My TECT Experience

Funded by NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

Application deadline for upcoming academic year is November 15

The Program

A two-year post-doctoral program designed for obstetrician-gynecologists to learn clinical research and advanced epidemiology methods. Fellows will conduct research in an academically rigorous and supportive environment. Faculty and mentors come from the University of North Carolina and Duke University (led by Kim Boggess, MD; Mark Weaver, PhD; and Evan Myers, MD, MPH, respectively).  Click here to read bios.

Program Mission Statement

The Training in Epidemiology and Clinical Trials (TECT) Fellowship is designed to prepare highly skilled clinical scientists dedicated to the care of women, spanning the depth and breadth of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Health, and/or Epidemiology. To achieve this, the educational experiences are tailored to the Fellow’s interests and needs. Acquisition and development of research skills is an important component of the educational process and critical and analytic thinking are an expectation for completion of the Fellowship. The TECT faculty support the clinical and research missions of the TECT program by mentoring Fellows to achieve future successes as clinicians, academicians and as national leaders in women’s health

Program Goals

  1. To develop the skills needed to become a self-sustaining professional in women's health research and
  2. To expand the number of researchers in obstetrics and gynecology in academia, international health organizations, public health agencies and industry.

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Educational Training

Fellows may pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) or Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Department of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, or a Master of Health Science (MHS)  from Duke University. Alternatively, if an applicant already has a Master's degree, a certificate program in such areas as Global Health, Health Disparities, or Medical Ethics can be pursued

Note: The application deadline for a Master’s degree in the Department of Epidemiology is January 8th. If selected for the fellowship and Master’s degree is pursued, the graduate school application must be completed by this date.

The curriculum is designed to enhance research career skills. Courses have been tailored specifically for clinicians, and provide a strong foundation for conducting methodologically rigorous research. Areas of study include: clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, design of clinical research, and selected topics such as global health, health disparities, medical ethics, health policy, and medical economics.

Submission of manuscripts, presentation of research findings at scientific meetings and seminars, and securing project funding are essential to the success of a researcher. By participating in forums and workshops, fellows polish their scientific writing, oral presentation, and proposal writing skills.

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Mentoring and Other Support

Each fellow works closely with mentors to optimize the experience. Mentors are established senior investigators in women's health research who are affiliated with two of the nation’s premier research institutions: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.  Mentors provide comprehensive guidance for conducting research projects including: initial hypothesis development, protocol development, securing protocol approval by the IRB, project implementation, data analysis, scientific writing, grant writing, and presenting research results.

Clinical mentors and additional resource faculty are actively involved in preparing each fellow for a successful career in clinical research.  Mentors provide consultative expertise, career planning, and networking among the partnering institutions, and national and international organizations.

A Research Coordinator is available to fellows to provide guidance with grant applications, study budgets, IRB applications, recruitment plans, and other study related logistics.

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Time Commitment and Salary Support

Fellows will have a minimum of 75% protected time for research and academic studies, with 25% clinical time. The fellow’s primary rank is Clinical Instructor and Teaching Fellow within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A stipend and tuition support is provided.

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Research Examples

The following are examples of research conducted by TECT Fellows:

  • Estimated impact of ambient air pollution on miscarriage rates
  • Different diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes and pregnancy outcomes
  • Racial disparities in perinatal outcomes among women with gestational diabetes
  • Use of the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD for treating symptomatic fibroids
  • Cochrane systematic review on visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid for neoplasia screening in developing countries
  • Randomized trial of pharmacy-administered DepoProvera compared to usual care
  • Treatment matching, treatment intensity, and substance use treatment outcomes of pregnant and parenting women
  • Self-administration of subcutaneous administration of depo medroxyprogesterone acetate
  • Selective use of emergency contraception among low-risk populations
  • Associations between prior IUD use and improved contraception efficacy knowledge
  • Factors associated with unmet need for contraception in Haitian women
  • The effects of salpingectomy during laparoscopic hysterectomy on ovarian function
  • Pregnancy intention, post-partum depression and post-partum contraceptive use
  • Gestational Weight Gain and Long-Term Postpartum Weight Retention: Are Underweight Adolescents at Risk for Future Obesity?

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    Eligibility Requirements

    1. Completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology; and
    2. Must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national of the U.S., or have permanent resident status in U.S.

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    Application Process

    To be considered for the fellowship starting July, please submit an application packet containing:

    1. A current biosketch in NIH format;
    2. Three letters of recommendation (including one from your current program director or department chair);
    3. A one-page personal statement describing your research interests and how they relate to reproductive and women’s health. Personal statements should summarize:
      - previous research experience
      - prior training in biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical evaluative studies, and other related training
      - your desired training (include if you plan to pursue a degree and what other skills you would like to acquire)
      - your long-term career goals and how this program will help you fulfill them
    4. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Therefore, early submissions are encouraged.

    Completed applications must be received no later than November 15.

    Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled in the order they are received. Early applications are encouraged to allow sufficient time for receipt of letters of recommendation.

    Applications can be submitted via email:

    Email to:
    Debra Powers, Program Coordinator

     

    Questions?

    If you have questions or need additional information about the fellowship, please send an email to Debra Powers at 

     

    The Training in Epidemiology and Clinical Trials Fellowship is supported by the National Institutes of Health. 
National Research Service Award #5T32HD040672-13 from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

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