Translational and Clinical Research Curriculum

There are a variety of formal and informal opportunities for training in clinical/translational research. Because of the diverse backgrounds and goals of research team members, and the variety of methodologies that are included in translational research, the optimal training plan is individualized to meet the unique needs of each learner.

TraCS faculty are available to work with program directors, mentors, and trainees to design "personalized pathways" for training that meet the requirements of the program and the level, goals, and research interests of the trainee.

To obtain the most up-to-date information on formal courses offered through UNC, check the University's course catalog at www.catalog.unc.edu/courses. More information, such as a syllabus, can often be found on the specific department's web page.

If you and/or your mentors believe a formal course is the best way to obtain training in a specific topic, there are 3 ways to obtain permission to enroll:

  1. Through a degree program (e.g. MPH, MSCR, etc.): Your academic program will give you instructions on enrolling.
  2. As a part-time, non-degree student: Use this option if you are not accepted into a degree program at the time you wish to take the class, but still want to take the course for academic credit. This means you will be required to pay tuition and will receive a grade reflected on a UNC transcript. For this option, you must complete an application through the Friday Center for Continuing Education at applynow.unc.edu/apply.
    A few things to remember:
    a.  If you plan to apply credits to a future degree program you should double check how many credits you can bring in from your time as a non-degree student.
    b.  Admission to part-time studies does not guarantee you will be accepted into a degree program.
    c.  The Friday Center also offers Carolina Courses Online and Self-Paced Courses with information available at fridaycenter.unc.edu.
  3. Auditing: This means you do not pay tuition and will not receive academic credit. Permission to audit is given by each course instructor directly so you should email the course director as soon as you know you want to audit.

The courses that formerly made up the Translational and Clinical Research Curriculum can be accessed using the methods below:

Course How to Access
EPID 896 See the TraCS Professional Development Seminar info. Options for attendance include attending the 9-month series or only specified "drop-in" sessions
PUBH 741 and 742: Quantitative Methods/Biostatistics For PUBH 741 contact instructor Kim Faurot. You must take PUBH 741 in the fall to be eligible to take PUBH 742 in spring with Joanne Garrett.
EPID 711: Clinical Epidemiology Contact instructor Sonia Napravnik
EPID 805-6: Proposal Writing Contact instructor Brad Gaynes

For Program Directors and Mentors

TraCS faculty are available to you for the following:

  • consultation at the time you are writing your grant application to develop training and evaluation plans as well as to provide letters of support
  • to assist with the delivery of training within your program
  • to serve on advisory or evaluation committees or mentor panels
  • to coordinate efforts across campus directed at training for clinical/translational researchers

For Trainees

  1. Consult your program director to make sure you understand the goals and requirements of your training program, fellowship, etc. This information should help guide you in the selection of specific training opportunities and make you aware of the timelines and milestones for progress reporting. If you have already written a training plan with specific TraCS programs as part of a funded NIH grant or other application, please let us know and we will help you access what you need.
  2. If you have already identified mentors, start with them for advice on what types of training they suggest based on your career goals and research interests. Mentors are usually able to give opinions on training and research questions that are relevant in your specific field and for your potential career path. For example, they may have recommendations on funding mechanisms, whether or not you need an additional degree and what type, and help you judge whether your research project is feasible in the time you have.
    If you do not have a mentor(s) you can set up a consultation with TraCS for assistance to identify potential mentors.
  3. Once you know what your program requires and your mentor(s) suggests, set up a consult with TraCS to begin the process of developing your personalized pathway for training. During this consult we can answer questions about logistics and provide opinions on which training opportunities might best meet your needs.

Introductory courses in clinical/translational research

TraCS Professional Development Seminar: This Seminar is an introduction or refresher to basic professional development skills important for research team leaders and members.

view the schedule

There are 2 options to participate:

  1. Commit to attending throughout the year (view application) which includes the presentations and panels along with the opportunity to work with faculty on your scholarly and research works in progress (grants, pubs, talks, specific projects, etc.).
    To join the Seminar group, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  2. Attend one or more of the identified "drop-in" sessions in bold. These sessions are open to anyone. Attendance at these sessions requires registration.

NIH Introduction to Clinical Research Principles and Practice

The NIH Clinical Center's Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (IPPCR) course trains registrants on how to effectively and safely conduct clinical research. The course focuses on the spectrum of clinical research and the research process by highlighting biostatistical and epidemiologic methods, study design, protocol preparation, patient monitoring, quality assurance, ethical and legal issues, and much more.

The course format is completely on-line and participants may access lectures at any time during the course session which runs from September 18, 2017-June 15, 2018. Lectures from prior years are archived and available for anyone to view.

To register: Visit ippcr.nihtraining.com and register designating UNC as the remote partner site.

An electronic Certificate of Completion is provided by the NIH for participants who receive a score of 75% or higher on the final examination offered at course conclusion. This exam is available between February, 2018-June 15, 2018.


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