The purpose of the BMSF funding is to protect 40% of Scholars’ work time for program participation, which includes research activity, training, career development planning, program events, and reporting. The following are mandatory BMSF DCTCDP program requirements:
Clinical Research Activity
Each Scholar shall be mentored by a Principal Investigator at an established clinical trial site and participate substantively in the PI’s active clinical trial (it is not expected that the scholar will have their own clinical trial). Research projects must meet the NIH Clinical Trial Definition - A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.
Day 1 Virtual Orientation (Mid-October)
The BMSF DCTCDP Virtual Orientation welcomes and introduces all stakeholders to the program. The 3-hour webinar is usually held on a Friday afternoon in mid-October.
BMSF-AACR Design and Implementation of Clinical Trials (DICT) Workshop (Early November)
BMSF has partnered with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to develop and deliver this 6-day intensive training that increases the reliability, reproducibility, and effectiveness of clinical trials by introducing physicians to the principles of good clinical trial design. The DICT Workshop is typically conducted in-person (in-residence) from the first Saturday in November through the following Thursday.
Community-Oriented Clinical Trialist (COCT) Training (2 Years, Mid-November through October)
The two-year Community-Oriented Clinical Trialist (COCT) curriculum features comprehensive training in clinical research design, funding, and implementation and in trauma-informed community engagement methods and strategies. Scholars will develop and initiate clinical protocols and present them at Annual Convenings of the BMSF DCTCDP.
The COCT curriculum has three main components:
1) Bi-Weekly Scholars Forum: Scholars meet virtually with COCT faculty for seminars, professional skills workshops, and roundtable discussions with guest speakers. The Forum begins in mid- to late-November and is held bi-weekly, typically on Fridays at 12:00pm-3:00 pm ET.
2) Community Engagement: Scholars will be given assignments to practice trauma-informed community engagement and partnership building skills and to deepen their knowledge of their catchment areas, e.g., by hosting focus groups, key informant interviews, and listening sessions.
3) Capstone Project: Each Scholar will design and develop a mentored research protocol proposed during the program period. The capstone will focus on major issues in research protocol development, including development of a research question, methodological issues regarding different research designs, and plans for analysis. Scholars will submit a clinical trial protocol by the midpoint of Year 2 of the program and will present their protocol at the Year 2 BMSF DCTCDP Annual Convening.
Individual Professional Development Plan
Each Scholar will develop an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) informed by a skills assessment that will guide the training activities Scholars pursue during the program. The IPDP will address both clinical research skills (e.g., statistical analysis, biostatistics, etc.) and career/professional development skills (e.g., public speaking, technical report writing, project management, networking, etc.). It will serve both as the training and career development roadmap and the individual Scholar monitoring and outcomes tracking record.
Clinical Investigator Pipeline Program (CIPP) Student Mentoring (June-July)
During the summer, BMSF Scholars serve as mentors to URM medical students who are considering clinical research as a career pathway. The students are participants of the 6-week Clinical Investigator Pipeline Program, where they learn the basics of community-engaged clinical research. The CIPP runs mid-June to late July.
BMSF DCTCDP Annual Convening (October/November)
This annual two-day event, held at the end of each program year in late October or early November), brings together key program stakeholders to inspire, amplify, educate, and celebrate. The agenda includes sessions addressing diversity in clinical research and skills development and features Scholar presentations. Scholars will have the opportunity to network with each other and a range of program stakeholders (e.g., Mentors, National Advisory Committee, leaders in clinical trial research, and local National Medical Fellowships alumni).
Scholars must submit the following expenditure and progress reports:
1) Bi-annual BMSF DCTCDP Status Reports, due March 31 and September 30 of each program year.
2) Annual BMSF DCTCDP Funding Reports, due October 31 (Year 1) and November 30. (Year 2)
It is the responsibility of Scholars to submit all reports in a timely manner to ensure timely dispersals of grant funds.
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