Translational Science Training (TST) TL1 Program

TST TL1 Program Description

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 process of moving knowledge from basic discovery, to clinical testing and application, to community interventions is known as Translational Science.

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

Program Eligibility:

Students eligible to apply to the UTHSCSA TST TL1 program:

  • Are enrolled as a full-time student in a doctoral program at UTHSCSA;
  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Have successfully completed their Qualifying Exam (may be pending at application submission);
  • Have selected a research Supervising Professor; and 
  • Can apply the concepts of translational science to their research project.

TST TL1 Awards:

Awardees, selected as Translational Science Training TL1 Scholars, will work with their Supervising Professor and the TST Directors to develop individualized programs that will facilitate their capacity to move their science into human or community studies. These individualized programs 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 basic science research within the translational science continuum. 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, UL1 TR001119). Each year,  Translational Science Training Scholars will be selected on a competitive basis. Awards will include an annual stipend at the NIH-specified level (currently $23,376), plus other support. TST Scholars will be encouraged to access facilities, equipment, and other resources available through the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science to support their translational research. Continuation in the program will be based on a semi-annual evaluation process.
 

TST TL1 Programmatic Elements:

Components of the TST Program include:

  • 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 Translational Science Training Scholar that supplements and aligns with the Scholar’s graduate program.
  • Individualized Programs: 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 Supervising Professor, and the TST Director.
  • Research Supervision: The Supervising Professor will assist the Scholar’s understanding of basic and translational research, and the Supervising Committee will provide oversight of the Scholar’s progress.
  • Coursework in Translational Science: Translational Science Training Scholars will be required to obtain two (4) semester credit hours of translational science coursework per year. This includes:
  • Introduction to Translational Science  (TSCI 6001)
  • Topics in Translational Science  (TSCI 6101); 2 semesters
  • Practicum in Translational Science (TSCI 5077)
  • Supervised Experience: Translational Science Training Scholars 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 trails and patient care.
  • Grant Application Experience: In addition to the requirements of the individual graduate program, Translational Science Training Scholars will be encouraged to prepare and submit a grant application for individual support, e.g., a NIH F31 NRSA application or equivalent, by the end of the first year of TST support.
  • Semi-annual evaluation: In addition to ongoing evaluation by the individual graduate program, the TST program will assess Scholar progress in the TST Program via a semi-annual Scholar Review Form. This form contains an itemized series of questions designed to encourage frank discussion between the Scholar and Supervising Professor regarding the Scholar’s past performance and accomplishments, as well as to discuss career development options and required skill building. The TST Advisory Committee will use this semi-annual report as a tool to evaluate each TST Scholar’s progress and as the basis for continued (annual) TST support.

TST TL1 Application:

See Application Guidelines