Background and Context
Sustaining a vibrant clinical and translational research enterprise in the future depends on building and retaining a diverse research workforce. Education and training in clinical and translational research are priorities for the CTSA Program. All CTSA institutions are expected to provide robust postgraduate training (NIH, 2012c), and many have extensive training programs that often include undergraduate and predoctoral student training as well as training for research staff and community collaborators. In addition, the CTSA Consortium has identified “training and career development of clinical and translational scientists” as a consortium strategic goal and has devoted considerable resources to enhancing the effectiveness of training and education programs across institutions (CTSA Central, 2013a,e).
CTSA Training Awards and Programs
Since the inception of the CTSA Program, the training of new clinical and translational science investigators has been an integral part of the program. The KL2 Mentored Clinical Research Scholar Program is a required part of all individual CTSAs (NIH, 2012c). This career development program provides awardees who have a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent) with formal research training experience and funding support to help them become independent investigators (NCATS, 2013). The TL1 Clinical Research Training Program provides an introduction to clinical and translational research to pre- and postdoctoral candidates or others who want to learn more about these types of research. For example, the TL1 program can provide medical students with a structured year-long research opportunity. In fiscal year (FY) 2011, 501 scholars participated in the KL2 program, and 469 trainees participated in the TL1 program through the CTSA Program (Collier, 2013a). Many CTSAs offer a master’s level degree in clinical and translational research.
In 2011, Westat provided its findings from an online survey of CTSA-supported scholars, trainees, and mentors from CTSAs funded between 2006 and 2010 (Miyaoka et al., 2011). A total of 665 mentors (56 percent response rate) and 553 scholars and trainees (43 percent response rate) completed the surveys. Overall, the results were positive. Mentors reported providing a range of support in key areas for career development, and they reported benefits to their own professional development. Scholars and trainees reported developing more skills and hav-