The CRTG is designed to provide promising young clinicians with the research training opportunities needed to become productive clinical investigators in neuromuscular disease research. This training opportunity is designed to be compatible with the requirements of a traditional clinical fellowship in neuromuscular disease and any forthcoming requirements for certification in neuromuscular disease. Trainees will be expected to design their own educational plans and to participate, under the supervision of a mentor, in the development and/or coordination of a clinical research project. At minimum, trainees should gain experience in the basic epidemiological methods of clinical research, ethical and legal issues, and the principles involved in monitoring patient-oriented research, including regulatory requirements and quality assurance. Recipients are also encouraged to acquire knowledge of and exposure to research technologies, large dataset management, bioinformatics and other research tools, as well as to develop the communication and collaboration skills necessary for successful investigator development. Clinical Research Training Grants will be awarded annually to no more than two qualified recipients for the amount of $90,000 per year for two years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the funding level and percent commitment for this grant?
This Fellowship is funded at up to $90,000 per year, with a cap of $85,000 to be applied to salary and benefits, and a cap of $10,000 to be applied to coursework, travel and a laptop computer. Applicants are expected to commit 100% of their time to this Fellowship.
Who can apply?
To apply for the CRTG, you must hold a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree and be licensed to practice medicine in the state or province in which the grant will be given; be board eligible or board certified in neurology, child neurology or physical medicine and rehabilitation at the time of the award. Clinicians who have been in a practice focused on neuromuscular diseases for not more than 5 years are also eligible to submit an application. See the CRTG Policy Manual for further requirements.
Do you need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
U.S. or Canadian citizens, resident aliens, or nonresident aliens with a valid employment authorization are eligible for this training opportunity. Strong preference will be given to applicants who intend to remain in the U.S. or Canada after completing training.
How are applications reviewed?
Applications are reviewed by members of MDA’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). Review criteria include: quality of applicant; quality of mentor and training environment; and quality of educational plan. See the CRTG Policy Manual for more detail.
How many grants are awarded each year?
No more than two grants will be awarded annually.
How should the “classwork” requirement be met?
Applicants are asked to design an “educational program” including formal classwork in clinical research. The classwork requirement can be satisfied through many different mechanisms including classes in relevant areas offered at the applicant’s own institution or classes offered by government or private organizations, or some combination of both. Both certificate and credit hour classes may be counted toward the educational requirement. Examples of appropriate topics for classwork include, but are not limited to epidemiology, ethics/responsible conduct of research, study design/clinical trials design, use of human subjects, scientific writing/grantsmanship, and good clinical practice. Your application will be reviewed, in part, on the breadth and depth of the educational plan that you develop.
What is meant by "development or coordination of a clinical research project"?
Your second-year project should allow you to apply information that you gained from the first-year coursework in a clinical research setting. Planning for this project should begin in year one. Appropriate projects might include, for example, participating in a clinical trial, conducting a restrospective chart review study, or designing and implementing a small epidemiological study. Your role in the design, execution, and/or data anaylsis for the research project should be clearly delineated. The project should not be a laboratory research project. It is expected that a publication or presentation at a scientific meeting will result from the research project.
Is this program compatible with certification in neuromuscular disease?
Certification requirements for neuromuscular training are currently under development. This fellowship is meant to be compatible with requirements for such certification. If you plan to seek certification in neuromuscular training, please indicate this in your applicant statement and educational plan, and include the requirements for certification in your educational plan.
How will progress be judged?
Progress reports will be required at six months, 12 months and 18 months, with a final report at the end of the project. Applicants who are not judged to be making satisfactory progress will be subject to cancellation.
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