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Advanced Training In Clinical Research (ATCR)
Certificate Program



  • Applications are due May 11, 2015 for admission in July 2015.
  • Program begins on July 27, 2015 with an Orientation Session.

Noteworthy:

  • Application and payment for the ATCR Program includes the courses offered during the summer quarter (i.e., the Summer Clinical Research Workshop). Please do NOT register and pay separately for the Summer Clinical Research Workshop. We will let you know if you are accepted into the ATCR Program in early June. If you are not accepted into the ATCR Program and desire to take the Summer Clinical Research Workshop, you will still have time to register for the summer program.
OVERVIEW

The ATCR Certificate Program is a four academic quarter program intended for scholars who desire rigorous training in the methods and conduct of clinical research, which is defined broadly as any health-related research where individual human beings or groups of human beings are the unit of observation. This includes instruction in the epidemiologic and biostatistical methods used in observational or experimental patient-oriented, translational epidemiologic, comparative effectiveness, behavioral, outcomes, or health services reseach. In addition to required coursework, scholars are expected to develop and implement their own research projects throughout the year and will have access to TICR Program faculty for methodologic guidance. Trainees achieving program objectives are granted a Certificate of Program Completion. Program graduates are poised to work in a variety of research settings, including universities, public health departments, foundations, and private industry.

The ATCR Certificate Program can either be taken as a stand-alone educational program or as a stepping stone to more advanced degree programs such as the UCSF Master's Degree Program in Clinical Research or Ph.D. Program in Epidemiology and Translational Science.

OBJECTIVES

To complete the program, scholars must satisfy program objectives, which are to:

  1. Learn the methods required to perform both observational and experimental clinical research.
  2. Plan and implement one or more clinical research projects.
  3. Analyze, interpret, and present clinical research data.
PREREQUISITES
  • Possession of an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (equal to a letter grade of "B"). Preference will be given to scholars who have demonstrated knowledge or experience in some aspect of a health-related field (e.g., clinical practice, public health, health promotion) by virtue of either possession of a graduate or professional doctoral degree (MD, DDS, PharmD, PhD or international equivalent), being currently enrolled in such a program, or relevant work experience. Although not required, this prior knowledge or experience is preferred because program scholars will be required to perform original research in an area of their choosing to fulfill graduation requirements. Prior substantive knowledge or experience in a health-related field can be very helpful in identifying a research area of interest and in maintaining motivation for the work.
  • Established relationship with a research mentor at UCSF, defined as a faculty member in either of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, or Dentistry. Scholars already at UCSF should have this established by the time of application. Those who are applying from outside UCSF should have this established by the beginning of the program. Applicants from outside UCSF may identify UCSF research mentors on their own or may contact the TICR Program's Research Ambassador, Dr. Michael Kohn, for assistance in matching their interests with a UCSF mentor. The Research Ambassador is also available to discuss how well an applicant's background is suitable for the program.
  • For scholars who are primarily based in other training programs at UCSF, supervisor's assurance that at least 70% of time will be available August through May to divide between the activities of this program and the conduct of the trainee's clinical research projects.
  • Affirmation of the Professional Conduct Statement (signed during orientation).
TWO TRACKS FOR RECEIVING PROGRAM CREDIT

Traditional ATCR Certificate Program

We offer two options for those seeking admission to the ATCR Certificate Program. The first is the traditional ATCR Program which culminates in a Certificate of Program Completion from the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for scholars who successfully complete program requirements. This option is ideal for those who desire to gain the core knowledge and skills needed to become a clinical researcher but who do not feel the need to obtain an official transcript from the University of California listing course credits. This would apply to scholars who do not plan to attempt to transfer credit received for completed ATCR Program courses to graduate degree programs either at UCSF (e.g., the TICR Master's Degree Program in Clinical Research) or at other universities. This is a lower cost option compared to the credit-bearing ATCR Program. In order to apply for this program, please follow the instructions below for Application to Traditional ATCR Program.

Credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program

The second option is the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program that offers trainees the opportunity to earn graduate division credit for the courses taken as part of ATCR. Students choosing this option would then have an official UCSF transcript indicating the courses and grades earned, and those who successfully complete the program would receive a Certificate of Program Completion from the University of California. This program is primarily for those who are uncertain about pursuing a formal degree (e.g., the TICR Master's Degree Program in Clinical Research at UCSF) at the beginning of the program and who desire more to time make that decision. Students who elect the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program will be able to apply units of coursework credit taken in ATCR in the Summer, Fall, and Winter quarters toward the Master's Degree in Clinical Research if they apply and are accepted into the Master's Program. Students would need to decide and apply by the published deadline for the Master's Program (typically mid-March). Please note that admission into the Master's Program is competitive and that satisfactory completion of courses taken while in the ATCR Certificate Program is not a guarantee of acceptance into the Master's Program. The Masters Admissions Committee reviews applications for the Master’s Program  taking into consideration several factors, including success in the courses during ATCR, general aptitude for the concepts being taught as judged by performance in the ATCR seminar, appropriateness of research mentors, among others.   Many members of the Admissions Committee are also course directors in the first year courses in the TICR Program and thus will have had a chance to get to know a student’s chance at success in the Master’s Program through interactions in the classroom.  Admission to the Master’s Program is not guaranteed, and every year we do reject applications from unqualified students who completed ATCR.   

Please also note that if you intend to apply to the Master's Program, you will need to opt for letter grades when filing your study lists following the grading policies for the Master's Program. Finally, since the ATCR credit-bearing Program is a UCSF Graduate Division Certificate Program, it necessarily comes with higher fees. In order to apply for the credit-bearing ATCR Program, please follow the instructions below for Application to Credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program.

In summary, the prerequisites, program of study, and mentoring requirements described below are identical for the two ATCR options. The differences between the options are the ability to apply credits toward the Master's Degree Program in Clinical Research, the nature of the Certificate granted, and cost.

PROGRAM OF STUDY
  1. Courses

    Individuals accepted into the ATCR Program must successfully pass the required courses in each quarter in order to proceed in the program. Thus to be eligible to continue the ATCR Program in the fall, individuals must have successfully passed each of the required summer courses. In addition to the required courses, scholars are encouraged to take one or more elective courses according to their interests.

    TICR Policy Regarding Academic Credit for Courses Taken in the Past.

    Required and Elective Courses

    Time for elective courses is difficult to find for most students in the fall quarter, but is more plentiful in winter and spring quarters.

  2. Research Products

    In the ATCR Seminar, scholars will present their research in progress at least once each quarter. Scholars will also provide a primary review of the work of another student in the program once each quarter.

    In the Biostatistical Methods III (BIOSTAT 209) course in the Spring quarter, scholars conduct a statistical analysis of their own data (with Stata) and give an oral presentation at the end of the term. Scholars are advised to identify a dataset for analysis by early February.

  3. Professional Goals

The following activities represent a target for accomplishment for all ATCR Program Scholars during the year. Although the ATCR Program will not formally monitor these activities, the program will provide encouragement and methodologic guidance to meet these objectives.

  • Interaction with Mentor and Career Development.
    • Meet with mentor at least monthly -- to discuss research project specifics and career issues.
    • Begin a second research project (e.g., if one involves primary data collection, the other could be secondary data analysis, meta-analysis, decision analysis, or cost-effectiveness analysis).
    • Begin to attend regional, national, and international conferences in your research area.
    • Develop a five-year career plan; consider applying for an NIH K award.
  • Written Products
    • Review of a manuscript submitted to a journal (serve as co-referee with mentor).
    • Letter to an editor on a topic involving your research area.
    • Systematic review of your research topic.
    • Abstract for a poster or oral presentation at a national conference.
    • Application for a small grant (e.g., UCSF intramural).
    • Manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal, ideally as first author.
  • Departmental Service
    • Serve as an agent in local Departmental conferences and other teaching venues to introduce perspectives and techniques learned in the ATCR Program.
MENTORING

