Frequently Asked Questions

Clinical & Translational Education Program (CTEP) General Information:

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CTSC MS and Advanced Certificate Clinical and Translational Education Program:


CTSC KL2 and TL1 Award Programs:


What is the Clinical & Translational Education Program (CTEP)?

The Clinical & Translational Education Program was developed as the educational/training component of the Weill Cornell CTSC which was funded in September 2007 by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), which is now the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Who are the CTSC partner institutions?

  • Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Cornell University, Ithaca
  • Cornell University Cooperative Extension, New York City
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing
  • Hunter College School of Urban Public Health
  • Hunter Center for Translational and Basic Research
  • Animal Medical Center
  • Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

Do I meet the required legal status?

Eligible applicants must meet one of the following legal statuses (proof of legal status is required):

  • US Citizen
  • Non-Citizen National (a person born in or having ties with "an outlying possession of the United States", i.e., American Samoa or Swains Island)
  • Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident (someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the US on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a "green card.")

Is there tuition for this program? Are there potential sources for training scholarships?

This is a scholarship program and students are only responsible for activities fees and course-related materials (textbooks, software, etc.).

In addition, to ensure protected time, institutional resources and NIH training grant mechanisms may be available for qualified applicants in the form of the CTSC TL1 Pre/early Post-doctoral Training Award and the CTSC KL2 Scholars Award. For additional information, please click on this link: CTEP Awards website.

Are test scores required for admission?

  • TOEFL scores are required for those whose native language is not English.
  • MCAT scores are required for medical students and MDs.
  • GRE scores are required for graduate students and PhDs

When are classes held?

During the first year of the core curriculum, classes are scheduled for approximately 1 to 2.5 hours (between 3:00 – 6:30 PM) Mondays through Fridays. Second year elective course schedules vary depending upon course selection.

Who are the Course Directors?

CTEP Course Directors are comprised of faculty from Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Hospital for Special Surgery and Hunter College with diverse backgrounds and specialties from epidemiology, public health, to pharmacology, genetics, and ethics. Please refer to the CTEP list of faculty for further information.

Does the Program allow credit transfers?

In limited and special circumstances, the Program may accept transfer credits from other graduate institutions. The maximum number of semester credit hours that may transfer from a graduate institution for elective coursework is 4 (or up to 2 courses) and for core coursework is 6 (or up to 3 courses). To inquire please send a letter of request with an official academic transcript(s) along with the corresponding course descriptions and syllibi to the Program Office.

Can doctors who were trained abroad or are from outside the U.S. apply to this program?

Yes, all are welcome to apply as long as the Candidate meets legal status requirement and is currently employed by one of the CTSC Partner Institutions.

What does multi-institutional or multi-disciplinary mean with regards to the mentors named on my application?

  • Multi-institutional Mentors: means that at least two mentors must hold primary appointment at different CTSC partner institutions (For example: WCMC and MSKCC). You may also have an additional mentor from outside of one of the partner institutes but he/she cannot serve as a primary mentor.
  • Multidisciplinary Mentors: means having mentors from distinct disciplinary perspectives outside of the biological sciences, such as the behavioral, quantitative, social, computational/information, engineering, and physical sciences. For example: one mentor may be an Immunologist and a secondary a Biomedical Engineer.

How do the CTSC Master’s Degree, the KL2 Scholars Award and the TL1 Training Award Programs differ?

MS - The Master’s Degree includes two tracks, the Advanced Certificate track and the Master’s degree track. The Advanced Certificate track is a one year program with 22 credits of didactic coursework. For students who choose the Master’s Degree Track (Track II), this program combines the didactic coursework of the Advanced Certificate track plus elective coursework with a mentored clinical research project, conducted under the tutelage of a team of established clinical investigators, is an integral part of their training.

During the first year, the trainees meet with chosen mentors to refine their research proposal and begin conducting research). During the second year, trainees will utilize the skills acquired from the previous year's core curriculum coursework to further conduct their research project on the Clinical & Translational Science Center, which requires a 75% time and effort commitment (50% for surgeons).

