One of the hallmarks of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is its Career Development, Education and Research Training (CERT) program. The CERT program focuses on training, educating and helping develop the research careers of students who are pursuing their doctoral degrees (predoctoral candidates) and who have already received their doctorates (postdoctoral scholars). The program also aims to help young investigators who are leading research efforts in their own labs, having recently secured any number of advanced degrees including medical, dental, predoctoral or postdoctoral.
The funding bestowed on these scholars for developing these innovative research ideas and efforts by the Indiana CTSI is classified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as TL1 and KL2 awards.
Recently the CERT program held its second annual Indiana CTSI KL2 scholars Building an Intentional Career event and networking reception. Several young investigators attended the February 5 event, which was held at the Regenstrief Institute. The event featured updates from the current KL2 scholars on their developing research programs. The burgeoning investigators received insights from an audience of senior faculty scientists, mentors and KL2 alumni. The networking reception provided an opportunity for the young investigators to receive guidance from and engage in meaningful conversations with an experienced group of researchers.
“This event gave me a chance to get feedback on my work from some of the top translational scientists at our institution, as well as learn more about my peers’ work,” said Teresa Maria Bell, PhD, KL2 scholar and Executive Director, Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery and Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine.
Just a short two weeks later, the CERT program hosted a similar event on February 15 for its predoctoral trainees, or TL1s, called the Annual Winter Indiana CTSI TL1 Predoctoral Retreat. Several Indiana CTSI-funded predoctoral trainees attended the event, where they delivered presentations about their current research and had the opportunity to field questions and hear suggestions from the audience, made up of faculty and their peers. A few of the KL2 Scholars attended lunch with the predoctoral trainees and shared their academic journeys, offering insights into navigating obstacles and changing course.
“Currently conducting research across the four distinct campuses of Indiana University, Purdue University, IUPUI and Notre Dame, these two events offered the rare opportunity for all of our scholars to come together and receive valuable feedback from their peers and faculty in their area of research,” said Patty McGuire, Program Manager for CERT.“ They also received career development guidance. They may be in a quandary about which direction to take their careers, and they receive that sort of advice at these events. In addition, they get the opportunity to meet people from other campuses, share best practices and challenge one another with their own questions.”