T32 Program Coursework

The T32 Program includes formal training in Clinical Research, Biostatistical Methods, and Grant Writing, which is a critical part for the foundation of a successful research career. The training will include the following topics:

  • How to create a sound clinical research protocol.
  • Recognize and resolve ethical dilemmas in clinical research.
  • Become familiar with sources of funding for clinical research.
  • Describe the roles of descriptive versus inferential statistics.
  • Identify characteristics of the problem to help choose the appropriate analytic technique.
  • Describe techniques appropriate for handling a single outcome variable and multiple predictors.
  • Outline data limitations and their consequences.
  • Identify the elements of a good grant proposal.
  • Create a grant proposal outline and write and edit a first draft.
  • Produce a realistic budget and support it with a strong budget justification.
  • Follow agency instructions.
  • Write a grant proposal for an intended audience that demonstrates the mechanics and psychology of good expository writing.
  • Describe the review process and the psychology of reviewers.

TICR (Training in Clinical Research) Summer Clinical Research Workshop, UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

All trainees are required to take the Summer Clinical Research Workshop run by the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics located at UCSF’s China Basin Campus. The Summer Clinical Research Workshop includes three courses that are the starting point for all clinical research training at UCSF. The Workshop introduces the language of clinical research and provides detailed instruction in the most integral component of a clinical investigation; a written protocol that is scientifically sound, ethically appropriate, and competitive for funding. The course aims to train clinical scientists in the skills needed to:

The Workshop provides an introduction to the world of clinical research that is structured around individualized written products that trainees will find useful; a 5-page protocol for an actual study, a resolution of ethical issues in that study, and a career plan. For individuals who will participate in clinical research in a supportive capacity, the Workshop alone is sufficient training. For others desiring to be independent investigators, the Workshop serves as introductory material for the more advanced ATCR Certificate and Master's Degree in Clinical Research Program (note: UCSF faculty, fellows, students may take most TICR courses on an individual basis).


Advanced Course in Grant Writing

All trainees are required to take a course in advanced grant writing. The recommended course is the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Advanced Course in Grant Writing. The purpose of this course is to assist participants to prepare and submit a quality grant application to the NIH, NSF, or other equivalent institution by the October NIH deadline. The Advanced Course consists of 4 multi-day sessions spanning a 9-month period, held at RSNA Headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. Course sessions are generally held in September, October, April, and June. The eligibility of program trainees to undertake this course has been confirmed with the RSNA Department of Research. 


An alternative course is the Writing a Competitive Grant Proposal Workshop organized by the Radiological Society of North America. This course is run by leading researchers with extensive experience in all aspects of grant applications and funding. Participants will be provided with valuable tools necessary for actively pursuing federal funding. This intermediate grant writing program is intended for junior faculty and researchers in radiology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, and imaging sciences.


The T32 program also recommends the National Institute of Health (NIH) Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration workshop sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Extramural Research. The NIH Regional Seminar involves approximately 35 NIH and HHS staff who are brought to a central location in order to educate, share, and listen to attendees over the course of two days. This seminar is an excellent opportunity for our T32 fellows to make direct contact with NIH policy officials, grants management, program and review staff, eRA Commons experts, as well as representatives from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and Office of Research Integrity (ORI). This seminar targets new and early stage investigators, researchers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the grants administration process and offers important networking opportunities for our T32 fellows.


UCSF Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research II

T32 Coursework: Biostatistical methodsThis course is a second course in statistics that supplements the preliminary course taken as part of the Summer Clinical Research Workshop. The advanced course covers multi-predictor methods, including exploratory data analysis, multiple regression (linear and logistic), survival analysis and repeated measures analysis. Emphasis is the practical and proper use of statistical methodology and its interpretation. At the end of the course, students will be able to describe the roles of descriptive versus inferential statistics, identify characteristics of the problem to help choose the appropriate analytic technique, describe techniques appropriate for handling a single outcome variable and multiple predictors, and outline data limitations and their consequences.