KL2 - The primary objective of the KL2 Scholars award program is to provide junior faculty and senior fellows who have already earned a doctorate degree with 75% protected time (50% for surgeons) to pursue training and mentored research in Clinical and Translational Investigation.

TL1 - The primary aims of the TL1 Training Award is to expose pre- and early post-doctoral candidates to Clinical and Translational research before their interests and paths are set, enabling them to move into Clinical and Translational research early on in their careers. Provide 100% protected time to pursue training in Clinical and Translational Investigation.

Do I qualify for the CTSC Master’s Degree?

The CTSC Master’s Degree is open to medical students and clinicians (MDs, PhDs, MD/PhDs, senior residents, fellows) seeking a career in clinical and translational research, Dentists with Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degrees, Faculty members from any of the partnering CTSC institutions, PhD candidates in Nursing School, those with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctorate of Science in Nursing (DNS) degrees, Certified Physicians' Assistants and Clinical Research Project Coordinators.

Do I qualify for the CTSC KL2 Scholars Award or TL1 Training Award Programs?

The CTSC KL2 Scholars Award is open to senior fellows, residents and fellows in the Internal Medicine research pathway, PhDs, Junior faculty (instructor or assistant professor), Nurses who currently hold DSN, DPT, or PhD degrees, all candidates must be US citizens or Non-Citizen Nationals, or Permanent Resident. All candidates must have primary appointment at a CTSC partner institution and the ability to devote 75% effort (50% for surgeons) to the KL2 Scholar Award Program for up to 3 years. No Scholar may have two concurrent CTSC awards, no Scholar may be named PI on more than one active CTSC application. Individuals who were, or currently are a Principal Investigator in NIH R01, R29, P01, K01, K08, K22 and K23 grant are not eligible.

CTSC TL1 Training Award students must have received a baccalaureate degree by the date of appointment. Medical students must obtain approval from the medical school dean. This program is also open to graduate students in a doctoral degree, nursing candidates for DSN or DNP and Dental (DDS) and Pharmacy (PharmD) students. Early post-docs are eligible as well, but must be no more than 4 years removed from terminal doctoral degree. Individual trainees may receive no more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the pre-doctoral level.

Can I apply to both the CTSC Advanced Certificate and the Master’s Degree?

Students may apply to the Advanced Certificate or Master’s Degree, but not to both. However, if a student applies for the Master’s Degree and is not selected for admission, they can request that the Selection Committee instead consider their application for the Advanced Certificate Program.

If I apply for the Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Translational Investigation, can I then, at a later time, apply to the Master’s Degree?

Yes, you may apply to the Advanced Certificate Program first, and at a later time apply to the Master’s Degree. To apply you will need to complete the application for the Master’s Degree track in the electronic protocol authoring and review system (ePAR). The application for the Master’s Degree, while similar to the Advanced Certificate application, has a few notable differences: Your letters of recommendation must come from your proposed mentors and you will need to submit a 3-page research proposal. If you would like to have your name added to our request of application (RFA) please contact ctsc-education@med.cornell.edu. Admission to the Master’s Degree is not guaranteed and will be based on the strength of your research proposal and mentorship team, and research experience.

What are the requirements for successful completion of the CTSC Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Translational Investigation?

You will obtain a Certificate of Clinical Investigation after successful completion of the following core courses:

  • Foundations of Clinical Research
  • Introduction to Biostatistics in Clinical Research
  • Principles of Clinical Pharmacology
  • Tri-Institutional Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics in Clinical Research
  • Grant Writing and Scientific Journalism
  • Clinical Trials Design and Analysis
  • Bioinformatics Workshop
  • Data Management for Clinical Research
  • Foundations of Epidemiology
  • Research Grant Writing

What are the requirements for successful completion of the CTSC Master’s Degree in Clinical and Translational Investigation?

