Didactic coursework

All MSCI Scholars must complete 33-credit hours of didactic coursework, including sixteen core credits, four credits of MTPCI Research Seminar, at least six credits of electives, and variable credits of mentored independent research (see MSCI course list). Scholars may pursue one of four concentrations: Translational Medicine, Genetics/Genomics, Clinical Investigation, or Dissemination and Implementation. Each concentration provides focused training that is tailored specifically to a student’s interest within clinical and translational research. For additional information about the specific courses required for each of the concentrations, please see the MSCI Concentrations.


Scholars apply the skills and knowledge gained through didactic coursework and mentored research to write a clinical research manuscript and submit it to an indexed journal for peer-reviewed publication (a thesis requirement). An alternate entrepreneurial thesis option is also available.

Scholars will form a thesis committee consisting of three faculty members and will meet with them at least twice per year. The thesis committee should include the scholar’s primary mentor, the MSCI Program Director, and a third faculty member in a closely related research field.  The committee meetings will consist of reviewing the scholar’s plan for completing and publishing a research project and manuscript. The final approval meeting will consist of a formal 15-minute presentation of the research followed by the committee’s discussion of the manuscript. Scholars will complete a Mentor form at the end of the program. See thesis guidelines for more detail. The thesis must be based on original human research conducted during the period of pursuit of the Degree.

CRTC Seminar

A weekly, multidisciplinary seminar offers scholars opportunities to present their research and obtain robust feedback from senior faculty, established investigators, and peers. During their first and second years of the Program, Scholars are required to present research-in-progress once each year. Feedback will be provided by the Directors, Mentors and peers in attendance.

Once a month, seminar devotes a session to career development and offer opportunities to learn best practices in crucial areas in clinical research such as grant writing, data management, intellectual property management, budgeting, and ethics. During these seminars, speakers will be invited from outside the MSCI Program to present.


Developing a successful clinical and translational research career requires strong relationships with mentors and a research team. Each scholar will participate in a formal, structured mentorship program that offers an opportunity to work alongside faculty renowned for their innovative clinical research and teaching experience. This mentor will be the Scholar’s main source of research supervision and career development. It is expected that Scholars will meet weekly with their mentor and that the mentor will be available for consultation and support concerning the Scholar’s current projects and future progress. In addition to the Scholar’s research mentor, the MSCI Program Director will serve as a mentor to the scholar to further assist in each Scholar’s Career Development during the Program.

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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Scholars are required to complete the course M17-510 Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Research during their time in the Program as part of their training in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

IRB Approvals

Scholars are required to obtain IRB approval for all research conducted as part of their MSCI Degree and to provide documentation of current IRB approvals for their research project(s) to the MSCI Program.

Individual Development Plans

MSCI Scholars must develop an Individual Development Plan in consultation with their mentors and must submit the plan by July 1st each year. The plan should include individual development goals for the next 1-5 years, career objectives for each goal, research activities/projects that will assist the Scholar in meeting the objectives, and an overview of the courses, workshops and other educational/training activities that the Scholar plans to pursue. For each objective, the Scholar should indicate what individual products (degrees, publications, presentations, grants, etc.) are expected. A timeline should be constructed to display the individual objectives, educational activities, research activities and products.

Career Development Retreat

All MSCI Scholars are required to attend the annual Retreat hosted by the CRTC. During the late-afternoon event, speakers will highlight topics of relevance to Scholars’ Career Development and Research.

Research Training Symposium and Poster Session

In October of each year, the Washington University School of Medicine hosts a school-wide, half day Research Training Symposium and Poster session. All MSCI Scholars are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract and present a poster at the Symposium each year of their appointments. Scholars are given the option to have their research considered for an oral presentation.

Program evaluation

Scholars are expected to complete required Program evaluations twice per year. These evaluations are administered online and are mandatory for all Scholars. Scholars are also required to complete an exit interview one month prior to completing their Degree.