Education and Training for Clinical,Translational Science Workforce Was Focus of National CTSA
Miami CTSI program directors Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., Gwendolyn Scott, M.D., and Jonelle Wright, Ph.D., represented the KL2 and Translational Workforce Development programs at the national CTSA Spring Program Meeting that was held on March 5 in Washington D.C.
This year, the meeting focused on education and training for the clinical and translational science workforce. Activities included informational sessions, networking and sharing best practices, and structured table discussions to collectively brainstorm how to improve programs.
KL2 directors shared strategies they use to build and evaluate scholars’ intended career timelines and manage decisions on authorship. Collectively, CTSA hub representatives from across the country discussed how to effectively assess team science competencies in our research workforce and how best to measure the impact of education, training, and workforce development beyond the traditional approach of reporting publications, grants, and patents.
Several presentations showcased innovative ways to use technology to expedite research training and career development. A self-managed on-line Individual Development Planning (IDP) tool was shared as a best practice for tracking and giving feedback on the scientific and academic progress of KL2 scholars.
Most interesting, however, was a demonstration of how one CTSA uses on-line games to enhance collaborative distance learning. Here, instructors organize a four-week game in which participants from several institutions (one course reported involving 13 institutions) receive links to review articles and videos to prepare for upcoming course questions. Each week, timed questions are presented to course participants, who, competing as teams, answer them on their own schedules. The quicker questions are answered, the higher the points awarded.
Last, leaders of the KL2 group reported results of the CTSA-wide KL2 Alumni Survey. The survey produced 756 respondents (a 42% response rate — considered quite strong for survey research). Respondents worked in clinical research, implementation science, public health, pre-clinical research, and basic research (55% female, 23% underrepresented minority; 4 years median (<6 years majority) time since KL2 support ended).
Sources of current salary support reported were quite impressive: an average of 48% came from grant funding, 22% from clinical, 19% from institutional funds, and an average of 6% from teaching.
Alumni reported most frequently taking advantage of protected time, strong mentorship, collaboration (being part of a research team), grant writing training, didactic clinical research training, research support staff, mock grant reviews, pilot grants, peer mentoring, IDPs, leadership training, and time management training opportunities (in order of frequency).
The next CTSA Program Meeting will take place September 26-27 and will focus on priority areas and opportunities for the consortium members to come together to share best practices.