Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) TL1 Core:

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Clinical & Translational Research Training (supported by an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award [CTSA])

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The ACTSI TL1 Core provides outstanding opportunities for clinical and translational research training for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees at the ACTSI partner institutions (Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and University of Georgia). The program is focused on providing innovative didactic and mentored research training for predoctoral (medical students, PhD students, PharmD students) and postdoctoral (resident and fellow physicians, PhD postdocs, PharmD residents) trainees interested in a career focused on clinical and/or translational research.

TL1 Core provides trainees accepted into the TL1 program tuition support for the MSCR program (at Emory University or Morehouse School of Medicine) or the Certificate Program in Translational Research; stipend support, health insurance, and support for travel to a scientific meeting. In addition to didactic training (e.g., MSCR program), all TL1 trainees will have mentored research training and carry out a hypothesis driven research proposal (clinical or translational research) under the guidance of their lead mentor and mentoring team. It is anticipated that most trainees accepted into the TL1 program will pursue the MSCR as the component of their didactic research training.

Research Education is a critical component of ACTSI and is dedicated to providing predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees with state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, tools, and methods to improve human health through rigorous clinical and translational research (CTR) training. Through the TL1 Core, ACTSI will increase the translational research workforce and enhance career development of future leaders of the biomedical research workforce, a major mission of NIH.

ACTSI TL1 candidates are recruited from the strong and diverse pool of potential candidates at the ACTSI partner institutions, which include Emory University (Emory), Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and the University of Georgia (UGA). Our academic institutions feature world-class research facilities and an outstanding research environment that provides exceptional opportunities for multidisciplinary CTR training for junior investigators in public health, biomedical sciences, pharmacy, and nursing.

Our extensive program of integrated, multidisciplinary education and training incorporates both didactic and mentored clinical and translational research activities. Through the TL1 Core, ACTSI offers expanded and personalized training pathways to provide flexible and tailored clinical and translational training to a diverse cadre of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

There are two TL1 tracks: a predoctoral track (e.g., for PhD graduate students, medical students, PharmD students) and a postdoctoral track (e.g., for physicians in residency or fellowship training, PhD postdocs, and PharmD residents).

ELIGIBILITY: Per NIH requirements, TL1 program applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Predoctoral TL1 program eligibility:

  • Medical students: Medical students from Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine are eligible for TL1 support as part of a dual degree (MD/MSCR) track. Medical students accepted into the TL1 program begin after their year of clinical rotations (i.e., generally after their third year of medical school). MD/PhD students at Emory and MSM may apply during their mentored PhD training period or after their initial year of clinical rotations.
  • PharmD students: Predoctoral trainees enrolled in the UGA College of Pharmacy accepted into the TL1 program will begin the TL1 program after their second year of training. The TL1 support would provide opportunities to receive dual degrees (PharmD/MSCR track).
  • PhD graduate students: PhD-level graduate students at all ACTSI partner institutions may apply to begin the TL1 in the subsequent year after passing comprehensive examinations at their institutions. The TL1 support would provide opportunities to receive dual degrees (PhD/MSCR track).

Postdoctoral TL1 program eligibility:

  • Physicians in Training: Postdoctoral physicians, including senior residents and those in clinical/research specialty fellowship programs at Emory School of Medicine and MSM may apply to the TL1 program at any point in their postdoctoral training.
  • Postdoctoral fellows with PhD, PharmD, or equivalent degrees: Postdoctoral non-physician fellows from Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, and UGA College of Pharmacy may apply at any point in their postdoctoral training. Those enrolled in PharmD residency programs are also eligible to apply.
  • Postdoctoral fellows currently supported by other NIH or federal T-level or F-level training grants are not eligible for the ACTSI TL1 program, but may apply to the MSCR program supported with stipends and tuition costs provided by their specific training grants.

TL1 stipends, tuition, and other support:

TL1 positions are generally awarded for one full year (12 months) and provide stipend support (predoctoral or postdoctoral level stipend), tuition support for the MSCR program, and support for health insurance and attendance at a scientific meeting. In special cases, up to two years of support may be granted at individual ACTSI institutions (see application instructions). Predoctoral trainees and postdoctoral fellows supported by other NIH or federal T-level or F-level training grants are not eligible for the TL1 program but are eligible to apply to the MSCR (or Certificate Program in Translational Research).

  • Stipends: Salary stipends to support costs of living are provided on the NIH scale for TL1 predoctoral trainees and postdoctoral fellows. 
  • Tuition: Tuition support for the MSCR program (or Certificate Program in Translational Research) is provided. For most TL1 trainees, the MSCR is recommended as the component of didactic research training
  • Travel: A total of $1,000 is provided to each TL1 awardee for travel to a national or international scientific meeting to present research.

Mentors:

Mentored research training is a critical component of the TL1 program. Each TL1 trainee must identify a Lead Mentor who is an established, independently funded clinical and/or translational investigator at one of the collaborating institutions (Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, or UGA). Lead mentors should be established and successful clinical and/or translational investigators with a strong mentoring track record. Generally this means that the lead investigator must be a federally funded investigator (e.g., NIH, CDC, VA, DOD, USDA, AHRQ). A faculty mentor may only serve as lead mentor for a single TL1 applicant or trainee at any one time. A letter of support from the Lead Mentor indicating their willingness and commitment to serve as the TL1 applicant's Lead Mentor is required as part of the application process. The TL1 lead mentor should be prepared and committed to providing support to the TL1 trainee as needed in order to complete the MSCR program and mentored clinical and/or translational research project that is required as part of the TL1 candidate's application. Additional co-mentors or Advisory Committee members are permitted; however, there must be a single Lead Mentor that is identified. Multidisciplinary mentoring teams are strongly encouraged, as is having representation from at least two of the ACTSI partners on the mentoring team or Advisory Committee (Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, UGA) if appropriate. Important points regarding the Lead Mentor’s letter of support are noted in application instructions.

Personalized training pathways:

Personalized training is established for all TL1 trainees to provide flexibility and an individualized approach to didactic and mentored research training. The personalized training plan is constructed by the TL1 trainee in collaboration with their lead mentor, co-mentors, and TL1 program leadership. The pathway will begin with the trainee selecting either the MSCR, a one to two year 30-credit master’s degree thesis program, or the Certificate Program in Translational Research, a 16-credit program. The two programs share several formal didactic courses and required rotations. For most TL1 trainees the MSCR program is recommended.

Application Process and TL1 trainee Selection:

Applications are accepted for two different TL1 tracks—predoctoral trainee applications and postdoctoral trainee applications. Instructions on how to apply to the TL1 program should be reviewed carefully and followed. Applications include a cover page, inclusion of a hypothesis driven research proposal (clinical and/or translational research proposal), personal statement, applicant and mentor NIH biosketches, and letters of support. The applications are reviewed by an ACTSI Research Education Selection Committee.

Application deadlines:

  • The deadline for predoctoral TL1 trainee applications is February 15, 2017.
  • The deadline for postdoctoral TL1 trainee applications is March 15, 2017.

Contact information:

We encourage interested TL1 candidates to contact the ACTSI Research Education program to discuss their interests, career goals, specific programs, and for assistance with the application process.

Contact

Thomas Ziegler, MD

Douglas F. Paulsen, PhD

Somanath P.R. Shenoy, PhD, FAHA