The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) features dozens of cores offering services to researchers across the state, and a new opportunity will be opening soon to enhance business plans through a collaboration with the IU Kelley School of Business. This program has been available for several years and already seen great success.
Emily Hopewell, PhD, director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing (CGTM) core at IU School of Medicine, participated in the program last year. Her team’s goal was to improve the training program for vector production personnel. Since it can take as long as a year to fully train employees in the specialized field of cell and gene therapy, Hopewell says the suggestions provided a template to make new hires productive faster.
“The students assessed our situation and provided recommendations to enhance and formalize our process,” said Hopewell. “They developed templates that have been key to helping us implement a more robust training program. Many of their recommendations could be used with minimal to no modifications – which means we were able to implement them faster. This has improved staff engagement and created a better team environment.”
As part of the two-month program, a team of up to five IU Kelley School of Business students meet with selected core leaders in the spring to develop the initial scope of the project, then follow up with additional meetings before the final project is presented. The Kelley students receive credit for the project (between 30-100 hours worth of work) and provide the cores with advice about how to move forward with areas such as: project management, marketing, financial management and resource efficiency management.
“Working with the Indiana CTSI cores provides MBA students with another opportunity to gain real world experience which they can apply going forward,” said George Telthorst, who is the IU Kelley School of Business Center for the Business of Life Sciences Director. “The partnership between the Indiana CTSI and Kelley has been a real ‘win-win.'”
The Request for Application (RFA) will be opening on September 1. All programs or units providing a central service to Indiana CTSI investigators are eligible.