Research Proposal

The mentored research experience is a key component of the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program in clinical and translational science.

Students develop their research proposals in CTSC 5010: Clinical Research Proposal Development with a deadline based on the academic cycle listed below. Members of the CCaTS Scientific Review Group review research proposals, and the Postdoctoral Programs Executive Committee approves them. Early submission of proposals is encouraged.

Begin coursework Enrollment in CTSC 5010: Clinical Research Proposal Development Proposal submission
Summer quarter Fall quarter Jan. 15
Winter quarter Spring quarter July 15

Include these items in your proposal packet:

  • Research Proposal Checklist (PDF). Checklist must be signed by scholar and mentor.
  • Research Proposal Packet Cover Page (PDF).
  • The proposal. Research proposals are approved by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Executive Committee and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Follow the Research Proposal Guidelines (PDF) and construct your specific aims in a way that clearly defines the two or three publications resulting from the proposal.
  • Current curricula vitae for you and your mentor.
  • Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) form. Complete the Master's Thesis Advisory Committee form (PDF). All TAC members are expected to provide scientific peer review and approve your proposal prior to submission. After your TAC has been approved by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Executive Committee, the program staff will send you a link to the TAC e-form.

    Read more about the Thesis Advisory Committee.

  • Verification statement from your department or division. This statement must document that peer review of the proposal has taken place and that the proposed work is scientifically sound and clinically meaningful. The minute excerpt from your department or division research committee or minute excerpt used for submission to the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board (IRB) may be used.

    Note: If your project is deemed nontherapeutic and minimal risk (for example, a retrospective chart review), the IRB does not require divisional review and the CCaTS Minimal Risk Study form is used in lieu of department or division verification.

    If the proposal is part of a larger project, submit the abstract and documentation of scientific peer review of the larger project (that is, the minute excerpt from the appropriate research committee or funding agency).

  • IRB approval email notification. This email notification documents that IRB review of your proposal was completed and approved. If the IRB has not yet approved your proposal, submit the email notification when approved. If your proposal is part of a larger project, please submit the IRB approval for the larger project.

Research proposal review criteria

The CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Executive Committee considers 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. Proposals are reviewed by the CCaTS Scientific Review Group 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?
  • 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 participants? 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.")