Individual Development Plan
At the start of the fellowship, we assist each fellow in developing an individual development plan (IDP) in collaboration with their faculty mentors. After the initial meetings between trainee and primary career mentor to develop the educational plan, the faculty mentor assigned as the “primary career mentor” and fellow meet at regular intervals, usually monthly, to ensure timely progress towards meeting these objectives.
Training and Coursework
Formal training typically involves the equivalent of one year of didactic coursework in the theoretical and methodologic aspects of research. The availability of a wide range of courses and seminars in epidemiology, biostatistics, cardiovascular medicine, research ethics, scientific writing and peer review permits individual tailoring of the formal training element of the program. All trainees have the opportunity to complete a Master's degree program in Public Health or Clinical Investigation.
This training program accepts both MD and PhD trainees. As part of the training program, we actively promote meaningful interactions between MD and PhD trainees. Clinical health professionals are in a unique position to gain skills from this intensive research training that will place them in a better position to apply for and receive future research grant support, an essential component of a career in academic medicine. PhD fellows are encouraged to take courses that would enhance their research experience and further promote their research agenda.
In addition to didactic training, fellows are encouraged to participate in an extramural training experience such as the two-week long American Heart Association / National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Summer Training Course in Cardiovascular Epidemiology. Attendance and participation at national meetings is supported by the training grant. The American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention sponsors a half-day session at its annual meeting devoted to the presentation of work from current NRSA trainees. Where funds permit, trainees are encouraged to participate in at least one other national meeting of their choosing. Through participation in national meetings, trainees are exposed to work in progress by other scientists in the field and are able to make professional contacts.
Professional development activities, both formal and informal, are an integral component of the training program. Participation in career development activities is individualized. In general, fellows will be encouraged to attend University sponsored seminars on such topics as academic job search strategies, pathways to successful careers in academic medicine (targeted to clinicians), promotion and tenure, and concerns of women in academic medicine.
Fellows are required to attend weekly Research in Progress meetings and Departmental Cardiovascular research meetings. A Journal Club is held monthly.
The combination of mentoring, formal coursework, seminars, and participation in ongoing research will is designed to provide the most useful training experience for each individual fellow. More details on each of these activities can be found below
Weekly Research-in-progress meeting
Weekly Cardiovascular Epidemiology Series
Monthly Cardiovascular Epidemiology Journal Club
Monthly Career Development Seminar
Monthly Northwestern University Clinical and Transitional Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Seminar on Navigating the Research Enterprise
Monthly NUCATS Seminar on Evolving the Translational Research Career
NUCATS Grant Writers Groups
Cardiology Grand Rounds