Project Specific Coursework

Samples of potential project specific courses at UCSF that could be selected by trainees, in conjunction with their research preceptors, are detailed below. These courses have been chosen to illustrate the extensive course options available at UCSF, but this listing is not intended to be necessarily a complete or comprehensive listing; the number, range, and continual evolution of courses available at UCSF precludes formulating a final or all-encompassing list. The courses are offered by the Department of Bioengineering, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. The Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is geared towards training students to become basic researchers that study biomedical problems. Course material begins at the molecular and cellular level and then moves to higher levels of organization into tissues and organs. At each stage, relevant disease states and models are discussed. Coursework will be selected by trainees, in consultation with their preceptors, as appropriate to their individual educational needs and research track. Other appropriate postdoctoral or postgraduate courses may also be selected, if they facilitate training in the clinical or research aspects of the projects chosen by trainees. Such additional coursework will be selected by consultation between the trainee, their mentor and their preceptor team and is subject to approval by the Program Director. UCSF provides a detailed catalog on available courses (https://coursecatalog.ucsf.edu/) which may be suitable for the T32 trainee’s project. 

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics EPI 204: Clinical Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics EPI 203: Epidemiologic Methods
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Biostat 183: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics EPI 214: Systematic Reviews (Meta-analysis)
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 205: Clinical Trials
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 218: Database Management Systems for Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 213: Decision and Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Medicine
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 206: Medical Informatics
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Biostat 209: Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research III
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 217: Molecular Methods in Clinical Research I
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 211: Outcomes Research
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 212: Publishing and Presenting Research
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epi 222: Clinical Research with Diverse Communities
  • Bioengineering 205: Introduction to Medical Imaging Informatics
  • Bioengineering 230A: Physics of Medical Imaging I, X-Ray Imaging and CTBioengineering 230B: Physics of Medical Imaging II, Radionuclide Imaging, SPECT and PET
  • Bioengineering 230C: Physics of Radiation Therapy
  • Bioengineering 240: Introduction to MR imaging
  • Bioengineering 241: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Bioengineering 245: Introduction to Electromagnetic Neuroimaging
  • Bioengineering 243: Drug Delivery Systems
  • Bioengineering 244: Medical Image Processing and Analysis
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program 260: Cell Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program 255: Principles of Genetics
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program 201: Biological Regulatory Mechanisms
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program 297: Cancer Biology: Molecular Pathology of Neoplasia
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program NS201B: Basic Concepts in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

RSNA Clinical Trials Methodology Workshop

T32 Coursework: radiation oncology

This intensive 61/2-day workshop will train radiology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine faculty, fellows, and residents past their 3rd year in the development of protocols for the clinical evaluations of imaging modalities. The participant will undergo a competitive application and selection process, advance preparation, didactic sessions, one-on-one mentoring, small discussion sessions, self study, and protocol synthesis process. Topics covered during the course will include principles of clinical study design, statistical methods for imaging studies, design and conduct of multi-institutional studies, and regulatory processes. Each workshop trainee will be expected to develop a protocol for a clinical study, ready for inclusion in a grant application for external funding.



UCSF Clinical and Translational Sciences Training

One of the major goals of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is to enhance clinical and translational research training broadly at all levels at UCSF. The program coordinates numerous didactic courses that have trained more than 700 fellows and junior faculty over the past 5 years, and have recently expanded to provide offerings for health science students and residents as well. CTSI also oversees a growing set of career development and mentoring activities, and serves as a clearinghouse that provides information on training activities and resources at UCSF and beyond (Visit the CTSI website for current seminars, workshops, and events).

Potential Coursework

A 10-session Scientific Writing Course for Clinical and Translational Researchers is being offered at the Mt. Zion campus, Wednesdays from March 7- May 16, 4-5:45 pm. Only 15 participants can be accepted, and the course fills quickly. The course is intended for faculty and postdoctoral basic science or clinical fellows who wish to learn specific ways to marshal the details of a biomedical research paper or grant proposal into a clear, concise, and comprehensible story that will be understandable to an interdisciplinary readership (papers), or meet the agency's review criteria (proposals). Coursework includes didactic presentations and significant writing and revising. Homework is expected to require up to 1 1/2 hours per class meeting.   The enrollment deadline is Friday, February 24.  The fee is $400. 

For more information see http://sciencepubs.surgery.ucsf.edu/scientific-writing-course.aspx.  To register, please contact the course instructor, Pamela Derish, Scientific Publications Manager in the Department of Surgery (415) 885-7686.