Incoming Clinical Investigation Students for Fall 2018

The Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation remains an integral part of UW ICTR support for workforce development. This fall saw two incoming PhD students in Clinical Investigation, three Masters students in Clinical investigation, and four incoming PhD students in Clinical & Translational Science (the former PhD minor program), for totals of 17, 13, and 15 students respectively.

Click here for a gallery of the incoming students.

An additional 14 students are newly enrolled in Certificate Programs either in the Fundamentals of Clinical Research or Community & Clinical Outcomes Research. Students can elect for Capstone, Graduate or Professional Certificates depending on their goals. Many students begin with enrollment in a certificate program and transition to either the PhD or the Masters programs as the core curriculum is shared.

Beth Meyerand, one of the Directors of the TL1 program, comments,

Our TL1 trainees are all expected to complete the core curriculum as PhD students in either Clinical Investigation or Clinical & Translational Science. By enrolling in these programs, they receive a strong foundation in the essential competencies of clinical and translational research. It is a testament to the strength of the program that so many students recognize the value of these degrees.

Application materials, deadlines and other program material are found on the web pages for the Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation and the Certificate Programs.

Career Development Awards for 2018

The 2018 renewal of the UW ICTR Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from NIH allowed selection of the newest group of KL2 Scholars (early stage investigators), and TL1 trainees (pre-doctoral students in Clinical Investigation). With appointments beginning this summer, three KL2 scholars joined the program, along with five TL1 trainees.

The full roster of new and existing KL2 scholars and TL1 trainees is found on our Career Development page.

Also new this year was the naming of a TL1 Post-Doctoral Fellow to a new appointment type intended to bridge the transition between traditional clinical fellowships and research faculty positions. Rob Lemanske, ICTR Deputy Executive Director for Workforce Development, comments,

Rob Lemanske, MD

We selected Emma Mohr as our first TL1 Post-Doctoral fellow in this new training pathway. Not only is Emma an exceptionally promising researcher in a clinical area with high translational potential, her career stage is very representative of the junior investigators we hope to support with this new program.

Mohr is a Research Fellow/Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics who is expected to be a strong candidate for a faculty position when her ICTR fellowship is completed.

While the incoming TL1 trainees have increased the total number of participants in the program from 10 to 12, there was no corresponding increase in the number of KL2 scholars. Instead, the workforce development team focused on expanding access to the KL2 scholars career development programming to a broader array of K career development award investigators.

Manish Shah, ICTR Director for KL2 Scholars, notes,

Manish Shah

Our continuing CTSA support for workforce development programming has allowed us to welcome scholars from other K training awards on campus, as well as individuals holding individual K grants.

ICTR staff focused on workforce development have done an exceptional job over that past 10 years creating a career-stage appropriate series of training sessions. Our ability to share access more widely with other NIH-funded trainees is emblematic of how ICTR acts as an institution-wide resource.

KL2 Scholars receive 75% protected time and a research stipend, plus career development programming to develop proficiency in topics such as mentor/mentee training, team science, and leadership, in addition to many other research competencies. Likewise, the TL1 trainees receive a travel allowance, participate in manuscript and grant writing groups, and benefit from bi-annual mentor meetings organized by ICTR, on top of a full graduate student stipend and tuition remission.

More information about these programs is found on our Career Development page.

CCHE Establishes Inaugural ‘CCHE Health Equity Research Fellows’ Cohort

Portrait collage (left to right, top to bottom) of Olufunmilola Abraham, Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, Kara Hoppe, Jennifer Weiss, Ryan Westergaard, Yang Sao Xiong

The Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) team has nearly doubled in size in 2018, reaffirming the health equity priority of both the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and the School of Medicine and Public Health.

This summer CCHE announced Dr. Stephanie Budge as the AHEAD Faculty Director and Dr. Angela Byars-Winston as a new CCHE Associate Director. In September, CCHE also welcomes Senior Scientist Dr. Susan Passmore as a new Assistant Director for Community Engaged Research. Dr. Passmore comes to us from the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland, College Park where she was part of the team that developed the Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers education programs including the Becoming a Self-Reflective Researcher: Successfully Engaging Minority Communitiescurriculum designed to strengthen the capacity of researchers to build relationships for effective recruitment and retention of minority participants in research. Stay tuned for information about ‘Becoming a Self-Reflective Researcher’ workshops to be offered here at UW.

In addition to the growing the leadership team, CCHE is also pleased to announce an inaugural cohort of CCHE Health Equity Research Fellows.

