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 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

  • Mayo Clinic employees: Using Internet Explorer, enter My Learning (must be logged into the Mayo Clinic network). Under "Find Learning," search for course code 502E00FCTS0000.
  • Non-Mayo Participants: Due to system updates and changes, registration for this program will be paused until January 2023. Please check back!


The FunCaTS online program can be completed in approximately five hours and includes the following modules. Note that modules take between 15 and 60 minutes to complete 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 — including 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., M.P.H., introduces the basic concepts and terminology used in clinical research, illustrates how cause and effect influence a study, and defines measures of risk.

Introduction to Study Design | 60 minutes

Dr. Rocca 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

Dr. Ebbert describes the process for writing a research proposal, including identifying and defining the importance of each element within the National Institutes of Health research proposal framework.

Principles of Human Subjects Research | 15 minutes

Jessica (Jess) R. Hirsch, M.A., introduces the concepts of protecting human participants in the research setting by looking to the past to review historical examples of research mistreatment. Learners then review 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 are 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

Dr. Enders 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

Dr. Enders 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 shows how to understand them when reading the literature.

Statistics: Statistical Errors and How to Avoid Them | 30 minutes

Dr. Enders 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

Dr. Enders helps students use the information 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 CEnR 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 webpage.


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