About

Our Mission

The Columbia Summer Research Institute (CSRI) offers promising junior investigators the opportunity to gain fundamental skills in research design and statistical analysis for patient oriented research in an intensive summer format. In a five-week period, participants will learn and apply the theory and methods behind the design and conduct of clinical research studies, covering core knowledge in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as more specialized study of randomized trial design, health disparities research, decision analysis and cost effectiveness analysis. Through the CSRI, talented post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty from clinical and translational disciplines will earn academic course credit in a summer format convenient for working professionals, while experiencing the quality and rigor that characterize graduate training at Columbia University. Program graduates will gain basic skills in designing effective clinical and translational research studies, and will significantly enhance their competitive edge in the pursuit of independent grant funding.

 

OUR METHOD

Research and teaching are inextricably linked. As new ideas, issues, and data emerge in the real world, faculty members bring their first-hand knowledge into the classroom, creating a dynamic learning environment for students. Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) is one of the most productive academic medical centers in the nation, consistently ranking among the top institutions in the nation in NIH funding for research and training.

This real-time learning is manifested in the ongoing refinement of course material, the incorporation of fieldwork into classroom discussions, and the utilization of technology to explore virtual biomedical and public health challenges in the classroom. Program graduates will gain basic skills in designing effective clinical and translational research studies, and will significantly enhance their competitive edge in the pursuit of independent grant funding.

Capstone Experience: Through the Writing a Successful NIH Grant course, students will "learn by doing," applying and mastering methods learned throughout the summer. All participants will complete an outline for a research proposal following NIH guidelines for either an R01 or K (career development) award and present their proposals to a multidisciplinary board of scientific advisors during the program's final week.

 

Our Rationale

Why should I seek training in clinical and translational research methods?

"All physicians must cope with inadequate data about the risks and effectiveness of many of the procedures they perform. Many have received little formal training to help evaluate the information that does exist, and are not as well prepared as they might be to help their patients make decisions." Hiatt & Goldman, Nature, 1994

"Today, there is good reason to believe that the scope of knowledge and expertise needed to be an effective translational or clinical scientist can no longer be acquired 'on the job,' as was done in the past." Zerhouni, NEJM, 2005

"In this era of extraordinary strides in scientific medicine, our inability to evaluate scientifically the effectiveness of clinical procedures seems paradoxical. More and more, physicians trained in biological science are in leadership positions in academic medicine and in clinical practice. Such training, however, does not generally equip them to evaluate clinical effectiveness scientifically." Goldman et al., Clinical Research, 1990