CCHE Health Equity Research Fellows have been selected for the excellent health equity research they conduct, which is aligned with CCHE’s Mission to build lasting partnerships and engage university and community partners in collaborative teaching, research and service initiatives to improve health equity in Wisconsin’s underserved communities. CCHE is establishing this inaugural class of Fellows to raise the visibility of health equity scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, expand our research portfolio and support new interdisciplinary research collaborations on campus.

Fellows will receive a stipend to support their health equity research, and serve as ambassadors for CCHE, presenting on their research at the newly initiated monthly Health Equity Research Seminars to launch in Spring 2019, and participating as peer mentors with CCHE’s AHEAD and HELI career development programs.

The six inaugural CCHE Health Equity Research Fellows are: Olufunmilola Abraham (Pharmacy), Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi (Nursing), Kara Hoppe (SMPH-OBGYN), Jennifer Weiss (SMPH-Medicine), Ryan Westergaard (SMPH-Medicine), and Yang Sao Xiong (Social Work). Congratulations to all!

The CCHE team is excited to share this new feature to our programming and will continue to provide updates about our work!

Maternal-Fetal Health Focus of 2018 AHEAD Pilot Awards

The UW ICTR Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) Pilot Program has awarded two new grants in response to the 2018 RFA. The ICTR Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) is home to the AHEAD program administration, and CCHE faculty affiliate, Stephanie Budge, School of Education, serves as faculty director. Budge notes:

Stephanie BudgeI am very pleased that one of my first privileges as incoming director of AHEAD is to preside over the selection of this year’s AHEAD Pilot Award winners. As a former AHEAD Scholar and Pilot Award recipient myself, I know the key role that pilot awards can play not only in terms of providing resources, but also in supporting interdisciplinary projects and mentoring for individuals whose research focuses on health disparities/health equity. Congratulations Linnea and Madelyne!

Budge recently replaced Carmen Valdez, who is beginning a new position at the University of Texas at Austin. Read more.

Both of this year’s awardees are conducting research addressing prenatal care. Disparities in infant mortality and pregnancy outcomes continue to be a persistent and challenging issue to address across Wisconsin and the nation, and particularly with individuals who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health care based on racial or ethnic group membership.

Linnea Evans, PhD, MPH, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Health Disparities Research Scholar Program, UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Mentors: Stephanie Robert, UW School of Social Work; Deborah Ehrenthal, UW Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Population Health Sciences
Research: Effects of Stress on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hypertension and Pregnancy Outcomes

Madelyne Greene, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Health Disparities Research Scholar Program, UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Mentor: Deborah Ehrenthal, UW Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Population Health Sciences
Research: Understanding Implementation of Prenatal Care Coordination in Wisconsin Counties

Largest Class of Clinical Investigation Students Enrolled Fall 2017

Telephoto lens view of Bascom Hall, viewed through the trees on Library Mall during an late afternoon in spring.

Four PhD students and six masters degree students in Clinical Investigation started in September 2017, together with eight PhD students in Clinical and Translational Science (CTS, former PhD minor). They joined a select, very active community of students (31 current) participating in the degree programs administered by UW ICTR. In addition, six of the eight CTS students were also appointed to positions in the  TL1 training program for pre-doctoral scholars.

A complete list of doctoral and masters students entering in September.

Rob Lemanske, ICTR Deputy Executive Director and director of training for the graduate program, notes:

Rob Lemanske, MDWe are happy to welcome the largest incoming class ever in the eight years since the Clinical Investigation degree program was approved. In addition, half the incoming class initially worked on a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Clinical Research. By design, the Certificate shares a core of foundational courses with the master’s and the doctoral degree programs.

Hence, students can start with a certificate to test the waters for the fit of academics with their busy professional lives. Like many prior entrants into the program, nine out of ten entering students this year are returning adult students who are fitting coursework into new faculty, fellowship, and scientist positions. Welcome!

Applications to the Masters and PhD programs in Clinical Investigation for the 2018 class are due Feb 1.

Admissions this year is via a new online process through the UW Graduate School. Applications to the CTS (or PhD minor) program are accepted throughout the year. Read More.

ICTR also administers a TL1 Predoctoral Training Program as part of its Clinical and Translational Science Award from NIH. With the renewal of the ICTR grant this fall, we were able to increase the total number of trainees supported to 10 from the six in previous years.

This training program includes a stipend, health insurance, tuition and fees, travel funds, a monthly writing workshop, and biannual mentor meetings. Trainees must be pursuing either the PhD in Clinical Investigation or have added the PhD-CTS degree to their major field of study. The RFA for the 2018 TL1 Predoctoral Training Program will be released at the end of January, with applications due March 15.

