facilitates rapid dissemination of medical knowledge and increased capacity to deliver best-practice care by utilizing case-based, collaborative learning to support discussion of learners’ challenges and barriers to guideline implementation.
The ECHO model was designed to address the unique challenges faced by rural and underserved communities. Only about 10 percent of physicians practice in rural areas of the country despite nearly one-fourth of the population living in these areas. Rural areas have higher rates of some chronic diseases and face many challenges, including transportation, connectivity and isolation. Further, it can be difficult to recruit healthcare providers to work in rural and underserved areas, and opportunities for professional development and support in these areas can be difficult. The goal of Project ECHO is to provide the same level of healthcare to rural patients with chronic diseases as can be obtained in an urban setting. A secondary goal is to provide rural healthcare practitioners with a level of interaction and support commensurate with their urban counterparts to enhance their technical competence and decrease their feelings of professional isolation.
- Guidance on whether Project ECHO is right for your needs
- Determining what an ECHO series might look like based on your needs
- Grant writing support
- Assistance in identifying external funding opportunities
- Assistance in identifying specialists, collaborators and community partners
Consultations are open to anyone interested in writing the Project ECHO model into their grants or research plans. Doctoral-level students (MD, PhD, DrPH) are also eligible for this service.
An initial one-hour consultation and follow-up are provided free of charge.
For those interested in observing an ECHO session in action, a list of upcoming ECHO sessions is provided below. Click any event for more information.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides recruitment and retention consultations. Recruitment and retention is an integral part of research studies, yet it can be one of the most challenging aspects of an investigation.
Individualized support for researchers and their study teams includes:
- Developing a customized recruitment and retention strategy for any Penn State human subjects research study
- Providing support and training for institute recruitment tools, including Studyfinder, ResearchMatch and TriNetX
- Reviewing and providing feedback about recruitment materials, including recruitment flyers and letters
- Providing feedback relating to study design
- Helping to develop a study recruitment budget
Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Recruitment and retention consultations are free.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute helps to facilitate the process by which novel research ideas are transformed into scientifically and ethically sound research study protocols that are in compliance with regulatory requirements. We involve both investigators and regulators into a partnership where values of efficiency, appropriate attention to ethical research conduct and regulatory compliance are continuously balanced.
- Education and mentorship on the regulatory and ethical research
- Considerations of the regulatory and ethics implications of a research project
- Promotion of scholarship in ethical research
- Obtaining informed consent
- Addressing privacy issues in data-driven research
- Development of research questions related to specific regulatory or ethical concerns to incorporate in study design
Regulatory and ethics consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Regulatory and ethics consultations are free.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides research ethics consultations to maximize the benefits and minimize potential harms of research to society. The institute involves both investigators and regulators where values of efficiency, appropriate attention to ethical research conduct and regulatory compliance are continuously balanced.
Consultations can help researchers and others involved in the research process identify practical solutions to ethical, policy and social challenges.
The institute also provides education through seminars and facilitated discussions on a variety of research ethics topics, including responsible conduct of research (research misconduct, informed consent, authorship), ethical and social issues around genomic research, biobanking, and privacy and confidentiality in an era of broad data sharing and data-driven research.
Research ethics consultations are part of the institute’s Research Methods Core.
Research ethics consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Ethics consultations are free.
To request a special presentation on research ethics topics for a department or University group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking to collaborate, begin by searching the University’s research networking tool, Pure. Further assistance is available through consultations with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
- Assistance identifying potential collaborators
- Techniques to grow and develop effective teams
- Effective integration of knowledge, coordination and communication in team environment
- Effective management of interpersonal dynamics
- Assistance motivating a team to meet milestones
- Guidance on the science of team science
- Tracking and evaluation of team effectiveness and and team science outcomes
mentorship for team leaders and education on the role individual factors in effective multidisciplinary research
- Assistance with team-level processes including establishing common language and conflict resolution
- Techniques to effectively manage multisite teams
Teams and collaboration consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.
Teams and collaboration consultations are free.