The mentored research experience is a key component to the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program in clinical and translational science. As a master's scholar, you are required to develop a research proposal as described below.
Your research proposal and supporting documentation submission deadline is based on our academic cycle listed below. Please submit your packet electronically to your CCaTS program education specialist. Early submission of your proposal is encouraged. Your research proposal will then be reviewed by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee for approval.
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Please include these items in your proposal packet:
- The proposal. Research proposals, which should follow the research proposal format, must be approved by both the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee and Mayo Graduate School. To assist reviewers in evaluating your proposal, you are encouraged to construct your specific aims in a way that clearly defines the two or three publications that will result from the proposal.
- A cover letter. Please have your cover letter signed by both you and your mentor and include the following:
- Your specific role in the design, conduct and reporting of the research project.
- The number and general nature of the publications that you expect will be generated from the research project. Your role should be sufficient to justify being the first author on the primary publication(s) arising from the project. As a reminder, your project is expected to generate at least two or three original articles, which together will form the basis for your master's thesis.
- The current status of the project (for example, "X percent of the data are collected and data collection will be completed in Y months" or "X percent of the patients are recruited and patient recruitment will be completed in Y months").
- Mentoring agreement. The agreement form, Detailed Agreement — Expectations for the CCaTS Scholar Mentoring Relationship, must be completed. (As you progress through the program, you must review and update this form each year with input from your mentor.)
- Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) form. Complete the Master's Thesis Advisory Committee form. Read more about the Thesis Advisory Committee.
Recommended Action on Thesis Proposal form. Each of your TAC members must complete a copy of the Recommended Action on Thesis Proposal for Master's Degree form.
Among other responsibilities, the members of your TAC are required to provide scientific peer review and approval of your proposal before you submit it to the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee. Each member of your TAC must read and approve the proposal when agreeing to participate on your committee.
The TAC review also should take place prior to the departmental or divisional research committee and Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews. Documentation of this is recorded on the Recommended Action on Thesis Proposal for Master's Degree form. Each member of the TAC must sign a form and indicate any recommendations.
- Master's Degree Program form (course plan). Complete the Master's Degree Program form. List all courses you will take to meet the 24-credit didactic requirement, as well as the two required workshops. Put "clinical and translational science" in the "Specialization Area" box. You may find it helpful to meet with the education specialist to identify your course work to ensure that it is feasible within your schedule.
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 clinically important and has scientific merit.
If the project is a retrospective chart review, deemed nontherapeutic and minimal risk, and not a part of a larger project, the proposal will need to be assessed for feasibility and sample size by the research committee — even though this may not be required by the IRB.
If the proposal is part of a larger project, you must provide a copy of the abstract and documentation of scientific peer review of the larger project, such as a minute excerpt from the appropriate research committee or funding agency. You are strongly encouraged to submit this excerpt with your proposal, but may submit it as soon as possible after submitting 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. You are strongly encouraged to submit this excerpt with your proposal. However, you may provide documentation that your proposal has been submitted to the IRB and then submit it as soon as it has been approved. If your proposal is part of a larger project, please submit the IRB approval for that project.
Your proposal will be reviewed by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee using these proposal review criteria. The committee will consider whether the thesis that will result from the proposal has the potential to meet the prescribed thesis standards and is feasible within the time frame identified.
The thesis is the most important document that you will prepare during your time in the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program. Read more about thesis requirements.