A complete list of current TL1 trainees, their mentors, and fields of study (scroll down).



Bringing Cultural Awareness into Mentoring Relationships

HELI NRMN CAM workshop

This October 6, the annual Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) shared the marquee with a one day training workshop created by the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). This special opportunity was designed to promote an innovative NIH-funded initiative addressing cultural diversity in research mentoring relationships.

Christine Pfund, one of the NRMN PIs and Director of Mentorship Initiatives for the UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), notes,

Christine Pfund

We had an exciting opportunity to expose alumni from HELI to a brand new mentor training workshop available through our local NRMN-affiliated team. We already offer research mentor and mentee training to each new HELI cohort, but this special session represented a chance to provide a deeper exploration of the role culture plays in mentoring relationships. Participants and trainers alike gained a broader appreciation of how their personal identity intersects with  their professional life, particularly as mentors.

CCHE invited 15 HELI alumni and ten local trainees, faculty and administrators to participate in a Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM) workshop. The training was led by longtime CCHE and HELI collaborators, Drs. Sandra Quinn and Stephen B. Thomas. In addition to their ongoing role as faculty in the annual HELI, Quinn and Thomas are Master Facilitators with NRMN.

A Master Facilitator is an experienced leader of mentor and mentee training, able to effectively adapt to diverse settings and audiences. The ICTR Mentoring group plays an active role in the national training of Master Facilitators as part of their effort to disseminate best practices in mentoring nationally using a train-the-trainer approach.

The CAM training was developed and tested by the CAM Working Group, which is part of the UW-Madison-based NRMN Mentor Training Core. The CAM team includes Rick McGee and Veronica Womack (Northwestern), Carrie Saetermoe (Cal State Northridge), Sandra Quinn and Stephen Thomas (University of Maryland) and Angela Byars-Winston, Emily Utzerath, and Amanda Butz from Wisconsin. Learn more about the CAM initiative via NRMNet.

If you are interested in mentor/mentee training or the CAM module, contact Amber Smith.

Next year’s Health Equity Leadership Institute will return to the full-length format on June 10-15, 2018. Applications will be released in late January 2018.

Read the Maryland feature on the October workshop.


New RFA for Collaborative Health Equity Research

UW ICTR is releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) for new community-engaged health disparities research projects, the Collaborative Health Equity Research (CHER) Pilot Award. This novel award reflects ICTR’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of health equity researchers by supporting promising new research, training in best practices for engaging communities and patients, and facilitating the formation of interdisciplinary teams. Each award includes $50,000 maximum in direct costs for no longer than 12 months.

This pilot award is for early stage investigators focused on health disparities and health equity, and requires a senior mentor. The program is designed to provide researchers with experience in clinical and translational research necessary for their future career development, and to provide preliminary data for subsequent funding applications.

Chris Sorkness, Senior Associate Executive Director, explains,

Through this RFA we hope to “stack the deck” in support of early stage investigators seeking to conduct high quality research to address health disparities and health inequities in the state of Wisconsin. In addition to the many ICTR resources available to support community-engaged health equity research, this RFA recognizes that junior-senior collaborations can make all the difference in accelerating advancements in health. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary applications from broad campus investigators, since social determinants of health and health disparities/inequities often go hand-in-hand.

Proposed research for this RFA must address health disparities or health inequities and must be translational in nature. Applications must cite published evidence that the health disparity/inequity is recognized by state/federal agencies as significant and warranting intervention. Awards will prioritize support of assistant professors taking a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to research, including those who genuinely engage community partners & stakeholders.

The new RFA, application forms & instructions are available online. A mandatory letter of intent is due October 2, 2017 and complete applications are due Nov 1, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to contact Caitlin Scott, Health Equity Outreach Specialist, with any questions about preparing an application.

Nominations Due July 31 for 2018 ICTR KL2 Program

Handwriting Notes

The ICTR workforce development group has released the RFA for the 2018 ICTR KL2 Program for Scholar appointments beginning July 1, 2018. This award supports junior faculty at UW Madison who are pursuing and actively engaged in translational research and who are committed to developing an independent research program. Funded by NIH, scholars will be awarded for two years; additional time in the program is possible upon review of scholar progress and need.

The process begins with a nomination by the dean or department chair of an individual’s academic home. These letters of nomination are due July 31, 2017. Applicants must be an assistant professor (tenure track or CHS) by the time of the award. Comparable junior research investigators at Marshfield Clinic are also eligible.

Click here for the RFA and a complete timeline of the application process.

Click here to read about the 2017 Scholars.

Please direct ICTR KL2 Program questions to Ana Garić,