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A Mentoring Committee will be developed from an interdisciplinary assemblage of UIC faculty with a demonstrated commitment to mentoring. These mentors will provide curricular, methodological, scientific, and career guidance for the scholar, enhancing interdisciplinary support. Scholars will meet with their mentoring team to review the Scholar's experience and interests to develop a detailed individualized research career development plan, the CCTS KL2 Scholars Program Plan. Once finalized, the plan will serve as a guide through the CCTS KL2 Scholars Program experience. One element of this individualized plan is to ensure that the scholar will have the skills and knowledge required to succeed in a career in clinical and translational research (as defined by the MS in Clinical and Translational Science) that recognizes their existing knowledge, skill level, and research interests.
The second component of the CCTS KL2 Scholars Program Plan is mentored research. Research experiences may be gained in a range of settings, depending on whether the research is clinical, or community-based. The program plan will specify the research questions, study approach, the expected outcomes of the research (e.g., publications, preliminary data, etc.), and timeline. The research plan should follow the NIH guidelines for a K award or R21 (i.e., 6 page limit plus specific aims page).
The third component of the CCTS KL2 Scholars Program Plan is to develop a thorough understanding of the detailed approach required to secure external funding. For the KL2, that could include an application for a K award, (e.g., K08 or K23), R03, R21, R01, or participation on a Center or Program Project grant. Ideally, by the end of one year, Scholars will generate and submit a research proposal to NIH or other peer-reviewed funding source.
The final component of the Scholars Program Plan should be a career plan that would address promotion and tenure issues including time commitments, teaching, and clinical service.
The Scholar would be encouraged to meet with members of their mentoring committee regularly, e.g., on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This environment will provide the Scholar with continuing access to mentors in order to assure the needed career guidance. Achievements and awards, e.g., publications and grants, will be recorded in the Scholar's Career Portfolio, which is developed as the Scholar progresses through the program. The Career Portfolio will also include clinical or teaching activities, teaching evaluations, and any other notable achievements. These portfolios are designed to assist Scholars as they advance their careers and compete for tenured positions at UIC or elsewhere. They will be reviewed annually by an external mentoring panel as available through the REACH Program's Professional Development Service.