Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP)

Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP)

The Medical College of Wisconsin has a tradition of excellence in research. In keeping with this tradition and to address the need for expanding medical knowledge, the Medical College of Wisconsin has identified the training of new clinical investigators as a priority. The Clinical Research Scholars Program was developed to address this goal.

The mission of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Clinical Research Scholars Program is to provide didactic training and individual mentoring in career development and clinical research to junior faculty who are committed to pursuing careers in academic medicine as independently funded, clinical and translational investigators. The program faculty is dedicated to ensuring the success of its Clinical Research Scholars by providing protected research time, a supportive research environment, research-related resources, individual mentoring and skills in clinical research methodology.

The Clinical Research Scholars Program is made up of a diverse group of researchers, educators, physicians and junior faculty. All of these individuals work together to promote an environment which facilitates research and learning while fostering collaborative investigation. The Program is made up of the primary faculty, the selection committee, and the clinical scholars.

Application Information →

Goals & Objectives

The goal of the program is to enable each Clinical Research Scholar to successfully compete for clinical research funding. The specific objectives for the program are to:

  • Provide Scholars with an enriched academic environment that will enhance the development of their clinical research.
  • Provide instruction to Clinical Research Scholars in practical research skills.
  • Assist Scholars in identifying and accessing research-related resources.
  • Ensure the development of a research proposal which is submitted to an appropriate funding agency.

Scholars are expected to participate fully in the program by attending program sessions, contributing to discussions, and completing assignments. Scholars will be asked to give presentations and regular updates on their research projects. They will also be asked to provide appropriate suggestions, constructive criticism, and feedback to other Scholars. Scholars will be asked to meet regularly with their research mentors or advisors.


All junior faculty who are interested in a clinical/translational research career are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents to be eligible. Selection of a Clinical Research Scholar is based on the Selection Committee’s review of the candidate’s materials. They may also elect to interview the candidate.

Required Materials

  • A letter of nomination from the departmental chair. This letter must also provide assurances that the candidate will have a minimum of 20% protected time for clinical research activities, although 40% protected time is recommended.
  • A letter of support from a mentor or a senior colleague who agrees to provide guidance on the candidate’s research project.
  • A current curriculum vitae in the MCW format or equivalent format.
  • A completed Clinical Research Scholars Application.
  • A brief (1-2 page) description of the clinical research project that the candidate will develop and conduct.

When selected for the program Clinical Research Scholars are required to:

  • Attend twice monthly training seminars.
  • Demonstrate research-related core competencies in research methods.
  • Attend and participate in the Research Methods Workshop course (if not already completed). This course is offered during the Fall Semester of the academic school year.
  • Complete the MCW Human Research Protection Certification Program (CITI or equivalent) if not already completed.
  • Complete additional individualized curriculum components.
  • Meet regularly with a program advisor and with research mentors.
  • Develop a clinical research proposal and submit the proposal to a funding agency by the end of the 2-year curriculum.
  • Participate/present at the CTSI’s Translational Research seminars.

In addition, Scholars are encouraged to:

  • Submit a protocol to the appropriate CTSI Translational Research Unit (TRU).
  • Attend research related conferences or training courses.
  • Present work-in-progress in an established research forum or seminar series.
  • Develop basic research skills by taking appropriate academic course work through the MCW Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Selection Criteria

Junior faculty, who are committed to academic careers and to clinical research, are encouraged to apply. Decisions to accept candidates are made on the basis of the candidate’s interest in clinical research, the candidate’s statement of commitment to participating in the program, and assurances that the candidate will have protected time to engage in research.

Advisory and Selection Committee

The role of the Advisory and Selection Committee of the Clinical Research Scholars Program is to provide oversight to the program by advising on the selection of scholars, providing oversight for the curriculum, evaluating the program, and providing guidance on the integration of the Program with Medical College of Wisconsin Centers and resources.

What our scholars are saying about the program

Christopher Okunseri, BDS, MSc

The Clinical Research Scholars Program at MCW provided me the opportunity to realize my full potential as a researcher within a supportive environment. I am delighted to say that even after the program, I still continue to collaborate with colleagues at MCW in my publications and grants.

— Christopher Okunseri, BDS, MSc; Associate Professor and Predoctoral Program Director for Public Health, Marquette School of Dentistry

Julie A. Panepinto, MD, MSPH

The Clinical Research Scholars program was invaluable in helping to advance my career in research at MCW. Having a group of peers available to help review manuscripts and grants and senior investigators to provide advice and expertise was so important. In addition, I had close contact with the statistical team on my research projects and they really helped keep me on track with my work. We continue to work together even now.

— Julie A. Panepinto, MD, MSPH Professor of Pediatrics/Hematology/ Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplantation Medical College of Wisconsin

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder - Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.
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