Training in Research Methods and Ethics (compulsory for all trainees)

All trainees will be required to maintain CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certification, which is achieved through an on-line “responsible conduct of research” course. In addition, the UNC North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences (NC TRaCS) Institute (UNC’s CTSA grant UL1TR00111) offers a lecture series on the responsible conduct of research. Coursework pertaining to research methods can be completed through classes offered through the School of Public Health and NC TraCS. Trainees are required to take at least one course per semester (two semester per year) focused on preparing research proposals and grants. New UNC-GO trainees who provide evidence of recent training in research methods and research ethics training are exempted from this requirement. Examples of courses offered through the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health include: EPID 711 Clinical Measurement and Evaluation; EPID 896 Clinical Research Curriculum Seminar; BIO 51 Introduction to Biostatistics for Clinicians; EDPI Design of Clinical Research; and EPID 805/806 Research Methods and Skills.

These courses emphasize developing a research proposal that reflects trainees’ understanding of how their proposed study fits into the field more broadly, is methodologically sound, and is conducted in an ethical manner. Successful completion of this requirement involves the trainee demonstrating competency in critical thinking, critical literature review, oral and written communication, ethical research conduct, and all aspects of study design, data collection, and analytic methods. Trainees develop and hone skills required to write and orally present grant proposals and to constructively contribute to peer reviews. Proposal development requires students to synthesize an array of substantive and methodological concerns in order to propose an informative, realistic, and scientifically sound study. In addition to grantsmanship, these courses offer broader professional development content including information on identifying funding opportunities.

In addition, NC TRaCS offers short courses for clinicians interested in developing research skills: R-Writing Group, Translational and Clinical Research Curriculum, and Master of Science in Clinical Research. NC TraCS also offers Research Ethics Grand Rounds, a monthly series addressing current ethical, legal and social issues in the design and conduct of biomedical research. UNC Health Care Schwartz Rounds provide a multi-disciplinary forum for discussion of psychosocial and ethical aspects of patient care and research.