Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Program

The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) Program provides high-quality, multidisciplinary training in clinical research to promote the successful career development of clinical investigators. It is designed as a one- to three-year full- or part-time degree program for young investigators committed to pursuing academic careers in clinical research. The unique program combines didactic coursework with mentored research and career development opportunities and provides students with the knowledge and tools to excel in the areas of clinical investigation most relevant to their careers. The MSCI is available to postdoctoral scholars, junior faculty and predoctoral students enrolled in established clinical research training programs. The program is also available to other Washington University affiliated postdoctoral health sciences scholars. Postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty must be within the medicine and allied health professions, conducting clinical research at Washington University or with an affiliated program. Predoctoral students in medicine, psychology, the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, social work, audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and related disciplines in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences who have completed or are enrolled in the Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Training Program (PICRT) are also eligible. For further information, email crtc@dom.wustl.edu, call 312-454-8936 or visit http://crtc.wustl.edu.

Program requirements

The MSCI requires the following core curriculum in clinical investigation:

M17 513 DESIGNING OUTCOMES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH
3 credits, Fall Semester, Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Brian Gage, MD, MSc, course master
This course includes lectures from faculty of Medicine, Surgery, Otolaryngology and Pediatrics. You will learn how to select a clinical research question, write a research protocol and execute a clinical study. Topics include subject selection, observational and experimental study design, sample size estimation, clinical measurements, questionnaires and data management. The course is designed for clinicians and health-care professionals who wish to conduct outcomes and patient-oriented clinical research. Students receive ongoing feedback as they incorporate research design concepts into their own research proposals. At the end of the course, students are required to submit a research protocol or a draft of a manuscript describing their research and pass the final exam. The course consists of lectures. Each student gives an oral presentation and presents a written paper or grant protocol for discussion and critique by faculty and other students.

OR

M17 588 EPIDEMIOLOGY FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH
3 credits, Spring Semester, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., TBD, coursemaster
This course introduces principles of epidemiology as they apply to clinical research. The course provides basic tools used in descriptive and analytical epidemiology, which are crucial for making informed decisions in the care of patients. Critical thinking and scientific/analytic competencies are emphasized throughout the course.

M17 510 ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH
2 credits, Fall Semester, Mondays, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Stephanie Solomon, PhD, course master
This course prepares clinical researchers to critically evaluate ethical and regulatory issues in clinical research. The principal goal of this course is to prepare clinical researchers to identify ethical issues in clinical research and the situational factors that give rise to them, to identify ethics and compliance resources and to foster ethical problem-solving skills.

M17 522 INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR CLINICAL INVESTIGATION
3 credits, Fall Semester, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Dorina Kallogjeri, MD, MPH, course master
This is a basic course in statistics with particular focus on the health sciences. It is taught in a user-friendly manner with emphasis on use of SPSS, statistical analysis software commonly used in clinical research. The course will teach basic statistical methods in which clinical researchers should have facility to execute their own analyses.

M17 590 INTERMEDIATE METHODS FOR CLINICAL & OUTCOMES RESEARCH
3 credits, Spring Semester, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Ann Marie Dale, PhD, course master
This course will focus on the application of epidemiologic principles and tools in clinical research, clinical issues and understanding the medical literature concerning these issues. Course content will go beyond basic applications to clinical research. The course provides scholars with clinical epidemiological tools, which are crucial for making informed decisions in the care of patients. Critical thinking and scientific and analytic competencies are emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisite,
M17-513 or M17-588.

M17 524 INTERMEDIATE STATISTICS FOR THE HEALTH SCIENCES
3 credits, Spring Semester, Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Dorina Kallogjeri, MD, MPH, course master
This course is designed to build on skills developed in Introduction to Statistics for the Health Sciences and to foster basic expertise required to independently use common multivariate biostatistical methods to analyze clinical research data for peer-review presentation and publication.

M17 528 GRANTSMANSHIP
2 credits, Fall Semester, Tuesdays, 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Jay Piccirillo, MD, Karen Dodson, MBA, course masters
Scholars create a focused research plan that incorporates well-formulated hypotheses, rationales, specific objectives and long-range research goals; organize and present a sound research plan that accurately reflects the ideas and directions of the proposed research activities; develop and justify a budget for the proposed research activities; avoid many common grant-writing mistakes; discuss the peer-review process in grant evaluation and formulate a grant proposal that is maximally compatible with that process. You must have a grant identified that you will be submitting for this course.

OR

M17 529 SCIENTIFIC WRITING AND PUBLISHING
2 credits, Spring Semester, Tuesdays, 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Jay Piccirillo, MD, and Karen Dodson, MBA, course masters
The objective of this course is to teach the proper techniques of writing and publishing a biomedical manuscript. Writing a working title and structured abstract as well as hand drawing of figures and tables is covered. Publishing strategies are also discussed.

Scholars also:

  • Conduct independent research under the tutelage of a mentorship committee (6-8 credits)
  • Participate in an ongoing seminar series to present and discuss research as a work-in-progress (1 credit each semester, minimum of 4 semesters)
  • Take elective course work related to their research interests (minimum 6 credits)
  • Submit a final thesis consisting of a submitted manuscript or a biomedical entrepreneurial project

Advanced placement credit can be earned for past equivalent course work as determined on an individual basis. The MSCI is a 33-credit degree and typically takes two to three years to complete..

Tuition

Tuition is $1,250 per credit hour. Training grant or departmental funds, if available, may be used to cover tuition costs. However, some costs of the degree may be the responsibility of the scholar. Trainees currently enrolled in other medicine and allied health programs should contact the program director or program coordinator to discuss entry into the MSCI program. MSCI courses are eligible for the Washington University, Human Resources tuition assistance program for qualifying staff and faculty.

Location

Most  courses and seminars are taught during early evening hours in various locations on the Medical School campus.

Further information

Further information, including complete admissions details and program descriptions, may be obtained from the Clinical Research Training Center website (http://crtc.wustl.edu) or through the following contacts:

Suzie Fragale
Program Coordinator – Curriculum and Evaluation
(314) 747-8936
fragale@wustl.edu

Washington University in St. Louis
School of Medicine
Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Program
Campus Box 8051
660 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
crtc.wustl.edu