Research Proposal and Manuscript Requirements
The mentored clinical research experience is a key component of the Postdoctoral Certificate Program in clinical and translational science. To complete the program, you will submit a research proposal, carry out the research and develop a manuscript.
Your research proposal and supporting documentation submission deadline is based on your academic cycle listed below. Please submit your packet electronically to your CTSA program education specialist. Early submission of your proposal is encouraged. Your research proposal will then be reviewed by the CTSA Postdoctoral Programs Committee for approval.
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Please include these items in your proposal packet:
- The proposal. Use the format described in Mayo Graduate School's Outline for Master's Thesis Proposals. Please note the proposal review criteria listed below when writing your proposal.
- Cover letter. Please have your cover letter signed by both you and your mentor, and include the following:
- The scholar's specific role in the design, conduct and reporting of the research project.
- The number and general nature of the publications that are expected to be generated from the research project. The scholar's role should be sufficient to justify being the first author on the primary publication(s) arising from the project. For scholars enrolled in the certificate program, the project is expected to generate at least one original article.
Minute excerpt from your department or division research committee. This minute excerpt must document that peer review of the proposal has taken place, as well as that the proposed work is scientifically sound and clinically meaningful. Excerpts used for submission to the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board (IRB) may be used.
Although the IRB may not require divisional review for a project deemed nontherapeutic and minimal risk (for example, a retrospective chart review), evidence of divisional support is still needed for your CTSA submission that attests to feasibility, availability of divisional resources (if applicable) and absence of competing projects.
If the proposal is part of a larger project (for example, your mentor's National Institutes of Health grant), you must provide:
- A letter from the principal investigator of the larger project approving your involvement and describing your role.
- A copy of the specific aims page (an abstract, if unavailable).
- Documentation of scientific peer review of the larger project, such as a minute excerpt from the appropriate research committee or funding agency. Please submit this excerpt with your proposal.
- Minute excerpt from the IRB. This minute excerpt must document that IRB review of your proposal has taken place and that approval has been granted for the project. Please submit with your proposal or when it is approved.
- Detailed mentoring agreement. Complete and sign the detailed mentoring agreement.
Research proposal review criteria
Proposals will be reviewed by the CTSA Postdoctoral Programs Executive Committee using these criteria:
- Clinical or translational research. Does the project meet the definition of clinical or translational research? If an animal model is being studied, has the scholar justified its significance to human disease?
Scientific peer review. Is the hypothesis significant? Is the study design valid? Is the data collection and analysis plan consistent with the study goal? Is there statistical justification?
Note: Proposals that are developed and receive a satisfactory grade in the Research Protocol Development (CTSC 5010) class will be considered to have sufficient scientific validity and study design to be consistent with the research hypotheses. The review at this stage will mainly focus on feasibility of the study as outlined below.
- IRB review. Has IRB approval for the project been obtained, or is it pending? If the scholar's project is part of a larger project, has documentation been provided showing IRB approval for the larger project?
- Authorship. Will the scholar be the first author on publications resulting from this project? If the scholar's project is part of a larger, multiauthor study, has the scholar explained how he or she will contribute to authorship? Will the project result in at least one publication?
- Feasibility. Is there sufficient funding for the project? Is there sufficient time to collect data and recruit subjects? Does the project align with the scholar's research interests?
- Recruitment plan. Has a satisfactory subject recruitment plan, including a timeline, been provided?
- Current status. Has the status of the project been provided? (For example, "Fifty percent of the data is collected, with data collection expected to be complete in six months.")
Please submit your manuscript and supporting documentation electronically to your CTSA education specialist by either June 1 or Nov. 1. Your manuscript will then be reviewed by the Postdoctoral Programs Committee. Your manuscript will summarize the results of the research project you proposed and completed.
Submit your manuscript in the same format as it would be submitted to a journal. Your mentor and the journal publication guidelines can advise you on both manuscript content and format.
Please indicate any journals to which your manuscript has been or will be submitted. Submission of your manuscript to a journal is not mandatory but is highly encouraged.
Because you received funding through the CTSA and may have used CTSA services to support your research, the National Institutes of Health requires you to cite the grant in your manuscript.
Please use this citation:
This publication (or project) was made possible by the CTSA Grant UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Our Education Contacts page contains a listing of team members who can assist you with questions.