Translational Science Training (TST) TL1 Program

TST TL1 Program Description

Translational Science is the process of moving knowledge from basic discovery into clinical testing and application and to community interventions.  Improving the health of the public demands active bi-directional communication between the populations served and the investigators focused on basic and clinical research questions. This process requires that scientists:

  • be familiar with the important health care problems in their communities, and

  • effectively move knowledge gained from basic investigations into areas of clinical relevance.

The goal of the Translational Science Training (TST) TL1 Program at the University of Texas Health San Antonio (UTHSA) is to enhance the quality and scope of the doctoral research experience by offering interdisciplinary research training and mentorship in Translational Science.

TST TL1 Awards

Awardees, designated Translational Science Training Scholars, will work with their Research Supervising Professor/Mentor and the TST Directors to develop an individualized program that will facilitate their capacity to move science along the translational science continuum. This individualized program will include core coursework in translational science and a  practicum in the scholar's field of study. In this way, Translational Science Training Scholars will gain a firsthand appreciation of the relationship of different types of research within the translational science spectrum. Additionally, they will gain important skills required to work with interdisciplinary teams in the conduct of translational investigations.

The TST TL1 Program is made possible through a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH/NCATS, TL1 TR002647). The TST TL1 is a component of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) administered by the Institute for the Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) at UT Health San Antonio. 

Each year, Translational Science Training Scholars will be selected on a competitive basis. Awards will include an annual stipend at the NIH-specified level, as well as support for tuition, fees, and travel; these awards can be renewed annually, for up to three years.  

Eligibility

An eligible trainee:

  • Is either enrolled as a full-time predoctoral graduate student or appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow at UT Health San Antonio;
  • Is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Has selected a Research Supervising Professor/Mentor; and 
  • Can apply the concepts of translational science to their research project.

 

TST TL1 Programmatic Elements

For Predoctoral Graduate Students

  • Alignment with Graduate Program Requirements: Each graduate program/discipline has guidelines for completion of required coursework, qualifying examination, supervising committee, dissertation proposal, and regular evaluation of student progress and performance. A program of study will be developed for each Scholar that supplements and aligns with the Scholar’s graduate program.
  • Individualized Program: The TST Program will coordinate with the Scholar’s graduate school program/discipline to optimize alignment of the Scholar’s research interests and goals with the TST curriculum. Toward this, an individualized TST plan, to include coursework in translational science, will be developed with input from the Scholar, the Research Supervising Professor/Mentor, and the TST Directors.
  • Research Supervision: The Research Supervising Professor/Mentor will assist the Scholar’s understanding of basic and translational research, and the Supervising Committee will provide oversight of the Scholar’s progress.

​For Predoctoral Health Professional Students interested in taking a Research year out

  • Individualized Program: The TST Program will optimize alignment of the Scholar’s research interests and goals with the TST Program. Toward this, an individualized TST plan, to include coursework in translational science, will be developed with input from the Scholar, the Scholar's Research Supervising Professor/Mentor and Advisory Committee, and the TST Directors.
  • Research Supervision: The Research Supervising Professor/Mentor will assist the Scholar’s understanding of basic and translational research, and with input by the Scholar's Advisory Committee, will provide oversight of the Scholar’s progress.

​For Postdoctoral Research Fellows

  • Individualized Program: The TST Program will optimize alignment of the Scholar’s research interests and goals with the TST Program. Toward this, an individualized TST plan, to include coursework in translational science, will be developed with input from the Scholar, the Scholar's Research Supervising Professor/Mentor and Advisory Committee, and the TST Directors.
  • Research Supervision: The Research Supervising Professor/Mentor will assist the Scholar’s understanding of basic and translational research, and with input by the Scholar's Advisory Committee, will provide oversight of the Scholar’s progress.

For All Translational Science Training Scholars

  • Coursework in Translational Science: Scholars will be required to obtain two (4) semester credit hours of translational science coursework per year including: Introduction to Translational Science  (TSCI 6001), Topics in Translational Science  (TSCI 6101) for 2 semesters ; Practicum in Translational Science (TSCI 5077).
  • Supervised ExperienceScholars will participate in a practicum relevant to their research interest, which will contribute to the TST program semester credit hour requirement. In many cases, this will be a clinical practicum desgined to introduce challenges associated with clincal trials and patient care.
  • Grant Application Submission: In addition to the above, Scholars will be expected to prepare and submit a grant application for individual support, e.g., a NIH F31 or F32 NRSA application or equivalent, by the end of the first year of TST support.
  • Semi-annual Evaluation: The TST program will assess Scholar progress in the TST Program via a semi-annual Scholar Review Form. This form encourages frank discussion between the Scholar and Research Supervising Professor/Mentor regarding the Scholar’s past performance and accomplishments, as well as to discuss career development options and required skill building. The TST Program Intenal Advisory Committee will use this semi-annual report as a tool to evaluate each Scholar’s progress and as the basis for continued (annual) TST support.

TST TL1 Application:  See Application Guidelines