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Fundamentals of Clinical and Translational Science (FunCaTS) Program

Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of the patients we serve? Do you care about making sure scientific discoveries are translated into clinical practice? Clinical and translational science is the process of turning laboratory discoveries into actionable clinical interventions that can improve the health of our communities.

Fundamentals of Clinical and Translational Science (FunCaTS) is a combination of 13 online modules strategically packaged together to enable medical professionals and allied health staff to expand their knowledge of the components of clinical and translational research. These components provide the fundamental knowledge to promote understanding of the process of bringing discoveries to the bedside and then to the population.

Program highlights

  • Anytime, anywhere learning
  • Free to all Mayo Clinic employees
  • Self-directed and self-paced
  • Certificate of completion granted upon successful completion of the program

Registration process


This online program can be completed in approximately five hours and includes the following modules. Note that modules take anywhere from 15-60 minutes to one hour to complete.

  • Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research | 20 minutes
  • Anthony J. Windebank, M.D., provides a high-level introduction to clinical and translational research — from basic research to studying populations — why it is important at all levels of practice to understand research, and how it contributes to better care of practice and patients.
  • Developing a Research Question | 15 minutes
  • Jon O. Ebbert, M.D., discusses the basics of developing good research questions, including attributes of a good research question and the differences between qualitative and quantitative research questions.
  • Research Approaches for Collecting Scientific Evidence | 30 minutes
  • Walter A. Rocca, M.D., introduces the basic concepts and terminologies used in clinical research, illustrates how cause and effect influence a study, and defines measures of risk.
  • Introduction to Study Design | 60 minutes
  • Walter A. Rocca, M.D., discusses the key variables of clinical research, describes specific experimental and observational study design, and defines bias within the context of study design.
  • How to Write a Research Proposal | 15 minutes
  • Jon O. Ebbert, M.D., describes the process for writing a research proposal, including identifying and defining the importance of each element within the National Institute of Health research proposal framework.
  • Principles of Human Subjects Research | 15 minutes
  • Jessica (Jess) R. Hirsch, CIP, introduces the concepts of protecting human subjects in the research setting by looking to the past to review historical examples of research mistreatment and then reviewing the purpose and structure of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and the elements and scope of informed consent.
  • Statistics: Basic Principles | 20 minutes
  • Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D., provides a high-level overview of statistics, including the overall goal of statistics. Dr. Enders introduces how sample data is used to learn about populations, explains how risk and relative risk are calculated and used, and describes the impact of sample size and clinical significance.
  • Statistics: Questions Statisticians Ask | 15 minutes
  • Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D., introduces the concept of how statisticians determine which statistical method is appropriate when reviewing a study design. This module does not teach how to choose a statistical method, but introduces the concepts of how to make this decision.
  • Statistics: What are Confidence Intervals and P-Values? | 20 minutes
  • Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D., shares how to correctly interpret confidence intervals and p-values in the literature. This module does not teach how to calculate confidence intervals and p-values, but how to understand them when reading the literature.
  • Statistics: Statistical Errors and How to Avoid Them | 30 minutes
  • Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D., describes different types of statistical errors and what may cause them, including type 1 and type 2 errors, potential sample size issues, and confounding.
  • Statistics: Using Statistics As You Read the Literature | 15 minutes
  • Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D. helps you use the information you have learned in the previous statistics modules to identify meaningful statistical differences in a summary table.
  • An Overview of Community-Engaged Research | 15 minutes
  • Joyce (Joy) E. Balls-Berry, Ph.D., defines the concept of community-engaged research (CEnR) and explains the differences between traditional research and community-engaged research approaches.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research | 15 minutes
  • Richard Sharp, Ph.D., explores the concept of research misconduct — falsification, fabrication and plagiarism — and describes processes and protections for reporting instances of research misconduct, including potential professional consequences of misconduct.

Program objectives

  • Identify and describe the clinical and translational science process
  • Describe the impact clinical and translational science has on clinical practice, including the social and ethical context
  • Explain clinical and translational science methodologies

Looking for additional online modules? Visit the CCaTS Workforce Development.


The Education Contacts page contains a listing of team members who can assist you with questions.

  • Jan 19, 2018
  • ART137735