Structured mentoring by faculty members experienced in the scholar's chosen academic discipline is an essential element of becoming an accomplished clinical researcher. While the ATCR curriculum and faculty will provide the methodologic guidance to enable the scholar to plan and implement clinical research, this does not substitute for the benefits derived from a relationship with mentors who work primarily in the scholar's field. Hence, we require that each scholar receive guidance from a research mentor who is an established scientist who meets regularly with the scholar, reviews progress, and provides scholarly guidance.

APPLICATION TO TRADITIONAL ATCR PROGRAM

The ATCR Program application is available in a ready-to-use Microsoft Word format. To use this, click on the "Microsoft Word Format" button below. The word document should then appear in your browser. Next select "File > Save As" from the menu bar and save a local copy of the document to your computer. Make sure to save a copy of the file on your computer before attempting to use the file.

If you are not able to access the application in the Microsoft Word format, please download the .pdf version of the application by clicking on the pdf button below. This can then be printed out and completed by typing where indicated.

Completed ATCR applications in MS Word or .pdf format should be sent by email to Clair Dunne (cdunne@psg.ucsf.edu). A signed hard copy of the application should also be sent to:

Clair Dunne
Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate Program
University of California at San Francisco
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Mission Hall
550 16th Street, 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
or by campus mail to: Box 0560
415-514-8135 (telephone)

Assistance in Finding Research Mentors: Applicants from outside UCSF may identify UCSF research mentors on their own or may contact the TICR Program's Research Ambassador, Dr. Michael Kohn, for assistance in matching their interests with a UCSF mentor. The Research Ambassador is also available to discuss how well an applicant's background is suitable for the program.

International Applicants: The ATCR program welcomes applications from international scholars who meet the prerequisites, but the program does not provide any financial aid to international scholars. Once an international applicant has been accepted into the program, the scholar is expected to work with UCSF’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to obtain the appropriate visa. Note that the program begins on July 27, 2015 so travel arrangements should be made to arrive in San Francisco by July 26, 2015.

Deadline: Applications for the ATCR Certificate Program for 2015-2016 are due May 11, 2015. Notice of admission decisions will be made in early June. All materials must be received by this date. If any portion of the application is not received by this date, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be further considered without petition, explanation, and payment of $150 late fee. Additional late fees may apply for exceptionally late transactions.

Cost: The fee for 2014-15 is $13,350 for individuals affiliated with the University of California (see below). This includes fees for all four quarters (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring). Fees do not include books, supplies, or software. Fees are doubled for individuals outside the University of California. Withdrawal after enrollment into the program will be subject to a $150 non-refundable fee. Fees for subsequent years are subject to change.

Health Insurance: Please note the student service fee included as part of the tuition for the credit-bearing ATCR Program DOES NOT include student health insurance. If you do not have health insurance coverage, you will need to arrange and pay for this yourself. As a graduate student at UCSF, you are eligible for coverage through the Scholars and Researchers Health Plan. Please contact Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) directly at 476-1281.

UC Affiliation: Concurrent enrollment in a UC San Francisco/UC Berkeley-sponsored residency or postdoctoral fellowship program; or student at UCSF/UCB; or individuals who hold full-time salaried UCSF/UCB faculty or academic positions. Individuals will be asked to provide proof of UCSF/UCB status.

Late payments: Please note that when you are accepted to the ATCR program, you will receive a payment form with a deadline for fee payment. If you miss this deadline, we reserve the right to charge you a late fee of $150.

Scholars are also strongly encouraged to own a wireless-capable laptop computer for use in computer labs in various courses and to take advantage of the wireless internet network at the TICR Program's facility at Mission Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.

The statistical software package Stata (Stata Corporation, College Station, Texas) is used in the program. The TICR Program has arranged for a sizeable discount for UCSF-affiliated personnel via the Stata GradPlan program.

