Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute prepares the current and next-generation clinical and translational science workforce to address the nation’s healthcare needs.
Through a variety of educational discussions, lectures, training programs and workforce development initiatives, the Institute provides resources to students in health-related programs, graduate students, residents, fellows, faculty, research coordinators, technicians, fellows and other members of the clinical and translational science workforce and those interested in learning more.
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The Community-Engaged Research Faculty Fellowship provides funding for a Penn State faculty member for up to two course buyouts or the equivalent during an academic year for study and training in community-engaged research with the guidance and support of a mentor.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Early-Stage Investigator Training Program (KL2) provides a supportive interdisciplinary environment for junior faculty scholars to acquire the skills and experience needed to become successful, independent clinical and translational scientists. This is accomplished through coursework, mentored research and career development programs.
KL2 funding provides 75 percent protected time for research; funds for research supplies; tuition support for up to three courses per semester; and travel.
The Clinical and Translational Science Translational Research Training Program (TL1) provides tailored educational opportunities for graduate and medical students to acquire the knowledge and skills essential for conducting interdisciplinary clinical and translational research.
The flexible curriculum includes courses in statistics, epidemiology, clinical research methods, bioinformatics, research ethics and scientific communication combined with training in team-based research.
PhD and MD/PhD students pursuing research in health-related disciplines and medical students opting to take a year out of their clinical studies to pursue research training full-time are eligible to apply.
The Translational Science Fellowship (TSF) provides graduate and medical students with the opportunity to gain select knowledge and skills in clinical and translational research in a summer experiential program.
Targeted to early-stage learners, the program includes training in both foundational skills like research design and data analysis and professional skills such as communications, ethics and teamwork. Examples of real-world clinical and translational research are used throughout the course.
Independent and facilitated active group learning is emphasized and didactic presentations are kept to a minimum. Opportunities to practice skills are integrated throughout the program using case studies, simulations, computer-based modules and small group discussions.
Innovations, an initiative of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute held in partnership with the Center for Medical Innovation, supports the translation of biomedical research by providing early-stage education and strategic guidance to faculty, staff and students during the ideation phase of technology development.
The four-week course, designed specifically for the biomedical researcher at Penn State, guides interdisciplinary teams through a hands-on process of understanding the market for their technology or idea utilizing the iCorps (National Science Foundation/National Institutes of Health Innovation Corps) methodology of customer discovery.
Dual-Title PhD in Clinical and Translational Sciences
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute has established a dual-title PhD program in Clinical and Translational Sciences. This multidisciplinary program brings together a range of courses, from statistics and epidemiology to scientific communication and bioinformatics. The coursework, combined with a required internship experience, faculty mentoring and exposure to institute tools and resources, gives students the broad base of knowledge needed to launch a career in clinical and translational science.
Master of Science in Clinical Research
The Master of Science in Clinical Research is a 30-credit program comprising didactic and interactive components and mentored research. The program includes a core curriculum in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical trials, and outcomes research assessment. Courses are devoted to protection of human subjects, critical appraisal of the literature, individual project design and development, project presentation, scientific communication and translational research methods. Students undertake a research project that they design, develop and conduct during the program in close association with a mentor in their clinical discipline and an adviser.
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Master of Public Health students learn population-based methods for planning, executing, analyzing and disseminating research results, and gain first-hand real-world working experience in the practice of public health. The Master of Public Health degree program incorporates most of the requirements of the Master of Science in Public Health Sciences degree program, while drawing on relevant courses offered in the Departments of Health Policy and Administration and Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development at University Park.
Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics
Penn State’s online Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics program increases understanding of statistical analysis and industry-standard software packages such as Minitab, R, and SAS. This certificate program gives a solid background in the fundamentals of statistics that extends beyond a software program’s capabilities or features.
The program blends practical and theoretical data analysis and can give the tools and knowledge needed to handle and analyze data. The online curriculum is based on the resident program and taught by many of the same faculty. The requirements for both the online and resident applied statistics programs are identical.
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research curriculum of 15 credits includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health services research and statistical analysis computing. Courses are offered on weekday evenings, enabling the student to continue work activity and engage in clinical and health services research coursework.
The course sequence begins each fall semester. Completion of the certificate is excellent preparation for continuing in the Master of Science in Clinical Research degree.
Certificate in Translational Science
This one-year program leads to a Graduate Certificate in Translational Science. The program consists of 15 credits of coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, research design and ethics and is available for graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty, and other healthcare professionals to enhance a successful career in translational science.
Undergraduate medical, post-graduate and nursing students; residents; postdoctoral fellows; faculty and support personnel from within the University, including nurses, research nurses and study coordinators; and other students from the community, including healthcare and public health professionals, who have a bachelor’s degree, may apply as non-degree students to pursue the certificate.
Undergraduate medical, post-graduate and nursing students; residents; postdoctoral fellows; faculty and support personnel from within the University, including nurses, research nurses and study coordinators; and other students from the community, including healthcare and public health professionals who have a bachelor’s degree, may apply as non-degree students to take individual courses.
Other Educational Resources
A clinical research guidebook has been developed through Institute support for conducting clinical research at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
It has been adapted from the materials created and released by The Clinical Trials Resource Group at the University of California-Davis CTSC.
Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Training
ACRP recommends the successful completion of two foundational training modules:
- Good Clinical Practice: An Introduction to ICH GCP Guidelines
- Ethics and Human Subjects Protection
Research coordinators using services of the Clinical Research Centers and coordinators participating in multi-site clinical trials must complete these two modules within six months of being identified as part of a research study team.
ACRP Enhanced Investigator Training Modules are provided at no cost to faculty and staff who have been provided a user account through the institutional site license.
Contact: For details or to obtain a user account, contact the Office of Research Quality Assurance (RQA) by calling Liz Galgocy, manager/lead clinical compliance specialist, at 717-531-0003, ext. 285602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRB Human Research Training
Penn State requires completion of the Human Subjects Protection course (initial and continuing education every three years) for individuals involved in the conduct or oversight of human subjects research.
Additionally, if conducting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated research, investigators and staff must also complete Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course along with the above courses. Training is offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training (CITI) at the University of Miami.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers a variety of seminars and other training events.
Translational Science Seminars
Translational Science Seminars (formally “Bench to Bedside and Beyond (B3)”) is a series of educational discussions covering a variety of topics on the translational science continuum. The goal of the series is to provide participants with the tools necessary to play a vital role in accelerating discoveries benefiting human health regardless of the role or position within the organization. The bimonthly series is accessible via video conference to multiple campus locations. The series covers a broad topical areas of interest to investigators, faculty, clinicians, staff, students and the community.
Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD)
The Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) group hosts a bi-weekly seminar series throughout the fall and early spring. Each seminar stands alone, so individuals are welcome to attend as schedules permit. The seminar series rotates locations between University Park and Hershey, and is available via videoconference to both locations.
Discover is a series of programs covering topics that highlight collaborative interdisciplinary research opportunities and resources at Penn State and beyond. Discover is hosted quarterly as part of the Research Quality Assurance Lunchtime Lecture Series and also sponsors workshops on special topics for targeted audiences. The programs are held at Penn State College of Medicine and available via videoconference to University Park.
Research Quality Assurance Lunchtime Lecture Series
The Research Quality Assurance Lunchtime Lecture Series is a monthly program highlighting the research endeavors of Penn State investigators. The program is held at Penn State College of Medicine and available via videoconference to University Park.