American Society of Hematology

ASH Clinical Research Training Institute

The application cycle is now open. Submit your letter of intent by January 3, 2018.

The ASH Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) is a unique year-long education and mentoring program for hematology fellows and junior faculty at academic medical centers which offers a broad education on clinical research methods, research collaborations, statistical analysis, and managing the demands of family and career. The goal of the program is to produce a group of researchers armed with ideas for clinical hematology research and the tools and access to resources to make their ideas a reality.

The CRTI program offers trainees the opportunity to:

  • Discuss the principles of clinical research design and execution, including clinical trials with correlative science objectives.
  • Recognize the ethical and regulatory issues of clinical research.
  • Examine the fundamentals of competitive grant writing, abstract presentation, and manuscript preparation.
  • Demonstrate the improvements in the quality of their own research proposals through input from faculty and peers.
  • Formulate strategies for pursuing and developing a successful career in hematological research.
  • Discuss approaches to forming and sustaining a multi-disciplinary clinical research team.
  • Practice preparing research results and presenting your work to diverse audiences.
  • Develop contact with other trainees to facilitate future collaboration.
  • Develop relationships with leaders in clinical research who can enhance professional networking opportunities.
  • Formulate strategies for maximizing the benefits and avoid potential pitfalls in mentor-mentee relationships.

Timeline

Letter of Intent AvailableOctober 25, 2017
Letter of Intent DeadlineJanuary 3, 2018
Application DeadlineMarch 23, 2018
Award NotificationJune 2018
Summer WorkshopAugust 2018
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Program Features

The Clinical Research Training Institute begins with a mandatory week-long summer workshop, which is held each August in La Jolla, California. The workshop focuses on the foundation, methodologies, and application of patient-oriented clinical research. Participants are matched with workshop faculty members and a small group which provide them with intensive exposure to mentorship and networking resources. Throughout the week the participants further develop their own proposed patient-oriented clinical research projects, refining and revising their plans through interaction with faculty and peers.

Each day of the summer workshop is divided into didactic sessions and small group meetings. The mornings are dedicated to lectures on patient-oriented clinical research methodology and related topics, while in the afternoons participants meet with their small groups, workshop mentors and other faculty, including biostatisticians, to work on protocol development. Informal presentations by leaders in hematology clinical research take place in the evenings.

In addition to the summer workshop, two subsequent mandatory sessions, the first at the ASH annual meeting in December and in May at ASH Headquarters in Washington, DC, provide an opportunity for further interaction and mentoring throughout the year. Those who are accepted to the Clinical Research Training Institute must participate in all three segments of the program.

There is no fee to apply to the program, and ASH will pay for the participants’ travel expenses to the summer workshop and spring meeting. Travel to and expenses at the annual meeting are the responsibility of the participant and/or their academic institution.

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Summer Workshop Curriculum

Highlights of the 2018 summer workshop curriculum include:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of observational studies and meta-analysis
  • Advice for forming and sustaining a multi-disciplinary clinical research team including basic science colleagues
  • Tools for assessing the quality of clinical research in your field
  • Advice on using mentoring and networking to your advantage
  • Overview of the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of epidemiologic studies of diseases in humans
  • Strategies for securing research funding from NIH and foundations supporting hematology research
  • Introduction to skills necessary for presenting your work to diverse audiences
  • Advice on preparing research results for publication
  • Overview of basic statistical terms, sample size calculation, and interpretation of results in clinical trials
  • Advice on successfully interfacing with industry while maintaining research independence
  • Application of translational laboratory studies to facilitate early phase I/II clinical trials
  • Overview of regulatory rules governing clinical trials
  • Advice on strategies for successful collaborative research in cooperative groups by junior faculty
  • Formal planning of career development and aims for a successful K23, K08 application, or similar award application
  • Methods and consultation for effective and efficient literature searches
  • Overview of patient reported outcomes in clinical trials
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Eligibility Requirements

The CRTI is geared toward trainees and early career faculty members in adult and pediatric hematology, hematology/oncology and hematology-related programs at academic medical centers. Eligibility criteria include:

