Applying and being trained in teams is a new feature of the TL1 Predoctoral Training Program in 2019. Applicants have the option of applying in teams of two trainees and two trainers. So-called “team trainees” will participate in the same training activities as the program’s individual trainees-trainers. In addition, they will collaborate on a research project with a trainee from a different PhD program and their co-trainers will be trained as co-mentors through the ICTR Mentoring Team. The two trainees must be in different doctoral degree programs and their co-trainers must have primary appointments in different departments.
Allan Brasier, ICTR Executive Director and a national expert in team science, notes,
Research has shown that the inclusion of different types of roles on research teams improves the team’s effectiveness. In particular, the inclusion of graduate students on multidisciplinary teams increases the likelihood of breakthrough scientific publications.
Beth Meyerand, co-PI of the TL1 program, adds,
Team trainees will benefit from a new one-credit team science seminar which will help them develop their collaboration plan. The University of Florida has found that the collaboration adds value to the dissertation of each of the trainees, specifically by helping shape one of the specific aims of the research project.
Other CTSA sites in this new national pilot program are Mayo and the University of Kentucky. The four sites will use traditionally trained TL1 students as a control group. At UW, the two types of trainees will be compared for long-term outcomes, such as persistently working in clinical and translational science and the multidisciplinary nature of their research teams after graduation.
Meyerand quotes Wayne McCormack, University of Florida training director and PI of the national pilot program,
Our mantra is ‘Students work in teams in their clinical and translational science careers. Why not train them in teams?’
TL1 trainees, both team-based and individual, will take 14-15 credits of Clinical Investigation Graduate Program coursework, lead twice annual mentor meetings, participate in a TL1 writing workshop, and receive a travel allowance and NIH predoctoral monthly stipend. The 14-15 credit requirement replaces the prior requirement for a PhD minor in Clinical and Translational Science.
Applications are due April 1 for both types of TL1 pre-doctoral awards. In addition, an information session for the team trainee application will be held March 1.