  • Completion of didactic training (Core and Elective Courses)
  • 80% or higher rate of attendance to all core and elective courses
  • Satisfactory performance on written examinations in core and elective courses
  • 75% time and effort devoted to performing and completing a mentored clinical & translational research project
  • A grant submission to the NIH or other funding agency requiring peer-reviewed funding with the trainee as the Principal Investigator, or an article submitted to a high-quality, peer-reviewed, scientific journal
  • Presentation of mentored research project at the annual research symposium, grand rounds, or a national or international conference
  • Presentation of the mentored research project at a CTSC Research in Progress Luncheon
  • Thesis successfully defended at the Master’s Examining Committee (MEC).

What career opportunities are available once I have earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Translational Investigation?

One of the Program’s objectives is to provide the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to apply for funding grants as an independent researcher to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other funding agencies (R21, R01, K23, or other NIH funding mechanism). While there is no one particular career path taken upon graduation, rather, students have a wide spectrum of career opportunities, some go on to become independent researchers, others become faculty members, and there are those who simply benefit from boosting their clinical and translational research expertise in their current field/profession.

Please visit http://grants1.nih.gov/training/ for information about research training and research career opportunities available through the NIH and http://www.ncats.nih.gov/jobs

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Can I enroll in CTEP courses as a non-degree (non-matriculated) student?

Individuals may enroll in CTSC Core and Elective Courses without formally enrolling in the Advanced Certificate or MS programs as non-matriculated students. Non-matriculated students may enroll in a maximum of 9 core credits, but there is no restriction on elective credit. Seats in courses based on availability and are not guaranteed. To inquire about enrolling as a non-matriculate student, please email ctsc-education@med.cornell.edu.

What if I am unable to meet the effort requirement (75% for the MS Degree or KL2 Programs; 100% for the TL1 Program)?

How long does it take to complete the CTSC Master’s/Advanced Certificate in Clinical & Translational Investigation?

The Master’s Degree in Clinical and Translational Investigation Program was designed for flexibility by offering two tracks to encourage participation in Clinical & Translational research at different levels.

  • Advanced Certificate: a one-year program consisting of a core curriculum resulting in an Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Translational Investigation.
  • Master’s Degree: a 2-3 year (if needed) program consisting of a core curriculum, elective courses, and a mentored Clinical & Translational research project resulting in a Master of Science Degree in Clinical & Translational Investigation.

What is your policy on deferring admission after acceptance to the MS and Advanced Certificate Programs?

Accepted students who would like to apply for deferral must write to the CTEP Program Office stating their reason for requesting deferral and their proposed plans for the duration of the deferral. If approved, the deferral is typically granted for one year. The Admissions Committee is generally supportive of proposals that provide for participation in intellectually rewarding opportunities and service programs during the time of deferral from the CTEP.

Can candidates applying for a CTSA KL2 Scholar appointment also apply for additional mentored K awards (i.e., K08 or K23)?

  • The trans-NIH policy stipulates that KL2 candidates may not apply or have pending an application for a similar mentored K award (i.e., K23) simultaneously. However, appointed KL2 scholars supported through institutional KL2 awards may apply for K08, K23 support. If they are successful, they then move from one mechanism to the other.

Can I apply for a KL2 award if I have submitted a K23 application but have not received a score or received an unfundable score?

  • Both the KL2/K12 and K23 academic awards are geared for more junior candidates who are interested in developing academic and research expertise. This serves as a conflict for applicants wanting to apply to several K awards where the research training and didactic coursework are essentially the same. Therefore, someone who has submitted a K23 but has not received a score or summary statement may not submit a KL2 application that essentially duplicates the provisions and research proposal of the submitted K23 until the funding status of that K23 award is known. Even if the candidate receives an unfundable score, there may still be a pending decision. There is still a possibility that the grant may receive a recommendation for high program priority by CTEP staff, and the grant may be funded. Therefore, the candidate must be certain that a grant is unfundable. (It would be optimal to have that statement in writing.) If the K23 is funded, then no KL2 application may be submitted, and if the K23 is not funded, then an identical KL2 application may be submitted (assuming no other identical K23 application has been resubmitted).

As a CTSC KL2 Scholar, can I receive concurrent sources of support?

The NIH has a specific policy on receiving concurrent support as a PI of an NIH R01 and a K Career Development Award in the last two years of a K, which can be reviewed here:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-od-08-065.html