  • CRTI applicants must be ASH members in good standing and maintain membership for the duration of the CRTI program. To verify your membership status, please log in to your ASH account.* Not an ASH member yet? Take the first step. Your membership application must be pending at the time of CRTI eligibility form submission and approved by the application deadline.
  • North American (United States, Canada, and Mexico) applicants who at the time of their application and for the duration of the CRTI program are in hematology-related fellowship training or are junior faculty who have completed their fellowship training within the past three years. Fellowship training is defined as any sub-specialty training in hematology irrespective of whether this training is concurrent with another training program. The first faculty position is defined as the first position as an instructor (or equivalent) or assistant professor in a hematology-related discipline irrespective of whether the applicant has held a previous faculty position in a field unrelated to hematology.
  • International fellow applicants who at the time of the application have received their MD within the past 12 years; or international faculty applicants who at the time of the application have completed their fellowship training within the past five years.
  • Agreement to participate in all of CRTI. Those who are chosen for CRTI are required to attend all parts of the three-part program: 1) the summer workshop; 2) the follow-up program which takes place in December at the ASH annual meeting; and 3) the one-day final class held in May in Washington, DC.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Applicants who have been accepted to the Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) program are not eligible to apply for the CRTI program until after the TRTH term has been completed.
  • Applicants who have been granted an ASH Scholar Award are not eligible to apply for CRTI during the research period of the awarded project.
  • Applicants in their final year of training who plan to transition to another institution the following year are eligible to apply for CRTI but must state the feasibility of completing their proposed research project at the new institution. A support letter from the new institution must be provided in addition to one from the current institution.
  • Studies submitted to CRTI must directly involve clinical observation of human subjects. Research projects must include the development or study of new diagnostic methods, therapies, and/or outcome measures that ultimately will benefit patients with hematologic disorders.
  • Studies that will be open to enrollment before September 2017 are not eligible as are studies which will have obtained Institutional Review Board approval by the date of the CRTI.
  • Studies that are exclusively laboratory based are not appropriate.
  • Applicants doing research in the same department of an institution are eligible to apply; however, no more than one applicant from any one department at any one institution will be selected. In this context different departments include Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, etc. Institutions with multiple potential applicants should consider having an internal selection process to avoid an excessive number of applications.
  • CRTI applicants with K type grants will already have access to or involvement in educational programs that cover material included in CRTI. These applicants will need to describe the ways in which CRTI participation would provide them with further benefit and training.
  • The project submitted to CRTI cannot be under consideration for or have been presented at any other similar clinical research development workshops.

*If you need assistance with your username and password, please contact ASH Customer Relations at membership@hematology.org.

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Application Requirements

All applications must be submitted electronically through the ASH online awards portal. Only those who have fulfilled the eligibility review requirements will be invited to submit an application.

All eligibility review and application submissions will be sent a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the ASH Training Coordinator at training@hematology.org or at 202-552-4928.

Required Documents
In addition to completing any required information, those invited to apply will be responsible for uploading and submitting the following required documents through the online awards systems:

  1. Applicant’s NIH Biosketch
    You MUST use the NIH template (sample biosketch)
    Please provide a biosketch that includes contact information, present position, training (including training in clinical research), publications, and other relevant information.
    • The following documents must be created by the applicant and formatted with 1" margins on all sides and a minimum font size of 12 pt.

  2. Applicant’s Career-Development Plan (2-page limit)
    Please detail your career goals (and relate to your prior experiences), systematic plan to obtain experience and skills for an independent career in clinical research, and available resources (such as courses, workshops, etc.) at your home institution. A description of those courses and experiences that the applicant intends to pursue should be clearly identified.
  3. Research Proposal & References (5-page limit for proposal; tables and figures are included in the five-page limit; 1 additional page for references is allowed) The proposal should, at a minimum, include:
    • Introduction
    • Specific Aims/Objectives
    • Relevance to Hematology
    • Study Description
    • Statistical Considerations
    • Timeline for Completion and Data Analysis
  4. Completion of the proposal within the year of the Clinical Research Training Institute is not required, but a clear plan for the timeline of the study and data analysis is essential.

    For those protocols using agents from a pharmaceutical company that are not FDA approved for the disease under study, the review committee suggests that a letter of support from the collaborating company (companies) be included in the application. Such documentation provides reviewers with important information regarding the feasibility of the proposal. However, we recognize that many concepts are in a developmental stage at the time of application, and such proposals may also be appropriate for CRTI participation. In such cases where a pharmaceutical company letter of support is not included in the application, it is strongly suggested that statements as to the status of company collaboration be included by the applicant.

  1. Mentor’s NIH Biosketch  (5-page limit)
    Please provide either a biosketch detailing present position, training (including training in clinical research), publications, mentoring experience, and research support.
    The following documents must be created by the applicant’s mentor and formatted with 1'' margins on all sides and a minimum font size of 12 pt.
  2. Mentor’s Letter of Support (2-page limit)
    Carefully review the "Instructions to Mentors" below with your mentor. Mentorship is considered a critical component of a successful CRTI experience, and the Mentor’s letter of support will be carefully examined and contribute substantially to the applicant’s score. The "Instructions for Mentors" outlines how to complete the Mentor’s letter of support.

Instructions for Mentors
Please include a letter of support on the institution’s letterhead that outlines your experience with the applicant and details your qualifications in your research area, previous experience in mentoring junior investigators, plans to mentor the applicant and support the proposal during the award year, and commitment to providing a productive environment for him/her to pursue the project.

If the proposal requires funds, drugs, or data/tissue from another organization, please outline whether: (1) funds/drugs/data/tissue have already have been received; (2) a written agreement is in place to supply funds/drugs/data/tissue; (3) a proposal to obtain funds/drugs/data/tissue is in process or has been submitted; or (4) not yet sure of how funds/drugs/data/tissue will be secured. If funds/drugs/data/tissue are not yet secured, please outline in your letter a contingency plan for the trainee if the required materials ultimately cannot be obtained.