APPLICATION TO CREDIT-BEARING ATCR PROGRAM

To apply to the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate program you must complete the online UCSF Graduate Division application below, including payment of a $80 non-refundable processing fee by May 11, 2015.

In addition to the Graduate Division application, you must also complete the ATCR application. The ATCR application is available in a ready-to-use Microsoft Word format. To use this, click on the "Microsoft Word Format" button below. The word document should then appear in your browser. Next select "File > Save As" from the menu bar and save a local copy of the document to your computer. Make sure to save a copy of the file on your computer before attempting to use the file.

If you are not able to access the application in the Microsoft Word format, please download the .pdf version of the application by clicking on the pdf button below. This can then be printed out and completed by typing where indicated.

Completed ATCR applications in MS Word or .pdf format should be sent by email to Clair Dunne (cdunne@psg.ucsf.edu). A signed hard copy of the application should also be sent to:

Clair Dunne
Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate Program
University of California at San Francisco
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
550 16th Street, 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
or by campus mail to: Box 0560
415-514-8135 (telephone)

Assistance in Finding Research Mentors: Applicants from outside UCSF may identify UCSF research mentors on their own or may contact the TICR Program's Research Ambassador, Dr. Michael Kohn, for assistance in matching their interests with a UCSF mentor. The Research Ambassador is also available to discuss how well an applicant's background is suitable for the program.

International Applicants: The ATCR program welcomes applications from international scholars who meet the prerequisites, but the program does not provide any financial aid to international scholars. Once an international applicant has been accepted into the program, the scholar is expected to work with UCSF’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to obtain the appropriate visa. Note that the program begins on July 27, 2015 so travel arrangements should be made to arrive in San Francisco by July 26, 2015.

Deadline: Applications for the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program for 2015-2016 are due May 11, 2015. Notice of admission decisions will be made in early June. All materials must be received by this date. If any portion of the application is not received by this date, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be further considered without petition, explanation, and payment of $150 late fee. Additional late fees may apply for exceptionally late transactions.

Cost: The fee for the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate Program in 2014-15 is $18,044. This includes the $13,350 ATCR program fee for UC-affiliated individuals (see below) plus UCSF student services fees of $4,694 in 2014-15. The latter fees are required for all persons in credit-bearing certificate or degree programs. This includes fees for all four quarters (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring). Fees are doubled for individuals outside not affiliated with UC.

Fees do not include books, supplies, or software. Withdrawal after enrollment into the program will be subject to a $150 non-refundable fee. Fees for subsequent years are subject to change.

Procedures for Tuition Payment for ATCR CB

Health Insurance: Please note the student service fee included as part of the tuition for the credit-bearing ATCR Program DOES NOT include student health insurance. If you do not have health insurance coverage, you will need to arrange and pay for this yourself. As a graduate student at UCSF, you are eligible for coverage through the Scholars and Researchers Health Plan. Please contact Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) directly at 476-1281.

UC Affiliation: Concurrent enrollment in a UC San Francisco/UC Berkeley-sponsored residency or postdoctoral fellowship program; or student at UCSF/UCB; or individuals who hold full-time salaried UCSF/UCB faculty or academic positions. Individuals will be asked to provide proof of UCSF/UCB status.

Late payments: Please note that when you are accepted to the ATCR program, you will receive a payment form with a deadline for fee payment. If you miss this deadline, we reserve the right to charge you a late fee of $150. This is in addition to the fee that may be charged by the Office of Admission and Registrar.

Scholars are also strongly encouraged to own a wireless-capable laptop computer for use in computer labs in various courses and to take advantage of the wireless internet network at the TICR Program's facility at at Mission Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.

The statistical software package Stata (Stata Corporation, College Station, Texas) is used in the program. The TICR Program has arranged for a sizeable discount for UCSF-affiliated personnel via the Stata GradPlan program.