If the applicant’s project has co-mentors, only ONE letter of support should be included (2-page limit). The statement should be written, and signed, by both mentors, and, a biosketch from each mentor is required.

The following documents must be created by the applicant’s division chief, or similar institutional official, and formatted with 1'' margins on all sides and a minimum font size of 12 pt.

  1. Institutional Commitment Letter (1-page limit)
    The division chief, or similar institutional official, should provide a description of the institutional commitment to the investigator applicant. The narrative should include a statement regarding “protected” time for the execution of research and a description of the available environment and resources for the applicant to conduct research and to gain experience and training relevant to his/her career development. A commitment of time and resources for the applicant to attend all three (3) required meetings should be clearly stated.

    This letter must be separate from the mentor letter of support and be on official institutional letterhead with an original signature of the division chief (or similar institutional official). If the mentor is also providing the institutional commitment letter two distinct letters must be submitted.

Additional Items
If the applicant has made plans to move to another institution prior to the start of the CRTI summer workshop, a letter of support from the mentor and a letter of support and commitment from the division chief (or similar institutional official) at the new institution must be sent as part of a completed application. These documents do not count towards the page limits discussed previously. These letters should be formatted similarly to those discussed above.

For those protocols using agents from a pharmaceutical company that are not FDA approved for the disease under study, a letter of support from the collaborating company (companies) should be included in the application. Such documentation provides reviewers with important information regarding the feasibility of the proposal. However, we recognize that many concepts are in a developmental stage at the time of application, and such proposals may also be appropriate for CRTI participation. In such cases where a pharmaceutical company letter of support is not included in the application, it is strongly suggested that statements as to the status of company collaboration be included by the applicant.

Apply now

Please note: Any application that does not follow the application requirements, is not formatted correctly, is lacking information, has incorrect information, or is lacking required documents, will be deemed ineligible and will not be reviewed by the study section. There are no appeals or consideration for additional or further review once an application has been determined to be ineligible.

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Evaluation, Selection, and Notification

Each application is reviewed by a primary, secondary, and tertiary reviewer and reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. The applicant’s personal qualifications, as assessed by the biosketch, and potential for academic success, as assessed by the career development plan.
  2. The proposal’s originality, feasibility, and clinical importance. Completion of the proposal within the year of the Clinical Research Training Institute is not necessary, but a clear plan for the timeline of the study and data analysis is essential. Preference will be given to proposals with greater involvement of clinical observations.
  3. The mentor’s experience and plans for supporting the applicant, as evidenced by the mentor’s biosketch and letter of support, and the institutional support as evidenced by the institutional letter of commitment.

Finalists selected to participate in the Clinical Research Training Institute will be notified in June. A written review and critique of the proposal will be provided to each applicant.

Only one individual per department per institution where the applicant is doing research will be accepted.

Acceptance into CRTI cannot be transferred or deferred.

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Terms and Conditions

As a condition of acceptance to the Clinical Research Training Institute you are required to:

  • Maintain membership in ASH throughout the duration of the CRTI program (from the time the eligibility review form is due through the final-project update meeting).
  • Adhere to all required deadlines.
  • Attend all parts of the three-part program:
    1. The week-long summer workshop held in August in La Jolla, CA. (Due to the intense nature of the workshop, participants are not allowed to bring guests, family, or significant others to the summer workshop.)
    2. Small group meeting and CRTI reception at the ASH annual meeting in December.
    3. All-day final class meeting held in May at ASH Headquarters in Washington, DC. At the final meeting, participants will present progress reports on their projects and personal development as a clinical/translational investigator.

PLEASE NOTE: ASH will pay for the participants’ travel expenses and hotel to the Summer Workshop and Spring Meeting. Travel, hotel, and incidental expenses at the ASH Annual Meeting are the responsibility of the participant and/or their academic institution.

  • Make airline reservations through EWA Travel, ASH’s travel agent.
  • Give a PowerPoint presentation on your submitted research proposal on the first and last day of the CRTI and at the final class.
  • Attend and participate in each small group meeting during the Summer Workshop.
  • Have scheduled status updates with your CRTI mentor
  • Complete the ASH Conflict-of-Interest form and abide by the ASH COI policy.
  • Execute a confidentiality agreement.
  • Cite support from the American Society of Hematology in any publications resulting from the CRTI project.
  • Respond to future inquiries from ASH regarding your career progression.
  • ASH CRTI is intended to foster the development of a real project that will move forward through the year long experience of CRTI. If the trainee is accepted and knows that the original proposal is no longer feasible (i.e., lack of drug access, etc.), the trainee will have to resubmit another possible project no later than two weeks before the start of the summer workshop. The co-directors will review the new proposal and determine if the trainee is still eligible to attend. If the revised application is not approved, the next trainee on the rank list will be invited to attend.
  • CRTI applicants with K type grants that have access to or involvement in educational programs that cover material included in CRTI are not eligible.
  • The project submitted to CRTI cannot be under consideration for or have been presented at any other similar clinical research development workshops.
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Questions?

If you have any questions or require any additional information regarding the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute, please contact training@hematology.org.

Testimonials

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